Interview with Traci Wooden-Carlisle

Happy Memorial Day to our US readers! I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend – and what better way than chatting about books?!?

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Traci Wooden-Carlisle about (of course) books and, specifically, her suspense novel – Missing Destiny.

About the Book

missing destinyShe spends Friday nights with charts and graphs. His best friend is a dog named Sebastian.

All she’s ever wanted was peace and to feel she belonged. All he ever wanted was to disappear.

She’s a city girl hiding in a small town. He’s back home hiding from his past.

If life were perfect, they could be each other’s missing destiny.

When a mysterious man becomes a threat to her health Dr. Shauna Nathan, a workaholic scientist, is about to lose control over her emotions and her life. Her family steps in to protect her even if it means disrupting her otherwise predictable and orderly existence by bribing her with a chance to spend time with her old college roommate and surround herself with her one true passion — horses.

She heads to a ranch in Chandler County to hide from her stalker. Instead, she might find there healing she looks for — and love she doesn’t.

Horse therapist Zach moved to New York, had a successful career in finance, a beautiful wife, and daughter one day and the next it was all gone. He came back to Chandler County to come to terms with his loss and find a modicum of peace as a ranch hand- turned therapist at Murphy’s Equestrian Therapy Center. He has lost everyone he loved. Would he risk his heart again for Shauna?

Though the ruthless killer on Shauna’s trail will stop at nothing to destroy her, will Zach and Shauna escape danger and find happiness in each other’s arms and their missing destiny?

GOODREADS | AMAZON | B&N


Hi Traci! Thanks so much for chatting with us today! Let’s start with a question ‘just for fun’! Ocean or mountains?

Traci: This should be easy, but I’m torn. I was born and raised near the ocean in Southern California and went to college between the mountains and the ocean. I can receive peace from both but if I want to retreat for more than a day it will be the mountains.

Carrie: I’m the same way – both bring me such peace, but when i have to choose it’s going to be the mountains!

Other than the Bible, what are five of your most cherished books?

Traci: I will probably always go back to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen for its language, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman for its wisdom, The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell due to nostalgia, Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan for its ability to make me cry buckets, and Black Presence in the Bible by Walter Author McCray which opened my eyes to my some of my ancestor’s accomplishments.

Carrie: Oh! Excellent choices & I love the variety!

If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?

Traci: I love it when she writes because she listens well to what we’re saying and feeling, but sometimes she leaves us for weeks in the same position or situation and that gets frustrating. One good thing is she doesn’t erase and rewrite our scenes over and over but sometimes it does take her a moment to find just the right word or expression to describe how we are feeling.

Carrie: Don’t leave your characters hanging, Traci! haha! 😉 

Shauna and Zach are both hiding out in Chandler County for various reasons. What inspired you to incorporate this element into both of their characters?

Traci: I have been surrounded by quiet and strong men all my life. They can express themselves when they want and are affectionate. I love sharing those traits with my male characters. From the beginning I saw Zach as a recluse. He brooded but was still able to take comfort in nature. From that thought I worked backward to uncover the cause for his behavior. My inspiration for Shauna came from my niece who was going through college at the time. She was struggling with the transition from grade school to college life. Books weren’t the issue. Finding her passion was. My character, Shauna, had the chance to get reacquainted with herself and what she loved by getting lost in a town that expected nothing from her.

Carrie: Oooo I suspect Zach might become one of my new book boyfriends 😀 And Shauna – how many of us have been in the same position, right? Trying to find what we’ve been created for, our passion. I can’t wait to meet them both 🙂

What is one of your favorite quotes from the book & why do you love it?

Traci: I will preface this answer by letting you know that the conversation following this quote is one of my favorites because it uncovers so much about both Zach and Shauna and it makes my heart sigh. “And right there, as she looked into those warm, gold-speckled, brown eyes, every single emotion hovering at the edge of reason jumped off.”

Carrie: Oh i love that!!

Why is it important to you to write ethnically diverse characters?

Traci: I love to read and as a reader I enjoy many different genres. My favorite is romance and its subgenres. I love reading romances books with ethnically diverse characters because I enjoy reading about different cultures, including my own, and the influence those cultures have on the characters’ reaction to different situations and their feelings for each other.

