Author Interview with Amanda Barratt

Welcome reader friends! I’m super excited to have Amanda Barratt here visiting with us today and sharing about her new book My Heart Belongs In Niagara Falls, NY.

AmandaBarratt  ECPA bestselling author Amanda Barratt, fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story – a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes inspirational historical romance, penning stories that transport readers to a variety of locales – from the sweeping coastline of Newport, Rhode Island, to the rugged landscape of Central Texas. Her novella, The Truest Heart, was a finalist in the 2017 FHL Reader’s Choice Awards.

 

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, who kindly put up with the invisible people she calls characters.

 

These days, Amanda can be found reading way too many books, watching an eclectic mix of BBC dramas and romantic chick flicks, and trying to figure out a way to get on the first possible flight to England. Connect with Amanda at the following locations

Web Page // Facebook // Goodreads // Twitter //

Now, let’s take a little glimpse at My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York

MHBinNiagraFallsNYJourney to Niagara Falls, New York, 1870

She avoids danger at all costs. He makes his living by rushing headlong into it.

Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband.

Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.

On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love. When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves.

 My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York

Join me in giving a warm welcome to Amanda Barratt! I’m thrilled to have you visiting with us today, Amanda. Let’s get started with some fun questions!

Thank you so much for letting me hang out with you all today! This is super exciting!

Q:   What is your favorite season, and why?

Amanda:   Autumn, hands down! In northern Michigan, we’re privileged to have a beautiful array of fall colors. There’s nothing better than walking down a secluded country lane, your boots crunching against fallen leaves, and then coming inside for a cup of hot apple cider. 🙂 Christmastime is probably a close second though, as I love the season of celebration and giving!

Trisha:    Fall in Michigan is beautiful. Here in the south west corner of Michigan I especially enjoy the scent of the grapes ready for harvest.

Q:    What is the best part of your day?

Amanda:   This is a tossup between morning and evening, since I love both for different reasons. Mornings are great, because I spend some time doing devotions, then get to dive into my writing for the day, which I always look forward to! But evenings are when I read, have meaningful conversations with family, and catch up on my latest period drama obsession. 🙂

Trisha:  Such a great way to bookend your day!

Q:   What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

Amanda:   I actually just read one that was published in the late 80s. Vienna Prelude by Bodie and Brock Thoene. This book was magnificent—full of so much drama and emotion and characters to love and root for. It was my first time reading it, and I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the series. Redeeming Love is another one that I return to over and over again.

Trisha:  Yes, I too enjoyed reading the books by Brodie & Brock Thoene. Absolutely, can’t forget about Redeeming Love!

Q:   If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Amanda:   An odd mixture! LOL Along with some Christmas music, I’ve been listening to Celtic Thunder, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and the soundtrack from the show Victoria.

Trisha:   I often listen to Celtic music when I am writing, and I too enjoy listening to Ella Fitzgerald & Frank Sinatra. I haven’t yet listened to the soundtrack from Victoria, I enjoyed watching that series.

Q:   Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Amanda:   Both came pretty much at the same time. We’d planned a family vacation to Niagara Falls. Before the trip, I was reading up on the history of the area, because that’s just what history nerds do. 🙂 I’d read quite a bit about the stunts and daredevils, and as I was walking along, looking at the Falls, the idea of a daredevil falling in love with a woman who feared risk, came to me. When Barbour put the word out that they were looking for authors to submit to a destination romance line, my sister suggested I do Niagara Falls and make the hero a tightrope walker. Sisters always know best! 🙂

Trisha:   Niagara Falls is a place on my list that I want to visit! I’m so glad your sister encouraged you to write this wonderful story!

Q:   Which character took you by surprise?

Amanda:   Delany, definitely. I was writing the scene where my heroine arrives at the home of her relatives, and lo and behold, the butler at the door is far from your ordinary staff member. It was one of those unexpected bursts of inspiration that I had a ton of fun building on.

Trisha:   It is fun when characters surprise us!

Q:   What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Amanda:   I never stayed up late working on this story. I probably laid awake at night thinking about it sometimes, but I’m a morning person, and around 8 PM my brain checks out for the night. 🙂

Trisha:  I’m not much of a night owl myself, but occasionally I will be so wrapped up in a story, that time gets away from me and I end up staying up well past my usual bed time.

Q:   What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Amanda:   I generally add more than I delete. So while my first draft looks different than the final one, it’s because of addition, rather than subtraction. I ended up omitting some analogies that I thought were rather clever when I wrote them, but made me cringe when I read them a second time.

Trisha:   Thank you, Amanda for visiting with us today. It was fun getting to know you better and getting a behind the scenes peek at the story.

We’d love to hear from you:

Do you have any questions for Amanda?

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Author Interview & Giveaway with Mikal Dawn “Count Me In”

To say I’m excited to have Mikal Dawn on the blog today is a serious understatement (excuse me a moment while I gush and go fan-girl here)!!  I “met” Mikal on Facebook through mutual bookish friends, and while I’ve not yet had the pleasure to hang out with Mikal in person, I’m fairly confident, that we’d have a blast! I recently read her debut novel “Count Me In” and I was swept away on a euphoria of words (see my review here). This is such a super fun story, I couldn’t put it down! If you haven’t yet meet Mikal or read “Count Me In”, this is your golden opportunity!

MikalDawn  Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast and proud military wife. By day she works for an international sports ministry, and by night she mutters to imaginary friends, performs sketchy Google searches, and procrastinates (like any good writer!). When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Born and raised just outside of Vancouver, Canada, Mikal has lived throughout the southern United States, currently residing in Nebraska (and loving it!) with her husband, three kids (two of whom she drives *everywhere* for ALL THE SPORTS), and one ferocious feline.

Web Page // Goodreads // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest //

CountMeInAllegra Spencer has been living a careful life. Her safe job as an accountant is bookended by going to church and the gym. Okay, sometimes the gym. Fine. She goes to church. And the coffee shop. She avoids risk at all cost, preferring to stay safe in her cozy condo. Until her accounting firm goes belly up and she’s out of a job.

