RHONDA PATTON CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

“QUEEN OF THE MONTH”

CELEBRITY AUTHOR

RHONDA PATTON

Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Lemon Lift tea and we’ll get started. Please help yourself to a chicken salad sandwich and a raspberry walnut scone. We have Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake for dessert.

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 I live in Shreveport, Louisiana.  I am a mother of two beautiful children, a girl 11 and a boy 2.  I am married to my best friend, my illustrator, and my co-writer.  We love camping, anything outdoors with the kids, we love to go to the diamond mine (digging in the dirt).  I have always had the love of writing.  I love kids so it was easy to make my kids’ books.

 

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I am self-published.  With low funds and year and a half of research what companies fit my budget, I decided to self-publish.

 

What are your hobbies?

 I love writing, photography (anything with butterflies or nature), face booking, and social networking.

 

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration? 

My current book is “Searching for the Unknown”.  It is a story about a couple who moved to a small town after the husband was transferred for his job.  They bought a nice house they had to fix up.  They loved the property, the fishing, and everything but there was something they didn’t like, the other people who lived in the house.  They have passed and started haunting them. The inspiration for this story was some happenings that has happened to my husband and I.  And then our imaginations ran.

 

How did you become a writer? When did you start? 

I have always loved writing poetry.  When I was in high school and had a crush I would write.  I could not express my feelings aloud like I could on paper.  I am not a good talker.  So if I had a feeling deep within me I would write.  I divorced in 1999 and lost someone dear to me in the split, he was my stepson.  He had many difficult situations in his life that I wanted to write something positive for kids.  Now with my own two kids I write things that I would want them to read instead of all the fake stories out there.  These are based on our lives only where children can relate. 

 

How long did it take you to finish your first book? 

My first story did not take long at all.  It is a kid’s short story so not many pages.  For “Searching for the Unknown” it took a couple of months.  It is also a short story for teens to adults.

 

Where do you like to write?  

With two kids it is hard to find a nice quiet place to relax and write.  So I have to take time when my husband gets off from work and go to our room and write.  I either write when our two year old is taking a nap (like now), or late at night while he is sleeping.

 

Favorite author(s)? 

I can’t really say I have a favorite.  Every author out here is putting so much work together to strive for a good book.  The work an author does to research everything for their book to publishing, editing, etc. is very hard work.  Once published then you have to find your audience and then put a lot of time into social networking.  I respect every author out there.

 

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more? 

I have written over 11 books.  I have put my Ted and Raymond Series together as 3 books in one.  The projects are coming, more Ted and Raymond Series books.  We have another paranormal book almost finished “The Spirits of ChesterVille General Store”.  They all will be great reads.

 

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

 http://www.amazon.com/Rhonda-Patton/e/B008QX4XO2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Barnes and noble, books-a-million, amazon, CreateSpace, and many more sites.

What about a link to your website?

www.rhondapattonauthor.weebly.com

Rhonda, thank you so much for joining us and allowing us to get to know you better. May you continue to enjoy success in your writing endeavors.

Our winner for Micki Peluso’s book “And the Whippoorwill Sang” is Deirdre Tolhurst. Congratulations!

 

 

 

 

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C.L. RAGSDALE CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

“QUEEN OF THE WEEK”

CELEBRITY AUTHOR

C.L.RAGSDALE

Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Raspberry Royale tea and we’ll get started. Please help yourself to a Smoked Chicken Mushroom Tart and a finger sandwich. The tart is a recipe from Tea Party Girl, a cute site I’ve subscribed to recently. We’re having your wonderful Cherry Topped Cheesecake Pie for dessert. I’ve included the recipe at the end.

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a California girl. I’m not married and I have no children, although nephews and nieces, and great-nephews and nieces (yes I am that old) make up for it. I have a degree in Theatre Arts which greatly influenced my writing style of telling a story through the dialogue between my characters. My work experience is in the clerical field in a lot of different industries, which is convenient for plot lines. Long story short, I’m boring.