Carrie: Those differences just add so many great layers and dimensions to the story, don’t they? 

How can we as readers of Christian fiction better support diverse authors and diverse stories?

Traci: We as readers can support diverse authors and diverse stories by introducing them to networking groups that would like to exchange ways to expand their readership. Buying and sharing is important but you can’t buy and share something you don’t know exists.

Carrie: That is so true and a great reminder for us!


About Traci Wooden-Carlisle

traci wooden carlisleTraci Wooden-Carlisle began writing poetry and short stories as soon as she was able to form words on paper. She used that as a way to creating worlds, as well as, to communicate with God. A native of Los Angeles, California, she grew up attending United Methodist Church under the leadership of a pastor whose heart was for youth. Once she finished college at she found herself at a loss. She felt caught in the transition between childhood and adulthood. She surrounded herself with saints and volunteered her services as a graphic artist. Through the early-morning prayer, all night Friday prayer and 3-day shut-ins she started on her journey toward her most desired gift, an intimate relationship with God.

Today, Mrs. Wooden-Carlisle lives in San Diego with her husband, David Carlisle. She teaches fitness classes, runs a jewelry and craft business, and is currently writing her third book in her Christian-fiction series, Promises to Zion.

CONNECT WITH TRACIwebsite | Facebook | Twitter


**Giveaway**

Have a comment or question for Traci? She’s giving away a print copy of Missing Destiny and a bookmark. (US only, International winner will receive a $6 Amazon gift card instead) One winner will be randomly selected from everyone who comments on this post by Friday June 1, 2018.

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Interview with Marshalee Patterson

The first two people to comment on this blog post will get a free ebook version of The Path of the Chosen Warriors.

Marshalee, I am so excited to interview you today. I’ve really enjoyed what you’ve been doing with your blogPlease tell me a little about yourself and what made you start this awesome blog.

Well, I am a Christian author from Jamaica who has always loved reading since I could walk. I didn’t grow up with a television so books were a way to discover new things and new places for me. I grew up in a large family, which still surrounds me- was kind of a tomboy at one point too. I love learning about different cultures and got fascinated with the Spanish culture to the point where I can now dance salsa, merengue and cha-cha, very well. The language, however, has been my challenge- but I promised myself I will learn it. In regards to what made me start the blog, actually, it was some of the marketing tutorials I had been reading, which recommended I start one to build an audience. Most tell you to share whatever your good at, I wasn’t sure what that was for me, so I thought it was a great way to teach life lessons to readers through my books by using different characters and how they dealt with it. I find it also a great way to minister Christ beyond my books.

I’ve been reading your latest book, The Path of the Chosen Warriors, and really enjoy it. Can you tell us what inspired the story and what you hope readers will get from it?

That story idea came to me through a dream after I started learning how to pray spiritual warfare prayers. I wanted to grow more in that area so I don’t have to call my pastor to do for me when we are all called to be soldiers in God’s army. Since I began to pray and do a lot of midnight prayers, God has revealed to me so many things the devil had been doing against me and family. With those prayers, I saw how strong my spirit man became in fighting against the enemy in the spirit when I went to bed at night and dreamed. I realised that the Lord wanted me to get readers aware of how real the spiritual realm is and that what we see in dreams are important and also to show them how to pray and get deliverance. What I want readers to get is knowledge and to understand how to help themselves in similar situations as the characters. To be aware that the spiritual realm is more real than the one we see every day. Every prayer I used are real ones based on scriptures as I have been learning.

What surprised you when you wrote the book?

What surprised me was how God has been transforming me to be a better Christian by the way I saw the characters live. Joshua’s character got me realising the importance of starting my mornings with God, something I didn’t think was very important if I was already praying every day. Ruth made me desire to have more of God’s love in me so that I wouldn’t look upon the vilest of sinners through the eyes of the flesh and allow them to miss salvation if I was whom God wanted to use to reach out to that person. And then there’s Hannah who builds my faith level and also challenged my heart to stand in prayer for those who hurt you.

The Path of the Chosen Warriors is a Christian romantic thriller. Is that a genre you enjoy reading?