Tyler Hawk had a glorious career as a star NFL tight end. He retired on a high note and now lives a second dream of owning his own business and leading others on extreme outdoor adventures. But he needs help with his books—and his heart. When Allegra takes the job, sparks fly.

It’s a case of safety zone versus danger zone, and in their minds, never the two shall meet.

  Count Me In (An Emerald City Romance #1)

Please join me in giving Mikal a warm welcome!

Thank you sooooooo much for having me, Trisha!!! You’re the bomb! 😊

Q:  What is your favorite season, and why?

Mikal:  WINTER!!!! What could be better than cold, snow, cozy fires, plaid, warm Christmas lights, thick blankets, soup! And did I mention SNOW? #myfavorite

Q:  What is the best part of your day?

Mikal:  Like every other family, it seems, we’re a super busy one. We’re at the ice rink four days a week, the dojo two nights a week, church…you name it. So the best part of my day is when we’re all under the same roof at the end of the day. I adore my family.

Q:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

Mikal:  Oooo…what a GREAT question!! Hm. Ten years ago… I re-read a lot of books around that time, all older. My favorite is Stealing Adda by Tamara Leigh. It was the book that told me I could write Christian romantic comedy. Others that were (and still are!) my favorites are In Honor Bound by DeAnna Julie Dodson (she now writes cozy mysteries as Julianna Deering), The Russians series by Michael Phillips & Judith Pella., and books by Irene Hannon.

Trisha:  Those are all great books! I enjoyed reading the Russians series and the Stonewycke Series by Michael Phillips & Judith Pella.

Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Mikal:  It’s Christmas!!! You would find Christmas music. Strictly Christmas music. But after Christmas, you’ll find a gamut of music! I love most songs put out by Postmodern Jukebox (seriously, look them up!!), U2, Bon Jovi (okay, most 80s music—and early- to mid-90s, too!), Crowder, City Harmonic, For King and Country, Needtobreathe, Rend Collective, Noah Mac and Chloe Kohansky (from The Voice), Pentatonix, Straight No Chaser, and a bunch of individual songs from well-known artists (though I wouldn’t go buy their albums in their entirety), and you have a bit of an eclectic mix.

Q:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Mikal:  It was actually the last “big” scene that came first. A class I was taking had an assignment for a particular part of the book, so I wrote that. A couple of people emailed me and said they’d love to read the story in its entirety (of course I didn’t have it!), so I thought, “Why not?” And Count Me In was born. I make it sound easy, but it really was anything but. I’m super thankful for the incredible critique partners and brainstorming partners I had!

Q:  Which character took you by surprise?

Mikal:  Honestly, two side characters: Bo and Story. I didn’t really have plans to write this as a series, but then when I was finished writing Count Me In, I had critique partners and early readers asking me what was going on with those two and when their story would be written. I truly didn’t even realize they’d written themselves their own book. Ha!!

Q:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Mikal:  I’m old, man. I can barely stay up until 11pm anymore. LOL! And writing is exhausting for me, emotionally and mentally. So when I write, it’s usually only for an hour or two—at the most four. I think the latest I stayed up was 1am. No where near other friends of mine who have pulled all-nighters then stayed up all day for their families or to go to work.

Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Mikal:  LOL!!!!! Honestly? Nothing!! I tend to write with brevity. My poor editor. She’s fabulous. But I’m sure she felt like she was pulling teeth. Most authors seem to have to cut words to get their books into the required length. Me? No. I had to add words. Lots of them. My editor worked with me to show me where I could pour more words, enhance description/setting, and add a few more scenes for depth. This book was truly a team effort.

Q:  What books/stories are you currently working on and how long till we can read more?! (I’m eager to read more amazing stories can you tell?)  🙂

Mikal:  I’m EXCITED you’re eager!!!! That seriously makes my day. 😊 Well, my plans were to write Story and Bo’s story next. And I tried, I really did. But those two…they’re stubborn (which is pretty obvious when you read Count Me In). I fought with them for a few months. Thankfully, I have some pretty incredible friends in my corner, and after talking with them, praying (both them and me), and doing some deep thinking, I’ve set Bo and Story aside to let them stew a little longer.

Right now, I’m working on a novella that’s connected to this series! It will be releasing as part of a collection this coming Spring. I’m super honored and excited to be part of this group of authors—it’s still pretty surreal, to be honest.

And because Bo and Story are taking their sweet time telling me their story, I’m moving on to Caprice, Allegra’s (from CMI) sister. In Count Me In, Capri was an intern for a fashion designer. Well, she’s come into her own and is being noticed. So take one part fashion designer, one part military service member, add a dash of matchmaker mother, and the Emerald City, and you get A Cut Above.

Trisha:  Eeep! I can’t wait to read about what happens with Caprice! Thank you so much for taking time to visit today! It has been fun getting to know you a little better.

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Mikal Dawn is giving away 1 (one) digital copy of her book “Count Me In.” Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page. Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries using the Rafflecopter entry form.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“What is the most adventurous thing you have done?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

*** Giveaway Ended ***

Congratulations to our winner:
Janice M.

Author Interview – Toni Shiloh

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Toni Shiloh. I recently finished reading her latest book ‘Returning Home’. I just loved this story! The characters are so vivid and real and I felt like I was in the story with them.

SONY DSC

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace of the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes soulfully romantic novels to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Before pursuing her dream as a writer, Toni served in the United States Air Force. It was there she met her husband. After countless moves, they ended up in Virginia, where they are raising their two boys. When she’s not typing in imagination land, Toni enjoys reading, playing video games, ​making jewelry, and spending time with ​her family. Toni is a member of the American Christian ​Fiction Writers (ACFW) as well as the president of the ACFW Virginia ​Chapter.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest

ReturningHomeJo Ellen Baker is shocked to find out that the boy who teased her mercilessly throughout high school, has returned to their hometown of Freedom Lake, and he’s missing a leg. When his mother asks her to renovate their carriage house to give him a place to gain his independence back, she wants to say no. But one look at him brings a rush of forgotten feelings.

