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Sarah at Christmas

Sarah at Christmas

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Meet Texas Author Ruth Roberts

Photo by Dale Lewis 
Copyrighted 2013 
Used by permission

Photo by Dale Lewis 
Copyrighted 2013 
Used by permission

Spring is gorgeous in Texas.  The country fills itself with multiple color varieties.  The season inspired me to introduce several Texas authors.  Ruth Roberts is my guest today. 

Romance novelist Ruth Roberts lives in Dallas Texas, and many know that area of Texas as the Big D. It’s where city life abounds but the wide open spaces of Texas can be easily reached. Robert’s books transport readers to the glittering life of high-society, but she makes the characters fun and normal—the kind we would all like to have as friends. Her hobbies include reading, writing. She and her teenaged daughter love the comedy-drama series, Gilmore Girls. 
Her very own romantic hero of twenty years is her greatest inspiration and support.

She loves hearing from fans so drop her an email at

Homerun was the first book I read from Ruth Roberts. When I read the blurb, it became a must read.  I grew up in the Dallas area and love baseball.  Here’s the info.

Cynthiana, beautiful, intelligent, and by all appearances, a spoiled socialite, finds herself as chair of the Inner City Youth League Charity Gala. Her Co-Chair, Roberto Luque, is Major League Baseball’s newest playboy from the Dominican Republic. Far from being in the league of men her parents expect her to choose from, which is just fine with her, since she has sworn off playboys.

Roberto fought his way into the Majors. Now a successful pitcher for the Texas Rangers, he is living the life he always dreamed of--until he faces off with a bad-tempered, blue-eyed, redhead that is not his type. 

When her powerful father threatens to tear them apart, destroying not only their love, but also Roberto’s hard won career, will he be willing to give it all up for love?


Next came Tender Triumph. It’s a novella—only forty-one pages, but the characters are well developed, and the story captivated my imagination.  I love the excitement of New York City, so this story fit well with my romantic outlooks for that electric location.

After a very public divorce from her billionaire Italian husband, Natalia Montalvo returns home to New York City to lick her wounds and try to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together. So why did she agree to attend a charity ball, especially when she knew her ex would be there? When he arrives with his newest love interest, she feels all the pieces she had managed to put together crumbling again. 

Jared, owner of the largest, most prestigious architectural firm in the country, rubs elbows daily with the rich and powerful. He can’t stand them. After one too many altercations with a client, his head of public relations forces him to attend the annual charity ball, to schmooze and make nice with the people whom his business depends on. His mission is simple: smile, be friendly, and bid on a few high dollar items in the auction. On the balcony, he encounters Natalia Montalvo. He can’t ignore a woman in need, especially when that woman is his best friend’s sister. But, can he convince her to give him more than one night?

And now we hear from Ruth Roberts.  She graciously answered my questions.

Texas is a large state.  Does your book take place in east, west, north, or south Texas?

Homerun, my debut novella, takes place in Dallas, so that would be north Texas. While Dallas is a big city I tried to give it a true Texas setting by making Cynthiana's home a large country estate, almost like a ranch complete with horses. So readers get a touch of city as well as country.

   Were you born in Texas?
No, I was not. I am a transplant, I've lived in Texas for ten years.

         Have you lived elsewhere?

I'm from Albuquerque New Mexico. Albuquerque and Dallas are the only two places I've ever lived. Except for a short stint in Colorado when I was eight.

        What is your favorite season in Texas? 

Spring, definitely spring.  The time when everything comes to life and the air smells sweet. We can't forget the bluebonnets that start blooming.

  What would you change about Texas?

 I'd love for Texas to have mountains.  I know there are mountains in El Paso but that is entirely too far for me to enjoy them so if I could I would move the mountains to Dallas.

        Do you enjoy sports or hobbies?

I enjoy many hobbies. Scrapbooking, sewing, jewelry making, even writing started out as a hobby. Sports not so much, although for the last couple years I've joined my family playing fantasy football and baseball. That has made me learn a bit more about each sport and I have to admit it's been fun!

      How did your characters come to mind for your book?

I was watching a TV show called Fairly Legal and I just loved the main characters fun quirkiness, she was my inspiration for Cynthiana. The male character just flowed when I put pen to paper. I decided he would be a baseball player because that is the sport my family is most obsessed with.

How do you plot your books?

I'm a fly by the seat of your pants kind of writer. I come up with a basic storyline and names for my characters and then I write, I do not plan nor do I outline. When I think of a great scene I'd like to write I'll jot it down for future reference.

     How long does it take to write one?

Homerun took me four months to write and about twice that long to edit. I have a novel that will be released soon, and it took me closer to a year to write.

    What is the hardest part of writing?