I haven’t read many in that genre, but I grew up loving mystery books and movies. I do enjoy thrillers though.

How does your Jamaican culture influence your writing?

My culture as a Jamaican hasn’t really influenced my writing so much except for the fact that I try to make one of my main characters a Jamaican, to represent and identify with my heritage. But I have included a dish we eat here in my first book and some places of interest to someone who would be interested in visiting.

How does your faith influence your writing?

My faith is the backbone of my writing, although the books entertain, they are first and foremost to minister to readers about God and their relationship with him. God has opened my eyes to see that even though I write fiction, it is the platform given to me to glorify him and help readers find healing, deliverance and salvation through the characters. I write as if I am someone who seeks God and this is the only place I would find him, as someone who wouldn’t go to a church because I would feel judged or rejected, as someone who needed to learn how to pray and how to do so through the word, and as someone who needed to learn how to stand and have faith in God while He works through our situations. I have learnt that I will be held accountable just as a pastor will be if not give the readers what God puts in me and study his word to be effective in doing so.

What are some of your favorite diverse Christian reads?

I have read Discovery of Hope by T.I Lowe, Waiting for Rachael by Kimberly Rae Jordon, Not by Sight by Kay Lyons Stockham and Street Preacher by Aaron Davis, which was a really good read too.

What else have your written? And what’s next?

I have another book out called Predestined Love; it’s an inspirational romance and another called A Shattered Life Restored that is now being edited. I also have two books to follow after A Shattered Life restored and I’ve already done the covers for them.

Finally, a fun question! 🙂 If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

First I must say, I love classic literature above all and I don’t know if I could pick just one of those books but if I had to, it would probably be Les Miserables. There is just so much to learn from that one book; from watching a man hardened by the governmental system getting transformed into a helpful and forgiving person from the act of kindness of an old priest. The lengths he went through to help a woman’s child trapped in the care of a greedy family and in return found love through that child when he himself didn’t have anyone to offer him any. It makes you want to cry in some parts, full of forgiveness to those who wronged you over and over and you see the Spirit of God at work.

Thank you, Marshalee. I’m really enjoying getting to know you!
Here is a little more information about Marshalee’s latest book, The Path of the Chosen Warriors, available now on Amazon.

 

A story of spiritual warfare: the perpetual fight of good over evil in a paranormal setting with demonic forces attempting to overcome the Christians in the community. This story draws you in and holds your attention as you want to know what the final outcome will be. Who will triumph? Will the evil forces of Abaddon defeat the Christians? Will Ruth and Joshua escape from Sodom Shadows and return to their home in Shiloh City? Suspense, action, intrigue and romance, in this story, which takes the reader to the realm where the struggle for supremacy takes place.”

Staring into the eyes of the man she loved, Ruth knew coming home was where she would make her fondest memories with her beloved Joshua. She was looking forward to their journey together as man and wife. All their plans were interrupted when they were caught up in a terrible storm, and their boat crashed in an unknown area. Although they were lost, it seemed as if destiny had brought them to this unfamiliar territory, and until they discovered what it was and fulfilled it, their future together would be put on hold.

Excerpt from The Path of the Chosen Warriors:

Abbadon was quick and Brad’s eyes widened when he felt Abbadon’s hand on his throat. Abbadon gritted his teeth and glared at him. Brad kicked his feet when he felt his body lifting off the ground. He tugged against the hand of the High Priest while gasping for air. With a loud growl Abbadon flung him into the direction of the crowd.

Abaddon walked towards the crowd with his grip firmly around Ruth’s neck. They stepped back, as the sight of him was nothing they had ever seen before. Even though they saw the blackness in his eyes and felt the evil within him, they remembered the God who had just saved them and they held their faith. Joshua and Brad joined with them.

“Abaddon, we are not afraid of you. Our God told us that we have power over all rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in the high places. Therefore, we command you to release her and be consumed by fire in the name of Jesus,” they shouted at him.

Marshalee author pic

Marshalee Patterson was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She has loved reading since she could walk. Growing up without a television sparked in her a love for reading and the world of imagination. Some of her favourite novels were written by Charles Dickens, Jane Eyre and Victor Hugo, as she found she liked the true to life stories that we all can relate to. She wrote her first novella-Predestined Love after travelling to Italy and wanted to write a romance novel about it, only she didn’t know that God had plans for her and that story, when he change the direction of what she originally had in mind.

