Monday, April 24, 2017

Interview with Regency Romance Author Donna Hatch


Book Giveaway Apr 24 – May 1: A Regency Romance, Heart Strings. To enter the contest, make a comment and leave your email. One paperback book: US and Canada. One ebook: International for Heart Strings.

Donna Hatch, author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” is a hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, the force that drove her to write and publish eighteen historical romance titles, to date. She is a multi-award winner, a sought-after workshop presenter, and juggles multiple volunteer positions as well as her six children. Also a music lover, she sings and plays the harp, and she loves to dance—especially ballroom-style. Donna and her family recently transplanted from her native Arizona to the Pacific Northwest where she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

Welcome to my blog. Today we’re giving away Heart Strings, but we’re talking about The Matchmaking Game. I hope that makes sense to everyone. Haha. Please tell us about your newest novel.

Thanks, Linda, it’s always a pleasure to be here. The Matchmaking Game is actually a novella of roughly one hundred pages about best friends who become more. Rowena’s childhood friend, Evan, has returned home from war a handsome, but mysterious stranger. In an effort to bring happiness to her father, not to mention uncover the Evan she remembers from their youth, Rowena seeks to unite their parents. Who better to match a lonely widow and widower together than their adoring children? Her matchmaking game could help their parents find happiness and draw out her childhood friend buried beneath Evan’s new reserve … or it could break more than one heart.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

Honestly, the opening line came to me whole, then I built the story around it in a purely seat-of-the-pants manner. That seems to be how I float most of the time. Here is what started it all: Rowena Emerson studied her longtime friend, Evan Barnes, and tried to judge by his expression if he’d be game for a new scheme. It was hard to tell; he had come home from the war a mysterious stranger, with only glimpses of his former playful self who had always been ready for a new lark.

What kind of research did you do?

Most of my research is ongoing so I needed very little new information for this story, however, I did review the process of a lady mounting a horse side saddle just to be sure I got the details correct for a key scene I wrote in this story.

Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

The heroine was so fun! She’s sort of a tom-boy (although that term was not yet in use) and a fun-loving, live-life-to-the fullest adventurer whose best friend is a neighbor boy named Evan. Evan never really saw her as a girl…until he came home from the war and they took a good hard look at each other.

Here is an excerpt from The Matchmaking Game, where Evan first realizes Rowena is no longer the gangly friend from his youth:

Evan laced his fingers together so Rowena could mount her horse. A pert smile came his way before she placed her left foot in his cupped hands. She put one hand on his shoulder to steady herself as he boosted her up. Her soft body brushed his arm and chest. Her scent, something soft and feminine he could not name, tingled his senses. Mere inches away, her smooth cheek and moist lips taunted him. His chest squeezed and his knees wobbled. Awareness of her, of the desirable woman she had become, rendered him immobile. She glanced at him, one brow raised, and a half smile curving those luscious lips. A burning energy formed in the middle of his stomach and shot outward like sunbursts.
She parted those lips and spoke. “Am I too heavy for a big, strong man like you?”
“Er, no. Of course not.” He cleared his throat again and boosted her up with a bit too much force.
Despite his aggressive boost, she placed her right leg over the leg rest of the sidesaddle and found her balance. She settled the long, heavy skirts of her riding habit around her, while he helped position her left foot in the stirrup.
With the reins in one hand and her riding crop in the other, she eyed him with an expectant lift to her brows. “Shall we?”
He shook his head, stopped staring, and mounted OtoƱo. It must be all Winnie’s talk about courting Rowena that had him so rattled. He couldn’t entertain such an idea. He’d made a vow to Joseph and all but promised himself to Cynthia. Besides, as an additional benefit, Cynthia’s dowry could restore the family fortune without having to sell off some of its most precious assets and break up generations of holdings. His path was already paved. Honor and duty dictated his next move.

Where is your website and blog so my readers can check out other books you have written?

www.donnahatch.com is website, or you can go directly to my bookshelf at www.donnahatch.com/bookshelf

Thank you so much for having me here today, Linda!

Thank you for this wonderful interview. I hope my readers check out your new book. You can purchase an ebook for only $2.99 at Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B01MUC3MAZ

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Interview with Women's Fiction Author Renee Blare


Book Giveaway Apr 15 – 30: A Women's Fiction, Racing Hearts

To enter the contest, make a comment and leave your email. 
Ebook: International from Amazon.

Enter more giveaways here.

