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Tag: inspy romance

An interview with Jennifer Heeren 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 Jennifer Heeren as my guest. I love Jennifer’s perspective about writing for God and love the sound of her latest release. I’m in the midst of writing a book about a pregnant woman – in Atlanta – so it totally resonated with me. And any fan of Judy Blume can be a friend of mine. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I love to write and want to live in such a way that people are encouraged by my writing and my attitude. I love to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. My cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. I regularly contribute devotional articles to Crosswalk.com. I live near Atlanta, Georgia with my husband.

Tell us about your current release. Twenty-two-year-old Lisette Carter is grief-stricken over her husband’s death—which occurred before she knew she was pregnant. Now in her last trimester, she meets David Baranski, who has a tragic past of his own. He seems to care for Lisette, but she’s not sure she can trust him. Besides, her sorrow and survivor guilt are all she can handle.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? I had a person review my book that had been through a similar scenario that my main character, Lisette, went through. She related to Lisette’s story and said that it felt real even though I wrote it as a fiction story. I hope that my reader felt a little less alone while she was reading it. So, yes, if it was only written for her, it was worth it.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? I’ve found that the best way to stop writer’s block is to tell someone else my word count goal and then report back to them my actual result.

Have you always wanted to write a book? I wrote short stories as a teenager and then when I took a Creative Writing course in college, I realized that I wanted to write novels.

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 decide on the basic idea and then I prepare a basic outline that includes a theme for the story, some notes on the characters, inciting incident, and some conflict points along the way. Then I write the story which usually ends up shorter than I would like, so I go back and fill in missing details and scenes. The Story Equation by Susan May Warren helps with this. One of these days, maybe I’ll get all the information that I need before writing but so far that’s not how it has worked out. 😉

What is your inspiration for writing? I want to write stories that help readers see that hope can exist even when circumstances aren’t ideal. And, most importantly, that hope comes from God.

Who was your favorite author as a child? I loved Judy Blume books. She wrote beautifully about childhood problems and teenage angst. She writes both comedy and drama in a down-to-earth way.

Here is where you can find Jennifer online:

https://jenniferheeren.com/

https://www.facebook.com/HeerenJennifer/

https://www.goodreads.com/jennifer_heeren

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jennifer-heeren

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbgclJkWg3mFVvE_E8pJEjA/featured

Jennifer is giving away a copy of A Different Season to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Ann Brodeur 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 Ann Brodeur as my guest. I love stories about lost loves that reconnect, and it sounds like her new release is all that and more! I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win a Christmas ornament!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I didn’t have a terribly exciting childhood, but I did have an active imagination. We didn’t travel, but that didn’t stop me from finding adventure in books. Perhaps it was those early years that whet my appetite for traveling God’s beautiful earth and for creating stories set in beautiful locations.

I’m a wife, mother of four, and a writer. There’s nothing we love better than packing up our travel trailer to explore Canada (and pre-COVID the United States), where many story ideas have been seeded and written down in a notebook just waiting to be told.

Tell us about your current release. My debut novel published by Anaiah Press, releases in two days on November 6.  SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS is a novel about uncovering the pain of the past and trusting God’s leading. It’s a story of redemption and second chances, set in the fictional town of Winterberry Falls, Vermont during the most celebrated season of all, Christmas. A winter storm thrusts my heroine back into a town that only holds bittersweet memories for her, and onto the doorstep of the man who’d stolen her heart and disappeared twelve years earlier. The only way to protect the woman he fell in love with is to stay out of her life, but what’s a guy to do when she shows up out of the blue? And how will he ever keep her safe from the secret that will destroy her family when she’s stuck in town indefinitely?

A buried story.  A powerful senator.  A Christmas they won’t forget.

I love questions from readers!

