Fab Four Book Picks

Book reviews by the Fab Four and our Fab Friends

Thursday, April 12, 2007


1. Squirrel: Welcome to Fab Four, Deb! Nowhere to Hide is your debut release novel. CONGRATULATIONS! Is it the first book you'd written, and can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?

Hi Cheryl! Thanks for inviting me to your blog and for your interest in NOWHERE TO HIDE. Yes, it's my debut novel, but I've been writing for a number of years and have other completed manuscripts. Actually, I started doing articles for magazines years ago, then put everything on hold to raise my children. When they were in high school, I wrote for a medical laboratory magazine and a number of women's publications while I was also working on full-length fiction. Now, I'm spending all my time writing inspirational romantic suspense for Steeple Hill.

2. I just loved Matt Lawson, the hero of this book. How did you manage to pin down the male point of view so well?
Since I grew up as an Army brat, married a guy in the Army and now have a son who's followed in his dad's footsteps, the take-charge type of guy seems to come naturally to me. Matt is a former cop from Miami who's seen it all, but he's got a big heart and a tender side, especially where Lydia and Tyler are concerned.

3. Do you plot your stories? Or fly by the seat of your pants when writing?

Because my books are suspense, I like to have a detailed outline before I begin to write. Of course, inspiration often takes over and new plot ideas sometimes appear. Usually, I keep any of the "surprises" in place until I finish the first draft. Then I decide it they need to be cut. More often than not, those jewels that seem to come from out of the blue provide new facets that enrich the story.

4. How do you get to know your characters? What is that process like?

I jot down a list of traits and have a good idea about my characters' back story, motivation, goals and conflict. Then my critique partners quiz me by asking all sorts of unusual questions about my hero and heroine. I end up learning even more about what makes them tick during the Q&A.

5. What is a typical writing day for you?

I try to start everyday with prayer and scripture, then settle in at my computer mid-morning and work until late afternoon. After dinner, I often return to my office to catch up on emails.

6. How do you manage your writing time, with family time and church committments, etc?When my children were young, they always came first. That's probably why it took me so long to write anything in those days. Now that they're grown, I have the luxury of a full workweek. Saturdays are usually filled with meetings, shopping trips or errands. Sunday morning is church, and the afternoon is spent relaxing and getting ready for the upcoming week.

7. This plot was really intriguing. What kinds of things spark story ideas? And when do you know that an idea is a keeper...ie, will turn into a full fledge book?

An idea usually perks around my brain for a few months while I'm working on another story. When I'm ready to get serious about the idea, I do a modified version of Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Priniciple by starting with a one-liner, then building to a one-page outline, then chapter outlines, then finally a fairly detailed outline of the book. By getting the main points on paper, I'm able to see the holes that need to be filled. All that prep work makes writing the book so much easier.

8. This book was both riveting, and moving. What is your secret for evoking emotion in readers with a scene?

I'm going to get a big head, Cheryl, with all your compliments! No secret formula for emotion, but I think that making the characters take risks increases the emotion, whether they're emotional risks or physical.

9. Given a choice between riding a roller coaster, or feeding ducks at a park, which would you choose? Why? What about your heroine, Lydia? Which would she choose and why?

Lydia and I are both afraid of roller coasters and would prefer to sit at the park and feed the ducks. However, if Lydia's son were in danger, she'd do anything to protect him--even ride the big coasters!

10. I loved this story so much, I'm wondering what else you have in the works? When is your next release? Title? Publisher/line? When and where can we pick it up?

SCARED TO DEATH, my second Inspirational Romantic Suspense from Steeple Hill, will be in bookstores in August. It's set in a small fictional town in Georgia, called Mercy, where bad things are happening to good people. My third book from Steeple Hill will be out in March 2008.

11. Do you have a website you'd like to share with readers of this blog, so they can come visit?

I hope everyone will stop by my web site at http://www.debbygiusti.com/. Sign my guest book and learn the details of the Cross My Heart contest I'm running from now until the end of May.Thanks so much, Cheryl, for this great interview. Your readers might like to know that we met at the Romance Writers of America conference in 2005 when we were both unpublished and hoping an editor would be interested in our work. Now, we're both Steeple Hill authors. Congratulations on all your success! And thanks for letting me visit.

Yes, Deb! I still get giddy thinking about it. And also, for those of you attending Nationals (RWA this year) Debby will be presenting a workshop and I hear she's a FABULOUS speaker. I plan to be there. Debby and I and hope to see some of you there.
Cheryl (Squirrel of the Fab Four)

While you're at the store, pick up a copy of Nowhere to Hide IN STORES NOW!!! These characters stuck with me weeks after finishing the book. Very strong characterization and moving plot. Excellent read! And I'm NOT just saying that because I know Deb. This book is FABULOUS...as is her writing. No wonder Steeple Hill nabbed her right up.

Be on the lookout for Deb's upcoming releases too because I'm fairly certain we'll be hearing news on a release date for book three SOON! Wink. Wink.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Reliance

by M. L. Tyndall

I dasn't be havin' th' aft co'er copy o' this here log.

Pammer here: I like th' first book. This, book two o' th' Legacy o' th' King`s Pirates, be e'en better! Th' characters be havin' grown an' changed. In this here log they be faced wi' e'en bigger obstacles such as a presumed Davy Jones' locker an' losin' touch wi' God an' His will.
I jus' be havin' t' remark on how real th' characters be. I love these characters. (I be really tryin' nay t' give anythin' away here.) This here log at one point had me cryin' so bad I couldna be seein' th' page anymore. An' sea dogs an' land lubbers in me house has picked 't up an' started readin' 't. Me husband caught me readin' 't an' asked me if I`d gotten t' a certain part. I spake Nay. He smiled an' nodded an' spake, "Ye`re gonna love 't." Me husband`s matey asked me exactly what an ARC be. He confessed that he`d been readin' 't too. So know that th' story goes o'er pretty good wi' men too.
I love well written novels that happen on ships an' this one fits th' bill. Good job. Waitin' fer Book Three.