A pharmacist who serves her community located in the wondrous foothills of the Wind River Mountains, Renee loves to write Christian romantic suspense and does so any chance she gets. Her stories reflect the power and grace of her Wyoming home and the Almighty God who created it. She invites you to discover what makes her books unique and take a trip with her where the wild meets the Forgiven.
 
The newly wed couple, Rick and Jordyn, still have the newness of marriage and romance in their lives but soon experience what tribulation is all about when her pregnancy begins to have complications. The complications are real and I could feel Rick’s concern for his wife as he cares for her. The couple is adorable and I enjoyed their relationship and interaction with one another. I, too, had to go through a similar experience as this couple with two pregnancies, so I understood what they were going through. Not able to do much and having to stay in bed most of the day can be so boring for a pregnant woman. It is as if Jordyn’s life is at a stand-still for so many months.” –By Author Linda Weaver Clarke

Welcome to my blog, Renee. Please tell us about your novel, Racing Hearts.

Hi, Linda! Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here and would love to talk about this book. Racing Hearts is one of my newest releases and is dear to my own heart. It’s actually inspired and based on a true story…my own in fact.

I wrote this book as a novella for Prism Book Group’s “Love Is” Series which is based on 1 Corinthians 4:13 but the idea for this story had been rolling around in my head for a long time. In other words I had been wanting to write it a long time. When my publisher, then Joan Alley, put out the request for this series, I jumped at it. I knew this story would be perfect for the “trust” feature of this series. Everyone agreed and signed me for it! I was so excited and then I started writing. The rest is history.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

As I was saying before, the inspiration for Racing Hearts came from history, my own past. This story is based on my own marriage and my pregnancy with our only child. We like to call him our miracle. Although the story is not an autobiography, the marital, physical, and spiritual challenges are real. I bared my soul (as well as my husband’s with his permission) in Racing Hearts. Why? To show the world that life isn’t always predictable or fair. And we don’t always have the answers especially when we’re starting out, but God is good and He’s all we need…if we trust in Him and each other.

This story sounds intriguing because you have put so much of yourself into it. What kind of research did you do?

When I began the process with Racing Hearts, I really didn’t know how to write it. I’m a contemporary writer. I write romantic suspense and mystery. If anyone reads my novels, they know that action is a driving force in my novels. I also do not plot! I start with character sketches and a general timeline and go for it.

So here I was with a story and I already knew it. ALL of it. The characters, the plot, the setting, and it was in the PAST! I was completely out of my element. What I did have going for me was that it did have suspense and nobody knew about it…not even my own family (except for my husband.)
So, I brought the story into the present but that took research. Was my pregnancy complication in 1991 as serious today as it was yesterday? Did it warrant the restrictions? Would it be treated the same way? The prognosis? Would my labor be treated the same way? I had to consider all of these things. And finally, should I keep the same setting?

I tried to change the setting and actually consulted with my editor on it before I began writing. I researched the different areas of Wyoming and decided to make up another town like I did with Timber Springs in the Snowy Range Chronicles. When I began writing the story though, it didn’t work. LOL So, the beautiful landscape you’ll find in Racing Hearts is the actual town where my son was born, Jackson, Wyoming.

Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

Rick Folsen is a special kind of guy. He’s a Christian and has a work ethic that’s hard to find or match. An electrician by trade, he’s fought for every inch of success he’s ever achieved in life. Why? Because he’s had to. He’s what many term as a “half-breed.” He’s part white, part Indian, and is married to a white woman. His life isn’t easy for many reasons, but he’s determined to care for Jordyn no matter what it takes, even if that means driving himself into the ground. While working ten and twelve hour days, he strives to make sure his wife obeys doctor’s orders. When Rick realizes that Jordyn’s and his unborn child’s lives may still be ripped away, he struggles to understand the “why’s” and the “how’s,” but in the end, God remains his anchor.

The strength and weaknesses of this character make him a true man and lovable to me. But then I modeled him after my husband. It’s why I continue to love him after twenty-eight years of marriage.

Where is your website and blog so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?

You can check out my website at http://www.reneeblare.com/ . I have podcasts on my website and also a monthly newsletter called the Winding Trail. I’d love for any and all to sign up for my newsletter for all updates and events! Right now, if you sign up and refer a friend, you’ll get a free hand-crafted evangelical tool that my husband and I make called the Soul Catcher. It’s beautiful and handy for all you fishers of men out there. Just email me at contact@reneeblare.com with the name of the person you referred and if they sign up, I’ll send one to you!

