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Tag: Inspirational Romance

Interview with Amy Anguish 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 excited to have author Amy R. Anguish as my guest. I love how, like me, Amy gets ideas for plots and books during worship service. That happens to me all.the.time. I’m convinced it’s because that’s when I relax my control and really let God speak to me. Amy’s book, Saving Grace sounds incredible! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am a mom of two, a wife of 16 years, married to my college sweetheart. I love cats, butterflies, polar bears, and happy flowers like zinnias, sunflowers and daisies. I eat way too much chocolate, love pop music from the 90s and 70s, and prefer my socks to be patterned instead of white. I read way too much and still have over 500 unread stories on my kindle. I am a people person.

Tell us about your current release. Saving Grace is a friend-to-romance story, but not a typical one. Through the whole book, Michelle doesn’t realize that Greg loves her and always has. And there are several moments when he begins to doubt chasing the dream of having her as his wife is worth it, especially considering she wants to adopt an orphaned child as her own.

Book Blurb:

What if saving Grace doesn’t mean what she thinks it does?

Michelle Wilson’s one goal in life was to become a top journalist at the local paper back in her hometown of Cedar Springs, AR. But on the way to bringing that dream to reality, a life-changing wreck interrupts Michelle’s plans and adds an orphaned baby into the mix. Now, she has tough decisions ahead—did God put her in that accident to save baby Grace? And if so, why is it so hard to convince everyone else she should be the baby’s new mommy?

Greg Marshall has been Michelle’s best friend his whole life. He’s thrilled she’s moving back home, but not so sure about her sudden desire to be a single mom. His feelings for her have grown through the years, but she’s never seemed to notice. Can he help Michelle with the adoption and grow their relationship at the same time?

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? So many things. One time, before we started dating, I told my now-husband, “I’d never marry a guy like you.” Talk about eating those words!

I also said I would never live in Texas, but we lived in Round Rock for five years and Tyler for 6. And loved it.

And being on YouTube. Add that to the list. I am one of three authors who run the channel Once Upon a Page, and we’re about to celebrate posting videos for a year. It’s been a lot more fun than I thought when I first agreed.

I also have had pink streaks in my hair about four times now. And I’d do it again. It’s really fun.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? I don’t know about strangest, but I can honestly say the most annoying place to get an idea is during worship services. Especially when it’s one that won’t leave you alone until you scribble something down on the edge of the bulletin. I sort of have to send up a “Sorry, God” as my mind takes me away from the sermon every now and then.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? Fun fact, I started writing full-length novels during Nanowrimo. The goal for that is 50,000 words. Once upon a time, I thought that was long enough. However, the last three years or so, I’ve upped my goal to closer to 75,000 words … and actually accomplished it in the 30-day timeframe. Novembers are brutal for me, but so worth it. Every single one of my novels that has been and is being published have come from participating in Nanowrimo.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Partly, I think I wanted to be published traditionally for the validation. Granted, the editing and having someone else pay the upfront costs that come with publishing are also major perks. But to have someone else look at my story and agree it was worth it to put out there where people could pay money for it? That was amazing. And I’ve had it happen four times now!

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? You assume a lot! Ha! I will say, when I start to write down a book, most of the time I know the beginning and the end, along with several scenes between. Other than that, I don’t always know what’s going to happen. I started out a pantser, allowing my characters to dictate what happened in my story. I’m more of a “plantser” now, planning more of it, or at least scribbling down the ideas as they come so I can arrange them in an order that makes the most sense. But my husband just shakes his head at me, because every now and then I stop writing and say, “Huh. I didn’t see that coming.” Why? Because one of my characters just said or did something that makes perfect sense, but it hadn’t even crossed my mind when I started writing the story. I’ve learned that if you develop your characters well enough early on, they’ll write the story for you. All you have to do is point them in the right direction.

Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you started this story? Honestly, I was probably in bed. A lot of times, while trying to sleep, my mind wanders through story ideas, plotting out scenes, wondering what a character would do in this or that situation. I think the way this story got started was the idea, “What would happen if the best friend you’d been in love with forever finally came back home, but she didn’t come alone? Instead, she came home with a baby.”

Here is where you can find Amy online:

http://abitofanguish.weebly.com

https://www.facebook.com/amyanguishauthor

https://www.pinterest.com/msguish/my-books/

twitter.com/amy_r_anguish

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEiu-jq-KE-VMIjbtmGLbJA

Amy is giving away a copy of her book, Saving Grace to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with DiAnn Mills 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 am thrilled to have my friend, DiAnn Mills, as my guest. DiAnn and I met years ago as we served together on the Faith-Hope-Love chapter of the Romance Writers of America, and I completely fell in love with her passion for writing stories that take her readers on an adventure! Our paths have crossed many times, and we always make sure to take time for a coffee or a meal, so that we can fellowship together and support each other. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did — and read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her book Where Tomorrow Leads!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. First of all, I believe my readers should Expect an Adventure. If I fail to send them on an unpredictable journey with twists and turns, then I haven’t done my job. I live in Houston, Texas, and I love heat and humidity. My writing began in 1996 when my husband challenged me to stop talking about writing a book and just do it. He encouraged me to quit my job and give myself a year to get anything published. And if it did, succeed, I wouldn’t need to return to my day job. I took him up on that challenge. My first book released in 1998, and I’ve been writing since then. But a huge changed happened in 2017 … now, my husband works for me. Originally, I wrote historical and contemporary romance. My reading habits were romantic suspense, and that became my writing genre. I believe in giving back to the writing community in the way of encouragement, prayer, teaching, mentoring, and editing. I also direct the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference with Edie Melson. We also are the directors for the Mountainside retreats.

Tell us about your current release. Heather Lawrence’s long-awaited vacation to Salzburg wasn’t supposed to go like this. Mere hours into the transatlantic flight, the Houston FBI agent is awakened when passengers begin exhibiting horrific symptoms of an unknown infection. As the virus quickly spreads and dozens of passengers fall ill, Heather fears she’s witnessing an epidemic similar to ones her estranged husband studies for a living but this airborne contagion may have been deliberately released.

While Heather remains quarantined with other survivors, she works with her FBI colleagues to identify the person behind this attack. The prime suspect? Dr. Chad Lawrence, an expert in his field . . . and Heather’s husband. The Lawrences’ marriage has been on the rocks since Chad announced his career took precedence over his wife and future family and moved out.

As more victims fall prey days after the initial outbreak, time’s running out to hunt down the killer, one who may be closer to the victims than anyone ever expected.

I had this idea 3 years before the coronavirus attacked our world. But it required so much research until facts and the right people entered my path.
My mission then and now is to show a story that weaves hope, reality, and the sacrificial work of first responders when a deadly virus spreads through innocent people.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes! I never know who or how many people will read my story. I believe God gives me the idea, so the reader may only be me.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Not at all. I’m a storyteller, and my faith is shown in how a Christian character reacts and responds to the world. I don’t write sex, cursing, or violence for violence sake, because I write what I read: strong stories that are unpredictable and show character growth and change while reaching for a goal.

Fiction is not a platform to evangelize those who aren’t followers of Jesus. The faith aspect is not an engine additive. Unrealistic and predictable characters, preachy content, and verbiage only a Christian understands can be condescending to any reader. The practice lowers the importance of a writer’s first priority: entertaining the reader. The Christian novel is different because of the writer’s belief system. Good overcomes evil. Writers can give examples without trampling on the feet of unbelievers.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher(or agent or audience if you self publish)? Lots and lots of prayer! But I believe the fear is healthy. It keeps me relying on God instead of myself. The same fear that existed during writing book one stills stalks me.

