Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Peril / Together for the Holidays / interview

Authors: Margaret Daley and Debby Giusti
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
December 2009
ISBN: 978-0-373-44365-9
Genre: Inspirational/Christmas/novella/suspense

Christmas bells ring with danger in these suspenseful Holiday stories.

Merry Mayhem by Margaret Daley -- Annie Coleman receives a phone call from her daughter’s father, telling her to run, and not trust anyone. While still on the phone, Annie hears a scuffle and then a gunshot. Panicking and wondering what her former boyfriend got them into, Annie runs to Christmas, Oklahoma, the home of a great aunt. Police chief Caleb Jackson suspects that Annie is hiding something, but his discreet checking into her brings danger to town.

Yule Die by Debby Giusti – Medical researcher Callie Evans isn’t expecting a happy holiday until she discovers that one of her patients is actually her long lost brother—who happens to be guarded by police officer Joe Petrecelli. When a cadre of bad guys kidnap Callie, her brother, and Joe, they will have to fight to keep everyone alive.

I enjoyed reading this new release from Steeple Hill. Two Christmas novellas are included in CHRISTMAS PERIL, both of them full of suspense. My attention was literally grabbed from the beginning of both stories, and held until the end. I enjoyed that both of these stories seemed different than other suspense I’ve read recently from this publisher.

Ms. Daley said in her letter (included in the book) that she found this novella very difficult to write. All I can say is that I didn’t notice any sign of that in the story. It was very well written and interesting. I enjoyed getting to know all the characters in these two novellas. Don’t miss CHRISTMAS PERIL – available now from www.steeplehill.com or at your favorite bookseller. Discussion questions are included for each story. $5.50. 213 pages

Author: Margaret Daley
Publisher: Love Inspired
November 2009
ISBN: 978-0-373-87559-7
Genre: Inspirational/romance

Lisa Morgan hasn’t always lived a stellar past. She was on drugs, and as a result lost her child to the foster system. And Lisa had a terrible history with men. Now, Lisa only wants to raise her son, Andy, with love and values. But Andy seems to be bullied at school, and at home he seems a different child. Andy insists that Lisa stays out of his troubles, but how can she step back and watch what is going on?

David Russell is a police officer, and the assistant basketball coach at the middle school that Andy attends. David is quick to separate Andy and three boys who jumped him after practice one day, but when he questions Andy about the incident, he believes that Andy told him lies about what caused the fight. Especially since it seems to be ongoing.

David promises Lisa he’ll help keep an eye on Andy and the situation at school, but Lisa finds it hard to trust David—after all, he is a police officer, and with her past, she finds it hard to trust the police. As Christmas approaches, will David and Lisa find that Andy will help bring to light the true meaning of the holidays, and could bring them together in ways they never dreamed?

As I started reading TOGETHER FOR THE HOLIDAYS I had the feeling I knew Lisa from a previous book somewhere. I was trying to remember where she appeared before, and then as I read the author’s letter at the end of the story she revealed the information. Lisa was a secondary character in Heart of the Family. This is proof of Ms. Daley’s excellent characterization that I recognized a secondary character when she was written into a story as the heroine.

I enjoyed reconnecting with Lisa, and getting to know to know David and Andy. Though the situation Andy faced at school was not pleasant, it seems to be all too common in the school systems today. The story deals with the issue of drugs, and Ms. Daley didn’t gloss over the information at all. She even gives websites where you can go for more information about drugs and the effects of them, etc. TOGETHER FOR THE HOLIDAYS is not exactly an easy read, but it is one packed with information, a touch of suspense, and a holiday romance. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $5.50. 213 pages.

Can you tell me about your book?

Together for the Holidays:
A single mother with a traumatic past, Lisa Morgan only wants to raise her son with love and values. But lately the boy is struggling. When his basketball coach becomes a reluctant role model, Lisa is relieved. Until she learns that David Russell is also a cop. She's not ready to share her past—or her heart. And neither is the world-weary detective. Yet as Christmas comes closer, the true meaning of the holiday brings them together in ways they never dared dream.

What are you working on now?
I am working on the third book in my home schooling series. It will be out next November and I have titled it Dad Lessons.

What are some of your hobbies, besides writing?
When I have time, I love to read. I also love going to lunch and a movie with friends. I play bridge twice a month.

Who are your favorite authors?
James Rollins is my favorite author.

What is your favorite genre to read?

What sparked the idea for your last story?
It is the fifth book in my Fostered by Love series. Lisa was a character that I had in the second book. I wanted to tell her story.

Who or what inspired you to write?
I have always been a storyteller and reader. One day I decided to see if I could actually put one of my stories down on paper.

What is your favorite verse, and why?
Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.
This illustrates how important God’s Word is in guiding us through life.

How can reading your book have an impact on the reader’s life?
By the message the reader gets from the book.

How did you become a Christian?
Since I was a child I’ve believed in the Lord, but my path has changed in the past few years—deepened.

How has your book been received from its readers?
I have received letters from readers telling me that they were inspired by the story—that it helped them through a problem. That means so much to me.

Can you tell us a little bit about your personal life?
I recently retired from teaching children with special needs. I am now writing full-time. I have one son and four granddaughters. My husband and I have been married for 39 years.

What is your current ring tone?
The plain old normal one—yeah, dull, I know

What is your favorite vending machine item?

What is your earliest memory?
An Easter egg hunt at my grandmother’s house—I was three or four at the time

What is your biggest fear?
Snakes/rats (hard to separate them)

How can our readers purchase your book?
From any bookstore or online store. They can also go to my web site and follow the link to eHarlequin (20% off). My web site is: http://www.margaretdaley.com

Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Holt Medallion, Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines. She has sold sixty-six books to date.

Margaret is currently the Volunteer Officer for ACFW. She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in Oklahoma. She served as vice-president for two years in WIN-ACFW and is still on its board as an advisor. She has taught numerous classes for online groups, ACFW and RWA chapters. She enjoys mentoring other authors.

Until she retired last year, she was a teacher of students with special needs for twenty-seven years and volunteered with Special Olympics as a coach. She currently is on the Outreach committee at her church, working on several projects in her community.

You can visit her web site at http://www.margaretdaley.com and read excerpts from her books and learn about the ones recently released and soon to be released.

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