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Month: February 2017

Interview with Author Carolyn Miller and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, it is my joy to introduce you to Carolyn Miller. I met Carolyn when I spoke at the Omega Christian Writers Conference in Sydney, Australia. She was the epitome of Australian hospitality, and I completely felt drawn to her welcoming warmth. I was so happy to have the opportunity to host her on my blog. Plus, she had a crush on D.B. Sweeney, so I know we’re soul sisters. Enjoy this interview, and read on to see how you can win an ebook of her latest release, The Elusive Miss Ellison.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m an Australian author of Inspirational Regency romance. I live with my husband and four children in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, about halfway between Sydney and Canberra. I’ve worked as an English high school teacher, and together with my husband, pastored a church for ten years. I love reading Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, and enjoy watching historical dramas, but I also love a good action film, especially one with exotic locations. James Bond and Jason Bourne – and even Mission Impossible – are a great escape! I enjoy food (probably a bit too much!), travel, art, music, gardens and visiting stately homes (which isn’t very often. But a girl can dream, right?).

Tell us about your current release: My current release is an Inspirational Regency romance, The Elusive Miss Ellison. It’s set in rural England and concerns an outspoken reverend’s daughter and a former soldier, the new Earl of Hawkesbury, now owner of nearby Hampton Hall. I’ve drawn on my love of all things Jane (Austen, that is) and Georgette to create a classic romance with a twist of (Aussie) humor. It’s been described by readers as “reminiscent of Jane Austen” (!), “a delightful romp” and “a wonderful blend of romance, witty banter and Regency-era charm” (I swear I did not make that up! 🙂 )

Here’s the back cover copy:

Hampton Hall ’s new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter—all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend’s daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother—his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia’s world.

Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother’s, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn’t supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison’s fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible—he begins to care. But Lavinia’s aloof manner, society’s opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along.

Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what will happen when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she’s ever known?

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) Some of my favorite authors as a child were: LM Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series), Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Louisa May Alcott (Little Women). What can I say? I love history!

I’m always intrigued by how writers get started. Did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? I’d been rereading a Georgette Heyer Regency novel, and wondered what it would take to write a version with an inspirational element. The Christian Regency novels I’d read tended to lack a little of the humor I enjoyed of Miss Austen and Miss Heyer, so I challenged myself to leave contemporary fiction and step back 200 years to write about the time period of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. To give it the tension it needed, I thought about what would be one of the biggest challenges for a minister’s daughter to face: practicing what her father preached. It’s much easier to ‘talk the talk’ until we’re faced with the person who challenges us to ‘walk the walk’. The rest of the story flowed from there.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Lavinia Ellison is more outspoken than me, but she’s pretty similar in lots of ways. We both care about social injustice, find music and singing relaxing, enjoy (trying to do) artwork, hate sewing, and neither of us are too impressed by those of supposed rank and fortune. (Maybe it’s my Aussie ‘tall poppy syndrome’ coming out 🙂 )

Who do you envision your typical reader to be? Probably American (the spelling got changed for US readers), someone who enjoys the Jane Austen era, someone who can appreciate dry wit and romance. Hopefully you!

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? I used to LOVE (and I mean, be seriously addicted to) a TV show called ‘The Young Riders’. It was about the young men who rode for the Pony Express – and some of those young men (yes, I’m talking about Ty Miller, back in the day!) were mighty fine 🙂  The other young men who caught my eye? Jonathan Crosbie, aka Gilbert Blythe aka Anne of Green Gables’ beau (sigh), and DB Sweeney from the film The Cutting Edge (love that film!).

Find Carolyn Online:  www.carolynmiller.org  and subscribe to her newsletter http://www.pinterest.com/camillering https://www.facebook.com/CarolynMillerAuthor https://twitter.com/CarolynMAuthor  Amazon Google+

Find Carolyn’s latest release online:



Barnes and Noble:
The Elusive Miss Ellison

 

 

 

Enter to win a copy of The Elusive Miss Ellison

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Interview with Author Normandie Fischer and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m so pleased to bring you Normandie Fischer. Normandie is a new author to me, and as I did the interview, I found myself totally falling in love with her heart and her view of the world. I hope you fall in love with her, too. And, check it out! Normandie is giving away a copy of her book, Heavy Weather! Read below to see how you can enter to win.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a life-long sailor, and although I’ve been writing and editing professionally since the seventies, the works published before my fiction debut are barely visible on the horizon these days. My husband and I retired from cruising Pacific Mexico in our ketch, Sea Venture, to care for my aging mama, and the three of us sailed from Beaufort, NC, to NYC in 2013 to publicize the release of Becalmed and to welcome my first grandchild into the world. I now have a second grandchild and six novels out and about for the world to read. My quiver overflows.