What is your inspiration for writing? First: to entertain readers. Second: to inspire readers to be better people. Third: to encourage readers wherever they are in life. We live in a dangerous and unpredictable world. I want to show how God works through a character or characters to overcome evil for good.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? I go back to the beginning of the book and start reading. I also review my characterization sketch, research, and notes. At times, I consult a trusted writer friend. By the time I get to my troubled spot, I’m ready to write again.

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? No! I don’t have the plot laid out. I’m an organic writer, which means everything rises from character. I will have an idea of what will happen, but it’s all discovery from what works best with the character(s).

Here is where you can find DiAnn online:

Website https://diannmills.com/

Blog https://diannmills.com/articles/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/diannmills

Twitter https://twitter.com/diannmills

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/diannmillsauthor/

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/diannmills/

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/diann-mills

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/diannmills

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/81639.DiAnn_Mills

Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/diannmills/

DiAnn is giving away a copy of her book Where Tomorrow Leads to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Terri Wangard 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 am so happy to have award-winning historical romance author Terri Wangard as my guest! Terri’s new release sounds SO GOOD! I am also fascinated by the story of Lusitania — and to have a history major with a master’s in library science write a book about it makes me think that it will reveal so much information I didn’t know before! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. My first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days I write mostly historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. I have a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, is my day job.

Tell us about your current release. The Lusitania has always fascinated me, more so than the Titanic. Since I started writing, I’ve wanted to write a Lusitania story. Here is the blurb for Roll Back the Clouds:

A dream come true becomes a nightmare. Geoff and Rosaleen Bonnard embark on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage to England aboard the fabled Lusitania in 1915. Europe is embroiled in war, but the authorities insist the conflict shouldn’t affect a passenger liner.

Then, a German submarine hurtles a torpedo into the grand ship. Rosaleen makes it into a lifeboat, but Geoff is missing. She searches the morgues in Queenstown, heartsick at recognizing so many of her fellow travelers. Alive, but suffering a devastating back injury, Geoff is found in a Cork hospital.

While waiting for him to recover, Rosaleen is thrilled to meet her mother’s family, but a dark cloud hovers over her. The battered faces of dead babies haunt her. She sinks into depression, exasperated by Geoff’s new interest in religion. Her once happy life seems out of reach.

Will joy ever be theirs again?

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I think it was Robert Kennedy’s assassination. We were at a motel, and my parents were talking about it. In my vague memory, I can see them looking at a newspaper.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Donny Osmond

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I wrote stories as a Girl Scout, since I received the Writer badge. I didn’t expect to write books though, until I read some stories that seemed to be written by formula. The names and settings were changed, but otherwise they were all the same. That prompted me to try writing my own book.

What is your preferred method of writing? I write on computer, but if I have an hour in the evening and an idea is percolating, I’ll write in a notebook.

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 first wrote a book in the early 2000s. I sent it to a publisher. It took them a year to say No Thanks. I set aside my writing for a few years. Then, in 2008, I read Debbie Macomber’s Twenty Wishes, about women fulfilling their wishes. That made me decide to write again. I bought the laptop I still use today and wrote Friend & Enemies, the first of five novels, so far.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? I loved the Flicka, Ricka, Dicka series by Maj Lindman.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? I write what I would like to read, and hope others do too.

Here is where you can find Terri online:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTerriWangard

Twitter: @terriwangard

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/terriwangard

Instagram:  @terriwangard

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/terriwangard/

Website: http://www.terriwangard.com

Terri is giving away an ebook copy of Roll Back the Clouds to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with LoRee Peery 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 happy to have LoRee Peery as my guest. I thoroughly enjoyed this interview, her voice as she answered questions, and know that Touches of Time is definitely getting added to my “to read” pile. LoRee is giving away a copy of her current release –read on to see how you can enter to win a copy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am a Nebraska country girl, having never lived outside the state. I am who I am by the grace of God: Christian, wife, mother, grandmother and great-, sister, friend, and author. I write fiction that hopefully appeals to adult readers who enjoy stories written from a Christian perspective, focusing on the romance. These include novels and novellas for women and men in the Contemporary, Romance, Historical, Time Travel, and Mystery/Suspense categories. I write of redeeming grace with a sense of place, including the Frivolities Series and the book based on my father’s unsolved homicide, Touches of Time. All are available on Amazon.