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I’m an Indie author.

What are your hobbies?

Embroidery, knitting, and walking.

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My most recent book is called “The Wrong Ghost.” The inspiration actually came from an assignment I had in a Spanish class. One assignment was to ask different people about the story of La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) a variation of “The White Lady” legend. What fascinated me was the number of variations I heard on the theme, no two stories were alike. Which fits into the plot line of “The Wrong Ghost.”

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

According to my mother I’ve been making up my own stories since before I could read. She said I would take sister’s comic books and sit under the kitchen table and make up the story to go with the picture. I thought Spiderman was the bad guy because he scared me. However I actually started writing in junior high when I got hooked on reading. However it wasn’t until I was in my forties that I actually sat down to the work of writing and try to put together an actual novel. Then it was a matter of trial and error.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

My first book in the series “The Mystery of Hurtleberry House,” took about six months to complete.

Where do you like to write?

On my laptop computer in front of the TV. Not that I’m actually watching the show, but I do like the background noise for some reason.

Favorite author(s)?

Do I have to pick? I love so many. However, C.S. Lewis, John Bunyan, Arthur Conan Doyle, R. Austin Freeman…Oh man there are just too many!

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

So far I have written four in The Reboot Files Series, and yes I plan on more. How many? Well that’s up to God who has to give me the ending.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

The Reboot Files #1 – The Mystery of Hurtleberry House

http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Hurtleberry-House-Reboot-ebook/dp/B004M8S850/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340072508&sr=1-1&keywords=the+mystery+of+hurtleberry+house

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-mystery-of-hurtleberry-house-cl-ragsdale/1030801507?ean=2940012385727

The Reboot Files #2 – The Island of Living Trees

http://www.amazon.com/Island-Living-Trees-Reboot-ebook/dp/B00517425G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/island-of-living-trees-cl-ragsdale/1102283674?ean=2940012506092

The Reboot Files #3 – The Harbinger of Retribution

http://www.amazon.com/Harbinger-Retribution-Reboot-Files-ebook/dp/B005KYIYJU/ref=pd_rhf_dp_shvl1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-harbinger-of-retribution-cl-ragsdale/1105361392?ean=2940013094093

Reboot Files #4 – The Wrong Ghost:

http://www.amazon.com/Wrong-Ghost-Reboot-Files-ebook/dp/B008C9S5S0/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340072275&sr=1-2&keywords=the+wrong+ghost

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wrong-ghost-cl-ragsdale/1111622289?ean=2940014706766

What about a link to your website?

My blog, called Short Mysteries and Tall Tales is located at http://www.shortmysteriesandtalltales.blogspot.com

Cindy, it’s been so much fun to have you come for tea. I’ve enjoyed reading the Reboot Files and wish you great success in all your upcoming endeavors. Thanks for sharing!

Congratulations to last week’s contest winner Linneann! She will be receiving a copy of  “Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler” by Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Cindy Ragsdale’s Reboot Files #1

“The Mystery of Hurtleberry House”:

1. Leave a comment with your e-mail address (so we can send a copy to you if you win).

2. Follow “Queen of Afternoon Tea.” (You must comment and Follow by Email to qualify for the drawing.)

Now here are the recipes!

CHERRY TOPPED CREAM CHEESE PIE

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese (softened)

½ cup sugar

1 8 oz container thawed frozen whipped topping

1 9 inch unbaked graham cracker crust

1 21 oz can cherry pie filling

With electric beater combine cream cheese and sugar until integrated. Blend in cool whip.  Pour into graham cracker crust. Top with cherries. Chill before serving.