Evan Carter can’t believe he has to return home and live with his parents. Every hope and dream he ever had dissipated in a car crash that cost him his leg. Stuck in a wheelchair, he’s forced to reexamine his relationship with God and the local carpenter, Jo Ellen Baker.

Will renovating his home open the door for a mended relationship, or are some wounds too deep to heal from?

Returning Home (Freedom Lake #1)

Welcome, Toni! I’m so happy to visit with you today and get to know you a little better.  Let’s get started with a few getting to know you questions, and then we’ll talk about the book.

Heather'sGardenQ:  What is your favorite season, and why?

Toni:  Growing up it was summer because I hate to be cold. But now that I live in a place that has all four seasons, I love spring. It’s absolutely stunning to see the flowers bloom and see the sun shine but not bake you. 😊

Trisha:  My favorite is Spring also! There is something about the rebirth of the trees and flowers, and just life bursting forth.

 

Q:  What is the best part of your day?

coffee-2593577_640Toni:  Oh wow. I’m not sure if I can pick just one. I love waking and reading God’s word. I love seeing my kiddos come home from school. But I also love their bedtime and the quietness that descends afterward. 😉

Trisha:  Yes, starting the day with God is the best. The quiet of the evening after children’s bedtime is pretty nice too. Peaceful times!

 

Q:  What are some of your favorite Christian Fiction reads from 10 years ago, or further?

book-863418_640Toni:  Ten years ago I didn’t know Christian fiction existed. The only book I was aware of was the Left Behind series. I believe I had read all of them by 2007 but I wasn’t reading anything else.

Trisha:  You know, I’ve never read even one of the Left Behind series. I have read plenty of other CF books.

 

Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

mobile-616012_640Toni:  Kari Jobe, Jesus Culture, and Elevation Worship. You might also find some Adele, Maren Morris, and Thompson Square.

Trisha:  Great selection of music you have! Kari Jobe has such a beautiful voice and her songs are so moving. I too enjoy Thompson Square, but I’ve not listened to their music in a while.

 

blur-1869579_640Q:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Toni:  The characters. They usually always come first, strolling by in my mind or some are bold enough to tap me on my shoulder and ask for a turn on the laptop.

Trisha:  I love that you have some bold characters!

 

Q:  Which character in Returning Home, took you by surprise?

books-315677_640Toni:  Jo’s mother. I was pretty sure nothing she could say or do would shock me but I was wrong.

Trisha:  Yes! She did surprise me as well. She is quite a unique character.

 

Q:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

desk-1148994_640Toni:  Not that late at all. I’m not a morning person or a night owl. I’m pretty much a middle of the day person. I love sleep too much.

Trisha:  I’m with you there, sleep is a beautiful thing!

 

Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the story?

pencil-918449_640Toni:  I had scenes from Guy’s point of view (POV), Evan’s father, Evan’s mother, and one from Michelle’s. I got some advice that said too many POV’s would be confusing. Instead, I rewrote the scenes from Jo or Evan’s POV.

Trisha:  I can see how that could be overwhelming with so many voices.

 

Q:  What was your most memorable vacation?

mickey-mouse-1776700_640Toni:  The first time I went to Disney World with my husband. It was our first vacation together and utterly magical. We’ve been a total of 6 times since, all sans kids. 😊

Trisha:  That does sound like it would be fun!

 

Thank you, Toni for visiting today and sharing with us about you and your wonderful book ‘Returning Home’. Please, do come and chat again some time soon!

Friends, do come back later this week, as I will be on tour with Singing Librarian for a review and giveaway of ‘Returning Home’.

I would love to hear from you:

What was your most memorable vacation?

Author Interview & Giveaway with Pam Hillman

I’m super thrilled to have Pam Hillman visiting with us today! Please join me in giving her a warm welcome.

PamHillmanCBA Bestselling author PAM HILLMAN was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove an Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of.

Web page // Twitter // Goodreads // Facebook //

ThePromiseOfBreezeHillNatchez, MS; 1791
Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.

The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage.

Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe?

 

 

The Promise of Breeze Hill (A Natchez Trace Novel)

Welcome, Pam! It is so very nice to have you here today! I loved reading your latest book The Promise of Breeze Hill & learning some history about the Natchez Trace. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop by. Let’s start out with a few getting to know you questions and then we’ll chat about the book.

Q:  What is your favorite season, and why?

road-1072823_640Pam:  As I get older, I’m becoming more and more enamored with fall. Years ago, I wasn’t that fond of fall. The cawing of crows, the business of my seasonal day job at the time seemed to overshadow the beauty and the coolness after a hot and humid Mississippi summer. But now, I look forward to the cool days and even cooler evenings and the beautiful red and gold leaves.

Trisha:  Fall is a beautiful time of year, no doubt, and such a nice break from the intense heat of summer.

 

Q:  What is the best part of your day?

Pam:  Waking up. Seeing the entire day stretching before me and knowing that I can accomplish anything that I set my hand to on that day.

Trisha:  Yes, there is something special about the morning. Watching the sun come up and knowing the day is full of possibilities.

 

Q:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

books-315677_640Pam:  Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love will always be a favorite. It’s the retelling of Gomer and Hosea in a California gold rush setting. Ms. Rivers took a hard situation and made us care deeply about Sarah/Angel.

 

Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Pam:  Well, I’m not as much a fan of music as my husband is. When I’m home alone, I mostly work in silence. But most recently, you’d find me listening to The Boler Family, which just so happens to be my husband’s sister and her family. We had a singing at our church, and I recorded it live for Facebook. Amateur recording of course. But when I do listen, it’s mostly Southern Gospel. Karen Peck and New River. And I’m partial to local talent. Jason Davidson, and The Renfroes are awesome and can be found on Youtube.