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Recently I was unearthing two boxes of favourite books I kept from my childhood in search of a new read for one of my daughters. To my delight, the books are still in excellent condition (after 30+ years) and I had a lot of fun sorting through my collection. I have the complete original series of Mandie books by Lois Gladys Leppard (all single released titles), the complete Elizabeth Gail series by Hilda Stahl and a good stash of original Babysitters Club books by Ann Martin. I also re-discovered my collection of Nancy Drew mysteries (both classic, Files, and my favourites – The Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mysteries).

At the bottom of one of the boxes was my diary I’d kept when I was ten. My girls and I read through the entries and enjoyed a laugh or two (what things a ten year old thinks about!).  One particular entry stopped me in my tracks: “To be a famous Christian writer would mean a lot to me. It would mean that I may bring people to the Lord.” So to answer your question, yes. It’s always been a dream of mine to be a writer and my career path has always included an element of writing (program notes for symphonic performances, grant writing for non-profits, articles for volunteer magazines).

Though I’m not a famous Christian writer, I’m living my dream of writing fiction from a Christian perspective. Maybe someday, I’ll achieve that first part. But if my writing leads one to or back to Christ, then the whole journey has been worth it.

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)? I think every writer experiences self-doubt at some point throughout the writing/publishing process. I’ve always been the kind of person to push through, especially when it gets hard. Artists pour so much of themselves into their work that there is always a bit of fear releasing it into the world. Writers depend on readers and their opinions, and they depend on the approval of acquisition editors if they choose to go traditional. A good friend said to me once when I received yet another rejection of my manuscript, “It’s not a definite ‘no’, it’s just ‘not right now’.” It has been a tremendous help mentally. But more than that, I know that if God has placed a story on my heart, He’ll help me write it and bring it to the right people at the right time.

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? I never saw myself eating bugs! A missionary friend brought back a specialty from the mission field – chocolate covered grasshoppers. And yes, I was one of the brave ones who ate one. And only one.

I also never saw myself camping. The first time I ever went camping was with my husband when I was three months pregnant with our twins. I hated tent camping, but he loved it (and I’m pretty sure my dislike of the activity had something to do with being unable to get comfortable on the ground to sleep with an oversized belly and having to pee every hour or two). But a few years later we bought a travel trailer and it is now my happy place.

Now it’s your turn for a question or two: What book has touched you the most in recent memory and how?

Here is where you can find Ann online:

Sweet Hope and Happy Endings…

https://www.facebook.com/annbrodeurauthor

https://www.pinterest.ca/brodeurwrites

Ann is giving away a Christmas ornament to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Toni Shiloh 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 pleased to have fellow Inspy Romance contributor Toni Shiloh as my guest. It’s always fun to have someone I interact with regularly as my guest here, because it’s like I get a chance to show off my friends. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win a set of five Christmas wedding stories!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a native Texan who now lives in northern Virginia. I’ve been married for fifteen years and we have two awesome young men we’re raising. If I’m not writing, then I’m probably reading or playing video games with the fam.

Tell us about your current release. Something Borrowed is a novella collection of 5 Christmas wedding stories. My novella, All the Moore, features Leilah Anderson and Reggie Moore. Leilah and Reggie met online playing video games. Leilah loves the anonymity of online presence because she can be herself and not be judged or pitied for being in a wheelchair. Reggie is intrigued by her and once he meets her face to face, wants a romantic relationship. But they’re thousands of miles apart. And oh yeah, Reggie has no clue of Leilah’s disability.

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. It’s actually a question I answered early in my career after attending a writing conference where this was the subject.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? Nothing. And the reason I say that is because there are a vast array of authors who all bring something different to their writing which covers the spectrum. So if someone wants to read a lighthearted romance for entertainment purposes, there are those. If someone wants something with heavier topics, that can be found too. Do I believe there are more of one particular issue could be more prevalent, yes. And I’m doing my part in bringing more diversity to the genre.

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 a file of ideas with characters who wish to become a reality. What I do is write the characters who are screaming the loudest.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Probably Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block. I remember having their tape, listening to it on my boombox, and wearing their t-shirts and singing loudly (and most likely, very badly).