Smoked Chicken Mushroom Tarts

Ingredients:

1/2 pkg. puff pastry dough, thawed
1 tsp. water
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 C. diced smoked chicken, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 pkg. Cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
12 Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped, divided
2 T. olive oil
1 T. finely chopped parsley, divided
1 egg
1 T. finely minced scallion stems, divided

Preheat oven to 450*. Roll out pastry dough and flatten seams. Cut
pastry sheet into 9 sections and place sections on a greased baking
sheet. In a large pan over medium high heat, saute’ sliced onions,
minced garlic and chopped mushrooms in olive oil until softened.
Remove from heat and let cool. In a small bowl, beat egg with
water. Brush the borders of the pastry with egg mixture. Spread
mushroom mixture into the center of each pastry section. Fold up
1/2″ of each pastry side, pinching the corners together to hold the
filling. Bake for 10 minutes.

Top each tart with smoked chicken, shredded Montery Jack cheese
and chopped olives. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes,
until cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle each tart
with chopped parsley and scallions. Serve warm. Makes 9 servings.

DEIRDRE TOLHURST CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

“QUEEN OF THE WEEK”

CELEBRITY AUTHOR

DEIRDRE TOLHURST

             

Welcome! Let me pour you a nice cup of Honeybush Mandarin Orange tea and we’ll get started.

Please help yourself to an egg salad sandwich and a mini-empanada. I made your recipe for the egg salad. And thank you for bringing the Carrot Torte for dessert and providing the recipes at the end of our interview.

Hi there, Jill, nice to see you again!

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Central Texas, about an hour north of Austin.  I was born in the Bronx, NY, but we moved across the GW Bridge to Northern NJ when I was three.  I am the middle of five children, one sister and three brothers.  My father (who is featured on the cover of my book) was a Crime Reporter for the NY Daily News for 38 years and then NBC until he died in 1987. 

I have been married for 31 years to a wonderful man, who is my greatest supporter and the love of my life.  Before he retired from the US Army we lived in Germany for three years.  We have one daughter together, and I have a step-daughter as well.

I work as an editor for a government contractor on Fort Hood, the largest Army base in the free world.  I have been there for almost 23 years now.

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I am traditionally published through Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC.

What are your hobbies?

I like to make things for my husband to surprise him.  On his birthday two years ago I had people email me what he means to them.  What an amazing tribute with some going back 50 years!  I bound it and added pictures.  It was beautiful, and he just loves it.  I put together little books for him every now and then.  The surprise is the best part for me.  Other than that, writing is my main hobby.  I wish I could make it a full time job!

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My current book, A Christmas I Remember came about because my girlfriend asked me to write something for her for Christmas 2010.  She said she loved the way I wrote and wanted something, anything really so that she could frame it.  I agreed and later that evening (26 days before Christmas) I sat down and wrote “To Kindra with Love.”  That was as far as I got for weeks.  I wrote prayers asking God to help me find the words, or to bring me memories of Christmases past.  On the 17th of December the memories started coming, and the next day the poem that became a book was born.  I read it to another friend at work and she declared it was a book!  I told her no, it was a poem for Kindra.  She insisted, as did I a few times, and then she said, “No, it’s a book for children!” Then I looked for a Christian publisher, found Tate, and was accepted.

Deirdre Christmas 1963

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

I have always loved to write.  I really got into writing in high school.  Years later I took a course from Long Ridge Writer’s Group in Connecticut, but chickened out when the freelancing lesson came.  I dropped the course out of fear of rejection. I loved to read letters that my father wrote.  He had a unique style that I haven’t seen anyone else have.  Maybe it’s genetic.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

Once my prayers were answered the book was written in just a few days, five, I think.  Of course it’s a children’s book, a poem, so it isn’t like writing a novel. But inspiration must still be there, and prayer is a good way to be inspired!

Where do you like to write?

I like to sit on the easy chair in my office.  My best writing seems to come first thing in the morning.  I also like my front porch, which faces east, but only when it is not terribly hot. I write everything long hand first and then type it later. I know doing it this way takes that much more time, but when I type first I don’t ‘feel’ anything. When I write with a pen (or pencil), I see the words come from God through me onto the page. It is then my inspired work. To me, typing is so impersonal, the words look the same no matter who wrote them. Do you know what I mean?

