Author Interview & Giveaway: Michelle Griep

I have a special guest vising with us today! Grab a hot drink and a chair and settle in for a fun interview. Allow me to introduce our Author guest, Michelle Griep.

2754194  I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write…except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

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Join us as we chat about Michelle’s latest released book, The Innkeeper’s Daughter. For those not familiar with this wonderful story, be sure to click here to read my review.

The Innkeepers DaughterDover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue. . .until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

The Innkeepers Daughter

Welcome, Michelle!  I’m so happy to have you here chatting with us today about The Innkeeper’s Daughter. Let’s start out with a few getting to know you questions, and then we’ll dive right into the book.

Q:  Are you a coffee or tea drinker? 

Michelle:  Yes. Both. But I had to switch to decaf recently.

Trisha:  I too enjoy both coffee and tea.

 

Q:  What is your favorite dessert?

Michelle:  Anything chocolate. Dark’s my favorite but I won’t snub milk.

Trisha:  Yes! Love chocolate!

 

Q:  What would be your dream vacation? 

Michelle:  England . . . which I happen to be going to in May! Woohoo! And my favorite place in all of England is Ironbridge. It’s like visiting the Shire.

Trisha:  That’s wonderful! Do you have enough room for a stowaway?! I’m sure that you will have a marvelous time!

 

Q:  If they were to make a movie of The Innkeepers Daughter, who would you choose to play the hero & heroine? 

Michelle:  Alexander Moore is Chris Hemsworth, and Johanna Langley is Rachel Weisz.

You can see their pictures plus the other characters at my Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/michellegriep/the-innkeepers-daughter/

Trisha:  I enjoy seeing all the wonderful pictures you collected for your inspiration board on Pinterest!

 

Q:  Where did your inspiration for The Innkeepers Daughter come from?

Michelle:  I visited Dover a few years back. Roaming the white cliffs and following old smuggler trails made me wonder what those smugglers might be like.

Trisha:  I can almost picture you there!

 

Q:  Did you have a favorite character while writing The Innkeepers Daughter?

Michelle:  Lucius Nutbrown, hands down. Who wouldn’t want to talk only through a puppet?

Trisha:  He was quite the unique character!

 

Q:  Did anything surprise you during your research for The Innkeepers Daughter?

Michelle:  Learning about Congreve rockets was super interesting. I love the tie-in with America as they were used during the war of 1812, and that’s where we get the line in the Star Spangled Banner “and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air.”

Trisha:  Learning about those rockets is interesting!

 

Q:  What books/stories are you currently working on and how long till we can read more?! 

Michelle:  Thatcher is the spy-sidekick of Alex in The Innkeeper’s Daughter and now I’m working on his story (which will be the 3rd and final Bow Street Runner book). Here’s a blurb:

Life couldn’t be better for Abigail Gilbert—but it’s been a long time in coming. Having lived with a family who hated her, it’s finally her time for love. Abby sets off on a journey across England to marry one of the most prestigious gentlemen in the land—until highwaymen upset her plans and threaten her life.

Horse patrol captain Daniel Thatcher arrives just in time to save Abby. But she’s simply another victim in a job he’s come to despise. Tired of the dark side of humanity, he intends to buy land and retire.

Abby pleads with him to escort her for the rest of her journey. He refuses—until she offers him something he desperately needs to achieve his goal . . . money. Delivering her safely will give him more than enough to buy property.

So begins an impossible trek for the cynical lawman and the proper lady. Each will be indelibly changed by the time they reach her betrothed, if they don’t kill one another first—or fall in love.

Trisha:  I’m so happy that Daniel Thatcher is getting his own story! I can’t wait to read all about his adventure!  Thank you again, Michelle for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to visit with us today.

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Michelle Griep is giving away 1 (one) copy of her book “The Innkeeper’s Daughter” Please review the policies here. Please note that due to shipping cost this print copy is only available to those in the continental USA. 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:
“Who is your favorite fictional Spy?”

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

 

 

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Author Interview & Giveaway with Sarah Sundin – The Sea Before Us

Welcome reader friends! I am super excited to have Sarah Sundin visiting with us today.

SarahSundinSarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of The Sea Before Us(coming February 6, 2018), the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, When Tides Turn), the Wings of the Nightingale series, and the Wings of Glory series. Her novels Through Waters Deep and When Tides Turnwere named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” Through Waters Deep won the 2016 INSPY Award and was a Carol Award finalist.

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups.

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

For those who may haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading this wonderful story is one you won’t want to miss out on reading! To read more check out my review (click here).