Editing! I hate editing!

    Do you enjoy research?

Yes. I love to research. The only way to make a book believable is to get the finer details just right. If that's going to happen a writer must research.

    When did you start your writing career?

I started writing as a hobby in 2007. My first book was contracted by Prism Book Group in 2012 and published February 2013. It was an exciting time for me!

   Is there a new genre would you like to try next?

 I've been playing with the idea of writing historical romance. I've even written a few chapters but haven't finished it yet.

Thanks Ruth for visiting with me.  These are very good books.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bluebonnet Time in Texas. Meet Texas author: Laurie Alice Eakes

The Texas country side is filled with flowers every spring. It's a perfect time to park by a stream where colorful bouquets grow and read a good book written by a Texas author.

Photograph by Dale Lewis
Copyrighted 2012 and
used by permission

The author I introduce to you today is Laurie Alice Eakes. 

Laurie Alice Eakes is a multi-talented author whose books intrigue me. The first book I read of hers was Lady in the Mist and I was hooked. It's book number one in the mid-wife series.  Eakes is a bestselling, award-winning author of romantic novels and has a degree in English and French from Asbury University and a master’s degree from Seton Hill. With over a dozen books in print, she's under contract for more.

 After enough moves in the past four years to make U-Haul’s stock rise, she and her husband along with exotic felines, a golden retriever, and a black lab now make Houston, Texas her home.

She graciously answered my questions, and I loved her answers.

Texas is a large state. Are your book (or books) set in Texas?
I'm afraid not at the present time, and that doesn't mean it won't happen in the future.

Were you born in Texas?
I'm a Texas transplant by way of Virginia.

Have you lived elsewhere?

I have lived in seven other states: Michigan, Kentucky, New Jersey,  Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, and Virginia. Looks like I'll be in  Texas for the foreseeable future.

What is your favorite season in Texas?
Spring when the birds are singing their hearts out and things are green.

What would you change about Texas?

The heat. The flatness, too, but mostly the heat.

Do you enjoy sports or hobbies?
Both. I'm not a huge sports person, and when I watch the m or go to an event, I have a good time. I sort of knit for a hobby, but I'm not very good at it.

What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up around 6:00, walk the dogs, then come back, make coffee and fresh orange juice, pack my hubs' lunch, make breakfast, feed the dogs and cats. Once Hubs is off to work, I sit at my desk and write in my prayer journal, have my quiet time, though sometimes I do this on the balcony. Then I work on social media marketing for an hour or two. After that, I either clean house or go to the gym. Then I get down to writing and write until around 5:30 when I get dinner started. I like to preserve the evenings for my husband and/or friends.

 How did your characters come to mind for your book?

I have no idea. I like bringing opposites together and putting people  outside their comfort zone. So a lady and a quietly renegade American?  Priceless.
How do you plot your books

I come up with a premise and setting, then characters. After that, I  start asking them questions to know their goals and motivations. Once  I establish conflicts, I gather my plot points and write a chapter by chapter outline.
How long does it take to write one?

As little as four weeks and as long as four months. This depends on  the length of the book and how much research I must do. I average two months per book.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Reminding myself that this is not about me, but about my calling from the Lord.
Do you enjoy research?

I love research. For each book, I know ten times more than I can possibly include.

When did you start your writing career?
 When I was a child I had a poem published, then some other little  things scattered throughout the years. For novel writing, it's  difficult to say because I started playing with story many years  before I actually wrote. I got serious in 2003 and sold my first book in 2005.

Has anyone ever come up to you and said, "Aren't you that author  that wrote....?"

Nope. Sometimes people who have read my books don't even put me together with the book when we meet.

 How did you get the idea for A Lady's Honor?  
Cornwall has always fascinated me, so I started peopling it in my head until a story finally emerged from setting and time period.

Do you dream about your work and can't sleep?

I don't think I dream about it, but it often wakes me up demanding I write.

Out of the books you've written, which one is your favorite?

I was just asked this yesterday and had a hard time saying. Probably Heart's Safe Passage, the second Midwife book. After all, how can one resist a Scottish ship captain with a wounded heart?

Is there a new genre would you like to try next?

Absolutely. I want to try contemporary romance or contemporary romantic suspense.

If you could speak another language what would it be?
I speak French, but living in Texas, think I'd do better to speak Spanish. After living on the border for four years when first moving here, I understand a good bit, though don't encounter it so much now that I live in a major city further north.

If you had all the time and money in the world, what would you be doing?
I would still write, and I'd do a lot of traveling. Many places I still want to see. Or maybe I'd get my Ph.D in history.

Thanks Laurie Alice for visiting with me today. I’m amazed at how quickly you write such remarkable stories.