 

Favorite author(s)?

I don’t have a favorite author.  I enjoy different genres, it’s really what my mood happens to be when I start looking for a new book to read.

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

I have only completed A Christmas I Remember.  I am in the process of writing another book, but not a children’s book (that was such a surprise to me).  I am compiling my thoughts and experiences into either a devotional or book of Christian encouragement.  I am covering topics like trust and things I wish I knew when I was younger.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

I certainly would!  People can purchase hardcover and Color Me coloring books as well as the standard soft cover book on my website.  Even my publisher doesn’t carry the hard cover or coloring book.  They sell quickly because children really love them!  I will list my website in the next question.  Also, they can purchase directly from my publisher at: http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-61346-422-9, or Amazon or Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, etc.. Just about any on-line book store has it.  One quick mention, my book (both hard and soft cover) come with a free audio download, so it is like getting two books for the price of one.  Once downloaded a child can listen to me read the book and they are prompted to turn the page when Christmas bells chime.  It frees up Mom to do other things, especially if the child wants to hear it again and again!

What about a link to your website?

My book is for sale at http://www.deirdretolhurst.com.  I also have a link to my blog in there (Thoughts and Prayers Page – http://www.deirdretolhurst.blogspot.com ), for anyone who needs a pick-me-up and to be reminded that God’s love is all around them.   I do not sell the ebook at my site, but the readers can purchase it at Tate – http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/search.php?search=christmas+i+remember

I hope that your readers will visit and come to love my book and my blog!  And thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity, Jill!  I hope to meet up with you again one of these days and maybe go to lunch together!  God bless you for helping us authors out!

It’s been my pleasure Deirdre, and best success with your writing endeavors!

Deirdre Tolhurst’s Recipes

Good sandwich. I just like an egg salad sandwich made by smashing the eggs and then adding a little diced onion, diced celery, S&P, chives, mixed with a little Hellmann’s mayo and a touch of Dijon mustard.  Spread it on some fresh whole wheat or whole grain bread with a little romaine lettuce and voila!  Fabulous!

Favorite DessertMy mother used to make this and now I do, and it is absolutely my favorite dessert.  I’m sorry I don’t have a picture; it gets eaten too fast to take one when it is still fresh!

Carrot Torte

4 eggs separated                                   grated rind of 1 lemon

1 C sugar                                                juice of ½ lemon

1 C  grated raw carrot                          ½ C  flour – sifted

1 t  baking powder                               ¼ t salt

1 C  heavy cream, whipped

 

Beat yolks until thick and lemon colored.  Gradually beat in sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.  Add carrot, lemon rind, and juice.  Sift together dry ingredients and fold into yolk mixture.  Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, and fold into first mixture.  Pour into 2 ungreased 8-inch layer pans. Bake in preheated moderate oven (350º) for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand in pan until cool.

Remove and spread sweetened whipped cream layers on top.  Sprinkle a little fresh grated carrot on top.

NOTE:  I usually double this recipe so that I can have 4 layers.

SANDRA McLEOD HUMPHREY CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

“QUEEN OF THE WEEK”

CELEBRITY AUTHOR

SANDRA McLEOD HUMPHREY

Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Raspberry Zinger tea and we’ll  get started. Please help yourself to a zucchini bread and cream cheese sandwich and a raspberry scone and we’ll get started. We have one of your favorites – lemon meringue pie for dessert.

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, Nancy, I live in a suburb of Minneapolis with my husband, one geriatric white German shepherd, one 6-month old Aussie puppy, and one cat who’s convinced he’s a dog. We used to have two horses and a pony, but as the kids grew older, we traded the horses in for a pool. I was a clinical psychologist for 31 years and worked primarily with young women with character disorders: borderline personalities, anorexics, bulimics, etc. and retired in ’92 to begin my second career as a writer. My writing career is what I refer to as “The dessert of My Life.”

