Friday, May 27, 2011

Get to Know the Author: Gail Pallotta

Today our Get to Know the Author guest is Inspirational romance author, Gail Pallotta.

JDP: Welcome, Gail! Thank you so much for joining us today. Did your mother read to you as a child?

Gail: Yes, my family loved books. My grandmother gave me A Child’s Garden of Verses. My mother read them to me so often the binding unraveled. She read The Wizard of Oz over and over because I asked her to.

JDP: Do you remember a favorite book from your childhood?

Gail: When I started reading, I loved any Nancy Drew books.

JDP: Name a favorite author as an adult.

Gail: I love to read, and I enjoy almost any genre, so it’s hard to pick just one author. For classic books, I’d say Theodore Dreiser. He hooked me with An American Tragedy. For fun, I read the Anne George mysteries; for classic love stories, Jane Austen.

JDP: Share a book you’ve read multiple times.

Gail: I rarely read a book or see a movie more than once. I read Pride and Prejudice a couple times because of papers I was writing about it. I also read Of Human Bondage a second time. I wrote guidelines to compare and contrast it to the Scriptures for an educational program with a Christian publisher.

JDP: That must have been a very interesting project! I’ll bet it led to some fascinating discussions. Okay, here’s a very important 21st Century question: Kindle, Nook, or good old hard copy?

Gail: I’d love to have an e-reader, but I don’t. I have read several e-books on a laptop and loved lying back, relaxing and flipping the pages. I’ve read so many hard copy books and have so many, they’re like old friends. As far as I’m concerned, I just want to read a good book, either way is fine.

JDP: What’s your favorite place to read?

Gail: Lying on the sofa or propped up in bed. Is there any other place? I guess there is. I sometimes read books on trips when my husband is driving. It’s a great way to pass the time. I have read while waiting for an appointment, but it isn’t relaxing for me. I know many read on the beach or by the pool, but that doesn’t work for me either. The sun’s too bright for my eyes, even with sun glasses.

JDP: What are your three favorite reading genres.

Gail: Mysteries, Christian romance, and mainstream.

JDP: What’s the last book you read?

Gail: Journey to Forgiveness by Laurean Brooks. It’s a sweet romance with a feisty heroine. It was fun seeing how she and the hero got together.

JDP: What are you’re reading now?

Gail: Right before Christmas I started Last Writes by Sheila Lowe. She’s a handwriting analyst who uses her skill to help solve mysteries in her books.

JDP: Oh, that sounds interesting! I may have to check that series out. What’s next on your reading list?

Gail: I’m not sure. I have a long to-be-read list.

JDP: What you would like to read more of? (author, genre, etc)

Gail: Any book that has a good story and hope. I’ve only read one book that I absolutely didn’t care for. I won’t give the name of it, but it was a book without hope.  

JDP: Share a favorite book that you’ve read in the last 12 months.

Gail: All the Way to Heaven by Elizabeth Sherrill. A best-selling author who was a co-writer for God’s Smuggler among other books, she also has written about people such as Corrie tin Boom. She also wrote for “Guideposts.” This book tells how she became a Christian. It’s filled with wonderful stories of her travels and some of the people she met along the way. Each chapter is written with depth and insight.

More about Gail! : Love Turns the Tide is Gail’s first romance, but she’s been writing for as long as she can remember. Her first story appeared in a grammar school newspaper. Much later, she worked as an editor and copywriter. After she married she helped her husband with his business, but continued to write. Between the feature stories she wrote at work and the freelance pieces she placed, she published several hundred articles. After some of them were selected for anthologies and two ended up in museums friends and family nudged her to “do more.” Then, she undertook a lifelong dream and wrote a novel. In 2004, the year she published her first book, Now Is the Time, the American Christian Writers Association named her a regional writer of the year. In late 2009, she published her first romance, Love Turns the Tide, an e-book. This past November an excerpt from Love Turns the Tide won the Clash of the Titles Contest in the best nature / weather scene category. Learn more about Gail on her website and blog
Books by Gail Pallotta:
Now Is the Time
Love Turns the Tide
Summary of Love Turns the Tide: In this Christian romance with a bit of mystery twenty-six-year-old Cammie O'Shea is shattered by a heartbreaking split-up with her fiance and challenged by a new job in Destin, Florida. A feature writer, she dreads meeting her boss, the editor of The Sun Dial newspaper. But, her real source of angst turns out to be Vic Deleona, the influential real estate developer she must write about to generate interest in the paper. While she refuses to open herself to another painful relationship he attempts to court her. When he makes extra business appointments with her, she resents having to spend so much time with him. But after a break-in at her friend's condo and her unit, Vic comes to their rescue. When he tries to solve the mystery, Cammie sees a different side of him. He even takes her to church. But, she has an offer to return home. Will Vic catch the criminal and win Cammie's heart or will she leave Destin?
Love Turns the Tide can be purchased through Awe-Struck Publishing

