Friday, January 31, 2014

Introducing Christian Author Marilynn Dawson

Sharon: Hello to all of you out there in bloggerville. Please help me welcome Marilynn Dawson to our Meet The Author Day. (She waits for applause to die down.)

May I get you a cup of coffee Marilynn? Tea? A soft drink? Or just plain water?

Marilynn: I'll take water thanks. 

Sharon: Here you go. (She hands Marilyn a glass of ice water.)

Can you tell us a little about your family?

Marilynn: I am a single mother of two graduated kids. My son just turned 20 and my daughter is now 18 and just built herself a Pictish-style harp.

Sharon: Now that sounds interesting. Can you tell us a bit more about the Pictish-style harp? What makes it different than other harps?

Marilynn: Ashley's Pictish-style harp is a very large lap harp at 29 strings total (or 4 octaves). She made it out of Western Red Maple for the bulk of the design, and Poplar for the soundboard itself. The frame came together in roughly 3 weeks just before Christmas. At the time she made it, she'd had roughly 2 months of harp lessons and had asked to speak to her instructor's husband who is a local harp maker. She has returned her student harp and is now playing her own harp both for lessons and personal enjoyment.

The Pictish-style of harp is different from other harps in that it does not have the harmonic curve which was invented a few hundred years later. The harmonic curve became a necessity as the metal strings often snapped the center portion of the harp's neck. To combat this, Ashley made her neck 2" thick, and only used metal strings for the final four notes. I've included a public domain photo of a pictish harp stone carving, and one of Ashley playing her harp just days after it was strung. Now we wait for the overall infrastructure to settle as the strings pull it into its final shape. We are told this can take up to a year or more. The strings themselves are largely settled now after 3 weeks already.

Oh, Ashley wants me to mention that the shape of the soundbox was done with an eye to the Ancient Egyptian method, which had a solid back and open bottom. However, the rest of the soundbox design incorporates modern-day sound mechanics in its construction so that no soundwaves get trapped.

A final note in this little interview digression: She did not use any plans for this harp, but took up several pages in her sketchbook creating her own.

Sharon: That is truly awesome. Thank Ashley for sharing that with us.

And Marilynn, to get back to our main subject: When and how did you get interested in writing?

Marilynn: Writing became an interest for me way back as a child in elementary school. By the time I was in Grade 3, the teacher was telling my parents that I could find myself published one day. I was writing almost entirely fiction as a child.

Sharon: Amazing. And how wonderful to have the encouragement!

What makes your writing different than other writers? What can a reader expect every time she picks up one of your books?

Marilynn: My writing these days is mostly non-fiction, and you'll know it's my work when you see Scripture liberally quoted throughout my writing. While most authors make the occasional quote and generally put implied references in brackets within their text, I've chosen to quote the passages as often as possible so that the reader is not interrupted by needing to run for their Bible to see if what I'm talking about really is in the passage or not.

Sharon: What gave you the inspiration for Dressed for Eternity? How was this book placed on your heart?

Marilynn: Dressed for Eternity grew out of questions I had back when God was first speaking to me about choosing to be my unseen Husband in my home. Questions rose about how to please a husband you can't see, and that led me on three different trips through the Fruit of the Spirit. At one point, I was wondering about how to please my unseen Husband with how I dress. After some confusion on the matter, I left it alone until August 2013. In August, I was dealing with some severe hidden health issues that caused me to reduce my work schedule, and I was asking God what I should be doing when He said, “Write”. Trying to brainstorm what on earth I'd start writing about caused a similar question to come to mind, “How does God adorn His Bride in the Scriptures?” Seeing how similar this was to my questions a few years earlier, I decided to start researching it.
Sharon: And now that you have answered the call … what is your favorite and least favorite part of being a writer?

Marilynn: My favorite part of being a writer is the research and actual writing. My least favorite part of being a writer is the marketing and promotion. I don't like the idea of marketing myself, I'd rather be drawing attention to what God has had me write, rather than to myself as a brand.

Sharon: Yes, many authors feel marketing is the worst part of being a writer these days.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Marilynn: I can be found in a wide range of places online.

Sharon: Looks like you've left a wide footprint on the net. Thank you so much for joining us today. 

Q4U Readers: What to you enjoy most and least about author interviews?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

FREE Book Blast: Deep in the Heart, Staci Stallings

Deep in the Heart Cover Final 1-18-2014

by:  Staci Stallings
FREE January 25 - 27th
Then, only 99 Cents... 
January 28 & 29th!

About the Book

Just out of college and completely alone in the world, Maggie Montgomery has one shot left to save her life from an abyss of poverty and hopelessness. Clinging to the last shred of fuel and hope, she arrives at the mansion of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayer. Although Maggie is clearly not what Mr. Ayer and his wife have in mind for a nanny, they agree to hire her temporarily until they can find someone more appropriate to fill the position. However, Maggie's whole world is about to be up-ended by two way-over-scheduled children and one incredibly handsome hired hand. As she struggles to fit into a world she was never made to fit in, Maggie wonders if she can ever learn to become a perfect version of herself so she can keep the job, or is she doomed to always be searching for a life she can never quite grasp? Keith Ayer despises his life. As the son of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayer and the fiance to a Senator from Texas' daughter, it looks great on the outside, but inside, he is dying. He would vastly prefer to manage and train his father's racehorses. However, everyone else thinks that is beneath him. He needs to get into industry and build on his father's success. Suffocating under the constrictions of his life, he meets Maggie, and she begins to teach him that wealth and power is not everything in this life. But can Keith defy the two most powerful men in Texas to follow his heart?
"Staci Stallings... Christian fiction at its best!"
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Staci Stallings
A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Staci touches the lives of people across the globe every week with her various Internet endeavors including being the co-founder of and the founder of Grace & Faith Connection.
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Drawing on February 4, 2014
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

CrossReads Book Blast With Sharon A. Lavy

  Deadly Secret By Sharon A Lavy
About the Book
cover picThe covering on Evalena Davidson’s head invites all kinds of confidences and sharing, a blessing on Denton Community Hospital’s oncology ward. But people expect her to be perfect, which makes living up to the promise of her Old German Baptist uniform a challenge. Pete Neper, head of the sanitation department senses unrest among the employees but finds it a challenge to track down the cause. Danni Wagoner, another oncology nurse is implicated in a drug scam. Old German Baptist Brethren with their adherence to traditional ways do not get involved with the law. But how can Evalena turn her back on a friend? This unlikely trio put their lives and reputation at risk to uncover a deadly secret in an attempt to identify a killer before someone else dies.

Sharon A Lavy Writer of Inspirational Women's fiction with a touch of Suspense. Sharon A Lavy lives with her husband in SW Ohio. When not reading, writing, or sewing for her family, she enjoys traveling with her husband in the German crafted Flight Design airplane they call PaPa. Sharon is best known in the novel writing community, as that German Baptist lady. In the Old German Baptist community she's a dressmaker, a pattern maker, and the sister who writes. And in her own mind she's a wife, a mother, and a grandmother, but above all a child of God. ~~ Her greatest desire is to be a woman after God's own heart~~ Sharon has a heart for hurting women, and writes women's fiction. Because when~~it's all said and done~~It's all about relationships.
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Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Sharon A Lavy! a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!