Monday, June 18, 2012

Southern-Style Meet & Greet with Terri Blackstock (Plus Giveaway)

Back a couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting not one, but TWO, great Christian suspense authors.  The first one (Brandilyn Collins) stopped by for a Meet & Greet of her own a few weeks ago, and author number 2 is here with me today.  :o)

I have been reading Terri's books since I first started reading Christian fiction, and in my expert opinion, she has gotten better and better with every single book.  Her latest series about drug addiction has really taken off like a rocket, and I've talked to several people who have really enjoyed them immensely.  I was so very excited to be able to meet her in person, and as a fellow Southerner, answer a few questions for me about her books and thoughts on the South.  I hope y'all will give Terri a very warm welcome!

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I knew when I was eleven years old. After my dad got home from Vietnam, I wrote a poem about the war, and my mother sent it in to our local newspaper. They published it, and I was so thrilled. From that moment on, I knew that writing was what I wanted to do with my life.

What genre do you most like to write?

I mainly focus on suspense, because that’s what I like to read the most. I have a short attention span, so books that I read and write have to have a lot happening to keep me engaged.  

I love your suspense, but when you venture to write a women's fiction novel, I'm in heaven.  *sigh*  Couldn't get enough of your series of books with Beverly LaHaye! 

What do you hope readers take away with them after they read one of your books?

I want them to understand the depth of God’s love for them and His provision through every circumstance. While my books are crafted to be fast-paced thrillers, I weave a message of redemption and hope, and a strong thread of good versus evil, throughout each book. I’m a firm believer that God gives us crises for a purpose, and that crises often bring profound blessings. It’s important to me to show that through characters who are suffering or in danger, and while they often don’t have things together spiritually, the reader can follow their growth arc throughout the story and come away with a feeling of hope for their own trials.  

What is your latest book release?

My latest release is Downfall, Book 3 in my Intervention Series. The series is about a family struggling with a loved one who has addictions, and it was inspired by my own journey with my daughter’s addictions. The series takes the reader through the character arcs of these family members as they deal with the addictions, the potential relapses, and the danger surrounding addictions. Intervention (Book 1) and Vicious Cycle (Book 2) were both New York Times Best-Sellers.

In Book 3, Downfall, Emily has turned her life around, but her family still has trouble trusting her. Though Emily has committed herself to a year-long treatment program and has been sober for almost a year beyond that, even her mother walks on egg shells around her, fearing she’ll relapse. After her behavior during her drug years, Emily realizes she has a lot to prove.

When police discover a home-made bomb under Emily’s car, and she then learns the wife of one of her friends was murdered that same morning, she knows things are deadly serious. But who wants Emily dead? And why? A conversation she had with two men, an Alfred Hitchcock movie, and a plan for a double-murder all conspire for one explosive ride...and Emily is the only one who can identify the killer and save the life of the next potential victim. As she frantically works to solve this ever more complicated puzzle, Emily finds herself playing right into the killer’s hands. To buy or read an excerpt, go to

Are you currently working on another novel, and if so, can you give us a snippet about it?

I’ve just finished the first book in my new series. It’s called Truth-Stained Lies, and it’s part of the Moonlighters Series. It won’t release until February of next year, but I’m having so much fun with it. The series is about three sisters--a blogger, a stay-at-home mom, and a ne’er-do-well taxi driver--who wind up moonlighting as private detectives to solve some crimes related to their family. In the first book, their brother is accused of murdering his wife in order to win custody of their son. But the killer staged the scene so that the truth is too ludicrous to be believed. How can they prove their brother’s innocence when the lies make more sense than the truth? When their five-year-old nephew is kidnapped, their urgency ramps up. Since the police don’t believe the truth, it’s up to the sisters to find the killer and stop the madness.

Wow...sounds like another winner!!  

Where can readers find you on the web?

Most people can recognize a Southerner by their accent.  Would I know what area of the country you’re from by yours?
You would definitely know I’m from the South, but you might not be able to place exactly where. I grew up in the Air Force, and we lived all over the place. Because of that, my accent is probably not quite as clear-cut as some of my neighbors. I’m also a little bit of a chameleon with accents. If I’m in another place for two weeks or so, I’ve been known to lose my accent entirely.

What is your most favorite thing about the South?

The thing I love about the south is the people. They’re warmer, kinder, more empathetic, less pretentious, and when you’re in crisis, they’ll love on you with casseroles and hugs. Doing what I do, I could live anywhere. I stay in Mississippi because of those good people.

Iced Tea—sweet or un-sweet?

Un-sweet for me, usually. I’m not much of a sugar lover.

Gulf Coast beaches or the mountains of East Tennessee?

Mountains of East Tennessee. My honeymoon was in Gatlinburg. Because we live in Mississippi, we don’t like baking in the sun, so the beach doesn’t hold as much of an appeal to us as it does to others. I’m also a real red-head, so my skin has no pigmentation. I’m not a good candidate for sun tanning.

Dolly Parton or Elvis Presley?

I love them both, but there’s something about Dolly Parton’s story-telling in her songs that really moves me. I love a good story-teller.

Beignets in New Orleans or BBQ in Memphis?

These days, BBQ, because I have to be gluten-free. But I could have eaten my weight in beignets before.

It's probably a good thing that neither of us lives in New Orleans.  :o)

You, you all, or y’all?

Y’all, definitely. 


