Wednesday, October 11, 2017


The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction: INTRODUCING AUTHOR AND FRIEND, LINDBERG CORNELL!: AUTHOR LINDBERG CORNELL Lynn, I’m thrilled to have you on The Rough Diamond Mine blog today And please thank your wife, B...



Lynn, I’m thrilled to have you on The Rough Diamond Mine blog today And please thank your wife, Beverly, for encouraging you to write! She was right—you are indeed a writer—an excellent word weaver! So, let’s get on with this interview so all the folks can find out what I already know—your first novel The Color of Redemption is beyond Five Stars! I’ve included my review of your book at the end of this interview.

Q. Readers want to know, beyond the back-of-the-book biography, about the authors they read. Will you share a little about yourself and your family?

Thank you DiAne. I’m glad to be visiting with you today. As for me, I’ve been a Christian for forty years and have a passion for teaching verse by verse through the entire Bible. I’ve been married for twenty-four years to my second wife, my first wife passed away. We have five children and thirteen grandchildren. I’m an avid cyclist when not writing.

Q.  With thirteen grandchildren I don’t see how you have the time to cycle and write. LOL. I have three and when they were little they wore me out! When did you know God called you to paint a canvas of words? How did you know and tell us about your journey?

My wife encouraged me to write. Of course, as a typical man, I blew her off, but she kept encouraging me. Finally, and I don’t remember why, she signed me up for a Write to Publish writer’s conference in Wheaton, Illinois. That’s when the writing world opened up to me. From that time, I began the process of learning to write. Of course, now, I don’t have enough time in the day to write everything that’s in my heart. I will say to new writers…learn the craft of writing first. That’ll save you yards of time in rewrites. I had written the entire first draft of The Color of Redemption without knowing how to write.

Q. Don’t think you’re alone. I finished the first draft of Roped (then entitled Silver Buckle Dreams) before knowing I had no clue. And my first conference was Write to Publish in Wheaton also. Small world! I’ve read and reread The Color of Redemption and must ask, is this, in part or whole, about a relative or someone you’ve known?

No, I wrote the book because of current race relations I saw in the church—among Christians in the modern church. I was surprised and saddened how Christians thought and felt ethnically, both black and white Christians. And I was saddened the one place that should have been a refuge for me was actually a place I had to be guarded among my heavenly family. I was surprised how much one’s culture trumps their faith. I guess that might make The Color of Redemption a fantasy book. LOL!

Q. Your characters leaped off the page and into my heart. This novel is a timely and riveting account of life’s reality—then and now—fear, prejudice, tribulations, hate, forgiveness, and love…God’s love for us…in spite of our faults. Do you have a life verse that brought you to and carried you through writing this powerful story?

1 Corinthians 11:17-34. I realized as we celebrate the Lord’s table, we don’t all recognize every believer as partakers of His body and blood. This scripture, of course along with many others, should wake us up that we all have one source of eternal life—Jesus!

Q. In my early teens I read a new book in our church library entitled Red Like Mine. And I know exactly what you mean. The church librarian must not have read the book. My own mother asked what I was reading and when she heard and I returned the book, it suddenly disappeared out of our church library. Shameful! And that book has remained with me all these years. I grew up in the deep south—in the ‘50’s…a few years before Katie’s story and know firsthand the need for telling Katie’s story. The bondage, white hoods, and burning crosses were as despised and feared then as they are now. I saw them. And the silence of multitudes who disagreed, yet feared speaking. What is your purpose in writing The Color of Redemption? What do you want the reader to take away from this incredible story?

I was na├»ve to think I could walk into any church and be welcomed as a fellow believer. But sadly, this is not true. Blacks speak disparately of whites and whites avoid blacks—not all, of course. But the divide in many churches is too wide and shouldn’t even exist. My hope is Christians will one day realize we should be bold examples to the world of God’s love abd what a unified body looks like.

Q. And finally, a very selfish question…well, not so much a question as a hope…please tell us there’s going to be a sequel. Or at least a WIP? And, how long do we have to wait for more from Lynn Cornell?
Interesting! I could have written a three-book series focusing on Katie’s life in the south. In earlier drafts, I explored her husband’s journey and the town they lived in. And I have enough in my head for a sequel, but at present, I have no plans for a sequel.
I have finished two first drafts—God’s Pearl, Man’s Find—just a working title. This story is about a gold-digger who finds God’s worth in her and finds love God’s way. In God’s Honor—the second book tells a story about a zealous Muslim (a female Paul), an Iranian secret police officer who comes to faith, falls in love, and marries the Marine who smuggles her to America.