Trisha:  I too enjoy Southern Gospel. I’ll have to check out Karen Peck & New River.

 

Q:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

blur-1869579_640Pam:  Would the fact that I knew I was going to write about an indentured servant in The Promise of Breeze Hill be plot or character? I guess it’s a little of both, huh? Then a bit of the character comes to me during research. As the character takes shape, then more of the plot is revealed. So, it’s very much a back and forth scenario. But, generally, one small part of the plot is first. Or maybe one small part of the character is first. Goodness, that’s convoluted, and I’ll have to think about that some more. 🙂

Trisha:  I understand, sometimes both come at the same time.

 

Q:  Which character took you by surprise?

Pam:  My characters always surprise me, but for Promise, I’d say the biggest surprise was Mr. Bartholomew, Isabella’s father. He has a whole fascinating backstory that comes out during the course of the story.

Trisha:  I did enjoy Mr. Bartholomew’s history. He is a fascinating character for sure.

 

Q:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

desk-1148994_640Pam:  Hmmm, three or four o’clock in the morning, maybe. Then get up three hours later and start again. All of that is a hazy fog…

Trisha:  Wow! I think I would have fallen asleep at my computer before I made it to 4 o’clock.

 

Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Pam:  Nothing of import. But I suppose if it had been important, it would have been in the final copy, huh? 🙂 Seriously, there were some minor half-baked scene ideas that ended up on the cutting-room floor before I turned in the manuscript. There wasn’t anything deleted after that, but more some threads that were pulled out and made stronger during the editing stages.

Trisha:  Thank you Pam for coming by for a visit today! It was fun chatting with you and learning more about Breeze Hill.

Pam:  Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Trisha. What a blessing to get a chance to connect with your and your readers.

 

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Pam Hillman is giving away 1 (one) copy of her book “The Promise of Breeze Hill” The winner may choose a paper copy or e-copy (paper copy USA only). Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page. Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“Are you a morning person or a night owl? ”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

***** GIVEAWAY ENDED *****
Winner:  Tami L.

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Author Interview & Giveaway with Michelle Griep

Welcome! I am thrilled to be visiting with Michelle Griep today and chatting about her latest book 12 Days at Bleakley Manor. Join us for a fun chat, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Be sure to share the post with your friends also. You can read my review by clicking here.

2754194Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of both Regency and Colonial historical romances but also leaped the writerly fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. Keep up with her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Goodreads

12DaysAtBleaklyManorEngland, 1851: When CLARA CHAPMAN receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of one thousand pounds. That’s enough money to bring her brother back from America and reinstate their stolen family fortune. But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, BENJAMIN LANE.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar.

Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

 12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Once Upon A Dickens Christmas #1)

Trisha:  Thank you Michelle for visiting today. It’s always fun to get to know the authors behind the stories that we enjoy and love. Let’s get started with a few getting to know you questions and then we’ll chat about the book.

Q:  What is your favorite season, and why?

cornucopia-1789664_640Michelle:  I adore autumn. The colors. The scents. The double dark hot chocolate with marshmallows. Plus my favorite holiday is in the fall: Thanksgiving.

Trisha: Fall is a beautiful time of year, and I do so enjoy the yummy foods of fall. Fresh crisp apples, and juicy grapes!

coffee-2593577_640Q:  What is the best part of your day?

Michelle:  Slapping on my jammies and crawling into bed with a good book.

Trisha: That does sound like a cozy way to end the day!

 

Q:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

love-2614754_640Michelle:  My all time fave is Robin Hardy’s Streiker’s Bride trilogy. Absolutely awesome. I came to know God’s love for me in a whole new way after reading that series.

 Another series I loved was Tahn by L.A. Kelly It’s kind of a medieval but kind of not. The plot is thrilling and I love the character arcs.

 

podcasts-2633018_640Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Michelle:  A quirky mix of James Brown and the Last of the Mohicans sound track.

Trisha:  Oh, I too love listening to movie soundtracks. The Last of the Mohicans is a favorite of mine.

 

vintage-1706208_640Q:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

 Michelle:  The characters for Bleakly Manor came first. As much as I admire Dickens writing, it’s his characters that first and foremost grab a reader by the throat. I thought it only fitting to steal a few of his and tweak them to my liking.

Trisha:  The characters in this story are so vivid and rich in detail! I was hard pressed to pick a favorite.

 

 

Q:  Which character took you by surprise?

Michelle:  Miss Scurry turned out to be quite a sweet old lady. At first, I thought she might be a bit more mysterious, but she ended up being an all-around nice senior.

Trisha:  Yes, I wasn’t sure what to think of her at first, but you are right, she turned out to be quite charming.

 

desk-1148994_640Q:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Michelle:  Only midnight. After that, I turn into a pumpkin and things get real messy.

Trisha: Haha! I often don’t make it much past 11 pm myself.

 

correcting-1870721_640Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Michelle:  Nothing, actually. It takes me forever to write a manuscript compared to other authors, but that slow pace allows me to think carefully about what I’m putting in and why. It’s a rare manuscript of mine that I’d have to cut any scenes.

Trisha:  Thank you Michelle for visiting today. It was truly a pleasure to have you here. Please do come visit again!

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Michelle is giving away 1 (one) copy of her book “12 Days at Bleakley Manor”  The winner may choose a paper copy or e-copy (paper copy USA only). Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page. Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“If you could step back in time to the Victorian era, would you?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

*** GIVEAWAY ENDED  ***
Congratulations: Janice M.

IMG_1078

Author Interview & Giveaway with Brandy Bruce

I’m excited to have joining us today Brandy Bruce. Last month I read and reviewed her latest book ‘The Last Summer(see review). This is a book you won’t want to miss!