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

3rd Annual Summer Treasure Hunt: Dig for Clues and Win! Contest

Welcome to our 3rd Annual “Summer Treasure Hunt: Dig for Clues and Win Contest!” This is becoming an exciting tradition, both for our sponsors and hopefully for all of you! 29 writer friends and I have banded together to present a month-long contest where we will give away a prize a day for the entire month of June. That’s right! 30 awesome prizes, running the gamut from books books books! (romances, fantasies, mystery/thrillers, inspirationals, children’s books, and various non-fiction), as well as Amazon gift cards, a Mary Kay gift set, a vinyl lettering gift certificate, a hand-sewn weekly planner with ribbon bookmark, a crocheted book tote with matching cell phone case, and again for you aspiring authors, TWO free edit/critiques of a partial manuscript. Many of the giveaways are open to International entries, though always check to be sure before you enter for a particular prize.

And how exactly do you enter for these amazing prizes? By following these rules:


You can send in one entry for each day’s prize, or only for those prizes that strike your fancy. The rules are simple:

(1) Go to the website or blog indicated for each day, find the answer to the question for that day, then email the answer with your name and AND MAILING ADDRESS to I promise you will not wind up on any mailing lists. This is only to facilitate the receipt of your prize. All entries will be deleted at the end of the contest.

(2) Please send a separate entry for each day and type the day you are entering in the subject line. (Such as: Summer Treasure Hunt, June 1; Summer Treasure Hunt, June 2, etc).

(3) Deadline for each day: Midnight PST

(4) The winner will be contacted and announced on the day following the deadline.

All winners will be drawn by

You do not have to wait until the designated day to enter. You can start sending in your entries right now, or begin entering at any point along the way. And check back here each day between June 2nd – July 1st to read the names of the winners.

If you have any questions, please email Joyce DiPastena at

And now…let the treasure hunt begin!

June 1
SPONSOR: Canda Mortensen
PRIZE: A $25 Amazon gift certificate
QUESTION: What is the title and artist of the Princess song on Newbie's playlist? (HINT: Scroll to the bottom of the blog and read “Newbie Teaser”. Match the number of “Princess” with the same number on the Playlist box (you may have to scroll down the playlist to find this, too). It will give you the title and artist.)
WINNER: Melissa Brockett of Utah
ANSWER: "With You", by Chris Brown

June 2
SPONSOR: Jennifer Griffith
PRIZE: Delicious Conversation (LDS romance, an adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion, set in a chocolate shop in Salt Lake City), by Jennifer Griffith
QUESTION: Name at least 5 kinds of candy I ate at the last writers' conference I attended AND share YOUR favorite candy. (HINT: Read the April 20, 2011 post. Click on April under the Blog Archive in the right hand sidebar.)
WINNER: Crystal Dotson of West Virginia
ANSWER: peanut brittle bar, a box of Good 'n Plenty, some Hot Tamales, a handful of mini-Mr. Goodbars, a few Hershey's Kisses, Starlight Mints, some Dr. Pepper (accidentally), and a bunch of mint flavored Three Musketeers

June 3
SPONSOR: Peggy Urry
PRIZE: Choice of book: Villette by Charlotte Bronte (romance, paperback); Airframe by Michael Crichton (thriller, paperback); The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell (contemporary crime, paperback); OR The Mist of Quarry Harbor by Liz Adair (LDS romantic fiction, paperback); AND choice of Jelly Belly Gel Case for iPhone 3G/3GS or Jelly Belly Strawberry Cheesecake Gel Case for iPod Touch.
QUESTION: What is the name of my Work In Progress (WIP)? (Hint: It's the title of my March 12, 2011 post. Click on “March” under Blog Archive in the right hand sidebar.)
WINNER: Judy Cox of Louisiana

