Chirp and Chatter Pages

SUMMER DREAMS PROMO -- A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to the official Summer Dreams Promo, celebrating the release of Summer Dreams (Paradise Pines, Book 2). Promotion starts today (May 24) and ends on Wednesday, June 21. Each week of the promotion, one winner will receive a decorative, purse-sized mirror and comb set and an electronic copy of Spring Raine (Paradise Pines, Book 1). The grand prize winner (to be announced June 21st, along with that week's winner) receives one of each item listed in the promotion. Come join the fun! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Author Interview: Lena Nelson Dooley

Great news, friends! Lena will give away an electronic copy of A HEART'S GIFT. Be sure to leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing.




Lena, it's a pleasure to welcome you to Chirp 'N Chatter. Congratulations on your new release! What inspired you to write A Heart’s Gift?

I’ve always loved second-chance-at-love stories, because they take what has been hurt or broken and make something new out of the situation. I really didn’t realize what I was getting into with this one. It had been percolating in my mind and heart for several years. Then while I was writing it, God kept giving me new inspiration that took the story directions I never planned for it. But all these things only made the story better. He even turned the story into a suspense during the last part of the book.

I love second-chance romance stories too. Aside from the romance, what spiritual theme does this book include? How did it come to be a part of this story line?

For some reason many of my books have the theme of truly trusting God, and this one is no exception. And often my books are about forgiveness, often unmerited forgiveness. Another spiritual theme. But there is a totally unexpected spiritual truth woven into this one. I don’t want to give it away, but God revealed a truth to the hero that was very important.

That's exciting! Something to watch for... :) Let's talk about you just a little. I wonder...what makes you laugh out loud?

The antics of my great grandsons. They are 9, 3, and almost 2. And they are a hoot, especially the 3 year old. The 9 year old is becoming very sensitive to the needs of his great grandparents. All three are joys of my heart.

God certainly provides a blessing in our grands, doesn't He? What book are you currently reading?

I have a 3-book series by Sandra D. Bricker that I hadn’t read because of my busy writing year in 2016. I finished reading On a Ring and a Prayer yesterday and started Be My Valentino. Sandra had a unique voice in her writing that made us laugh and then took us deep into the characters. She went home to be with the Lord late last year. I’ll miss her a lot.

I haven't read any of Sandra's work, but now I'll want to look into that. It sounds like she left quite a legacy.

Do you usually insert a spiritual theme into your books? If so, do you have a favorite?

I don’t as much insert a spiritual theme in my books as they grow out of the story. I won’t write a story that doesn’t point the way to the Lord, so as the stories progress, the spiritual theme of the book evolves. I am usually several chapters into the book before I begin to discern that theme.

Your process sounds much like my own. Please share your conversion experience, if you’re comfortable doing so.

My mother died when I was 7 years old. I’d been raised in the church, so God and Jesus were often spoken about in our home. During the summer soon a few months after my mother’s death, our little country church had a revival. My older brother walked the aisle on Wednesday night and gave his heart to the Lord. On Saturday night, I told my daddy that I wanted to as well. In those days, people often thought that young children couldn’t understand what that meant. My father remarried the next year. Once again, I asked if I could walk the aisle and accept Jesus. My stepmother, who was a wonderful woman, told me I was too young to understand. I promised myself then and there that I would never tell a child that. Soon after, they realized that I really did understand. Of course, not everything. But I was allowed to give all that I knew of myself to all I know of Jesus and ask Him to live in my heart.

Well, I'm so glad you were finally allowed to walk that aisle! I also received the gift of the Holy Ghost at the age of 7, and have always considered it a scary thing to keep a child from making that decision when he or she wants to do so. I understand the parents' concern, but Jesus did say, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me." Your decision to live for God has blessed a lot of people through the years.