BrandyBruceBrandy Bruce is a mom, a wife, a book editor, an author, and someone who really loves dessert. She’s the author of the novels Looks Like Love, The Romano Family Collection, and award-winning The Last Summer. Having worked in the publishing industry for more than a decade, Brandy currently works as a freelance book editor, when she’s not writing novels! Brandy, her husband, and their children make their home in the beautiful state of Colorado. She’s very active online and she loves to hear from readers. Sign up for Brandy’s newsletter via her blog!

Web Page // Goodreads // Amazon // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //

For those who may have not yet had the pleasure of reading this fantastic story, let me share with you the synopsis.

For twenty-something Sara Witherspoon and her group of friends, a perfect Southern summer includes lake-house getaways, wedding planning, outdoor concerts, and a dash of romance. But for these seven friends who love each other like family, this year, summer rolls in with changes for everyone.

Sara’s longtime crush, Luke, has been her best friend for as long as she has been a part of the group. When Luke begins seriously dating another of their friends, Sara’s forced to deal with her hurt and jealousy, while outwardly try to support them both.

While Sara comes to terms with her own heart and her friends’ relationships, an unexpected handsome pilot from North Carolina and an old flame are thrown into the mix. Knowing her heart suddenly becomes much more complicated.

But as time unfolds and friendships begin to unravel, Sara and the others are presented with the reality of what a season of change does to old friendships and new love interests.

Does growing older mean growing apart?

Thank you Brandy for visiting with us today, I’m always happy to spend time with authors and chat about books!

road-1072823_640Q:  What is your favorite season, and why?

Brandy:  I love fall so much! Specialty coffee drinks, sweaters and tall boots, pumpkins on doorsteps. One of the main reasons I love it is because of how much fun it is for my kids. They love dressing up for Halloween, carving pumpkins, and all the special Halloween/Thanksgiving cartoon specials on TV. We look forward to the first snowfall of the season every year. Fall is a season that ushers in all the best holidays and I love it. It just feels like magic for my family

Trisha:  Fall is a beautiful season, filled with lots of color and cooler temperatures, the harvest of good food. What’s not to love?!


Q:  What is the best part of your day?

Brandy:  When I go get Lily—my two-year-old—out of her crib. Truthfully, Lily can be a bit grouchy in the mornings, but not usually with me. When I open the door, her face lights up and it brings an automatic smile and warms my heart every single time. She says, “Good morning, Mama!” and I melt!

Trisha:  Awww… that is sweet!


book-863418_640Q:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

Brandy:  I love this question! The truth is that my oldest child (I have three) just turned nine. So ten years ago I had a little more time to read than I do now. I definitely squeeze in time, and I always have a TBR list happening. But as for what I was reading back then . . . Robin Gunn is one of my favorite authors and I loved her Glenbrooke series. I loved the O’Malley series by Dee Henderson so much. The Newpointe 911 series by Terri Blackstock. The Shunning trilogy by Beverly Lewis. Oh! The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers killed me. When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall was beautiful. I liked a lot of the chick lit that was happening back then, such as Dreaming in Black and White by Laura Jensen Walker.

Trisha:  Those are some really great books, and a couple I need to add to my TBR!


mobile-616012_640Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Brandy:  I like all kinds of music. So you’d hear everything from the soundtrack to the TV series Outlander (gorgeous music) to Justin Bieber singing Despacito, to Eric Church singing country—and you’d even hear Pentatonix Christmas music! I love to listen to Christmas music while I edit, and I’ve had back to back freelance edits this summer.

Trisha:  I too enjoy listening to soundtracks. It’s so relaxing!


Q:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Brandy:  For my novel, The Last Summer, a couple of the main characters came first, with an overall plot idea connected.


heart-1908901_640Q:  Which character took you by surprise?

Brandy:  Lily. She’s my main character’s best girlfriend and her character changed through rewrites and revisions. She came into her own, I think you could say. And she ended up being one of my very favorites.

 

Q:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Brandy:  Oh, goodness, there were a few really late nights—and I don’t do well with late nights! I’m someone who’s usually out by eleven at the latest. But I remember working till the wee hours of the morning a couple of times.

Trisha:  I’m with you, by eleven, I’m nodding off.

pencil-918449_640Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Brandy:  In my original draft (keep in mind that the original was written about 20 years ago, so there were many changes over the years!) the gang of friends went on a holiday trip out-of-state together. That was fun to write. But in later versions, it just didn’t work with timing and pacing and plot, so I had to cut it.

Trisha:  Brandy, thank you for visiting today. It was lot’s of fun chatting with you. Feel free to come back and visit again any time!

 

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Brandy is giving away 1 (one) e-copy of her book “The Last Summer”.  Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page. You may return daily during the giveaway period to Tweet for bonus entries.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“What was your most memorable Summer?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

 

**** GIVEAWAY CLOSED ****
Congratulations:  Sylvia M.

Author Interview & Giveaway with Angie Dicken

I am excited to have my newest Author friend Angie Dicken visiting with us today!

AngieDickenAngie Dicken is a third generation Greek American, the granddaughter of strong men and women who endured hardship to grow American roots. My Heart Belongs In Castle Gate, Utah is set near the birthplace of her grandfather, a Greek coal miner’s son, and published 100 years after his birth. Angie is a contributor to The Writer’s Alley blog and an ACFW member since 2010. She lives with her husband and four children in the Midwest where she enjoys exploring eclectic new restaurants and chatting with friends over coffee.

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest //

Angie recently released her debut book “The Outlaw’s Second Chance(see my review)

TheOutlawsSecondChanceWhen Cort Stanton and Aubrey Huxley try to claim the same land in the Oklahoma Land Run, Cort offers a deal–one that could help him keep his freedom. After taking the blame for his brother’s crime, Cort needs to lie low, so he gives Aubrey the land for her horse ranch…if she’ll hire him. Now he just has to avoid growing too close to the gorgeous seamstress, who can never know his secret.

Aubrey refuses to depend on any man, even one as handsome and kind as Cort. Yet, as they work together to make her dream a reality, it’s impossible to imagine life on the prairie without him. And though Aubrey knows Cort has secrets that stand between them, she can’t help but wish she could stake a claim on his heart.

