Tag Archive | Diann Mills

Inquiring Minds Want to Know (Part 1 of 4)

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I asked some of my Facebook friends to ask me questions . . . so the next few weeks, I’ll be answering!

Why romance fiction? How long have you had the passion to write?

I’ve always enjoyed sweet romances. In my late teens early twenties, I was enamored of Georgette Heyer and Marion Chesney’s Regency romances. Clean stories without the explicit sex. I guess you could say I’m a romantic at heart and I long for that. My characters get the love and romance I don’t.

What made you choose writing? What keeps you writing? What motivates you?

I believe God led me to writing by telling me in a dream to do write for National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org) in 2009. I think I had always been afraid to try and once I started the dam broke and I found out how much I love the process of writing a story. I haven’t stopped. Once the characters start forming in my mind and that first scene or general story concept and I start writing, I can’t stop until I’ve come to the end. It becomes like an obsession for me.

Which writers inspire you?

I admire the wit and whimsy of writers like Jen Turano, Mary Conneley and Karen Witemeyer, Brooke Williams, Sandi Bricker and Jan Thomson. I love the characters that Dee Henderson, DiAnne Mills, Ronie Kendig paint in her writing. Combined with suspense it is amazing. Becky Wade, Melissa Tagg, Loree Lough, and Lisa Lickel . . . I wish I could write like all of them, but I’ve had to learn that I have my style and I need to be okay with that.

How is fiction writing a reflection of your Christianity?

I love to encourage others. Jesus told parables and there is power in telling stories that can show the process of sanctification which I hope my characters will go through. I also believe we need to grow emotionally as well as spiritually. I hope I encourage others to persevere in their own journeys, spiritually, emotionally and relationally. And hopefully the reader will see biblical truths in a new light based on the journey of the characters to motivate them to persevere through the trials that come their way.

Pothole road damageWhat inspired the idea for this story?

For Pesto & Potholes I actually started with the concept of the potholes based on something I learned in my undergraduate studies. The idea that healing—whether emotional or physical—can be a rocky journey out of the pit and not necessarily an upward smooth trajectory. I labeled it potholes, my prof was a little surprised but to me, it stuck.

For the entire Orchard Hill series, for which Pesto & Potholes is the first book, I wanted to explore one of the things I didn’t understand early in my faith journey was why the church was so important. Especially when so many young adults walk away. Beyond worship and teaching, I realized it was about the relationships. While I agree that the theology of origins and understanding how science supports Scripture is important, but I believe the disenfranchisement of younger adults is deeper than that.

Peter Scazzero wrote a book called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and he posits that when we come to Christ we are born into a new family and need to learn the new rules. Not the “do’s and don’t’s” but how to relate to others in a way that honors God and His other image-bearers. Many times the way we’ve been raised has not been as healthy as the design God has for us in relationships. We are not mature if we only grow spiritually and not emotionally. So . . . I hope that my stories show the value and importance of the new “family” how valuable those relationships are for us to grow up in Christ as well as cope with the ups and downs of life.

More questions will be answered in the weeks to come. If you have some, please write them in the comments below!

Breach of Trust (Book Review)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

breach of trustDiAnn Mills is a fabulous romantic suspense author so when I came across her book Breach of Trust, I was thrilled. This book was the winner of the 2010 Christy Award as well as the 2010 Inspirational Readers Choice Award. And for good reason.

When Daniel Keary runs as a candidate for governor of her state, former CIA agent, Paige Rogers is on edge. Having worked with him seven years ago, his betrayal and lies cost her everything. Her identity, her family, her career . . . and her son. Now he wants her under his thumb but Paige isn’t quite so gullible. Her newfound faith since the tragedy of those events, propels her to work on the side of truth, before more people are killed to bankroll Keary’s dreams.

In hiding as a small town librarian, she runs into a snag with the attentions of the High School football coach. But if she admits who she really is, she will lose all she holds dear and risks lives of those she loves most, even those she had befriended in her new town.

But there’s at least one mole, in her town or in the CIA that is undermining her attempts to seek to protect the citizens of her state. But along with choices in who to trust becomes an issue of how she can live a lie while clinging to God. How far can she trust Him with the truth and the outcome if she steps out of the shadows to confront evil?

This was an anxiety producing read. It was hard to put down because the characters were so well-developed and the layers of mystery unfolded at such a pace to keep the reader wondering if Paige was really going to succeed, much less survive. Could all the dreams had sacrificed be restored to her if she stepped out in faith? You’ll have to read the book to find out! There’s a reason it won awards.

Firewall (Book Review)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

FirewallI was thrilled when Diann Mills asked me if I would be willing to review her book, Firewall, put out by Tyndale House Publishers. Not a bad gig when you get a complimentary copy.

I’ve loved Diann’s writings and her romantic suspenses have caused me to lose sleep more than once in the past. Firewall was no different in that regard. At 400 pages, I read it in less than 24 hours.

Taryn is a genious who makes her living designing software that passes through the highest security clearances with the U.S. Government and features many levels of incription to protect against hackers. Hence the name of the book, Firewall.

Taryn had never really dated but had strong morals. Swept off her feet with a whirlwind romance, she marries and a day later her husband and her are about to embark on their honeymoon when a terrorist bomb almost kills her at the airport.

Special Agent Grayson Hall is after whoever bombed the airport and killed countless people. Top of his list is Taryn Young and her supposed husband who has suddenly gone missing. Now is job is to keep Taryn alive while the FBI tries to unravel jsut what is happening and determine if it is a precuror of worse to come.

Grayson suspects Russia and a tie between the software controling oil temperatures that Taryn designed. Is she working for the wrong side or can she be trusted.

On the run and desperate to prove her innocence, Taryn prays and senses God’s leading to confide in Grayson. As they unravel the growing threats and repeated attempts against them, she seeks to find the threat through the spiderweb of leads that will keep more people from dying.

Grayson begins to believe in Taryn’s innocence and has to find a way to use her to help the FBI solve the case while keeping her alive. Not an easy task to do as the introverted software developer has a bit of sass and tendency to take risks when he least expects it. This geek has a bevy of hidden surprises as well that didn’t show up in his reports on her.

This story is eerily echoing some of the themes goign on today in the U.S. with tensions with Russia and the threat of terrorist attacks. Throw in complicated technology, a few double crosses, a three year old little girl held hostage and a blooming love and you have a story that is as impossible to put down as it would be for me to even think of designing a firewall.

I loved this story and the characters and the depth of complexity Diann weaves in along with the challenges of faith under life or death circumstances.