Monday, February 22, 2016

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Renee Blare

Born in Arkansas and raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, Renee Blare finds herself nestled against the Black Hills with her husband, crazy dogs and ornery cat. She serves the community of northeastern Wyoming as a pharmacist while penning her Christian stories of action and intrigue. Her first book, Beast of Stratton was an ACFW Genesis semi-finalist and her series, the Snowy Range Chronicles captures the essence of life in the modern west with the release of To Soar on Eagle's Wings.
A true outdoor gal, she loves to fish and hunt and has been seen picking away on her classical guitar next to a mountain lake. She also enjoys interacting with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.

Welcome to my blog, Renee. Please tell us about your novel: To Soar on Eagle’s Wings.

Thank you for having me, Linda. I’m excited to be here. Of course, I’d love to tell you about To Soar. That’s what I like to call it. J It’s the first book of seven planned novels in my Snowy Range Chronicles series. The Snowy Range is a mountain range in the southern part of Wyoming. It’s in the foothills of these mountains that you’ll find Timber Springs (my own little paradise of a make-believe town where this series takes place…for the most part). This novel and series introduces the world to the rugged wiles of modern Wyoming life and follows the Fitzgerald family as they piece their lives back together following a tragedy which rips them apart at the seams…the death of Becca, the matriarch of the family.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

I actually lived in Mt. Pleasant, Texas when I wrote this novel. I was far from the mountains of Wyoming and rather homesick. After buying a “Christian” book on Amazon and ranting for an hour about the not-so pure content I’d read in the first two chapters, my husband challenged me to “write my own.” So I did. What came to mind? Home. Not the multitude of trees, marshy lakes, or beautiful green landscape outside my window, but the towering rugged mountains, icy winters, and small town life of Wyoming so far, far away. I pictured a large family of children, Christian, but human, imperfect with their own little quirks. The Snowy Range Chronicles was born that day.

You are so right, Renee. We need more “clean” romances. What kind of research did you do?

To Soar on Eagle’s Wings was primarily written from my own experiences and knowledge. I did have to research current practices of the Wyoming Game and Fish and how they interact with local law enforcement to verify my own “opinions,” so to speak. Things do change over the years, you know. The upcoming books in the series have taken a bit more research. J The town of Timber Springs is a fictional town but for those who may be curious and know about Wyoming, it’s inspired by several real towns already in existence…Albany, Saratoga, Centennial, Lander, and Jackson. My little town is very small and is located at the foothills of the Snowy Range, southeast of Laramie.

Please tell us about the main character in this story and what you love about him or her.

Rachel Fitzgerald is a preacher’s daughter. She strives to be perfect but knows she’s not, and the illusion is an overbearing load. She’s also a twin which, in many ways, kept her steady and sane amidst the burden. But following her mother’s death, he vanishes from her life and she’s left to battle hers…alone. Rachel is a special person. She shows the battle every Christian faces, not just a preacher’s child. I love how she faces amazing pressure and insecurity and doesn’t buckle. She reaches into the depths of her soul and moves forward. Even in the face of uncertainty and fear, she has enormous strength and faith.

Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

About me? That’s the one thing that I’ve had to get used to about interviews. I don’t talk about myself very easily. Well, let’s see… I know. I remember a time in South Louisiana (I was born in the south.) when I went to a water park. It was such a cool place to go in the summertime. All of us kids congregated in the shallow end and goofed off as our parents lounged on the beach. The older kids usually took to the deeper part of the bayou or raced down the slide. We loved the dragon. It was tall and green and would spit water out of its snout. It kept us drenched as we splashed in the sweltering summer heat. Then…we’d giggle and dunk each other under the muddy water.

It wasn’t until a few years later and we’d moved to Wyoming that reports of this same park being closed drifted our way. I was confused. It was such a fun place to play! My mom said it was for the best but I was so disappointed. I’d never get to go back and splash under the dragon with my friends on summer vacation.

Years later, I discovered alarming news about the water park! It hadn’t merely been closed, but it had been closed the year after my last visit. A huge nest (ball) of water moccasins (snakes) had been disrupted by an unsuspecting child playing around the dragon in the exact spot where I’d been the year before. (They surmised the snakes had been there for a very long time.) I was shocked!

The Lord protected an unsuspecting fool and her friends that day. Why? I don’t know. But I really want to ask Him when I get to Heaven.

Thank you for this wonderful interview, Renee. Below is my review of To Soar on Eagle’s Wings.

"To Soar on Eagle's Wings is such a fun Christian Romance. Even though Rachel is having to deal with the loss of her mother and help her brothers and dearest friend with their little problems, she seems to keep it together. I also enjoyed that the author didn't dwell on the drama of the family, but centered on the the relationship of Rachel and Steve, whom she loved since her teenage years. Steve is so adorable. I loved the fact that he could cook and be so romantic with Rachel and yet he was totally masculine at the same time. I enjoyed this story very much." --Review by Author Linda Weaver Clarke

Visit Renee at these websites:

10 comments:

Linda Moffitt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Moffitt said...

Looks Like it's gonna make a great series Thanks for sharing I love books in western settings and Thanks for the chance to win
My email is iamabho (at) gmail.com

Sonja said...

This sounds so good and I would love to read this! Sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

Melanie Backus said...

I love the title and cover of this book and would really love to read it. Thank you for the opportunity.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Renee Blare said...

Thanks, Linda, Sonja, and Melanie! I'm so glad you stopped by. Sorry it took me so long to stop in. I've been working at the pharmacy this week! :) Crazy days. LOL

Ann Ellison said...

I am a big fan of Renee's and enjoyed your post. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed each of her books. Please do not include me in the drawing as I am blessed to have a copy already.

Melissa Morr said...

Sounds like really good read.

Renee Blare said...

Hi Melissa and Ann! Thanks for stopping by. And Ann, stop it! You're making me blush. LOL

Anonymous said...

thank you

Renee Blare said...

And the winner of the giveaway is...Melanie Backus! Congratulations, Melanie. Thanks to all who stopped by the blog and especially those who commented.

Book Two of the series, Through Raging Waters will be released in July so stay tuned for details!