TheSeaBeforeUsIn 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

  The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy #1)

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Sarah Sundin! Thank you Sarah for vising with us today and taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions.

Q: What is your favorite season, and why?

Sarah: Autumn. I’m a November baby, I adored going back to school, and I love cool weather.

Trisha:  Autumn sure is a beautiful season! I love all the colors. It’s like nature’s last hurrah before winter sets in.

 

Q: What is the best part of your day?

Sarah: Early afternoon to early evening is my most productive time. I’m not a morning person, so I’m barely coherent before noon. In the afternoon my creativity and energy finally arrive. And then my husband comes home from work, which makes my day. And not just because he’s the one who loves to entertain our high-maintenance yellow lab.

Trisha: Evening is family time in our house also. It’s my favorite part of the day!

 

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

Sarah: Before 2000, I’d read little Christian fiction, other than This Present Darkness and the Left Behind series. Our kids were still little, and taking time to read felt almost selfish. When I started writing in 2000—and I knew I wanted to write for the Christian market—I had a good excuse to begin reading again. I started with Robin Jones Gunn’s Glenbrooke series and loved the combination of romance, faith, humor, and realistic characters.

Trisha:  Sounds like you picked out some good stories!

 

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

Sarah:  Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, the Andrews Sisters, Harry James, and Artie Shaw.

Trisha:  I should have guessed! You know, too love listening to these singers/artists. Now I have the song “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” playing in my head, I sang that song in choir! My grandmother use to play “In The Mood” by Glenn Miller on her record player and we’d dance with the broom and dust cloth while cleaning. Fun memories!

 

Q: Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Sarah:  At the “big picture” level, the plotline for the Sunrise at Normandy series came first—I wanted to have three brothers fighting on D-day from the sea, the air, and the ground. To make it work, the brothers had to be estranged. Once I knew that, the characters came to life and drove the plots for each of the three novels.

Trisha: I’m really looking forward to reading the other two brother’s stories!

 

Q:  Which character took you by surprise?

Sarah:  Mr. Fairfax, the father of the heroine, Dorothy Fairfax. World War II has caused him great suffering, and he doesn’t bear grief well. He started off in my mind as a fairly negative character, but I grew to have great sympathy for him, and I love how he grew during the story. The scene that made my cry when writing involves Mr. Fairfax and Dorothy.

Trisha:  Yes, I think I know what scene you are talking about with Dorthy and Mr. Fairfax!

 

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

Sarah:  In college, I was the queen of the all-nighters. I can’t do that anymore. My husband has been a good influence on me, and I keep regular hours (my eighteen-year-old self is SO ashamed of me). So the latest I stayed up writing The Sea Before Us would be 10 pm. But usually I wrap up my writing for the day by 6 pm.

Trisha:  Oh, I’m with you! My ability to stay up super late, has diminished.

 

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

Sarah:  Nothing actually. I’m an outline-oriented writer, and I think through my plots before I start the rough drafts. But something appeared in The Sea Before Us that wasn’t in my original draft—the prologue. Three years before the story begins, a tragic string of events thrust the three Paxton brothers apart. In my original draft, this story was revealed by Wyatt Paxton in conversation and memories. But it felt kind of flat. I played with the idea of adding the incident in a prologue, but kept rejecting the idea. When I turned the manuscript in to my editor, I mentioned the idea of a prologue. She said, “Write it now!” So I did. It only took about two hours, because I already knew what happened and I’d already imagined the scene from the perspective of each brother. It flew! And it was probably the most emotional scene I’ve ever written—it really shook me up. I’m getting great feedback from readers, so I’m very glad I added it!

Trisha: I’m glad you added the prologue! That was fantastic!

 

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?)

Sarah:  The Sky Above Us will be released in early 2019. It features Adler Paxton, a P-51 fighter pilot who flies over Normandy on D-day, and Violet Lindstrom, a Red Cross worker at Adler’s air base. I just finished my publisher’s first edits on the novel, and I’ve seen the early work on the cover! Can’t wait to see the official book cover! The last book in the series, The Land Beneath Us, will be released in early 2020, and it tells the story of Clay Paxton, an Army Ranger on D-day.

Trisha:  I’m super excited to read Adler’s story and Clay’s as well! Thank you so much for visiting today!

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Sarah Sundin is giving away 1 (one) print copy of her book “The Sea Before Us” Please review the policies here. Please note that due to shipping cost this print copy is only available to those in the continental USA. 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:
“Do you stay up late reading? What is the latest you’ve stayed up reading?”

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

 

* * * * *  GIVEAWAY ENDED * * * * * 

Winner is: Tami L.