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I’m traditionally published. My primary publisher is Prometheus Books, but I’ve also had two books published by CSS Publishing, and my newest book coming out later this year is published by Royal Fireworks Press.

What are your hobbies?

When I was younger, my favorite hobby was exhibiting at horse shows—English Pleasure Classes, Horsemanship Classes, and Hunter Classes. Now that I’m older, I prefer activities where I can keep both feet on the ground. During the summer, I swim half a mile every day and our Aussie puppy RAZZ (short for Razmatazz) and I have just begun her second set of obedience classes. She’s doing well and is obviously more “with it” than her owner. I finally had to give up using the clicker because I couldn’t coordinate all my body parts to click the clicker in sync with my verbal commands and reward her behavior all at the same time. As I already mentioned, she’s doing really well—me, not so much!

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My most recent book They Stood Alone!: 25 Men and Women Who Made a Difference is a collection of  brief biographies of  25 men and women who refused to conform to the societal beliefs and expectations of their time and, by stepping out and away from the crowd, they changed their world and ours as well.

While doing my school visits, I met so many students who had already given up their dreams and no longer had any personal aspirations. I wanted to restore their hopes and their dreams by showing them that one person can indeed make a difference. Each of  the 25 men and women in my book made a unique contribution which changed and shaped the course of history, and they were not afraid to take a risk even when it meant standing alone.
They Stood Alone!  received the 2011 Mom’s Choice Gold Award for Young Adult Nonfiction and was the 2011-2012 DIY Book Festival Winner for the Teenage category. The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) also selected it for their annual list of best selections for young adults in the nonfiction category.

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

I’ve always loved to write and back in college my Spenserian Stanza about Endymion won a national award. I was majoring in English at the time, but I wasn’t sure what I would do with a degree in English, so at the last minute, I switched my major to psychology. I did no more creative writing for 30 years, but I think I can safely say that I was the only psychologist who “enjoyed” writing up diagnostic assessments and court reports. When I retired in ’92, I began writing short stories for children’s magazines and also began writing the first book in my What Would You Do? series.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

It actually took two years because my first publisher asked me to rewrite it for a younger readership which I did. Then, as luck would have it, the editor retired and I had to begin looking for a publisher all over again.

Where do you like to write?

My husband and I share a study and my desk and computer are between his desk and the door, so every time he goes in or out of the office, I have to get up and let him by. If I had my druthers, I would have my own little office with plenty of windows (which someone else would wash)  and where my creative juices would just bubble over!

Favorite author(s)?

I have so many favorites, but some of my favorite favorites include C.S. Lewis, Og Mandino, Judy Blume, Joan Bauer, Jay Asher, and Jodi Picoult.

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

I have eight books published so far and my tween problem-solving book Making Bad Stuff Good is scheduled for publication by Royal Fireworks Press later this year.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_9?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=sandra+mcleod+humphrey&sprefix=Sandra+Mc%2Cstripbooks%2C207

What about a link to your website?

My website: http://www.kidscandoit.com

Sandra, it’s been such a pleasure to have you for tea. It was an honor to meet you and I wish you all the success with your books.

Sandra McLeod Humphrey is a retired clinical psychologist, a character education consultant, and an award-winning author of eight middle-grade and young adult books.  She’s also the recipient of the National Character Education Center’s Award for Exemplary Leadership in Ethics Education (2000) and the 2005 Helen Keating Ott Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Literature. You can learn more about her books by visiting her Web site  at www.kidscandoit.com.
Connect with Sandy at:
FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/KidsCanDoIt/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Sandra305
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/SandraMHum/videos

SHARON LEAF CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

“QUEEN OF THE WEEK”

CELEBRITY AUTHOR                                                                                

SHARON LEAF

Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Red Rose tea and we’ll get started. I have an assortment of finger sandwiches, but honestly, I couldn’t bring myself to make the peanut butter and banana sandwiches. But I do have your Peanut Butter and Banana pie for dessert. I’ve included your recipe at the end of the interview. Thanks for sending it!