Tell us about your current release. Talia Ashby is a perfectionistic data analyst who, on occasion, sees her “fat” self when she looks in the mirror. As a svelte former obese girl, she reunites with her secret teen crush, now a pastor in the church she attends.

Cooper Valiant is dazzled upon meeting a high school friend he doesn’t immediately recognize due to her drastic weight loss. Since his sister had an eating disorder, he’d often felt empathy toward Talia as classmates teased and bullied her. In his pastorate position, he asks her to help girls in the youth group come to grips with body-image.

While working with the girls, Talia’s recollections of youthful hurts stir up past insecurities. She must reassess her spiritual journey, and what bothers her in the present.

Added to the mix are her reawakened emotions toward the man who once came to her rescue. Will their joint journey include a personal relationship?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Without a doubt. I have met very few women who are completely at peace in their skin and with their looks. We can’t argue with the words in Psalm 139:14 where God assures that He made us fearfully and wonderfully. How can we possibly be unsatisfied if God made us? And to think He knows what we’re going to say before we speak boggles my mind.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? The reason I self-pubbed this story is because I contracted two time travels over two years ago and am waiting for their releases in July and August. I have yet to receive notice of a release date on a third. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about my publisher and my affiliation with them. The editors and staff can’t be topped, but I felt led to get this story out once it was ready.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? A few projects back, I established what I call Beginning a New Romance, #1, 2, and 3. The first is a chronological order that begins with a spark, goes to who the characters are, including the wound that injured them at a young age. I go on to the character charts (#2), create a collage, one sheet for the hero and the heroine. Then I proceed to the tagline, what I call my 40 words, a working blurb, and several questions that get me into pre-writing.

The third is a formatted doc that includes goals and plot points at the top of each chapter so I have something to reach for as I create the scenes, which except for the opening, I rarely depict ahead of time.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? A pig’s squeal came through from a nearby television I wasn’t watching in a hospital waiting room while my husband was in surgery. I knew my next story would have a pot belly pig as a character. Meet in the Middle was born. Queenie is one of my favorite characters.

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? This question is fun to answer. It’s all my hubby’s fault.  A lifetime ago in the mid-eighties, we were traveling back from vacation on I-80 in western Nebraska. I slapped a magazine on my lap and spouted, “I could write better than this.” He challenged, “Why don’t you?”

What a journey it has been. I tried greeting cards for Hallmark but that wasn’t meant to be my calling. My first submissions were unedited romances for magazines. I wrote editorials about my father’s unsolved homicide, which led to longer pieces. And then I tried a novel about a woman who went back to her small town to prove her father’s accident was murder. That novel took ten years, good practice, but will never be printed. I learned everything I could and have garnered so many wonderful friendships with other writers.

My first contract came after several rejections with encouragement to resubmit, and I celebrated that release ten years ago this July.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Since I used my own journal entries and was pregnant when my father was murdered, both Sarah and her grandmother Lena in Touches of Time reflect who I am.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? It’s happened, believe me. I once had a file drawer filled with newspaper and magazine clippings that had grabbed my attention. I’ve since culled those and have a writing ideas file on my computer. I’ll have a setting, a mind picture of an opening scene, a premise, or part of backstory when I begin.

A lot of the story forms as I get to know the characters, especially the heart scar that hinders growth. Where they are spiritually carries weight.

I love how the Lord works during this pre-writing/brainstorming period. Each story is different and can take between five days and two weeks to stew. My mind is on the look-out during this time for lines of dialogue, what jumps out during devotion or Bible reading, talking to friends, or even a sermon.

The creative process is unique for each writer. Breaking for tactile things like walking outside touching flowers or pulling weeds, paying attention to the birds and animals that cross my path, working a puzzle, coloring, or sewing (which doesn’t happen much right now). I can’t help but be thankful for the desire to write stories.