Tell us about your most recent release. Twilight Christmas is the third in my Carolina Coast series, a novella that picks up where Heavy Weather left off. I needed to figure out what happened to the romantic pair we’d left on the brink of something. Plus, I had Louis and Linney—a Down Syndrome child–hiding out and fending for themselves. It’s a heartwarming tale of magic and miracles where the Beaufort, North Carolina, folk return to rescue more than themselves.

I’m also thrilled to announce that Heavy Weather just came out in audiobook format. Narrator Laura Jennings did a superlative job.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? I think that’s a question every author who tries to follow God must confront. In a recent Novel Rocket post, I touched on our longing to be more, to be seen, to long for more. In another post, I wrote about wanting the ripples from our words touch hearts. We’re human, which means we crave acceptance from others, and yet sometimes God asks us to write for an audience of one—Him. I think He wants us to trust Him with the outcome of our endeavors. We give Him our all, and what He does with that is up to Him. If we truly trust that His Word and His promises are true, then we’ll do what our hand finds to do, and we’ll do it with all our might.

I remember when a very successful businessman asked me what I planned to do to make my mark in the world. I know my eyes widened, but his question got me wondering how I felt about what I had accomplished—and how the Lord felt—because I was a dumpee from a 23-year marriage, not a young woman, and not a success in the world’s eyes. Before that man asked his question, I hadn’t worried about how the world saw my choices. I’d been doing my best to serve my Lord, I’d raised two incredible children, I was taking care of my elderly aunt, who for the first time had a family in which she could live and thrive and where she could hear about God. Wasn’t that enough? Besides those blessings, I also had the privilege of writing, and my sculptures adorned homes and offices around the country. Wasn’t that enough?

My auntie met the Lord during her nine years with me. If taking her in and loving her had been all I ever did, wouldn’t that be enough? If loving my children and trying to show them Jesus had been all I ever did, wouldn’t that be enough? And if one person’s heart is touched by my words, won’t that be enough?

I am so incredibly privileged that I get to write stories. I loved sculpting, but this gig? It just blesses the socks off me. (Don’t you love that saying? It provides such a visual!)

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No. I write what I want to read and trust that it will go where it should. It’s difficult to write, as I do, for the general market when the majority of books out there have elements I just won’t embrace, but I’ve still found readers who’ve been touched by my characters, and I’m grateful for them. I decided early in my writing career that I would write what I felt I was called to write and not worry that it didn’t fit neatly into anyone’s box. I’ve been pleased to discover readers in both the Christian and the general marketplace.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? My first two books were traditionally published, but I hit a roadblock with my third (my second Carolina Coast novel) because the publisher of Becalmed was in a transition period and wanted me to shrink it to a prescribed word count. Because I’d been a professional editor and knew how to oversee the production of a manuscript, including the most important process of finding a good editor, copy editor, and proofreaders, I decided to try indie-publishing that book.

I’m glad I took that route. I love my editors, my critique partners, and my proofreading street team, my cover designers. Together, I believe we turned out a few good products that have been well received. Heavy Weather finaled in the 2016 RWA Award of Excellence and the Maggie, both for strong romantic elements. Two from Isaac’s House was a Romantic Times Top Pick, and now I have two novellas, From Fire into Fire and Twilight Christmas.

I’m also thrilled that I’ve had control over the production of audiobooks. Two from Isaac’s House released in audio format this summer, and now we have Heavy Weather, whose narrator will also complete Twilight Christmas by March.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I’m a pantser. I begin with a scene or an idea and my characters take me where they will. It’s delicious fun!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Read really good books, classic books, and learn to listen. Everyone has an idea of how to write, but the best thing you can do for yourself is to read voraciously and let beautiful words capture your imagination and hone your love of language.