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 know my characters before I start writing. I try and figure out as many details about them before I start writing. Sometimes little things pop up as I write and I learn more about them. As for plot, HA!!!, I have no idea other than it will end in a happily ever after.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? Always. Once the idea pops in my head, I know what length I want to make it. And I write accordingly.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? I read so many series as a child. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys, Baby Sitter’s Club, Sweet Valley High, and many more.

Here is where you can find Toni online:

www.tonishiloh.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorToniShiloh/

twitter.com/tonishilohwrite

www.instagram.com/tonishiloh/

www.pinterest.com/ToniShiloh/

www.goodreads.com/tonishiloh

Toni is giving away an ebook to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 8/17/20 – Why Do You Write Christian Fiction?

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m answering the question, “Why do you write Christian fiction?”

Answer my question on Inspy Romance blog post today and enter to win a 4-book hardback set: https://www.inspyromance.com/why-i-write-christian-romances-with-a-hardback-series-giveaway/

Preorder Alexandra’s Appeal for the September 29, 2020 release here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CBBP334?tag=hallethehomem-20

What’s Hallee drinking? Hallee’s Brew! Try it today! http://www.halleebridgeman.com/hallees-brew/
Do you want one of those cool cups? Get one here: https://www.halleebridgeman.com/ceramic-coffee-mug/

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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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Interview with Author Kari Trumbo 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 introduce you to Kari Trumbo! Kari and I cross paths regularly inside the Christian writer community, and I’m thrilled that she agreed to be a guest on my blog. She’s giving away a signed paperback of her latest release, so make sure you read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Hello everyone! I am Kari Trumbo, a writer of sweet Christian stories, with swoony heroes and heartfelt romance. I’ve mostly written historical westerns, but I’ve been writing a few contemporary stories lately.

Tell us about your current release: My newest release is for Christmas, Better Than First, Olympic Hopefuls book 1. Better Than First is like Hallmark Christmas Movie meets Touched By an Angel. Isla Flores has been a paraplegic her whole life and she needs to earn her place in the Paralympic games. When her best friend and coach, Duncan Schmitz challenges her to make a twelve item bucket list to complete before Christmas, she’s not only forced to see life off the track differently, but her coach, too.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No. In fact, I’ve got many friends who write to market and sell a lot more books than I do. I write the stories the Lord has placed on my heart. I figure there is a reason for that. Each story much touch someone.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? For the last two years, I’ve released almost one book a month. While I’m proud of the accomplishment, I’m tired. I still have daily writing goals, and a schedule, but sometimes it’s hard to ignore a story that wants to be written out of schedule order.

What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.): I love the computer, because I tend to write very quickly in first draft. I write it like it “looks” in my head. On my second pass, I add in emotion and senses, deepen everything.

Sometimes, when I’m distracted by pain or I’m outside I’ll just grab a notebook and start writing, but I have neuropathy in my fingers from twelve years of spinal issues, so I can’t write more than a couple pages at a time, whereas I can write most of a chapter in one hour if I’m typing.

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 didn’t tell anyone when I first started. I had an idea (and that book has never and probably will never be published) and I wrote it in the span of one month. It was awful, but that didn’t matter, I’d done it. I told my closest writing friend and she challenged me to write another one for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) the following month. I took up the challenge and wrote my first published book the following month. That was probably what got me started writing fast. Two books in two months to start is a big task and pretty much broke any notions I’d had about what speed I “should” write.

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? I’ll be honest. I don’t. I know the two characters and I might know a little of their history (if it’s a series and the character has been introduced before). But I have started a book literally with two names and nothing else. Now, I write romance so *spoiler alert* I do have some idea of the ending when I start, but I usually have no clue what is going to transpire in the story to get them there.

My absolute bestselling book, with over 11,000 copies sold, was written in just over two weeks. I knew the names of the two characters, but only that. The group I was writing with decided we’d release a book every three weeks, and I was up first. I had no choice. Sometimes it just comes.

Find Kari online:

Find Kari’s latest release online:

Kari is giving away an autographed paperback of Better Than First! Here’s how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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