Award-winning author Regina Andrews, a resident of Providence, Rhode Island, grew up in the nearby seaside village of Barrington. After graduating from Providence College she attended the University of Delaware, eventually earning her Master's Degree in American Civilization from Brown University. Her hobbies include travel, museums, theater, music, singing and gardening as well as reading.
Welcome back to my blog, Regina. Sterling Lakes Series, Book 3: Praise of the Heart is an Inspirational Romance. Please tell us about your new book.
Thank you so much for inviting me to return, Linda. It is a joy to be here. Sterling Lakes Series, Book 3, Praise of the Heart, opens at St. Luke’s Church Vacation Bible School in Sterling Lakes. Former resident and pro baseball star Cliff Markham returns to town to help with fundraising for the church renovation project. As he approaches the church, he sees the children and adults outside and notices one child who appears to be an outcast from the others. What is going on?
Then there is one adult in particular who piques his interest – a beautiful woman in a blue dress. She is introduced to him as the Town Librarian, Laura Matthewson, who is also helping with the vacation Bible school. Although Laura is quite shy, they become acquainted.
Through a series of events, Cliff quickly recognizes that Sterling Lakes is not the idyllic town he remembered from his past. Instead, it is a town filled with good people dealing with heavy issues. So much lies beneath the surface of what is going on in the town; will he be able to help? And despite his interest in Laura, she seems determined to keep her distance from him. Could this be due to her own shadowy past?
Praise of the Heart is an inspirational romance novel where both the hero and heroine grow in their relationships with God as well as in their romantic relationship with each other. Though many conflicts occur, and both main characters undergo personal and spiritual growing pains, there is a happy, satisfying and believable ending that readers in today’s world can relate to.
This sounds like a wonderful romance. Can each book be read separately or do we have to read them in order?
Each book in the Sterling Lakes series is easily read separately, Linda. They are written as stand-alones for that very reason, in case someone wants to try one and then decides to skip around. That said, there is not too much backstory in each book for the readers who are familiar with the series to go through (I hope!). Since I truly value everyone’s time – especially my readers - and I don’t want them to have to go skipping through a lot of extraneous pages - I carefully crafted the pertinent details and wove the relevant background information through the story so it would flow. So the reader gets the information they need while keeping the tone of the book. An interesting challenge for a writer! Hopefully, I have created a cohesive work that is very readable. A stand-alone book that maintains its integrity. Great question. There’s always room for improvement. I hope readers will let me know how successful they think I have been in my efforts. J
Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?
My husband asked me: “Why don’t you do something about sports?” After that, I was on my way J There’s something about team players that I find so appealing. Perhaps because they are focused on a matter larger than themselves. A greater good, if you will. That character trait translated very well, I think to the situation in Sterling Lakes. Cliff also makes a good contrast to Laura, who is a fashion model and a loner.
You love to write Inspirational sweet romances. What intrigues you most about writing love stories?
Discovering how my characters grow in the emotional, spiritual and practical dimensions of their personalities as individuals, first, and then how they mesh together as a couple. This, to me, is fascinating! But I really love the Inspirational romances because there are actually 3 main characters – the hero, the heroine and God. All the levels of growth and development become more intricate and complicated when God is the true source of all motivation, plus the joy is deeper and more meaningful when the spiritual aspect is a main part of the story.
I totally agree. I feel it a blessing to have inspirational romances to enjoy. Too many times the world cuts into our lives and we can forget the spiritual things of life. Books like this can remind us to have faith in a loving Heavenly Father.