Make sure to watch for Angie’s 2nd book “My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah” Coming out in November!

  My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah

Let’s start out with a few fun, getting-to-know-you questions and then chat about the latest book.

Trisha:  What is your favorite season, and why?

road-1072823_640Angie: I love fall in the Midwest. There’s just so much to do—like apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and bonfires—and the changing colors and weather are AMAZING!

Trisha:  Yes, Fall is pretty awesome! We have several grape vineyards near us and we can smell the grapes when we walk outside.

 

Trisha:  What is the best part of your day?

tree-1409101_640Angie: When I can drag myself out of bed before the kids, I love the quiet of early morning. But, I am also a night owl, so that makes it more difficult to enjoy waking up so early. 😉

Trisha:  Oh, I hear you! Waking up early isn’t always easy. But the quiet time and the beautiful sunrise make it worth the effort.

 

Trisha:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

books-315677_640Angie:  My all time favorite—the one that kept me up, and had me weeping for the characters after it was over—is Liz Curtis Higgs Thorn In My Heart. Just so good. Of course, if you’d like to go back even further…my first exposure to Christian Fiction and favorites from childhood on–The Chronicles of Narnia.

Trisha:  Yes, I love Liz Curtis Higgs books!

 

Trisha:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

mobile-616012_640Angie:  Nora Jones. I LOVE her. Her music never disappoints.

Trisha:  I enjoy listening to Nora Jones on rainy days. Her music is relaxing and soothing, like a gentle rain.

 

 

Trisha:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

desk-2158142_640Angie:  For The Outlaw’s Second Chance, I would say the plotline came first. I wanted to write a Land run story.

Trisha:  The beginning of your book with the Land Run, reminded me a bit of the Land Run at the end of the movie Far and Away.

 

Trisha:  Which character took you by surprise?

guy-2609361_640Angie:  This is a great question. The character that kind of “evolved” was the heroine’s brother, Ben. He was her past and present clashing to threaten her future. But, I love how he seemed so one-sided in my initial writings, and then grew to be more complex.

Trisha:  Ben surprised me in the story also!

 

Trisha:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

coffee-2440074_640Angie:  Ooooh….me? Night owl extraordinaire? I’d have to say…3 or 4? But that might also include brainstorming sessions with my fabulous crit partner, Ashley Clark.

Trisha:  Wow! You are a night owl extraordinaire! My limit is usually 1 am.

 

Trisha:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

pencil-918449_640Angie:  In the original, I had Aubrey planning on running at night. She was going to be a “sooner” to the fullest definition of the word. But, I like the way it is soooo much better thanks to the suggestions of my editor at Love Inspired Historical!

Trisha:  That was a good change, I like the way it’s written! Thank you, Angie for spending time chatting with us today! It was fun getting to know more about you and your debut book.  I look forward to joining you at the Facebook Launch party tomorrow!

Thanks for having me on your blog, Trisha! I am so excited to see you at my FB launch party on the 12th. For all who want to join in the fun and a chance for winning a giveaway, visit www.facebook.com/dicken.angie and rsvp to the pinned event.

FacebookParty

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Angie is giving away 1 (one) copy of her debut book “The Outlaw’s Second Chance” The winner may choose a paper copy or e-copy (paper copy USA only). Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page. Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“Have you heard about the Land Run? Do you think you would have participated?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

 

***** GIVEAWAY ENDED *****
Winner is: Tami L.

 

Bonus:

A Month Long Giveaway: Post a Shelfie – Watch your local Walmart, Target & Book sellers for The Outlaw’s Second Chance. Snap a picture and share it!

Shelfie

 

 

 

Author Interview with Pepper Basham

I’m super-duper excited to have Pepper Basham,  The Queen of Swoony, visiting with us today!

pepperbarnsmilePepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the INSPYs, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, released in April 2017.

You can connect with Pepper over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, her website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.

 

I’m sure you have read at least one book by Pepper Basham… right? Okay, so how many of you have read, or at least heard of the “Love at First Laugh” Novella Collection? To read my review of the collection (click here). Pepper Basham has a delightful, page-turning story right at the front of that collection.

Basham

Come on a fun-filled journey to Bath, England, for a Jane-Austen inspired journey to tickle your funny bone.

This novella is part of a fantastic (and wonderfully affordable) novella compilation.

 

‘Second Impressions’ is scheduled to be released separately soon, and I thought it would be fun to invite Pepper to chat about this super fun story!

 

Trisha: Welcome, Pepper! Inquiring minds want to know; What is your favorite season, and why?

BlueRidgeFallPepper:  Fall – for several reasons (a few I’m sure you can guess as another Blue Ridge Mountain girl) I LOVE colder weather, but especially I love watching the seasons change in these mountains. The zillions of colors are amazing, especially when stretched over miles and waves of mountains. I like cuddling up with a book by the fire. I love snow and hot chocolate and fuzzy socks.

Trisha:  Oh, yes! Nothing can even compare with the beauty of the mountain in any season, but especially fall. It is like an endless patchwork of colors. Curling up with a book by the fire and yes, please fuzzy socks!! Snow? I use to enjoy snow. Then I moved to Michigan. (LOL!) It overstays it’s welcome around here. It starts in mid-October and doesn’t go away until mid-April. 

 

ChocolateCakeGirlTrisha:  What is the best part of your day?

Pepper:  Coming home to my family. and…dessert. I always like dessert in any part of my day

Trisha:  Yes, I can agree, coming home to family and desert! Can’t go wrong!

 

Trisha:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

books-315677_640Pepper:  Francine Rivers – Redeeming Love and her Mark of the Lion series

Siri Mitchell – Kissing Adrien

Deeanne Gist‘s early books

Trisha: Those are some great titles! Books I too have enjoy reading. 