Her books are available in print and eBook. You can find Laurie Alice’s books on Amazon and other online book sellers as well as retail book stores.

Her first book won the National Readers Choice Award in 2007, and her third book was a Carol Award finalist in 2010. Between December of 2008 and January of 2010, she sold thirteen books to Barbour Publishing, Avalon Books, and Baker/Revell, making her total sales fifteen. Recently, she added two novella sales to that collection, as well as having her first book with Baker/Revell, Lady in the Mist, picked up by Crossings Book Club, and six of her books chosen for large print editions by Thorndike Press.

A Lady in the Mist
(Book one in the midwives series)


A Lady's Honor coming April, 2014


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bluebonnet Time in Texas

Photograph copyrighted 2013 by Dale Lewis
and used by permission

The wildflowers are popping out everywhere, and they are gorgeous with thick, vibrant colors.  Mixed in with the blues are the reds, yellows and purples.  The traveler takes in extensive vistas on the highways, but the real joy comes when one leaves the thoroughfare to wind through country lanes.  You’ll find windmills, barns, fences, and a cow or two.  These treasures are a photographer’s dream.

I’m featuring Texas author, Jayna Morrow Aspromonte.  This beautiful and talented lady writes under the name Jayna Morrow and is an author under contract for Prism Book Group.  She lives in East Texas, where at this time of the year, the Azalea’s make a splendid show. 
Jayna Morrow
Jayna and Gay at a  book signing.

I recently interviewed Jayna. 

Were you born in Texas?

Yes, born and raised in the East Texas Piney Woods. I’ve also done a stint in West Texas, where my father is from. East meets west for this gal. All of my novels are set in the Lone Star State.

Have you lived elsewhere?

I’ve never lived anywhere but Texas, but it’s been a privilege to visit Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, New Mexico, Colorado, Mississippi, and Tennessee. I’ve also stood in 4 states at the same time (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona) at the Four Corners Monument.

What is your favorite season in Texas?

Hello flip flops! Summer for sure is my favorite season. Hot sun, warm lake water…not to mention a two month vacation. I teach elementary school.

How do your characters come to mind for your books?

It usually starts with a quirk or gesture and grows from there. People watching can be fun, too. There have been a few times I worked in reverse, starting with a unique plot and thinking about what kind of person would fit in that scenario. I’ll admit that characterization is the most fun part for me.

How do you plot your books?

I’m a heavy plotter, and over the years I’ve developed a multi-layer plan for plotting. I use three valuable resources: “First Draft in 30 Days” by Karen Weisner (my timeline), “Story Structure Architect” by Victoria Lynn Schmidt (my plot arches), and “45 Master Characters” by Victoria Lynn Schmidt (my character arches). I’ve got it down to a science.

How long does it take to write one?

Right now, I’m logging 6 months. My goal is 4 books a year, so I’ve got some room for improvement.

What is the hardest part of writing?

The hardest part of writing is finding time….er, making time. I have two daughters, a husband, a teaching career, and hobbies. It’s a balancing act for sure.

When did you start your writing career?

My writing career began in 6th grade when I asked for an electric typewriter for Christmas….and got one! Up to that point, I use an old-fashioned sticky key typewriter with a manual return. I sent copies of my manuscript (a collection of short stories titles Tall Stories and Short Tales) to the publishers of all my favorite books. Then, I promptly collected my first round of rejection letters. I will say that several attached handwritten words of encouragement, including Knopf.

Out of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite?

In the Sweet Home series, HOLDEN is my favorite because it features a nerdy hero. I am such a nerd. He’s also ADHD with a tinkering habit. And he’s annoying. What’s not to love? As funny as this book is, it’s also has the most emotional depth.
(Holden is to be released in April, 2014)
Is there a new genre would you like to try next?

Definitely interested in romantic suspense. I already have a project in the works. I can’t wait. I love reading novels in this genre, so I’ve known for a while that I’d be writing it, too.

If you could speak another language what would it be?

Spanish. I love all the Hispanic culture we have in Texas. Overall, I’ve taken 8 years of Spanish classes and I still can’t speak it well at all. I read it almost fluently. I can understand a good bit – in context – if it’s spoken slowly. Rosetta Stone is on my bucket list. With it, I hope to completely learn Spanish. And now that I have an Italian husband, I plan on learning Italian as well.

If you had all the time and money in the world, what would you be doing?

I’d be traveling around the USA in an RV – visiting National parks, strange museums, all the restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and writing a book in every state.
I've read Garrett and Gabriel, they are excellent books, set in Sweet Home, Texas. Handsome brothers find romance with beautiful women.
The third book in the series will be released in April.