 

TheSeaBeforeUs1

Author Interview & Giveaway with Jocelyn Green – A Refuge Assured

Welcome, Friends! I’m so very excited to introduce you to today’s special guest. It is a pleasure to have Jocelyn Green visiting with us today.

JocelynGreenJocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King; Wedded to War; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. She graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She is an active member of the Christian Authors Network, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Military Writers Society of America. She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, Toblerone chocolate bars, the color red, and reading on her patio. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

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

You can pick up a copy of Jocelyn’s latest book  “A Refuge Assured” at your local bookstore. CLICK HERE to read my review.

 

A Refuge AssuredLacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia, but danger lurks in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers begin to suspect a young boy left in her care might be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement Asylum offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate his hard-won farm near Asylum, but he soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they are drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.

 

Please join me in giving Jocelyn a warm welcome! Jocelyn, it is a pleasure to have you here today! Let’s get started with our interview. 

Q:  What is your favorite season, and why?

Jocelyn:  Spring. The increase of daylight after a long Iowa winter always takes me by surprise and fills me with joy. The warmer temperatures and reappearance of grass and leaves and all flowering things really do feel like an annual rebirth.

Trisha: Oh, Spring is my favorite also! The flowers returning, things turning green, warmth, sunshine, birds singing, I love it all!

 
Q:  What is the best part of your day?

Jocelyn:  The part where I’m drinking coffee. 😊 Usually that’s in the morning before the kids are up, but it can be early afternoon on occasion, too. But that’s a tie with family dinner time. I love having everyone together to talk about our day. When we don’t do it, I really miss it and notice a disconnect.

Trisha:  Mmmm….Coffee! Yes! Family time is so important!

 

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

Jocelyn:  Brock and Bodie Thoene’s Zion Covenant series, for sure!

Trisha: Yes! I too enjoyed reading that series!

 

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

Jocelyn:  Mozart, Christmas music sung by monks, and on Pandora, “The Civil Wars” artists.

Trisha:  I enjoy listening to instrumental music when I read & write. I find it helps erase background noise. I enjoy finding out what others listen to.

 

Q:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Jocelyn:  My first response would be characters, but both the hero and heroine would not be who they are without the plot. So here’s what I had to work with first: a lacemaker (character) fleeing from the French Revolution and seeking asylum in America (plot). Plus a veteran of the Revolutionary War (character) struggling to work out what independence means in America’s young democracy (plot). They are so intertwined, it’s hard for me to separate them.

Trisha:  Thus far, for me it’s been all about the characters when I’m starting a story. I enjoy hearing how authors approach a new story.

 

Q:  Which character took you by surprise

Jocelyn:  Both Armand and Paulette took me by surprise. Paulette played a role I didn’t know she would until late in the process, and Armand—well, that man popped into the pension at Le Havre at the  beginning of the novel when I didn’t even know he would be in the book at all. But I’m SO GLAD he showed up, because his relationship with Vivienne, the heroine, was a rich subplot that added dimension to both characters and plot.

Trisha:  Yes, both of those two took me by surprise as well. Paulette more so than Armand.

 

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

Jocelyn:  I don’t remember! It probably wouldn’t impress you. It’s far more likely for me to go to bed at a normal hour and get up early (5 am is typical, 3 am or 4 am is not unheard of).

Trisha:  My goal is to go to bed around 11 pm.  Often a good story will keep me up past that. But rarely do I ever wake up before 6 am. I’d rather sleep in. 🙂

 

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

Jocelyn:  I have gobs to choose from, since I cut out so much. Here’s one: in early drafts, I had a couple of extra characters who served as tutors for Henri in Philadelphia, but they didn’t have enough to do to make it worth their existence on the page, so I cut them out. I figured readers have enough characters to keep straight as it is. I also cut out lots of sighing, inhaling deeply, gazing, and clearing throats. 😊

Trisha:  Now I’m curious, if you have ever saved one of those characters you chopped out and used them in another book later?

 

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?)

Jocelyn:  I’m currently working on the next novel to release from Bethany House in 2019. It’s set in the French and Indian War and is set in Montreal and Quebec. Thank you for being an eager reader!

Trisha: Yay! A new historical to watch for! I look forward to hearing more!

 

*** GIVEAWAY ***

 Jocelyn Green is giving away 1 (one) print copy of her book “A Refuge Assured” Please review the policies here. Please note that due to shipping cost this print copy is only available to those in the continental USA. 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:
“ Do you listen to music when you read, and if so, what do you like to listen to?”

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

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?

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.

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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