June 4
SPONSOR: Danielle Thorne
PRIZE: Josette (sweet Regency romance, E-book) AND Southern Girl, Yankee Roots (poetry), both by Danielle Thorne
QUESTION: Danielle supports what wildlife conservancy organization? (HINT: See right hand column of website)
WINNER: Rachel Rossano of Connecticut
ANSWER: The Sea Turtle Conservancy 

June 5
SPONSOR: Bonnie Harris
PRIZE: Mary Kay Microdermabrasion Set
QUESTION: What are the names of my two WIPs? (HINT: Scroll to the bottom of the blog and click on “Work in Progress” under Labels)
WINNER: Taffy Lovell of Utah
ANSWER: Encoded Secrets and Black Orchids

June 6
SPONSOR: Susan Kaye Quinn
PRIZE: Autographed copy of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit (YA love story), by Susan Kaye Quinn
QUESTION: How many days do David and Eliza have on the cruise together, before they’re forced to go their separate ways? (HINT: Click on the “About Me and My Books” tab and read the blurb for Life, Liberty, and Pursuit)
WINNER: LuAnn Morgan of Washington

June 7:
SPONSOR: Anne Bradshaw
PRIZE: True Miracles with Genealogy: Help from Beyond the Veil (non-fiction), by Anne Bradshaw – 1 print and 1 eBook – Print copy can be autographed. (Yes, there will be TWO winners drawn for this prize)
QUESTION: Which TV station interviewed Anne? (HINT: Answer is a short way down the middle column.)
WINNERS: Dee Bibb of Mississippi and Cynthia Peck of Arizona

June 8
SPONSOR: Cheri Schmidit
PRIZE: Autographed copy of Fateful (YA paranormal romance), by Cheri Schmidt
QUESTION: Who is the prince of darkness? (HINT: Click on “April” under Blog Archive in the left hand sidebar and read the April 12, 2011 post)
WINNER: Kristen Tucker of Arizona

June 9
SPONSOR: Mary Fremont Schoenecker
PRIZE: Moonglade (a sweet cozy mystery, Book Two in the Maine Shore Chronicles series), by Mary Fremont Schoenecker The prize is an autographed First Edition hard cover print book.
QUESTION: What special skill does character Tante Margaret use that puts her in danger during Remi's murder investigation? (HINT: Click on the “About Her Books” tab and read the Publisher’s Weekly Review.
WINNER: Monica Knoll of New York
ANSWER: Tante Margaret is clairvoyant

June 10
SPONSOR: Shaunna Gonzales
PRIZE: FREE edit and/or critique of first 50 pages
QUESTION: What do his lips taste like? (Hint: click on “Sizzling Kiss” under Post Subjects in the left hand sidebar)
WINNER: Nicole Zoltack of Pennsylvania
ANSWER: gingerbread and milk

June 11
SPONSOR: Donna Hatch
PRIZE: The Stranger She Married (Regency romance), by Donna Hatch
QUESTION: What poses the greatest danger to Alicia’s heart? (HINT: Scroll down underneath the book cover of The Stranger She Married, and read the paragraph directly below.
WINNER: Amy Wheelwright of Washington
ANSWER: Learning to love the stranger she married

June 12
SPONSOR: Cindy R. Williams & Planet Play Productions, LLC.
PRIZE: Award winning glossy cover children’s snuggle, giggle picture book, Chase McKay Didn’t Get Up Today, signed by the author and the real Chase McKay.
QUESTION: What is the name of the dragon in the upcoming fantasy, Thundertail’s Tale: The Legend? (HINT: click on the Blog tab)
WINNER: Andrea Melton of Kentucky
ANSWER: Sparkin

June 13
SPONSOR: Larry Hammersley
PRIZE: Motorcycle Woman (sweet contemporary romance, E-book), by Larry Hammersley
QUESTION: What kind of motorcycle does Tess, the motorcycle woman, ride? (HINT: Read the blog post “Motorcycle Woman from Red Rose Publishing”, May 5, 2011)
WINNER: Shannon Johnson of Illinois
ANSWER: Harley Davidson Sportster