Then write. And write. And write. Always be willing to rewrite.

I had a sculpture teacher who used to walk up to students and tell them to throw their clay back in the bin and start over. Chuck it all. Pound out a new batch. It hurt. You’ve got to be willing to do that with your writing. Because we’re called to excellence. To becoming the best us we can be. Not the best someone else. The best us.

I think too often writers settle. Especially with the ease of self-publishing. They read a book, decide they can do as well, and figure that’s enough.

It’s not enough. We should strive to be the best, not in comparison to someone else, but in comparison to what we did yesterday or the day before. In comparison to what we can be.

Dig deeply into the language, into plot, into meaning, into character, into dialogue, into description. And then dig more deeply yet.

For example, I sent my revised manuscript for Twilight (after it had been critiqued and I’d rewritten it) off to its editor. This is editor who knows me, loves my work—but also knows I want to be the best I can be, that I never want to settle. So, she cleared her throat (I’m sure she cleared her throat) and wrote, “Dig deeper. This part is boring. You can do better with this scene. Fix this one. Cut. Slash. Redo. Sigh. Boring.”

This was my eighth book, my sixth novel. I wanted to write back, “You fix it!” because I felt cross-eyed, paralyzed. But then I pulled up my big-girl pants and dug in. And I fixed it. And it was better.

Our work can always be better—if we’re willing to do the work.

I’m the sort who will keep on rewriting and revising until a book is perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist, but we can try to come as close as possible.

How did you make the initial step into writing your first novel. What were some of your major roadblocks and how did you overcome them? I’d written non-fiction, technical books, and a narrative non-fiction as work for hire, along with a good deal of poetry. I was also a sculptor who one day decided sculpting for others bored me, and it was time to see what I could do with my other passion, the written word.

As an editor, I’d been cutting and honing; now I needed to enlarge. To see the world with all my senses. To learn plot and dialogue. To listen, to touch, to feel, to taste, and to see—and to put it all down on the page. My learning became purposeful. I read every book I could find (bought everything Writers Digest Books published on crafting a novel), and I wrote with a vengeance when I wasn’t home schooling or working for my then-husband.

I love challenges. In 1990 I began a novel based on a what-if and written as a counter to all the kick-butt/take-names heroes and heroines on the best-seller lists. I finished it in 1991 and took it to my first writers conference in 1994. It won me the best new writer of that year and requests from some of the biggest names in Christian fiction publishing who’d nominated me for that award. Only, I didn’t write what they considered “Christian” fiction. I wrote from a Christian worldview, but they wanted coming-to-Jesus moments spelled out and finalized. One of them wrote me a beautiful two-page letter saying that if I wrote a book to those specs, he wanted to see it.

Life went on. A husband left. I survived. I found one agent and then another. I wrote for others, but I didn’t feel called to write the book those editors wanted, and so my writing foundered until recently. But that book? The one that won me that award? I rewrote it, and now it’s one of my favorites, Two from Isaac’s House. It even has a baby sister, From Fire into Fire.

What is your inspiration for writing? Life–what I see around me, what I experience, what I overhear, and what others have told me of their pain. I begin stories based on a perceived need that begins as a scene and grows, fleshes out as the characters reveal themselves to me.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Probably Sam in Sailing out of Darkness. I’m very good at guilt and took years to get the truth of God’s love to slip from my head to my heart where I could really believe it applied to me.

I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? Plot laid out? You must be talking about someone else.

An idea shows up or a scene or a sentence. I meet my characters. Occasionally I know where I want them to end up. But most of the time, they lead the story. Twilight Christmas came about because my next Beaufort book (Shoal Waters) grew too crowded. I’d met some new folk, and I was trying to plot out the book so it would also tie up some loose-ish ends (an HEA, but not a finalized one) from Heavy Weather. Oops.

I’m perfectly happy to have multiple story lines in my books, but Shoal Waters (my delicious next Carolina Coast novel) had become top heavy. So I snipped two characters out and let them hang with the orphans I’d been introduced to whose story clamored to be told.