It was then that she knew she was called to write stories to uplift and inspire readers, showing them how to find God in their struggles and the faith to trust Him through it. She is a lover of nature and the tranquillity of it. She finds the outdoors refreshing and peaceful. Marshalee loves Spanish ballads and dances salsa very well.

Connect with Marshalee

Website: https://inspiringchristian.wixsite.com/marshaleepatterson

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nZqXa4

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2GgF1Cw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormarshaleepatterson/

Blog: https://sharingthechristinme.blogspot.com/

Book Review: Reunited at Christmas

Happy Friday, reader friends!

Are you ready for the weekend?

Today, we’re sharing a review of Belle Calhoune’s book, “Reunited at Christmas”. It’s the perfect holiday/weekend story to read! 🙂

Enjoy!

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About the book:

 A Season to Remember 

Two years after the avalanche everyone thought had claimed her life, Ruby Prescott returns to the remote Alaskan town of Love. And no one is more ecstatic than her husband, Liam, and their young son. Even if amnesia has robbed Ruby of her memories, she’s soon woven back into the fabric of their lives. As they celebrate the holiday season, Ruby is falling head over heels for the man she’s told was the love of her life. But she can’t escape the feeling that there’s something Liam is keeping a secret. Will the return of her memories tear them apart for good—or will this be a Christmas she’ll never forget?

Book purchase link: Amazon

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Book Review: Reunited at Christmas

If there would be one song that perfectly summarizes this story, it would be the song “After All” performed by Peter Cetera and Cher!

Much like the lyrics in the song “After All”, the relationships in this story “Reunited at Christmas”, are true to real-life. Ruby and Liam were to their friends and most of their family members, “the perfect couple”. But even perfect marriages have rocky moments and the author didn’t shy away from portraying a very real love story between Ruby and Liam.

When the reader meets Ruby, they see that she’s experiencing amnesia. But even with a lapse in memory, certain instances in this story tug at her heart and make her feel like the small Alaskan town called “Love” is her home.

When the reader meets Liam, they know this from the start: he is devastated by his wife’s death—or so he thought, because within the first few pages, he receives a call from the town sheriff with surprising news that he couldn’t quite get because he cannot hear him. But judging by the tone in the sheriff’s voice, Liam knows this is an urgent matter. So Liam rushes to the sheriff’s office and discovers that his wife Ruby survived the avalanche that they thought had killed her and when he sees her, he is shocked but also overwhelmed with the love they shared.

Only problem is, Ruby isn’t sure she knows him or still loves him because the amnesia has blocked out her memory of her life as a wife to Liam and a mother to their son Aidan. As a reader, I liked how Liam was the perfect gentleman and support for Ruby. He didn’t pressure her to do anything beyond her comfort zone but he did gently coax her into remembering their life together. I also liked how the conflict in this story was perfectly layered.

The pacing of this story was perfect. The dialogue was delightful. The characters were captivating and the author’s storytelling skills are excellent!

“Reunited at Christmas” is a book that I will recommend to every book lover I know to read at Christmastime this year and the next because just like this holiday season, this story is heartwarming, inviting and sweet. Bravo to Belle Calhoune for creating this amazing masterpiece of a story!

*Review written by Alexis A. Goring, contributor

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About the author:

 Belle Calhoune grew up in a small town in Massachusetts as one of five children. Although her mother was a doctor and her father a biologist, Belle never gravitated toward science. Growing up across the street from a public library was a huge influence on her life and fueled her love of romance novels.

Belle is the author of nine Harlequin Love Inspired novels with a tenth hitting the shelves in March of 2018. She has Indie published the popular and best-selling inspirational romance series, Seven Brides, Seven Brothers. The Secrets of Savannah and Pelican Bay are both spin-offs of her debut series.

Belle loves writing romance and crafting happily-ever-afters. When she’s not wrangling her two high maintenance dogs or spending time with her husband and two daughters, Belle enjoys travel and exploring new places.

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