Monday, June 30, 2008

Allie Pleiter, Masked by Moonlight

Today I'm featuring author Allie Pleiter. Leave a comment for a chance to win her new book, a historical romance titled Masked by Moonlight.

Now let's hear from Allie:

I’m a big fan of favorite things lists—our Chicago Tribune does one every week, and we all know how successful Oprah’s “Favorite Things” show has become. So, I thought I’d whip up a list of my own, showcasing a few writing-related things as well as some other goodies you might enjoy. Precious few of these have anything to do with my current release Masked by Moonlight, but don’t let that stop you from running to your local bookseller or online source and buying it—maybe even before you check out some of these amazing favorites of mine:

Allie Pleiter’s Favorite Things

Favorite Sweet: Dark chocolate – Lindt Excellence 70% cocoa
Dark chocolate—and that means chocolate with a cocoa composition of 70% or higher—is now actually considered a health food. I eat 1 ounce (that’s three squares of a Lindt Excellence bar) every afternoon. Note: in order for the complex elements of the cocoa to do their job, experts say you should ingest no dairy products either a 1 ½ hours before or after your chocolate.

Favorite Editing Pen: Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball
These—especially the green and blue—are my favorite for making up manuscripts. Bright enough to stand out (especially because it’s not red so that the page looks doesn’t look “bloodied” from editing) but precise enough to be legible. They last a good long time and are reasonably priced and easy to find.

Favorite Reference Book: Rodale’s Synonym Finder
While lots of my reference material is on-line nowadays, nothing beats this enormous red book for getting to that perfect verb or adjective. There’s something about scanning a page full of words when you’re grasping for that phrase or book title that looms just out of reach. It’s one of the few books that stays on or near my desk at all times.

Favorite Christian Song: Untitled Hymn by Chris Rice
The first time I heard this song, I had to stop what I was doing. One of those simple yet deeply profound songs that doesn’t so much ring in your ears as it reverberates in your heart. To this day I can’t get through it without tearing up, and I’d demand it be played at my funeral (but not anytime soon, mind you.)

Favorite Kitchen Appliance: Keurig K-cup Coffee Brewer
If my family, dog, and laptop are safe when the house catches on fire, this’ll be the thing I grab. One perfect cup of coffee in something like seven seconds. And come on—190 varieties, including tea and hot chocolate for everyone else in your household who doesn’t need caffeine gushing through the veins within seconds of waking up…

Favorite Editing Trick: Random Page Order
It’s a catharsis and an editing step all in one! When you’ve edited your manuscript for content, whoop loudly and throw the entire thing in the air (catharsis part). This, by the way, can be fun for the whole family--especially those little people who are really tired of Mom paying attention to paper instead of them. Then pick up the pages in random order and edit each single page in that random order (editing step part). In other words, edit page 5 followed by page 112, followed by page 38, etc. This forces you to look at your writing instead of your story. It’s the single best piece of writing advice I’ve gotten in the past two years—now if I could just remember who gave it to me...

Favorite Bath Product: Midway Soapwerks’ Phenomenal Woman and Woodland Soaps
I discovered this amazing store while researching Midway Kentucky and soap for my August release, Bluegrass Hero. I have now become a soap snob. This stuff makes my skin sooo happy. I get to Kentucky about once a year now, and I buy an entire year’s worth of all their scents, but these two are my favorites. The “Woodland” scent became my model for the Lord Edmund’s Pirate Soap in the book.

Favorite Hotel Visited on a Research Trip and Research Tip: San Francisco’s Golden Gate Hotel Bed & Breakfast
I’m a big fan of staying at bed and breakfast hotels when researching books. As a woman traveling alone, I think they’re safer—someone really notices if you don’t show up for breakfast—and the owners are always terrific resources for locales or local culture. Especially when driving, they are often less expensive than a chain hotel with far healthier food choices (and no vending machines to indulge your late-night Cheeto cravings). As for the Golden Gate, how can you not love a hotel with its own cat and dog? Just the right combination of charming and updated—I spent a week there researching Masked by Moonlight and will go back this summer to do additional research for a sequel in the works.

Favorite New Feature on my Website: The Read-Aloud Feature
Stop what your doing and go right now to and click on the link next to the cover of Masked by Moonlight. You’ll get an audio file of my reading the first chapter of the book to you—how cool is that? Finally, my expensive theater degree put to good use…

Don't forget to check out Allie's new book, Masked by Moonlight.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fatal Deduction by Gayle Roper

I'm giving away a copy, so leave a comment!
The first book I ever read by Gayle Roper was Caught in the Middle. I was excited to read such a well-written, page-turning romantic suspense and I knew I'd found an excellent Christian writer.

In Fatal Deduction, Gayle writes another great romantic suspense. The heroine, Libby, has to share a house with her twin sister, Tori. Not a happy prospect, since the two of them don't get along and never have. They only have to live together for six months in order to claim their rich aunt's inheritance, but a dead body turns up on the front doorstep her very first night there. What's worse, the murder seems to have something to do with Libby's twin. But Tori's not talking. Libby has to figure out what to do to protect herself, her sister, and her thirteen-yr-old daughter before the killer strikes even closer to home.

Throw in a love interest, a single dad who is her close neighbor, and you've got a winner. Love Gayle Roper. I highly recommend this and all her books, especially if romantic suspense is your thing. Let your comment and you might win a copy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

And the extra copy of Skid goes to ...