First drafts, hmmm? That means at least another year to wait? Well The Color of Redemption was certainly worth waiting for! Do you have any closing comments for your readers? Oh, BTW, Lynn is giving away a signed copy of his marvelous novel. So be sure to leave a comment to toss your name in the hat for this copy.

DiAne, I’d like to close by urging Christians to pray for our nation. Pray for our President. Whether we agree with him or his politics, God has placed him as head of our nation. I pray God would give him wisdom, grace, mercy to lead our country. And I urge everyone to pray for the victims of the shootings in Las Vegas and for all the victims of the hurricanes that have hit our country hard.

Thank you for having me on The Rough Diamond Mine. Sure hope your followers will read The Color of Redemption and leave me a review.

Lynn, the pleasure is ours. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Consider yourselves reminded, folks. After all, that's the way you all can let us know you've enjoyed our writing. 'Cause writing can sometimes be a very lonely occupation. And don't forget to leave a comment here so you can be entered in the drawing for a signed copy of Lynn's book!

And here's my review of this spectacular book...

"Scrolling through FB friend invitations I found Mr. Cornell’s request and looked at his page. And as I clicked through his posts there was a picture of his book, The Color or Redemption, and the voice in my soul whispered You must read this book. So I purchased it.

The rest is history. After reading the first page, I couldn’t put the book down. I’m sure part of the attraction was the period and place in history. I grew up in the deep south during this time. And while some of Mr. Cornell’s words were gritty and difficult to read, I know first-hand they are absolute truth. Evil has been with us since the Garden, but certain times in our history have screamed the ugly reality of evil more clearly than others—and such is the time and story of The Color of Redemption—and such are our times.

In light of the current national and world crisis of anger and hate, this book should be on everyone’s must-read list. Mr. Cornell weaves a story painting pictures you can touch, smell, and feel, other scenes there is nothing to do but weep. And still in other chapters the Spirit of God touched areas in my life God desires to change.

Mr. Cornell understands and writes about real solutions. Eternal solutions…for anyone with ears to hear and a heart to forgive in Jesus name. God gave us the answer, but that answer requires the humility of dying to self and living in complete obedience to Christ because He died for you and me.

How does that play out in everyday life? Read The Color of Redemption, an inspired up-close and personal searching of my heart. Wish I could give ten stars! Five is all they allow. Great book. Thank you, Mr. Cornell."


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Gay N Lewis' New Release - Mattie's Choice!

It is my pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite authors, Gay N Lewis. I have read many of her books. 

1.Tell us a little about Gay Lewis and why she decided to become an author.

Interesting question. I don’t think I made a conscious decision to become an author, but I’ve always been a story teller. I told the story of Noah to a church audience as a preschooler, and I wrote stories in childhood. When I was six years old, I wrote a musical drama with two kids plus me to perform the thing. We sang and danced in the play. I charged the neighborhood kids two pennies to attend the performance. The kids came and I was pennies richer.

One of my most embarrassing moments came when I was a freshman in high school. I had nothing to do in study hall, so I decided to begin a story. A cute, popular, jock sat at my table. He was a junior and I was in awe of him. He grabbed my story, read it, and then made fun of it.  To say I was crushed is an understatement. That was years ago, and I remember it like yesterday. Bullies exist. I wrote about them in Sarah and a Date for Mackenzie. Even though I felt humiliation from that insensitive nutcase, I continued to write. I ran across pictures recently of my church youth group in another drama I’d written for a sweetheart banquet.

2. You are most known for your "Sarah" books. For those readers who have not been introduced to this lovable, bumbling angel, can you tell us a little about Sarah series?

Thank you! I’m so pleased readers fell in love with Sarah. She’s has a good heart and a sweet spirit, but she is impulsive and makes one mistake after another. Her Creator gave her empathy for humans. This compassion causes her to break the rules, and we see ourselves through Sarah’s goofed-up experiences. We all bumble from time to time. Many of her incidents have actually happened to me. Like me, she’s always lost. She loves stilettos but can’t walk in them. My Sarah books aren’t preachy, but I learn from Sarah’s mistakes, and I hope others do as well.