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? I never thought I’d be married to my best friend. I didn’t even know a husband could be a best friend. But God rescued me, and He rescued my beloved at an age when most would have thought us over the hill and too old for a romantic story of our own. I never thought I’d be able to live on a boat and sail the seas, but God gave me this man who dreamed the same dream, allowing us to practice friendship evangelism wherever He led us. Isn’t it delightful that we’re never too old? And that our story can keep growing and enlarging and becoming always more purposeful?

Find Normandie online:

Website: www.normandiefischer.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingOnBoard
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NormandieFischer/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Normandie-Fischer/e/B00BSIF2NI/

Find Normandie’s book Heavy Weather on Amazon:

Win a copy of HEAVY WEATHER!

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Autism: The Accountant

Gregg and I watched The Accountant the other night. Going into it, I didn’t know what it was about. I mean, I’m all about campy action movies, Ben Affleck is on the movie poster holding a sniper rifle. Gregg had already cleared it through PluggedIn to make sure that nothing in it went against our viewing standards. I’m in. I don’t necessarily need to know anything more.

Let me tell you my reaction to this movie:

Wow.

Wow.

Ben Affleck plays an autistic man. We get flashbacks of his life as a child.

Wow.

I know that people tell you that if you’ve met one person with autism then you’ve met one person with autism, that they’re so different from each other that it becomes impossible to pin down a standard theme. However, before anyone on the movie said autism, when we’re just introducing ourselves to a little boy and his parents, Gregg and I had it called.

There are enough similarities for autism and autistic children that any parent of a child with autism is going to immediately be drawn to Ben Affleck’s character and immediately want to fix his world.

Wow.

And, I have to say, that if you’re seeking a layman’s an understanding of the autistic mind, watch this movie. The writers, directors, and Affleck somehow hit it. Spot on. Watch it. You might learn something about this world in which some of us navigate daily.

And, you get awesome action coupled with some tense thriller moments.

Win/Win.

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Interview with Author Melanie Snitker!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m so happy to have author Melanie Snitker as my guest. Honestly, after reading her interview, I wish we lived close enough to interact with regularly — someone whose hobbies include target shooting AND baking is my kind of inspirational romance author! Melanie is so graciously giving away either an ebook or a paperback (winner’s choice!) of her latest release FINDING JOY. Read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hi, Hallee! Thank you so much for the chance to come and chat with you and your readers. My name is Melanie and I write inspirational romance novels. I live in Texas, I’m married to my best friend, and we have two kids ages eleven and six. When I’m not writing, I enjoy photography, learning more about essential oils, target shooting, archery, baking, crocheting, and hanging out with my family and friends.

Tell us about your current release. Finding Joy is the fifth book in my Love’s Compass series. Here’s the blurb for the book:

Sometimes, what looks like a dead end, is really a new beginning.

A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. Unable to find solid footing in his disrupted life, he returns to his family’s ranch, a place he thought he’d left behind for good. The scars on his face are a daily reminder of all he’s lost, yet his mom still insists he needs to stop hiding and live his life again. The beautiful new employee she hires is the last thing he needs, despite his mom’s best intentions, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers.

Nothing short of desperation would force Chelsea Blake to work on a local cattle ranch. But if she’s going to avoid her parents’ judgment when they arrive in three weeks, she must turn the temporary job into a permanent one. Between dodging mud, feeding longhorn cattle, and dealing with a handsome boss who keeps giving her the cold shoulder, staying gainfully employed is proving to be a challenge. Chelsea may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than Parker’s efforts at forcing her to leave.

Unprepared to discover all they have in common, if they set aside their initial dislike, they just might find joy beyond measure.

While all the books in this series stand alone, I do like to bring characters from previous books in so we can get some updates on them. Chelsea’s sister, Laurie, was a main character in the first book of this series, Finding Peace, and she’s a secondary character in Finding Joy.

I’m really excited about the release of Finding Joy and hope my readers enjoy it!

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out, how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I don’t. LOL I have more stories and characters in my head than I have time to write. I have book ideas planned out for the next three years and it feels like new ideas are popping up all the time. I love it, though.