About A HEART'S GIFT:

Because of an earlier betrayal, Franklin vows never to open his heart to another woman. But he desires an heir. When Lorinda is finally out from under the control of men who made all the decisions in her life, she promises herself she will never allow a man to control her again. But how can she provide for her infant son? Marriage seems like the perfect arrangement until two people from Franklin's past endanger Lorinda. How can he save her? And how will this affect the way they feel about each other?


About the author:

Award-winning author Lena Nelson Dooley has had more than 875,000 copies of her books sold. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the local chapter, ACFW - DFW. She’s a member of Christian Authors’ Network and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

She has been on the ECPA and CBA Bestseller lists, Publisher’s Weekly bestseller list, and several Amazon Bestseller lists as well as a reviewers Top Ten Books of 2011.

Her awards include: Will Rogers Medallion Awards, the Selah Award, Reader’s Choice book award, a Reader’s Choice blog award. She has finaled in the Can Golden Scroll Award, and finaled three times in for the Carol Award.

In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. She hosts “The Lena Nelson Dooley Show” on the Along Came a Writer blog radio network.

Lena has an active web presence on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books.

Website               Blog
Pinterest             Facebook
Twitter                Official Fan Page
LinkedIn             Instagram
Pinterest            Amazon Author Page

Friday, January 27, 2017

Guest Post: Ane Mulligan

I'm delighted to welcome Author Ane Mulligan back to Chirp 'N Chatter! I know you'll enjoy Ane's wonderful post, and...she'll be giving away an electronic copy of WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS! Be sure to leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing.

Everyone Wants to Belong


Every time I passed a mirror, I would look to see if I could catch a glimpse of someone I looked like. You see I was adopted as an infant. Now before y'all get the wrong idea, I had a wonderful childhood in a loving family.
I always knew I was adopted. I felt special and loved. I never lacked for love, but when I started school, I met my first set of twins. They were in my class and the two people who looked exactly alike fascinated me. That's when I realized I didn't look like anyone.
My lineage is Irish and a pinch of French. My adoptive dad was Scandinavian and mama was German and Scottish. I began to watch sisters who looked alike, a daughter who looked like her mother. And I felt like I didn't belong anywhere. That is when it started; my obsession with looking at people to see if I could find someone I looked like.
When I turned fifty, I would look in the mirror and wonder if I looked like my mother or father. Was I a combination of both or a replica of one? I didn't have my biological mother or a sister to ask about the changes that happen to women. I would stare into the mirror and ask whose nose is this? Whose ears? Whose hands?
Then in 2009, I found my birth sisters. The whole story is on my website under Adoption. I finally had my answer. I was a replica of my mother – nearly an exact one. I have sisters who look just like me. I have the Mullvain hands. I watched my sisters' mannerisms and realized they were the same as mine!
When my youngest sister, Cindy, and her husband came to see us, I don't remember what I did, but her husband, John, turned to her and said, "She is so your sister." Sweeter words were never heard. And for once, I felt like I truly belonged.
I knew if I felt like this, other people—other women—did too. Being a novelist, the natural progression was to write a story about an adoptee who looks nothing like her loving family. I decided to give her a profession that might help her find her birth mother, and it was one with which I had experience. I made her a lobbyist for a pro family group.
My heroine had to learn that God had placed her where He wanted her. There is a Scripture I love, Psalm 27: 10 "Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close." NLT
For me, the story is a tribute to my adoptive parents. And it also is a tribute to how God is trustworthy with our dreams. I had to give Him my dream of finding my birth sisters, and He was faithful with it. In His time, he brought me great joy by fulfilling my dream. I didn't just get a sister, but five of them.

Her dream job has a Catch 22—and time's running out
Rookie lobbyist Sienna O'Shea is determined to make a name for herself in New York's capitol city and use that influence to gain easier access to her birth records. For years she's searched for her birth mother, but when she's handed her first assignment—to lobby support for the permanent sealing of all adoption records—her worlds collide. Swept up into the intrigue of backroom politics, falling in love was not on Sienna's agenda, but the candidate for Lt. Governor runs a formidable campaign to make her his first lady. When an investigative reporter discovers foreign money infiltrating political campaigns, the trail leads to Sienna's inner circle.

Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. An award-winning and multi-published novelist and playwright, Ane is the creative director and CEO of Players Guild@Sugar Hill, a community theater and a contributor to Novel Rocket. She resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and a dog of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane on her website at www.anemulligan.com or her Amazon author page.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Guest Post: Dana Pratola


God's Version of Success
He found it both perverse and interesting that the children of parents with impossible expectations were often indistinguishable from those whose parents had no expectations at all. (The Covering)
We’ve all told our children, “You can be anything you want to be.” I know I have. Sounds positive. Right? We’ve certainly meant it that way. But broadening opportunities for some, simply based on their financial status (whether it be high or low) or ethnicity, and trophies for all participants whether they come in first or last, have introduced a definite problem among today’s youth. “Expectation of success.”
The emphasis on education is so strong that kids—and that’s what they are—dive into debt with college loans, when the odds of them finding employment in their chosen field, are narrowing by the day. If they’re following their passions I say, go for it, more power to them. But more often than not, they are following a path laid out for them by parents or society.
The drive to succeed becomes habit, and the expectation of success, a devastating blow for those who miss the mark. They can often end up as unproductive—at least in their own eyes—as those who were never encouraged and pushed.
Having a job that pays the bills and allows a little left over is now depressing because it’s not THE job, that gives them 4 weeks paid vacation and a summer home. And because of unrealistic expectations, many would rather not try at all, or choose other avenues to attain their version of success, from gambling to get rich quick schemes.
Let me say here, I am not endorsing living a life of mediocrity. As Christians, we should all strive for excellence. However, when the striving becomes our primary function, and perfection our single goal, there’s a problem. It’s far too easy to lock our focus on the unattainable and miss everything in between.
I hear this frustration every day when people say, “Why pray for that? It’s not going to change anything,” or “I’m one person. My $10 isn’t going to matter.” It’s that all or nothing mentality issued by the world (the devil), designed to make people give up if they don’t see dramatic results right away. But this isn’t how the Kingdom of God works.
Just as Jesus came to earth as a baby, starting small and working His way up, as it were, so do our ministries, our outreaches, even our prayers. Some of us know this frustration, and when we find ourselves there, it helps to be reminded that God’s version of success looks nothing like what we’ve been taught. Not only is success God’s idea to begin with, but He knows what we need to attain it, and what it should look like.
Philippians 1:6: … who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (NLT)
I believe that ultimately, success is fulfilled destiny, which varies greatly from person to person. Entering into heaven, God is not going to say, “well done, top-selling regional sales manager,” but rather, He’s going to identify us by what we’ve done for Him, even if we never see first-hand, the impact we’ve had on someone’s life. He sees the mark we are to hit, that is the success we should strive for. So rest, knowing that He is continuing the work in us. And with that in mind, I wish you all Much Success,

About THE COVERING:
What do a woman of faith and a heathen biker have in common? The devil, of course. Tessa is moved to intercede for a man she's never met. When they do meet, she's stunned. Gunnar is gorgeous, charismatic, and driven. He's also hostile, self-destructive, and an unbeliever... and she's drawn to him like no other. The temptation she feels is as dangerous as it is alluring. She wants to stay away, but God has other plans. He reveals the devil's intent to destroy Gunnar, and commissions Tessa to keep him covered in prayer. Can she rely on God to keep her from falling... in love, and into temptation? Or will the devil claim them both?