June 14
SPONSOR: Cheryl Cory
PRIZE: Autographed copy of Must've Done Something Good (romantic comedy), by Cheryl Cory
QUESTION: What is Sylvie's all-time favorite movie? (HINT: Click on the "Info" link in the left-hand column)
WINNER: Tarrah Montgomery of Arizona
ANSWER: The Sound of Music

June 15
SPONSOR: Valerie Ipson
PRIZE: $15 Gift Certificate for Vinyl Lettering  (
QUESTION: What is Valerie's writing goal for 2011?  (HINT: Look in the right hand sidebar)
WINNER: Kristen Tucker of Arizona
ANSWER: To pitch the book

June 16
SPONSOR: Rachel Rager
PRIZE: Wednesday Romances - romance (obviously), ebook, by Rachel Rager. This is a compaliation of three different love stories, A Season for Love, The Tiger Unleashed, and The Feather Kiss. (All sweet romances)
QUESTION: Every week I have post a new chapter of a book on my blog. What are these posts called? (Hint: These posts are featured every Wednesday.)
WINNER: Susan Arroyo of Utah
ANSWER: Wednesday Romances

June 17
SPONSOR: Danyelle Ferguson
PRIZE: Autograhed copy of (dis)Abilities and the Gospel: How to Bring People with Special Needs Closer to Christ (non-fiction/self-help) by Danyelle Ferguson & Lynn Parsons, M.S.)
non-fiction/self-help, autographed book
QUESTION: What is the name of the non-profit Danyelle co-founded? (HINT: Check out Danyelle's author bio)
WINNER: Amber Nielson of Vermont
ANSWER: Friends of GIANT Steps

June 18
SPONSOR: Teresa Thomas Bohannon
PRIZE: A Very Merry Chase (Regency Romance novel), by Teresa Thomas Bohannon. AND a $5 Amazon gift certificate. Winner's Choice: PDF with personalized dedication, or Ebook format for Kindle or Epub format for Nook. (HINT: Read “A Very Merry Chase Excerpt” under “A Very Merry Chase” in the right hand sidebar)
QUESTION: What did Lady Bethany do and why?
WINNER: Gayle Humpherys of Texas
ANSWER: Lady Bethany, shocked absolutely to the core of her gentle soul, could take no more and swooned dead away...because Sabrina slapped the highwayman and cursed.

June 19
SPONSOR: Diane Daniels
PRIZE: Autographed copy of Over the Moon (YA fantasy romance, print copy), by Diane Daniels
QUESTION: Who is Andrew's evil x-girlfriend, Sonya, named after? (HINT: Read the May 14, 2011 blog entry)
WINNER: Megan Swanson of California
ANSWER: "Sonya is named after my wicked orange cat who died last summer."

June 20
SPONSOR: Margaret Larsen Turley
PRIZE: critique for up to 5000 words
QUESTION: Margaret Larsen Turley is administrator for ______________________________ group. They hold fund-raising events for Cancer Research. (HINT: You’ll find the answer in one of her website tabs)
WINNER: Rachel Rossano of Connecticut 
ANSWER: Writers Unite to Fight Cancer

June 21
SPONSOR: Anna Arnett
PRIZE: Autographed copy of Lolly's Yarn: a memoir (older YA to adult), by Anna Arnett, with a hand-crocheted bookmark
QUESTION: What was the verdict regarding Anna's radar photo speeding ticket? (HINT: Click on the Blogs tab and read “I Fought the Law and Guess Who Won?”
WINNER: Debbie Roberts of Pennsylvania
ANSWER: No definition of "reasonable and prudent" or "Case dismissed" or "You may go now."

June 22
SPONSOR: Joyce DiPastena
PRIZE: Autographed copy of Loyalty’s Web (sweet medieval romance), by Joyce DiPastena
QUESTION: How do people win Joyce’s “Light Bulb Award”? (HINT: Answer is found in the right hand column of the blog)
WINNER: Barbara Hightower of South Carolina
ANSWER: By helping her solve a particularly knotty problem with her WIP.