Q  Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

A  I was born in sultry South Carolina and raised in sunny Southern California.  Growing up, I divided my summers between Huntington Beach, California and Surfside, South Carolina, so I’ve always considered myself a beach gal.  I was living the good life in Huntington Beach with my husband of twenty-four years when, six years ago, an inner desire surfaced to return to my southern roots.   Now, instead of waking up to palm trees and the Pacific Ocean, here we are, waking up to pine trees and a pond in our back yard in Lexington, South Carolina.  Besides my children, a few accomplishments I’m proud of is finishing a half marathon and living to tell about it—that small victory gave me the confidence that I could accomplish anything; receiving a degree in theology when I was sixty; and publishing my debut novel, Lady and the Sea, at sixty-five, proving that it’s never too late to fulfill another dream.

Q  Are you a traditionally published or indie author?

A  After much research and prayer, I indie-published because it empowers me to have more control of my book.  Instead of waiting months (or years) for my book to be accepted, then waiting one (or two) more years for publishing, Lady and the Sea was published in seven months.  The whole process is on my time schedule—including the marketing—which is a plus for me since I find myself moving a bit slower at sixty-six.

Q  What are your hobbies?

A  I love to travel—by boat, plane, train, car, bike—as long as I’m moving.  Since turning forty, I have traveled to over fifteen countries, including living in Sweden for a year while attending Bible college, traveling on the Trans-Siberian Railway, trekking through Israel, and volunteering on a World War II ship that allowed me to sail the seven seas and a few oceans along the way.  Our last three-week trip took us to Sweden and Istanbul.  Other hobbies:  reading, writing, watching my favorite movies over and over, spending time with family and friends, and drinking lots of coffee.

Q  Tell us about your current book, Lady and the Sea.  What was your inspiration?

After volunteering fourteen months on the World War II vessel MS Restoration in 1994-95, I knew I had to tell the story of this miracle ship—her story was my inspiration.  When the government put the lock-knot ship in mothballs after the war, she thought her glory days were over, until forty years later when a retired Alaskan sea captain bought her, then gave her to a church in Sweden to transport Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel.  God saved the best until last for the old gal, showing the reader that the best is yet to come for us 40+ gals and guys.

Rosie Atkisson is the main character in Lady and the Sea, a novel based on a true story.  After two failed marriages, forty-eight-year-old Rosie struggles through the process of rebuilding her life with husband, Jesse, in Southern California.  But the settled rhythm of her newfound comfort is interrupted by a tug in her heart when she encounters a haunting photo of another aging lady, the World War II vessel MS Restoration.  A special mission to transport Russian Jews from Sochi, Russia, to Haifa, Israel, means an adventure of a lifetime; does she dare pass up this dangerous assignment that will take her thousands of miles from her family and comfortable life?  In spite of her fear of water and the unknown condition of the ship, Rosie says yes to that inner Voice that is saying GO!

After surviving fourteen months on board the old ship—from a hurricane to symptoms of a heart attack, from miracles to the M word – menopause – and now being held at gunpoint in the Haifa harbor—Rosie wonders if she will ever return to her own safe harbor.

Q  How did you become a writer?  When did you start?

A  In sixth grade when my mother gave me a diary for Christmas.  I’ve been writing ever since.

Q  How long did it take to finish your first book?

A  After finishing a half marathon some twenty years ago I was inspired to write my first book which took five months to finish on my Smith-Corona typewriter.  I dropped the phone when Zondervan called to announce that they were considering publishing Lady on the Run, a story that parallels running your spiritual race with your physical race.  A week later I dropped a few tears when they called to inform me they had chosen a well-known author’s manuscript with a similar theme.  Due to several personal events, I had to shelve the manuscript, but now I’m dusting off Lady on the Run so she can run the race that is set before her.