3. Tell us about your newest work, Mattie's Choice...

My husband’s family inspired this story, and it has been on my heart for years. Mattie’s Choice is a historical, Christian, and Women’s fiction book about two women married to abusive brothers. I admired my mother-in-law. She lived during perilous times. Her sister-in-law was her best friend. In 1925, women were supposed to be submissive, stay married, and if abuse occurred, it was considered by society to be their fault. My mother-in-law faced such things, and I don’t know how she did it. I dedicated the book to Mae (mother-in-law) and Kathleen (aunt by marriage). Many of the events in the book actually occurred to these two women. For instance, my mother-in-law wasn’t allowed to see her twin brother or other family members. When a son was hospitalized, she wasn’t permitted to be with him. You’ll see Mattie faced with the same situations. I wonder what I would have done if I’d been in her shoes.

3. Wow, that is an interesting topic. I know from personal experience, emotional abuse by a controlling hubby is still prevalent today. I know this book will open eyes and hopefully help women. So tell me, what made you decide to go a different direction and write Mattie's Choice based on your past in-laws?

Actually, Women’s Fiction was always my first choice, but a sweet, petite angel popped into my head, and I wrote fantasy instead. Mattie’s Choice, and Clue into Kindness are women’s fiction novels and they deal with controlling husbands. Mattie’s Choice is historical, and Clue into Kindness is contemporary.

4. I have read Clue into Kindness and thought it was an excellent novella. The characters were real, and you showed their good and bad sides. What do you want the readers to take away with them after reading Mattie’s Choice?

I hope women will find a way to comfort and help other sisters who find themselves in an emotionally or physically abusive situation. Study questions are included and this book is designed to make readers examine situations and think.

5. What has God shown you in the process?

Choices aren’t easy. Sometimes they’re painful, and consequences follow.

6. What's next on your plate?

I have a sequel to Mattie’s Choice that I’m working on. It too is historical, but it also has romance. All my books are Christian.

7. Where can readers find you (and your books) on the web?

The Sarah books are available in print, eBook, and audio.
For more information, please go to http ://
Gay would love to have you see her video trailers and become a follower of her blog. and also on Twitter @GayNLewis2.

Sarah has her own Facebook page. Follow Sarah on Facebook@ Sarah Wingspand


Thanks so much ,Gay, for being on The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction. 
 To order Maggie's Choice  (and I know you'll want to) go to this link.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Count it All Joy with April McGowan (Giveaway!)




Hello, there, folks! I'm excited to interview a very special lady today...April McGowan. In addition to the interview, April is hosting a fabulous giveaway of Hold the Light so check out the details at the end of the post. Right now, let's get started!


Renee: Hi April, welcome to the Diamond Mine! I'm so happy you're here. For those new to the Christian Fiction world, how about a quick introduction?

April: My name is April McGowan, and I am a contemporary women’s fiction author with a heart to write about the wounds we carry and God’s great healing providence.

Renee: And quite the gifted author you are! I'd love to talk about how you do that...write about our wounds and God's healing. What makes your latest book, Hold the Light special, possibly in that regard?

April: My book centers on a young artist and her dealing with losing her sight, finding her place again in the world, and reestablishing her footing with God. She feels like He’s taken the gift He gave her away—I think it speaks to anyone who had plans for their lives and were forced to change them due to circumstances outside their control. I’m not afraid to ask the hard questions—and I am secure knowing God has all the answers.

Renee: Yes, He does have all of them, doesn't He? If we are brave enough to accept them, no matter what they may be. Your artist sounds like an interesting character, a deep one. How do you make and keep your characters "three-dimensional," if you understand my meaning?

April: I make sure to really know my characters inside and out before I begin writing. They have flaws and wounds. They suffer from brokenness—but they also harbor hope. I usually draw on real experiences around me to embed them in, and write from my own pain and hopes and joys.

Renee: That's a great place to start any story...the characters. I've tried other places as well as techniques but they just fall short. What would you say is your biggest challenge as an author?

April: My biggest challenge comes from living with chronic illness. I have Common Variable Immunodeficiency Disease—a genetic condition that keeps my body from producing antibodies, so I can’t fight colds or infections. Because of sickness and fatigue, I can’t write every day, and that makes is difficult to finish….anything! But, by God’s grace, He lifts me up and strengthens me for the tasks He puts before me. Even if I don’t get to do what I want to do, I know He is with me.

Renee: Wow, April, that's called "walking through fire." I admire you for remembering who gives you the strength to face the day and to write your stories. God is so good. What would you do if you couldn't write anymore?

April: I’ve thought about that often—which is embedded in my story about Amber and losing her sight. What would it be like if I got so sick I couldn’t do what I loved anymore? I’ve had to give up many things I’ve loved due to illness. So far, though, writing has stayed. And I’m going to keep going, even if it’s only a chapter a month, until I’m done.