Janet Dean! Congratulations!

Wish I could give a copy to everybody who signed up, but then I'd be broke and my hubby'd be mad. Come back in a day or few for a chance to win Gayle Roper's romantic suspense, Fatal Deduction.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Win a copy of Skid!

I know I've got too much going on when I forget I have an extra copy of a book to give away! I actually had an extra copy of Skid by Rene Gutteridge

to give away, and forgot all about it when I posted about the book a couple of days ago. So anyone who leaves a comment on either this blog post or the last one will be entered in my drawing. Don't forget to leave a way for me to contact you!

You can check out my summary on the previous post, or read this from
Blissfully unaware that Atlantica Flight 1945 from Atlanta to Amsterdam is about to make aviation history, First Officer Danny McSweeney focuses his energies on navigating the turbulent personalities of an eccentric female captain, a co-pilot with a talent for tactless comments and conspiracy theories, and a lead flight attendant with an outsized attitude that definitely exceeds the limits for carry-on baggage.

On the other side of the cockpit door, the unscheduled in-flight entertainment includes a potbellied pig, a jittery diamond courier, and the recently jilted Lucy Meredith, whose personal mantra of “What Would Oprah Do?” will be challenged by the sudden appearance of her ex and his new traveling partner. On her left sits Hank Hazard, whose unusually polite but constant requests–prompted by his covert role as a spy for the airline–test the limits of the crew’s customer service.

But as Lucy and the rest of the crew discover, Hank’s odd behavior is linked to a quiet faith that may play a key role in the fate of everyone on board. Especially when an unexpected traveler sets this already bumpy flight on a course toward the unfriendly skies.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Skid by Rene Gutteridge

I just started reading Skid by Rene Gutteridge. I've been a big fan of her books ever since I read Boo. I also loved My Life as a Doormat and her first book in her Occupational Hazards series, Scoop. Skid is the latest novel about the Hazard clan, a family of homeschooled kids, now grown up, and their hilarious misadventures.

Skid takes up the story of Hank Hazard, who is hired by an airline to spy out the airline's employees by testing the limits of their customer service. Add a very jittery first-time diamond courier, a potbellied pig, a legendary pilot, and a few eccentric passengers and you're in for a bumpy--but funny--ride. Check it out if you like comedy.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

New Releases, June 2008

In case you actually HAVE TIME to read books, here are some great new releases. Thanks to Jill Eileen Smith for compiling this list.

We've got 13 new Christian novels this month - a wide variety of choices.

1. Allison's Journey, Book 4 in the Brides of Webster County series by Wanda E. Brunstetter from Barbour Publishing. Allison Troyer feels as faceless as her tattered doll, but a trip to visit her aunt in Missouri could change Allison's life forever.

2. Final Justice, Book Six in the Reunion Revelations Continuity series by Marta Perry from Love Inspired Suspense. To protect an innocent child, teacher Jennifer Pappas must risk everything--her job, her love, and even her life.

3. Florida Weddings by Lynn Coleman, Kristy Dykes, Kathleen E. Kovach from Barbour Publishing, Inc. The past casts a shadow upon the lives of three Florida women.

4. Jewel Of The Adriatic by K.M. Daughters (Pat Casiello and Kathie Clare) from The Wild Rose Press. A village where millions believe the Mother of God appears becomes a haven where two souls find faith and love.

5. Killer Cargo by Dana Mentink from Love Inspired Suspense. Maria de Silva and Cy Sheridan face danger and death when they stumble upon a lethal package.

6. New Beginnings, Book 4 in the Rachel Yoder Always Trouble Somewhere series by Wanda E. Brunstetter from Barbour Publishing. Spring has sprung and ten year old Rachel Yoder is filled with the hope of good things to come, but things go sour when she learns that her best friend is moving.

7. Out of Control, Book 3 in the Rachel Yoder Always Trouble Somewhere series by Wanda E. Brunstetter from Barbour Publishing. Despite Rachel Yoder's need to take control of her troubling situations, she needs to learn that there are some things she just can't control.

8. Picture This by Nancy J. Farrier from Barbour Heartsong Presents. When Jason and Maddy are sent on a photography assignment in the Arizona desert, Jason's Christian ideals collide iwth Maddy's questionable past to threaten any future they might have together.

9. Prodigal in the City by Louis N Jones from Conquest Publishers. He abandoned his Christian faith. Now, his life and his God-given destiny hang in the balance.

10. Suspicious Minds Squeaky Clean Mysteries #2 by Christy Barritt from Kregel. A dead Elvis impersonator and a rival turned wooer are just a couple of crime-scene cleaner Gabby St. Claire's problems in this thrilling sequel to Hazardous Duty.

11. The Hunted by Mike Dellosso from Realms (Strang Book Group). A town's deadly secret will drive one man to the edge of his faith.

12. Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon by Debbie Fuller Thomas from Moody Publishers. A grieving mom discovers the child she lost was switched at birth, but can she risk loving an angry stranger?

13. Washington's Lady, Book 2 Nebraska Brides by Nancy Moser from Bethany House. It is said that without George Washington there would be no United States, but without Martha, there would be no George...

Also, don't forget to check out my new Spotlight on author and ACFW President Robin Caroll!.

Happy reading ~