June 23
SPONSOR: C. Michelle Jefferies
PRIZE: 52 page hand-sewn weekly planner, with ribbon bookmark.
QUESTION: What rank is Michelle in martial arts? (HINT: Look in right hand sidebar under “MY TANG SOO DO PROGRESS”)
WINNER: Jennifer Hernandez of North Carolina
ANSWER: Red belt

June 24
SPONSOR: Valerie J. Steimle
PRIZE: Choice of two books:  Home Is Where The Learning Is (homeschool how-to book, non-fiction; autographed print copy) OR Dogs, Blogs and Hobbits: Writings from a Widows Perspective ---(non-fiction articles about everything from being single and single moms to inspirational stories; autographed print copy), both by Valerie J. Steimle
QUESTION: How many children does Valerie have? (HINT: Look in the right hand column in "About Me")
WINNER: Amy Lopez of Arizona

June 25
SPONSOR: Karen Adair
PRIZE: Crocheted Book Tote with matching cell phone case.
QUESTION: What commenter recently called me (Karen) "The Queen of Sugar Land?" (HINT: Select “January 2011” under Archives and read the COMMENTS on Karen’s January 6, 2011 post on “The 20 Minute Sprint”)
WINNER: Sheila Heather Martinez of California
ANSWER: Shannon Hale

June 26
SPONSOR: Jaimey Grant ( and/or TreasureLine Books & Publishing (
PRIZE: Winner's choice of 1 of 5 Regency romance eBooks by Jaimey Grant (Honor, Betrayal, Deception, Spellbound, or Redemption. Please note: Honor contains some marital "heat".)
QUESTION: Which of Jaimey's previously self-published titles has recently been picked up by a publisher? (HINT: Click the "Purchasing Options" tab)
WINNER: Dara Roberts of Pennsylvania
ANSWER: Heartless

June 27
SPONSOR: Heidi Murphy
PRIZE: Autographed copy of Small Deceptions (sweet Regency/Georgian romance), by H. Linn Murphy
QUESTION: In what country is the bridge found over which 'we' were fighting? (HINT: Find “Blog Archive” in the right hand sidebar, click on April and read the post titled: “The Far Bridge”)
WINNER: Brenda Child of Utah
ANSWER: France

June 28
SPONSOR: Kenneth Rosenberg
PRIZE: One e-book copy of my new romantic comedy, Sweet Ophelia and the Tinseltown Blues, any format
QUESTION: What instrument does the character Warren August play? (HINT: Click on the cover image for Sweet Ophelia and the Tinseltown Blues.  Read the first few paragraphs of the excerpt.)
WINNER: Susan G. Haws of Arizona
ANSWER: Saxophone

June 29
SPONSOR: Michael Young 
PRIZE: Autographed copy of The Last Archangel (YA Urban Fantasy, print copy - Release date July 14th)
QUESTION: What is the name of the fallen angel who is the main character in "The Last Archangel"? (HINT: Click on the Reviews tab. Frank Cole thinks this character “rocks!”
WINNER: Marie Kacerosky of Florida
ANSWER: Xandir

June 30
SPONSOR: Joan Sowards
PRIZE: The Star Prophecy: a Book of Mormon Adventure (LDS novel), by Joan Sowards
QUESTION: Why do Enoch and his friends sail to Jerusalem? (HINT: Read the blurb under The Star Prophecy book cover in the right hand column of the blog)
WINNER: Jessica Tidd of California
ANSWER: To find the Christ child

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Tuesday Teaser is a weekly bookish meme (rhymes with “cream"), hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. (I’ve borrowed it from LDS Women’s Book Review.) Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share at least two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

I'm adapting the rules slightly. I'll be quoting some random lines from the last chapter I read before I post a teaser. I'm a slow reader, so you may get multiple teasers per book. Here's a teaser from King John (as you can see, I'm back to my research reading):

What they feared, and what the king assumed, was that if he attempted to put to sea he would be faced with something like a sit-down strike. Weeping and wailing with frustration and shame, still arguing and protesting, John was practically dragged off to Winchester where his counsellors thought, perhaps, to calm him down.

From King John, by W.L. Warren, p 115

If you'd like to share a teaser from a book you're currently reading, I'd love you to do so in the comment section. And you don't even have to share it on a Tuesday! Be sure to include the title, author, and page number in case others would like to check out the book you're reading.