My blog is called Renee’s Inspirational Moments and it’s url is https://reneeblare.blogspot.com/ . I’ve been blogging for years now. I actually blogged before I began writing! LOL I started this blog on Blogger, switched to WordPress, and then went back to Blogger because I liked it better. This blog is about Faith for the Journey in our lives, our writing, and our books. I write my own inspirational blog posts in addition to having guest posts, Coffee Corner author interviews, and the Faithful Reviews. I also have special posts including DIY in Faith Posts, Pen to the Page, and others. It’s a great blog that I have dedicated to Christ!

I’m also a founding member and the moderator of the Diamond Mind of Christian Fiction at https://diamondsinfiction.blogspot.com/. Please stop by this blog if you want to find out more about the wonderful treasure trove that Christian Fiction has to offer the world! I’m dedicated to spreading the Good News to this lost and dying world and this is another part of that mission.

For those who may be interested, I do have another blog on WordPress called Cooper, the Water Dog, https://cooperdogblog.wordpress.com/ . That’s my goofy, fun blog that I have on no schedule whatsoever. If you check it out, you’ll see this crazy lab who loves the water and playing around. Yep, his name’s Cooper.

Thank you so much for this interview, Renee. I hope my readers will check this book out.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Interview with Women’s Historical Fiction Author Laurie Lewis


Book Giveaway Apr 10 - 17: Women’s Historical Fiction, The Dragons of Alsace Farm. To enter the contest, make a comment and leave your email. Paperback Copy: U.S. and Canada. Ebook: International.

Laurie (L.C.) Lewis will always be a Marylander at heart—a forever bride, mother, grandma, and a craft-challenged, weather-whining lover of crabs, American history, and the sea. Her ninth published book, Sweet Water, which is also her first romance novella, was inspired by a visit to Oregon’s magnificent coastline, and time spent with Mother Eugenie, upon whom the character Mother Thomasine is based. Laurie’s women’s fiction novels include The Dragons of Alsace Farm (2016), Awakening Avery (2010), and Unspoken (2004), written as Laurie Lewis. Using the pen name L.C. Lewis, she wrote the five volumes of her award-winning FREE MEN and DREAMERS historical fiction series, set against the backdrop of the War of 1812: Dark Sky at Dawn (2007), Twilight’s Last Gleaming (2008), Dawn’s Early Light (2009), Oh, Say Can You See? (2010), and In God is Our Trust, (2011).

Welcome to my blog, Laurie. This book is set after World War II. Even though it’s listed as a woman’s fiction, it also has some romance. Please tell us about The Dragons of Alsace Farm.

The Dragons of Alsace Farm is actually set in 2016, but one of our main characters—Agnes—is an eighty-year-old French woman with dementia, who survived the bombing of Alsace France. Agnes survived the bombing, but internal scars and secrets left by the war continue to plague her. Her grandmother survived the attacks of the Prussian dragoons during WWI. As a child, Agnes transferred the term dragoons to the Nazis, calling them “dragons.” Now every problem that confronts her is a dragon.

Here’s the back-cover blurb: In need of his own redemption, Noah Carter finally confronts his childhood hero, the once-beloved uncle who betrayed him. Instead of vengeance, he offers forgiveness, also granting Uncle John a most curious request—for Noah to work on the ramshackle farm of Agnes Deveraux Keller, a French WWII survivor with dementia. Despite all Agnes has lost, she still has much to teach Noah. But the pair’s unique friendship is threatened when Tayte, Agnes’s estranged granddaughter, arrives to claim a woman whose circumstances and abilities are far different from those of the grandmother she once knew.

Items hidden in Agnes’s attic raise painful questions about Tayte’s dead parents, steeling Tayte’s determination to save Agnes, even if it requires her to betray the very woman she came to save, and the secret her proud grandmother has guarded for seventy years. The issue strains the fragile trust between Tayte and Noah, who now realizes Tayte is fighting her own secrets, her own dragons. Weighed down by past guilt and failures, he feels ill-equipped to help either woman, until he remembers Agnes’s lessons about courage and love. In order to save Agnes, the student must now become the teacher, helping Tayte heal—for Agnes’s sake, and for his.