 

mobile-616012_640Trisha:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Pepper:  MY. WORD – eclectic stuff. Let me see- Dear Evan Hansen, Disney songs, Laura Story, Nicole Nordeman, Piano Guys, Michael Buble, Colbie Callait, Wicked. 🙂

Trisha:  I hear you, my taste in music varries,  depending on my mood, and what I’m doing I love listening to different kinds of music. Variety is the spice of life! 

 

Mrs.BennettTrisha:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Pepper:  The heroine came first. I just started thinking of a poor girl in this time period who had a matchmaking mother like Mrs. Bennett – and then the story took off from there 🙂

Trisha:  Haha! That match-making mother, sure added an interesting element to the story. Especially because she was super sneaky!

 

woman-690216_1280Trisha:  Which character took you by surprise?

Pepper:  Ethan. He was lots more adorable that I thought he was going to be. And the last scene???? I had no idea that was coming. LOVED it!!

Trisha:  Me too! I loved that last scene! 

 

coffee-2440074_640Trisha:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Pepper:  HAHA!!! midnight or maybe 12:30. I usually work the next day so I can’t stay up too late because 5:45 am rolls around EARLY.

Trisha:  Oh, I hear you! Morning comes way to early in my house too. 

 

pencil-918449_640Trisha:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Pepper:  Hmm…Nora’s dancing lessons 🙂

Trisha:  That sounds like it could have been a fun scene. 

 

Thank you Pepper for vising with us! This has been lots of fun to chatting with you and getting to know you better.

Friends, be on the look out for this delightfully charming book to soon be released as a stand-alone later this month.

Basham

 

 

 

Second Impressions

Other Books by Pepper Basham:

  The Thorn Bearer (Penned in Time #1)

The Thorn Keeper (Penned in Time #2)

The Thorn Healer (Penned in Time #3)

A Twist of Faith (Mitchell’s Crossroads #1)

 Just the Way You Are (Pleasant Gap #1)

Let’s Connect:

Do you have a favorite Pepper Basham book?

 

Cover Reveal & Interview with Sarah Monzon – The Esther Paradigm

Welcome, I am super excited to be teaming up with Sarah Monzon for the cover reveal of her latest book The Esther Paradigm. While this new book is a stand-alone, those who have read Sarah’s other books may notice a commonality with her debut book The Isaac Project. I’m happy to have Sarah with us today to share some inside details about The Ester Paradigm. But first, let’s take a look at this eye-catching cover!

TheEstherParadigm

Hi Sarah, I’m getting excited about your new book, “The Esther Paradigm”. This cover is gorgeous. The lovely bride and the window frame around her. It sure captures my eyes and makes me want to know what her story is about.

Trisha:  Please tell us about “The Esther Paradigm”, what is the story about?

Sarah:  So you don’t get my canned “It’s a book about people who do stuff and fall in love” answer, I’ll just give you the blurb.

Hannah Pratt dreams of starting a school for the Bedouin clan she grew up with as a missionary kid, and finally, her hopes are coming true. But shortly after she returns to the desert from her college years in the U.S., she discovers her parents have received threats from their Muslim neighbors. As the danger escalates, Hannah finds she’s in the middle of a battle no one seems to understand. She must decide to what lengths she’ll go to stay faithful to the mission to which God has called her. Even if it costs her everything.

As sheikh, Karim Al-Amir feels the weight of responsibility as the leader of his people. When a mysterious illness ravishes the clan’s flocks and threatens to destroy their centuries-old way of life, locals believe the American doctors and their daughter, his childhood friend, Hannah, are to blame. Karim must do something to keep them safe—even if the only solution can be found within marriage vows.

In a society where the line is drawn between us and them, Christianity is outlawed, and foreigners are mistrusted, will their union heal wounds or inflict the final fatal blow?

-casablanca-morocco-front-doorsTrisha:  What was your inspiration for this lovely cover?

Sarah:  Hmm…I’m not sure I had an inspiration, per se. In fact, I created three or four different mock-ups that didn’t fit for one reason or another. I only had one thing I knew I wanted, and that was a bride on the cover. This book is a stand alone, but it does have the same feel as my debut, The Isaac Project. Because they are both inspired by biblical stories, I wanted to loosely brand them together and did that through the titles and the bride. Besides that, I wanted something that would hint at the setting and the flavor of the book. Something that would immediately grab the reader and make them go, “Ooooh! I want to read that!”

 

Trisha:  This book obviously isn’t set in the US. Where exactly is the setting?the-window-bible-studies

Sarah:  Good question! And one I’m not answering. Haha. Actually, it’s never specified in the book. A bit of a mystery. The only thing I can say is that it is set in the 10/40 window–the region 10 degrees south and 40 degrees north of the equator where the majority of those un-reached by the Gospel live. This includes North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. In a lot of these areas proselytizing and Christianity is illegal.

 

 

--princesses-wisdomTrisha:  What do you hope readers will learn when reading The Esther Paradigm?

Sarah:  I hope readers will come to it with an open heart. More than any of my books, this one wrote me more than I wrote it. There is a lot of diversity in the book. A lot of sensitive material not commonly found in a lot of Christian fiction currently on the market. I hope readers’ worldwide perspective will expand after reading the book. And, lastly, I hope readers turn the last page with a sense of enjoyment and contentment.

 

Trisha:  Thank you for sharing with us a little inside information today. One last question before you go: When can we look forward to reading The Esther Paradigm?

Sarah: You can pre-order it today for only .99 cents and it will automatically be downloaded to your kindle on November 2. =)

There wasn’t a question for this, but I wanted everyone to know that Trisha’s awesome hubby helped me out a bit with this cover. Thank you, Trisha’s hubby!!

 

SarahSarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book,Finders Keepers, has finaled in contests such as the Inspy Awards and received a 4 star review from Romantic Times.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Amazon

 The Esther Paradigm (pre-order today for .99c)

Sarah’s Other books:

 The Isaac Project

Finders Keepers (A Carrington Family Novel #1)

  All Of You (A Carrington Family Novel #2)

PhotoFunia-1503938732

Author Interview & Giveaway with Lori Benton

I am on cloud 9 today! I have been looking forward to our visit with Lori Benton for weeks! I am totally over here fangirling right now! I’ve been a huge fan of Lori’s since her first book “Burning Sky” was released in 2013.