Have you always wanted to write a book?  I’ve always enjoyed writing and even made up stories to some of my favorite TV shows when I was a kid. I originally thought I’d write science fiction when I grew up. But in my teens and then in early college, I found I enjoyed reading romance novels. It was frustrating how few clean books there were in that genre and that’s when I decided maybe I could start writing some myself.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I try to have a general idea of what I want the plot to look like and how the characters interact. I find, though, that my characters have minds of their own and no matter how much I try to nail down their personalities, they tend to develop as I write. The same goes with the plot.

A couple books ago, I decided I should be more specific and I plotted everything out down to the chapter. I was sure it would make it easier to write. But I felt boxed in and I found I missed being surprised by where the story took me.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? You’ll hear a lot that you need to write every day in order to become a successful writer and that just isn’t true. Write when you can. I enjoyed writing most of my life, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I had the opportunity to really focus on it. Before that, I wrote when I had time or the mood struck me. Sometimes it was just a few paragraphs, others it was a couple of chapters. The first book I published, Calming the Storm, took almost fourteen years to complete. It’s still one of my favorite stories.

Write what you love and write when you can. You won’t regret it!

What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.) I write using a laptop and Microsoft Word. Sometimes, I’ll write using Word on my iPad. I also use OneNote to keep track of my books and story ideas.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? I’m going to say it’s 75% for my own enjoyment, and 25% what I think people (in the genre I write for) would want to read. I know that I don’t connect with the characters in a story if I’m not personally invested in their lives and I think that translates to my readers.

Find Melanie online! Her website, Facebook page, Twitter, Amazon page

Find Melanie’s latest release on Amazon:

Melanie is giving away a copy of Finding Joy!

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Word of Promise: 2 Chronicles 8

Many days a week, I do a 4-mile aerobic walk. It takes me one hour. I listen to my Word of Promise Bible while I walk. Today, among other chapters, I listened to 2 Chronicles chapter 9.

As I was listening, I thought about all of the questionnaires that have gone around since the invention of the internet. Often, in the series of questions, there will inevitably be, “What event would you wish you could witness?”

Listening to this chapter, all I could think is how amazing Jerusalem must have been in the prime of Solomon’s rule! Think of the ornateness of these descriptions — think of the exoticness of the environment. Think of the rule of a man who is described in 1 Kings 4:  And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore.

I would love to travel back in time and stand in Solomon’s courts – to witness this grandeur that was built as a way to glorify God.

Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold. The throne had six steps, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne; there were armrests on either side of the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the armrests. Twelve lions stood there, one on each side of the six steps; nothing like this had been made for any other kingdom.

All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Not one was silver, for this was accounted as nothing in the days of Solomon. For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Hiram. Once every three years the merchant ships came, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys.

So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. Each man brought his present: articles of silver and gold, garments, armor, spices, horses, and mules, at a set rate year by year.

Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem.

So he reigned over all the kings from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar trees as abundant as the sycamores which are in the lowland. And they brought horses to Solomon from Egypt and from all lands.

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Interview with Author Pamela S. Myers!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! Today, I’m so happy to introduce you to Pamela S. Meyers. I met Pamela when I spoke to the Chicago ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) group, and have been able to touch base with her a couple of times at conferences. She is a joy to talk to, and I very much enjoyed her interview. Read on to see how you can win a copy of her latest release, Second Chance Love!

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I was raised in Wisconsin since I was two years old and consider myself to be a Cheesehead through and through. I currently lives in suburban Chicago with my two rescue cats.

I have been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) since nearly it’s inception and served in several leadership roles at the national level and locally in my chapter. I’ve published several novels since my first in 2011, Thyme for Love. My historical romance, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, is set in my hometown in 1933 and it was a gift from God to be able to set a story there. (My two cats are named after the characters in the book.) In 2016 I indie published a novella collection called The Bucket List Dare with three outstanding authors.

Tell us about your current release:

My latest release, Second Chance Love, a rodeo romance, is set at an southern Illinois rodeo.

Chicago lawyer Sydney Knight and Texas bull rider Jace McGowan have nothing in common but everything to lose when they are thrust together during a weekend rodeo in rural Illinois. Neither one of them would have imagined two years ago that the deep attraction they sensed during a day-long outing would resurface when Sydney’s boss assigns her to Jace’s legal case.