Is Agnes taken from history? Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

I originally intended to write a WWII novel about Nazi-stolen art, but Agnes’s personality and situation was changed after my mother’s diagnosis of dementia. Agnes is a composite character drawn from many interviews with caregivers, loved ones, and patients suffering with dementia, but it was Mom who inspired our beloved Agnes. The characters Noah and Tayte are loosely based on Mom’s interactions with two mentally disabled tenants who came to live with her during her last year on the farm. Two family therapists helped me fashion the delicate and vulnerable characters of Noah and Tayte, who come to help Agnes, and end up discovering that Agnes has actually been the one helping them.

Interestingly enough, right after The Dragons of Alsace Farm launched, I met a real life Agnes, a true survivor of the bombing of Alsace France, who served as a courier for the Allies when only twelve years old. She and I have become dear friends, and we are in the process of getting her life story down so I can write her memoir.

What kind of research did you do?

Besides online research about the bombing of the Alsace region and Nazi-stolen art, I think my greatest research tool was interviews and conversations on varied topics from the impact of abuse and neglect to how to build a deck. One of my funniest research topics was how to birth a goat.

Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

Oh, that’s like asking to pick my favorite child! I love them all. Agnes is probably the most beloved of any character I’ve ever written. Everyone loves her and knows someone like her. She is strong and brave, even while being terrified about the changes occurring within her mind. Her love is deep, and loyal, but those who have broken her trust reap her wrath, which is no pleasant thing. She is a very intelligent woman, which is actually a hindrance to getting her properly diagnosed because she is able to compensate so well for her diminishing capacities. In Noah’s presence, she feels safe enough to let down her guard and make some peace with the changes, but Tayte’s need to hold on to the grandmother she remembers pushes Agnes beyond her mind’s limits, and leads to a dangerous outcome.

Where is your website and blog so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?

www. laurielclewis.com. Thanks so very much for the interview, Linda! I hope readers will subscribe to my monthly newsletter and receive news about upcoming books, my favorite recipes, some of my friends’ book deals, and excerpts of current projects.

Thank you so much for this interview, Laurie. I read this book and enjoyed it. Here is my review of this book.

“This is a romance/drama filled with mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed this story because I totally fell in love with Noah. He is an awesome young man, so understanding and tender with the elderly woman he is assigned to take care of who has dementia. Noah has to help the heroine of the story to understand her grandmother’s needs. Tayte is a perfectionist and is quite stressful if there is no order in her life. This couple made for a fun but intense relationship throughout the story. They didn’t hit it off so well at first but soon realized the importance of compromise so they can help her grandmother. As the romance develops, it becomes more difficult to put the book down.” –Review by Linda Weaver Clarke

Monday, April 3, 2017

Interview with Children’s Author Sherrill Cannon


Book Giveaway Apr 5 - 17: A Children’s Book, My Little Angel. To enter the contest, make a comment and leave your email. Book to U.S. and Canada. Ebook: International.

Check out other giveaways at The Mommy Island http://themommyisland.blogspot.com and The Kids Did It http://thekidsdidit.com

My Little Angel is Sherrill S. Cannon’s 9th children’s book. All her books stress consideration for others, and subliminally teach children to be nice to each other – and they have received 46 Awards.  A former teacher, she has 10 grandchildren, the youngest of which is the little girl in this new book.  She’s happy that she has such a talented illustrator!! 

Welcome to my blog. Please tell us about your children’s book, My Little Angel.

Does your child have a Guardian Angel? Please share a day in the life of this little girl, while her little guardian angel Angela sits on her shoulder and keeps her safe and guides her throughout her various activities throughout her day.  This includes getting ready for school, crossing the street, being polite and kind to her friends, learning her lessons, fastening seatbelts while traveling, being aware of stranger-danger, praying for her pets, and reminding her constantly that she is loved.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

I believe in angels, and that they are everywhere.  I often think of one riding on my own shoulder, so I wanted to share this idea with some slightly younger readers.

Your children’s books always rhyme and I love that. Will you please quote a few of your favorite lines from this book?

Wherever I go, and whatever I do,
Angela’s with me to say, “I love you.”
She’s always beside me, away or at home—
So sometimes I’m lonely, but never alone.

That’s beautiful. Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

There are only two main characters: the little girl and Angela, her Guardian Angel.
There are other familiar characters and book covers from previous books within the illustrations, but the little girl tells the story of Angela and how they interact throughout a day…  I love everything about both of them!!!

Where is your website so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?

My website is www.sherrillcannon.com and my author site is http://sbpra.com/sherrillscannon

Thank you for this wonderful interview, Sherrill. I hope my readers will check out your children’s book.