Terri, I can't begin to thank you enough for being my special guest today!  It was such a pleasure to meet you in person, and that much more enjoyable to have a nice little chat with you, too.  :o)  

And thanks to Terri's fabulous generosity, you have the chance to win a copy of her latest book, Downfall.  Trust me, friends...this entire series will have you burning the midnight oil more than once!  If you'd like to be included in the drawing, simply fill out the form below in its entirety by Sunday, June 24th, 11:59pm.  The winner will be selected through third-party site,, and notified via email by me.  Limited to US residents only.  Odds of winning are based on the number of entrants, and I am not responsible for lost or damaged prizes.  

Good luck, y'all, and thanks for stopping by today!  Grab your glass of tea before you leave (and leave a comment down below the entry form, too, if you'd like).  :o)

Friday, June 15, 2012

CFBA Blog Tour: Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Short-Straw Bride
Bethany House Publishers (June 1, 2012)
Karen Witemeyer


Karen Witemeyer is a deacon's wife and mother of three who believes the world needs more happily-ever-afters. To that end, she combines her love of bygone eras with her passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels that lift the spirit and nurture the soul.

After growing up in California, Karen moved to Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where she earned bachelor and master's degrees in Psychology. It was also there that she met and married her own Texas hero. He roped her in good, for she has lived in Texas ever since. In fact, she fell so in love with this rugged land of sweeping sunsets and enduring pioneer spirit, that she incorporates it into the pages of her novels, setting her stories in the small towns of a state that burgeoned into greatness in the mid- to late1800s.

Karen is living her dream by writing Christian historical romance novels for Bethany House.


No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.

Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.

if you would like to read the first chapter of Short-Straw Bride, go HERE.

Monday, June 11, 2012

CFBA Blog Tour: Love in Disguise by Carol Cox

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Love in Disguise
Bethany House Publishers (June 1, 2012)
Carol Cox


Native Arizonan Carol Cox has an abiding love for history, mystery, and romance. The author of more than 25 books, she believes in the power of story to convey spiritual truths. Carol lives with her husband and daughter in northern Arizona, where deer and antelope really do play--within view of the family's front porch.

A word from Carol:

As a native of Arizona, I have a longtime interest in the Southwest and its history. My family shares my love of the Old West, as evidenced by this photo taken back in the halcyon days before my son turned to a life of crime and started robbing trains for a living...


When costume-maker Ellie Moore suddenly finds herself out of a job in the middle of a bleak Chicago winter, she uses her knowledge of theatrical disguise to secure a position as an undercover operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her assignment: find the culprit behind the theft of silver shipped from the mines near Pickford, Arizona.

Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie begins her investigation. Soon she finds she must also pose as the dazzling young Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love in Disguise, go HERE.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Litfuse Blog Tour and Book Review: Wish You Were Here by Beth K. Vogt/4 Stars

About the book:

Allison Denman is supposed to get married in five days, but everything is all wrong. The huge wedding. The frothy dress. And the groom. Still, kissing the groom's brother in an unguarded moment is decidedly not the right thing to do. How could she have made such a mistake?

It seems Allison's life is nothing but mistakes at this point. And pulling a "Runaway Bride" complete with stealing, er, borrowing her best friend's car doesn't seem to solve her problems. Can Allison find her way out of this mess? Maybe she just needs to stop orchestrating everything. Allison prefers being the one in control, and giving it up is not going to be easy. But to find her way again, she will have to believe that God has a plan for her and find the strength to let Him lead.

About Beth:

Beth K. Vogt provides her readers with a happily ever after woven through with humor, reality, and God's lavish grace. She's a non-fiction author and editor who said she'd never write fiction. She's the wife of an Air Force physician (now in solo practice) who said she'd never marry a doctor-or anyone in the military. She's a mom of four who said she'd never have kids. Beth has discovered that God's best often waits behind the doors marked "Never." She writes contemporary romance because she believes there's more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us. Beth earned a journalism degree from San Jose State University and met her husband Rob when he knocked her down at a karate studio. They've been married for 31 years. They have four children, ranging in ages from 28, 25, 23 and - thanks to a funny thing happening on their way to the empty nest-a 10-year-old. The Vogt Team, which now includes a "daughter-in-love" and "son-in-love," enjoys hiking and camping in Colorado. Read more about Beth at her website:

My thoughts:

I won't sugarcoat the truth here...I almost marked this book as a DNF (did not finish). I made it to the 100-page mark and thought to myself, "If this book doesn't pick up the pace reeeeeeally soon, I don't think I can go on." Well, nothing like a little perseverance, ya know?  :o)  I went another few pages, then a few more, and then, there was no getting around it...I was hooked.

There's really just one thing I want to highlight from this fabulous debut novel, and that was the balance between Allison and Seth's relationship failing and the new relationship forming between her and Daniel.  I mean, real life, how many of us would have screwed that up so badly?  I'll be the first to admit that it would be me because, like Seth, I have always had this innate need to be in control (or at least, convince myself that I'm in control even if I'm not).  But wow, how many times have I jumped the gun ahead of God's plan?  More times than I care to count.  I was so impressed that when it came to decision time for both Allison and Daniel that things were allowed to take their natural course, and both really allowed God to direct their steps.

Beth Vogt joins a fabulous crop of new fiction writers this year...seriously, they're sprouting up all over the place!  I'd love to see a spin-off from this novel featuring either Meghan or Hadleigh (well, a story for both characters wouldn't disappoint me, either).  :o)

4 Stars

Southern?  No
Sass?  No

**Many thanks to the publisher through Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy for review.


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