Renee: And enjoy every minute of it! Do you have any hobbies?

April: I love reading and I enjoy drawing and playing board games. I’m also a novice drummer—with high aspirations, but little energy. Still. I love it.

Renee: I remember the time we bought our son a drum set. His aspirations for being the best neighborhood drummer didn't last long. Maybe two months? Thankfully! (Did I say that?) Anyway, the drum set was sold the next summer in a garage sale, and I was the happiest mom on the block. LOL I love my guitar although I wouldn't say I'm the best, but, yes, I love it especially high in the to a crystal clear lake. Do you have a favorite spot like that?

April: I LOVE the ocean. It’s so peaceful and yet wild and untamed. You can’t stand against it, and you have to respect it. It is a place where I feel the closest to God because every aspect reminds me of Him—the expanse, power, beauty, and life.

Renee: Kind of like my mountains, huh? I love the water, too. So does my dog. In fact, he's a little obsessed about it. He went ballistic this last week when it rained. In and out, in and out of the house...all day long! The cat watched him as if he was a complete idiot. He finally collapsed on the living room floor around five o'clock and didn't move the rest of the evening. Animals. Do you have any pets?

April: Ha! After a near two-year hiatus from having cats, we were ready again (our last two passed on from illness and old age). In July, I went to a shelter to adopt two male littermates, but they were ill—and we’d had enough of that for a while. I made a cursory walk around the shelter and this little black leg with a white paw kept reaching out through the bars to me. Before I knew it, I walked out with a feisty tuxedo female, Saorise (seer-sha). Then a month later, I went to find her a friend, a younger male (so she could keep her princess standing) and found Xander, an all-black, 5-month-old kitty. But, Xander had a cage mate who he’d been with for most of his little life—Liam (4 months). So, I came home with them both (you can’t break up besties!) So, we went from no cats to three kittens in the space of three weeks!

Renee: Three cats! My husband would kill me. He only tolerates my Shasta. At least, that's what he says. But I can't say much, the man has suffered a lot due to her. I've lost count of the surgeries...April, you are a true inspiration to me. Is there a special quote or saying that comes to your mind in times of need or adversity?

April: “Count it all joy.” The phrase is taken from James 1: 2-4. I’ve learned to submit my ways to the Lord and face each challenge with Him. My suffering has absolutely produced perseverance and a joy that surpasses all understanding. Through each trial, each new diagnosis, each sickness or loss, I grow more reliant on the Lord. I get to see His power worked out in my weakness—my illness has become a blessing.

Renee: As I said, an inspiration. Thank you for that. If you could say one thing about your books, what would it be?

April: My books deal with the brokenness we all face, and point us to the Healer and holder of true Hope, Jesus.

Renee: Thank you so much for being with us today, April. And if anyone is having a rough day, remember...Count it all joy!



April McGowan

Rules: Entrants must comment on this post and include at least their first name and email address to validate their entry. Prizes include one signed copy and one e-copy of Hold the Light by April McGowan. Two winners will be selected from eligible entries approximately seven days following post date by random draw with signed copy winner selected first followed by e-copy winner. Winners will be notified via email. If winner does not respond with 72 hours, another winner will be selected. Contest only valid within the United States.


About the Book:

To an artist, the light is everything. So, what is Amber supposed to do when facing blindness?
Amber spent her life adapting first to being abandoned by her birth mother as a toddler, and then to the death of her adoptive father in her teen years. Now she's moved past all that, loving life as an independent woman: she has a job as an art instructor and the perfect apartment.
But when a routine eye appointment reveals she's losing her sight, life comes to a halt. Pressures come at her from all sides. Her mother, her boss, her boyfriend and her closest friend, Shannon, all have ideas about what’s best for her.
Even after her blindness counselor, Ethan, befriends her and opens her eyes to new opportunities and the possibility of a deeper relationship, one haunting question remains: How could the God she loved all her life turn everything upside down again?


About the Author:

April McGowan loves to write stories of hope, courage, and inspiration. She, her husband, and two teens live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. April is an award-winning author, member of Oregon Christian Writers, the Christian Author’s Network, and American Christian Fiction Writers. She's also the publicity coordinator for Oregon Christian Writers. When she's not writing, reading down her book list, homeschooling her son, chasing her kittens, Saoirse, Xander, and Liam, or playing board games, you might find her at her drum kit, imagining she's on a world tour. Hey, it could happen.

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