LoriBenton2

Lori Benton was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of Burning Sky, recipient of three Christy Awards, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, and The Wood’s Edge.

Web Page // Facebook // Goodreads // Twitter //
Amazon // Pinterest

Today Lori has joined us to talk about her latest book release Many Sparrows. I had the honor to receive an ARC of this captivating story (you can read my full review here). Trust me when I say that you will not want to miss this story!

Many SparrowsMany Sparrows
WaterBrook Press (Penguin Random House)
August 29 2017  
ISBN-10: 1601429940 
ISBN-13: 978-1601429940

Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would…In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.

When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can recover her son…especially when her second child is moments away from being born.

Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?

IMG_0972
Welcome Lori, I’m beyond thrilled to have you here today chatting with us about your new book ‘Many Sparrows’.  Before we delve into questions about the book, lets start off with a few getting to know you questions.

road-1072823_640Q: What is your favorite season, and why?

Lori: Oh, hands down, it’s autumn. I love the woodland colors (brown is my favorite color), though of course, they aren’t as spectacular where I live, in Oregon, as they are in the eastern states. I love the invigoration of cooler air after our long hot summer. I love the fog! It never depresses me. I find it cozy and good writing weather. I also love the mood it gives my landscape photos. I love fall clothes, chunky sweaters and hooded jackets and boots and flannel. I love the smell of wood fires on the air. Oh my, is it fall yet?

Trisha:  Fall is a beautiful time of year and such a welcome after a hot summer.

 

cobweb-1025021_640Q: What is the best part of your day?

Lori: I like the morning—early, mid, late, all of it. It’s my quiet time, then my writing time. My best “brain” hours are morning hours.

 

Trisha: I love watching the sun come up, every day it’s different. No two are alike.

 

 

book-863418_640Q: What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

Lori:  Looking back I’d say Francine Rivers’ early works, especially The Mark of the Lion—they had a huge influence on me when I began writing CF, they broadened the scope. And of course Christy by Catherine Marshall, and Julie, which never seems to get as much attention but which I enjoyed nearly as much. Liz Curtis Higgs’ Scottish series which starts with A Thorn in My Heart were favorites. The early fantasy works of Stephen Lawhead, his Pendragon Cycle, awakened my love of all things Celtic and my interest in Welsh history. The first novel I wrote, back in my early twenties, was in that genre.

Trisha:  Those are some fantastic books. I’m a huge fan of Liz Curtis Higgs also!

 

mobile-616012_640Q: If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Lori: You’d find a fairly eclectic mix of traditional Celtic (Scottish mostly) music including songs in Gaelic, to songs by Apologetix (a Christian parody band) to Mark Knopfler (formerly of Dire Straits) to bands like Of Monsters and Men, Lumineers, Lord Huron, The Frozen Ocean, Oh Hellos, Wailing Jennys, and some worship music.  There’d be some Josh Groban and Mary Fahl and Peter Hollens in there too. And sound tracks to movies like Last of the Mohicans.

Trisha:  I enjoy listening to Celtic music also, and love Last of the Mohicans!

 

blur-1869579_640Q: Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Lori: Neither. Both. It’s an organic process and a little different with each book. For Many Sparrows, I’m pretty sure it was the historical backdrop, Dunmore’s War, that started it all. Then came characters, Jeremiah Ring first. My earliest working title for this book was The Frontiersman since I had to call the file something! But story development is a long process (years sometimes) with plenty of time for plot ideas to start slipping in while I’m daydreaming character.  And vice versa.

 

na-woman-2Q: Which character took you by surprise?

Lori:  A secondary character, Rain Crow. For the longest time, I didn’t see her as a real person, I will confess. She was my villain. My bad guy. But at some point, I realized that wasn’t fair—to her or to the story. So I took some time to really delve into her past, her heart—why it was so important for her to hold onto Clare’s son—and came out the other side absolutely in sympathy with her, even though her heart’s desire stands in opposition to my main character, Clare’s. Which made it tougher for me as a writer to resolve their issues satisfactorily.  I got stretched and readers got a far more compelling story than if I’d taken the easy way.

Trisha: I really liked the direction you took with Rain Crow.  I admit, I didn’t like her at first, but then I began to see that she carried a history of deep hurt. Seeing Clare with Rain Crow made me appreciate the strength of Clare’s character even more.

 

coffee-2440074_640Q: What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Lori:  I don’t work at night (my writing brain is pretty much fried by 3 pm), so I’ve never stayed up late. I’m an early riser, so by 8 pm most nights I’m starting to think about sleep. Better to ask what’s the earliest I ever got up to work on this story? That answer would be 3-4am.

Trisha:  I don’t believe that I’ve ever willingly gotten up that early. I’m impressed!

 

pencil-918449_640Q: What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Lori:  Nearly 40,000 words all told! While most of that was trimmed in bits and pieces from all over the place, there was one large chunk that hit the cutting room floor, a much longer version of Clare and Jeremiah’s stay in Wheeling Settlement, in which I introduced a group of female settlers that Clare falls in with during her attempt to locate Jacob, and an older woman who offered her counsel. But since we never saw these characters again after Clare leaves Wheeling, it was decided they slowed the story down at that point so they remain nameless women doing their washing at the creek.

 

Thank you Lori for visiting with us today, it was a pleasure to get to know you better and to chat about ‘Many Sparrows’.  Please feel free to come back any time and visit with us again!

Friends, Lori is giving away 1 autographed, printed copy of her latest book ‘Many Sparrows’.  The giveaway is only open to those in the continental USA. Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“What is the best part of your day?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

*****GIVEAWAY ENDED*****
Winner is: Trixi