Sydney has been through a world of hurt since losing her dad when she was sixteen, then being dumped the morning of her wedding. She’s sworn off romance and instead devotes her time toward a partnership in her father’s law office.

Jace has found faith in God and wants out of his sponsor contract with a risqué restaurant chain that requires him to pose with scantily-clad women. He’s about to bail on the contract and pay steep penalties something he can ill afford, given that his deceased father left the family with unpaid taxes.

Sydney is determined she’ll get Jace out of his contract and return to Chicago with her heart intact, but Jace is just as determined to help her see they’re meant to be together. Can a city girl with roots deep in Chicago and a bull-riding rancher with roots deep in Texas give themselves a second chance at love?

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful?  No. I feel God called me to write and to write for Him. I’ve never considered writing for the general fiction market and have always targeted the Christian fiction audience. Sure, I could probably make more sales in the general market by taking out the spiritual plot thread and adding a bit more heat to the romantic scenes, but I know that’s not part of God’s economy and it isn’t part of mine either. My former agent used to say, we need to write our stories even if it’s for an audience of one that God has determined needs to read the story. I guess that also answers your other question LOL.

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I’m older than dirt so remember quite a ways back. I have a very vague memory of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation (perhaps prompted by the Netflix series “The Crown”), of Alan Shepherd making the first sub-orbital flight into space, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the moon walk. In pop culture I was sadly reminded recently of the terrible scandal when Eddie Fisher left Debbie Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor, and the Beatles appearing on Ed Sullivan. Some reading this might wonder who Ed Sullivan was. His variety show came on TV every Sunday night for years. He was anything but cool, but that night he was the coolest guy around. He had the Beatles on his show!

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I’ve always felt the need to write things down. When I was eight I asked for a diary for Christmas and I immediately began recording everything I did every day—that lasted about a month LOL. But, I periodically would get it out and write in it. I still have it and get a kick out of some of the things I wrote there from third grade until eighth. When I became involved in my church singles group, I became the editor of our monthly newsletter and wrote a column every issue. Then I enrolled at Trinity International University near my home in their accelerated adult program to earn my Bachelors. We were not given tests, but had to write a paper at the end of each course. I was in my happy place for sure and I began taking writing courses for my electives, including a creative writing course. Loved it and my writing prof encouraged me to explore ways to write as a profession. After graduation I attended the Write to Publish Writers Conference, which led to my hearing about American Christian Fiction Writers, which was in it’s infant stages. I owe a lot to ACFW for helping me to develop my craft and grow in that area. Through the organization I connected with industry people and eventually had my first novel published in 2011.

How did you make the initial step into writing your first novel. What were some of your major roadblocks and how did you overcome them? Back before everything was “online,” although the Internet was around to some extent, I took a novel writing course by snail mail from Writers Digest, which was really focused on the first 50 pages, although you did have to develop a plot for the enter book. The instructor had been published in Christian fiction, but that part of the CBA was in it’s infancy and she was learning along with me. I started writing a romance that was also heavy on women’s fiction type issues. By the time I signed up to attend the Write to Publish conference which is held locally, my instructor assured me my story was ready. It was not. This was a huge lesson to me in where not to start the story, dialogue, and how not to include boring little details, among other things. It would be years before I signed my first contract, but in that time I attended writing conferences, read writing craft books, joined crit groups and grew in developing my writing skills. When I finally signed my first contract in 2011, I knew it was in God’s timing and was so glad I had persevered and not given up.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? My first several novels were all traditionally published. During the time of writing those novels and their publication the publishing industry landscape began to change in tandem with the digital world of publishing. I never considered self-publishing an option until I received my rights back on my first two novels. I republished the first one, Thyme for Love, and learned a lot about the experience. Since then I’ve indie published a novella collection, The Bucket List Dare, with three other authors, and hope to indie publish other novels down the road. Last month my novel, Second Chance Love, released with Bling-an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and I also hope to publish more books with them. I’m one of the new  breed of hybrid authors, going both ways.

Find Pamela online: Website, Blog, Facebook profile and Facebook page, Twitter

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