Follow me on Twitter @JaynaMorrow



Sunday, March 30, 2014

In my makeup drawer and on my desk---Pencils!

Let’s all celebrate the creation of the pencil!

I use them every day.  To help my face, I have one to line eyes, another to color brows, and one to contour lips. 

You wouldn’t want to see me in the morning before I use these pencils.

I have the popular number two pencil at my desk to jot notes.  Sometimes I write grocery lists, and other moments I make notes about a novel in progress. A pencil sharpener sits nearby to keep pencils ready to write.

This wonderful device was created over 150 years ago, and with it, came the tool for the common man to communicate.

It’s Hymn Lipman’s brainchild. He gave us the first pencil with an eraser on March 30, 1858, and wow! Was that ever a handy-dandy invention?  You betcha it was. Back in school days, where would I have been without that little gadget at the end?  My teachers would have used a lot more of her red pencil if I hadn’t had an eraser option.

We call them lead pencils but in truth they are graphite, a form of carbon.  By the time humans learned our pencils were made with carbon, it was too late.  The name “Lead Pencil” remained wedged in our minds.

We take pencils for granted, but how are they made?

When a tree destined to become a pencil reaches the minimum age of fourteen years, it is eligible to be felled and cut into logs for writing devices.  None of the tree is wasted. Left over lumber, leaves and roots are left to fertilize the earth.

Logs are cut into small slats, and these are treated to become dry and soft.  Without this procedure, pencils couldn’t be sharpened.

Within the slat, a groove is carved to fit the carbon, or lead.  The coloring, carbon, and glue go into the slat. Then another slat is placed on top to make a sandwich.  After going through a heat process, the two slats meld into one. 

The product is then cut to the desired length and packaged to sell.

Let’s give a round of applause for the everyday
 pencil! It’s a good thing to celebrate.

Where would these books be without a pencil?



Gay N. Lewis
Sarah: A Mission of Love
Sarah: Laney's Angel
Sarah and the Widow's Mate


Friday, March 14, 2014

The Supernatural

A dear man I loved lay dying.  Speaking couldn't be done. Oral cancer had robbed him of the abilities to talk, eat and drink.  After fighting the disease for many months, Hospice came in to help.

His eyes grew wide as he motioned with his hands. Although he couldn't say and was to weak to write, people around him knew he saw visions of supernatural sights.

With a glowing face, he'd point and smile.

When anyone would ask, "Is it good?" He'd nod yes.

Not long after that, he went to heaven.

He left us with a wonderful legacy, and at the end, even though he couldn't speak, we know angels brought him comfort and escorted him home.

Angels exist.

In my books, I write about a little angel who brings a laugh to us as she attempts to complete her tasks on Earth.  In many ways, she's like us.  She experiences doubt about her abilities but she grows and develops with time.

Sarah and the Internet Dating Service will be released soon, and I'm working on a new Sarah book now. It's a joy to bring uplifting stories to readers who are tired of dark days.  There's a lot of bad stuff on the news.  I enjoy giving readers an escape to a better world.

Sarah: A Mission of Love

Sarah: Laney's Angel
Sarah and the Widow's Mate

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Vision

A man who’d served as a missionary until retirement died last week. He was in his ninth decade.

He’d been spry and living a full life until that fateful morning. He traveled and continued to enjoy a bit of ministry.  When he didn't come downstairs for his usual breakfast, his wife climbed the steps to check on him.

“Just don’t feel much like getting out of bed right now.” He replied to her question about his status.

“Okay, I’ll bring a tray to you.”

She brought breakfast, and while he ate, he pointed to the corner of the room.  “Who is that man, and what does he want?”

His wife saw no one and ignored the question.  She reasoned that since he wasn’t on medications, he must have awakened from a dream about a man.  After all, throughout his life, he’d talked to many men about the Lord.

“Thanks honey.  That was a good meal.  If you don’t mind, I’ll take a little nap and then get up.”

His wife came to see about him as he woke up.

“Who is that man?  What does he want?” He asked the same question.

“I don’t know.  Why don’t you ask him?”

Following his wife’s instructions, the old missionary did so.

“What did he say?” His wife wanted to know as she gazed at the blank space where her husband stared.

“He wants me to come with him.”

The man later died that day.

Angels exist.  God allows us to see them.
Maybe they appear to take us to heaven.  Or warn us about danger. Maybe they bring comfort or messages. 

I enjoy writing about fictional angels.  My books contain a mixture of fantasy and theology, but my creations can never compare to stories about the visitations of real life spirits.  In the next few weeks, I'll share more of these true experiences.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Welcome Surprise




FEBRUARY 3, 2014

We need uplifting escapes these days, and I'm pleased people are discovering Sarah!