And thank you, for allowing me to be a guest today, Hallee.

Here is where you can find LoRee online:

www.loreepeery.com

https://twitter.com/LoreePeery

https://www.facebook.com/LoReePeery

Loree is giving a copy of Repurposed to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Tanya Eavenson 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 Tanya Eavenson — who shares my first onscreen crush with me! Yay! (“I need a coool, rider…”) Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of Tanya’s latest release!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. My husband and I have been involved in youth and adult ministry for over twenty years. I’m an international bestselling and award-winning inspirational romance author. I’ve written several Bible studies that have been translated and published in different languages by Christ to the World Ministries, and I’ve recently joined the Wholly Loved Ministries team. But most of all, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our three children, as well as grabbing a cup of coffee and reading a good book. I’ve lived in Texas for several years, which inspired my interest in small-town life, ranching, cowboys, and how our great nation expanded west.

Tell us about your current release. I’d be happy to! The Rescue takes place in 1889 and is set in Graham, Texas. Here’s the blurb. 

Upon the death of her mother, Rosalind Standford’s life shatters, the pieces scattering to the wind when she is forced into a betrothal to a cunning banker. But when a telegram arrives announcing the man who captured her heart is on a train to Boston, Rosalind must hide her true feelings before the thin cord of her existence unravels the deadly secrets she keeps.

Cowboy Trent Easton returns to his roots in Boston society to find his childhood friend, the love of his heart. Instead he finds a broken woman engaged to a man close to her father’s age. Though she once rejected him, when Trent learns she’s in danger, he determines to do whatever it takes to keep her safe—even taking her to the altar in the black of night. But will his name and the remote wilds of his Texas ranch be enough to protect her? Or will freedom cost them their lives?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely! There are many times in a person’s life when he or she may reach an obstacle like my character, Rosalind. It may be an illness, an accident, or a difficult decision that must be made. I personally reached that point in my life while writing The Rescue. It was a defining moment.

Through the fears of dealing with my cancer prognosis and searching for God’s direction, I learned that He did indeed place this desire to write on my heart and that no matter what I was facing in my life, it didn’t diminish His call.

I’m inspired by the Lord to write inspirational Christian fiction so people may know the love of Christ—to know the depth He will go to have a relationship with us.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? LOL! I wish I could write fast enough! Instead, I carry around a notebook and my phone. I’m constantly writing my thoughts down and taking pictures of things that give me inspiration. Recently I was praying and asking the Lord for a story idea while waiting for my daughter’s cross county practice to finish. After I finished praying, I looked up and noticed a dog park across the way. An idea for a book popped in my head. Twenty minutes later, I had photos and two sheets of notes ready for me to begin a new story set to release this upcoming Mother’s Day.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher (or agent or audience if you self publish)? The Lord really has been working on me in this area of my life. He’s put things into perspective for me and has helped me to understand that His plans aren’t necessarily my plans. All He asks me to do is keep my focus on Him and write the words He’s placed on my heart to write. He is the author. I’m His instrument.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Goodness! That was such a long time ago, but I haven’t forgotten! 😊 It was Michael (Maxwell Caulfield) from Grease 2.

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? I never saw myself being a writer! I remember saying with ready fingers pressed on the keyboard, “Are you sure, God? I never wanted to write. Never cared to write.” But there I was, typing away at the keys with a burden to share a story when I had no idea where it would be heading. Even though that story never saw publication, it was the beginning of something exciting!

Here is where you can find Tanya online:

http://www.tanyaeavenson.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TanyaEavensonAuthor/

https://twitter.com/Tan_eave

Tanya is giving away an ebook copy of The Rescue when it releases on Sept 2 to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 4/8/19 – Intimacy and Passion in Writing

 

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

Today I’m answering the question, “You include a lot of passion in your books, how do you find the balance between passion, intimacy, and crossing the line in your writing?”

I love questions like this! I hope you learn more about me through my response:


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