Purchase THE COVERING

About the Author:
God gave me a passion to write Christian Romance. These books don’t contain explicit sex scenes, but my characters have real desires, struggles and choices to make. A lot of the time they make the wrong ones. No subject is prohibited, but good always triumphs and God is glorified.
In my personal life, He has also blessed me with a wonderful husband and three dynamic children, all of whom are destined to make wide, colorful splashes in this world. We share our New Jersey home with three dogs. I have no hobbies to speak of, unless you include writing. I don’t. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Review: Spring Raine

Reviews are starting to come in for my novel, SPRING RAINE (Book 1, Paradise Pines). I'm so excited about this one, from Readers' Favorite! (Release date for Spring Raine is Feb. 24th.)


Spring RaineSpring Raine by Delia Latham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reviewed By Deborah Stone for Readers’ Favorite

Spring Raine (Paradise Pines Series) by Delia Latham is a powerful Christian romance that delivers a whole lot more than romance; it offers wisdom and encouragement throughout. The growing affection between Raine and Declan is touching and tender and is a well designed plot that weaves God's love and truth throughout each situation. Raine is the adult child of controlling parents who have a "plan" for her life. Before she begins the career and life that her parents have chosen for her, Raine treats herself to a three-month vacation at Paradise Pines. A time to relax and enjoy life before she settles into her hectic, all consuming career. Raine finds herself surrounded by nature, peace and unconditional love - all new and inviting.

As Raine enjoys the freedom to make her own choices, she begins to discover who she is and what she wants. A romance with Declan Keller seems like a waste of time since she is only here for the season, but God may have something else in mind. Raine develops friendships with people she has met and she has found a new relationship with God, a personal and real relationship that she never knew could exist. As many curious things happen around her, almost supernatural things, and her eyes are opened to new possibilities, Raine gains a new perspective and now she must make some hard choices.

Delia Latham tells a tender and endearing love story, but this book is so much more than romance. Delia Latham's characters are complex, multi-dimensional and well developed. Raine comes to Paradise Pines to relax and finds a whole different way of life. She finds freedom within herself and with her God. Delia Latham has a gift of descriptive writing that sets you right in the middle of what is happening and makes you feel as if you are a part of it all. "There is no place more joyful or peaceful than where our heavenly Father is, and no arms more loving or tender than His." As the reader experiences the beauty and wonder of the story, you cannot help but be both blessed and moved. Delia Latham has a way of entertaining, teaching and blessing you all at the same time.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Behind the Scenes of Shoba Sadler's CHILD OF DUST


http://clashofthetitles.com


Today we'll sit down to chat with Shoba Sadler, author of the contemporary title Child of Dust. Shoba will take us behind the scenes of her unique new novel and give us a glimpse into her writing.


Shoba, why did you choose to write this type of novel?

Social status and cultural barriers makes for great conflict. Child of Dust is like a modern-day classic of Romeo and Juliet only instead of opposing families, these lovers, Kim and Bryan have cultural and social barriers to contend with.


Kim, the rich and spoilt socialite who loses her money is taken under the wing of her reluctant chauffeur, Bryan, who has his own struggles to deal with. They find love under the most unexpected circumstances.


Can you tell us why you started with an Asian setting for your first two novels?

I was founder of Agape Christian magazine in Malaysia. I also freelanced for the leading English, secular newspaper in Malaysia, The Star. My feature stories forThe Star were several page write-ups with gorgeous photos. Many of my stories were selected by the features editor to be cover stories as well.

As I interviewed people all over the world for Agape, I saw God moving powerfully in Asia and yet there were so few stories coming from there especially in the Christian romance genre.

In Asia, Christianity is seen very much as a Western culture. Yet so many Asians have had powerful encounters with Jesus Christ. Then there is the struggle to validate their faith in the midst of culture, tradition, loss of identity, social stigma and so on.

There alone you have so much material for backdrop, tension, drama, conflict and final resolution.

An example of what I mean can be seen in my short story Finding Enlightenmentthat was awarded second place at faithwriters.com. It can be read here:http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article-level3-previous.php?id=54362


Talk a little about your unique setting.
When I read novels I am drawn to the backdrop and setting. A great description of the setting subtly woven into the story is what makes the difference between being a narrator who takes a person on a journey through his "telling" and a facilitator who steps out of the way altogether to allow the reader to explore the journey on his own. The writer should aim to be the facilitator and not the narrator.