Q  Where do you like to write?

A  In my cozy office on my iMac that my husband gave me, on the back porch overlooking the pond on hubby’s Book Air; in local coffee houses on my man’s iPad; on the west coast, on the east coast, and anywhere in between, on my little iPhone.  I guess you could say I live in an Apple orchard!

Q  Favorite author(s)?

A  Bodie Thoene is my all-time favorite because I love historical fiction, sprinkled with adventure and romance. I devoured the Covenant Chronicles series while I was a volunteer on the MS Restoration for fourteen months because the purpose of our journey was to transport Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel. Her books gave me tremendous knowledge of Jewish events surrounding the holocaust.

Q  How many books have you written so far?  Do you plan to write more?

A  I have written three books.  Lady and the Sea was published September 2011; I am rewriting/editing Lady on the Run, and Victory Run (YA), and somewhere in between I will write a sequel to Lady and the Sea.

Would you share a link where we can purchase your books?

http://www.amazon.com, http://www.sharonleaf.com, http://www.westbowpress.com

What about a link to your website?

 http:// www.sharonleaf.com, http://www.sharonleaf.blogspot.com http://www.facebook.com/sharonleafwrites

Here’s the first chapter from Lady and the Sea

Chapter One ~ July 1995

Within minutes of the MS Restoration entering the Haifa Harbor, an Israeli gunboat sped from the port and circled the World War II vessel.  As two soldiers aimed their deck-mounted machine guns at the ship, another shouted instructions in Hebrew through a loudspeaker.

The captain of the MS Restoration responded over the ship’s radio, “Please, speak to us in English!”

Rosie grabbed the rail.  “Do they think we’re terrorists?”

Jesse touched her arm.  “Rosie, calm down.”

“Do they think we’re pirates?”

“Just calm down,” her husband repeated, holding out his hand.

“Will they make us jump overboard?  I don’t have my life jacket,” she spoke fighting back her fear of water that was trying to surface once more.

“Rosie, you must get hold of yourself.”

Her mind raced as she gazed up at the man who had brought her on this unpredictable journey.  Jesse’s right; what’s come over me? Rosie asked herself, all the time wishing she didn’t have to go to the bathroom.  She didn’t dare leave his side.

The ship, her fellow crewmembers, and their special passengers—the Russian Jews—had finally reached their destination.  No more troubled waters.  No more hurricanes.  No more delays.  On this hot July morning, they were home free—or so they thought.

Rosie looked at the crew, poised as if they were ready to hit the deck.  “Isn’t this ironic?  We’ve traveled halfway around the world, and this is the welcome we get.”

“Stop your engine!” the soldier shouted.

Within seconds, they were dead in the water.

Rosie’s stomach churned.  She hung her head over the side of the ship and let it rip.  After wiping her mouth with a hankie, she grabbed hold of Jesse’s arm.  She’d heard stories about people who had experienced close calls.  Her seventy-year-old father once told her about the time his ship almost went down in the China Sea during the war.  “At that moment, my whole life passed before me,” Talmage said.

Now feeling lightheaded as the Israeli soldiers glared at the Restoration through their binoculars, Rosie knew that this was her moment.

Here is Sharon Leaf’s favorite dessert recipe:

Peanut Butter & Banana Pie       

Recipe:

1 ready-made piecrust (found in the frozen section)

5 large bananas (found in the produce section)

2 large jars of peanut butter—smooth or crunchy, depending on if you have dentures (found in aisle 6)

Smash bananas, then stir and smash in peanut butter; pour into pie shell; eat immediately before bananas turn brown—a good excuse to eat the whole pie in one sitting.

Serve with banana tea (slice half banana into your favorite tea).

All I can say is “YUM!!”

FYI: This recipe is also my favorite tea sandwich–just serve on crust-less bread!