There is nothing like a great setting to make the reader feel like they are there with the characters. It is like the difference between watching a 2D and 3D movie.

Unfortunately, many formulaic romance novels that are churned out in quick production-line succession fails to capture this allure of setting because it takes research and time. It is also not easy to write setting discreetly in the background and that is the only way to write it. Otherwise it will seem like reading lecture notes instead of a story.

I read one review of a multi-cultural romance set in an Asian country where the reviewer said she felt like she was reading a tour company's brochure and that is the wrong emotion to invoke.

So another reason I wrote Child of Dust was to give romance readers a chance to explore unique settings and backdrops not normally experienced by a reader in the current trend of romance novels available out there.


We'd love to hear a little about the historical background for your novel. Will you talk about that?

The main character, Bryan, Kim's chauffeur has been deeply affected by the Vietnam war in the sense that he is the illegitimate child of an American GI and a Vietnamese woman. This historical background sets a different dimension to the story and adds intrigue and authenticity.


Who would you say is the audience for this novel?

Child of Dust is an appealing read for anyone. As I have also written for the secular press, I am able to write in a manner that appeals to all walks of life both Christian and non-Christian. I have had non-Christians tell me they were so engrossed in the story that they didn't not notice the message of the gospel woven into the story. Yet that message is undoubtedly there.

I am an inspirational writer and everyone loves a good inspirational story just as they love watching a Hallmark movie.


What readers have to say about the novel:

"Make sure when getting ready to read Child of Dust that you don't have anything else planned for the day, you won't be able to put this book down. I could go on and on about this book. Highly and strongly recommend it. Is it possible to give a book 10 stars?" --- Debra Dunson, reviewer at The Edgier Christian Fiction Fan

"I found the writing of this story to be close to excellent.... I found this book to be one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. It was interesting, the story kept moving along, and I learned a lot as I read this story. I found myself intrigued with the constant difficulties faced by the protagonists – and their stories were presented so much more like real life stories than any other book I have read in a long, long time." --- Marina, Community Writer, California

"This novel has a consistent rhythm, adding surprise after surprise, twisting our emotions at each new difficulty Kim faces. I couldn't put this book down, waiting to see if any or all the ends would be tired up. I would actually like to see the novel transcend into a movie. An amazing read." --- Brices Mice Christian Book Reviews


About Child of Dust: 

Beautiful but spoilt Vietnamese socialite, Cao Kim Lye, learns of her parents shocking death from the dashing Amerasian family chauffeur, Bryan Nguyen.

Kim steps out of a world of crystal and chandelier to enter the dust and chaos of working-class Hanoi. She finds herself living under the roof of a shop cum living quarters with Bryan and his adoptive family.

Ever conscious of the privileged class, Kim struggles against the emotional ties she forms towards Bryan, the reluctant saviour, who considers her an unnecessary hitch to his already complicated life.

He still bears the scars of abandonment by his mother and his American GI father when U.S. troops pulled out of Vietnam.

Eventually Bryan and Kim's powerful attraction to each other begins to break down the wall between them.



About the author: 

Shoba Sadler has been a journalist for 20 years and founder of Agape magazine in Malaysia. She is a versatile inspirational author that likes to write in multiple genres. She has pioneered a new genre in Christian multi-cultural writing with her novel Child of Dust and her many award-winning short stories can be read here http://shobasadler.com/?page_id=250

Her passion for writing is matched only by her passion for cooking with farm fresh produce. She lives a healthy lifestyle on a farm with her husband, Kevin, a talented musician, who also loves to surf and ski. They grow their own vegetables and fruits and share their home with a multitude of animals and wildlife. They are passionate about buying directly from local farmers who practice organic farming.