Hello, readers! I have, yet again, another fabulous author for you to meet! This author is someone I came to be in touch with through one of the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) genre pages–the ACFW Romance Facebook page. This is, again, one of the amazing pluses to being a part of something like the ACFW. Having a place where you can connect and exchange information and bounce ideas off other authors in your genre. Authors ask questions, share thoughts, celebrate successes, and encourage each other on these genre pages. Just to note…I’m also on the ACFW Historical Fiction Facebook page.
But I digress…today, I would like to introduce you to Author Regina Rudd Merrick. She is here today to talk about her Southern Breeze Series and is offering a giveaway (details to follow)! But I’ll quit vamping and get right to Regina:
Thanks for being on my blog, Regina! First, can you tell us a little about your novel?
Carolina Mercy is book two in the Southern Breeze Series, published by Mantle Rock Publishing, LLC. It released in July of this year. Book one, Carolina Dream, tells the story of Sarah, a girl from Kentucky who goes to South Carolina to claim an inheritance, and finds more than an inheritance – she finds love. In book two, Sarah’s friend Lucy comes to South Carolina in the aftermath of a tragedy in her life, reconnecting with a man she met the year before, but has not been in contact for months after what seemed to be a terrific date. Tom has had trials of his own, and they’re not over. There’s family issues, a hurricane, and a wedding in this novel – and some of the issues overlap!
I love sequels like this…where the author picks up a thread from the first book and carries that story to more fullness. What was the inspiration for Carolina Mercy?
After writing Carolina Dream, I knew I wanted to continue with Lucy and Tom. The characters were just too much fun to ignore!
Fun! Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?
No, I didn’t always dream of being a writer! When I was a child, I went through the phases of nurse, teacher, and mommy. Then secretary. I ultimately became a librarian (and a mommy!), which introduced me to the world of Christian Fiction.
That sounds like a dream job…to be surrounded by books! And teaching others the love of the written word!
I first considered becoming a writer when I began writing fan fiction about the television show “Sue Thomas:FBEye,” based on the true story of a deaf F.B.I. Analyst. It was produced by Christians, and never shied away from religious undertones OR overtones. I found a site dedicated to people who didn’t want the show to end, so we kept it alive in fan fiction world. The feedback I received from that, as well as some now-published authors on the site that invited me to join a small group with them for writers pursuing publication were what made me think about it more seriously.
That’s wonderful! My first writing was fan fiction as well. But for science fiction…now I write Clean Historical Romance…go figure! I love about the Christian Fiction writing world that authors are so encouraging and helpful!
What part of the writing process do you dread? There’s always something…
The blank page. Once I get started, I’m fine, but it’s like a new job every single time. I’m currently working on my fourth novel, and I’ve approached all four in a different way, as far as plotting goes!
I can relate! You probably already know this, but it’s so important we keep learning. Some of that comes through critique groups, conferences, online classes, craft books…but a lot of what we learn, I believe, comes intuitively through reading others’ work. What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading A. H. Gabhart’s second “Hidden Springs” novel, Murder by Mail. It’s kind of “Mitford with a mystery!”
What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?
If I listen to music, it has to be easy listening instrumental. I’m a church musician – piano and vocal – so it’s very easy for me to get sucked into singing along or thinking about the lyrics. My favorite Pandora stations are the Chris Rice channel and the Jim Brickman channel!
Jim Brickman! You are speaking my language. I do only instrumental as well. Actually…same for the same reason 🙂
Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?
I tend to take care of business in the morning, then around lunchtime, or after, I can concentrate on writing. I have a corner of a guest bedroom where I have my desk. Funny thing – My desk has been in a different place for each novel. I’m hoping to keep it here for a while! It’s upstairs and quiet!
I know it’s different for each writer…and can be different for each work…but readers are always curious: How long does it take you to write a book?
I’m really not sure! I would say about 5-6 months. The lines get blurry when you’re in edits AND writing a new book!
Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
I’d love to! I’m currently working on two projects: a new series based on a brother-sister renovation company, set in Kentucky, and a novella collection set on beaches and islands with three other Mantle Rock authors! The first book in the new series, hopefully, will be released next summer, and the novella collection is scheduled to release in September 2019!
How exciting! I LOVE novella collections. I am really partial to that “good afternoon read” that I can pick up and finish in a couple of hours.
Thanks again, Regina, for being on the blog. And for sharing about your book series and your process. So, without further ado, I’ll let my readers check out your novel:
She’s always gotten everything she’s wanted. He thinks he has to give up everything.
Her best friend’s wedding is foremost on Lucy Dixon’s radar. Her biggest concern is once again meeting Tom Livingston, who has ignored her since an idyllic date on the boardwalk of Myrtle Beach the previous summer.
At least, it is her biggest concern until tragedy strikes. Where is her loving, merciful God, now?
When Tom Livingston meets Lucy, the attraction is instant. Soon after, his mother is diagnosed with an untreatable illness and his personal life is pushed aside. His work with the sheriff’s department, his family – they are more important. He knows about the love of God, but circumstances make him feel as if God’s mercy is for everyone else, not him.
Can a wedding and a hurricane – blessing and tragedy – bring them together?
Enjoy an Excerpt
from Chapter One
Lucy Dixon wanted it to be a bad dream, but it wasn’t.
Auto pilot. It was the only way she was getting through this. Daddy was dead. Two other workers lay in the hospital in critical condition because he’d pushed himself in front of them before the explosion. Grandmommy was burying her son, and she was burying her father.
Another group of friends reached the casket, and she braced herself for their condolences. If she had to do this much longer, she feared she would run from the room screaming.
And then he came.
Tom. She hadn’t heard from him in eight months.
“Now who in the world is that tall drink of water?”
Lucy took a deep breath and tried to slow her heartbeat. “It’s Tom Livingston, Grandmommy. The man I told you about from South Carolina. I guess he came with Sarah and Jared.”
“Is Sarah’s young man, Jared, the boy with the dark hair and eyes?”
“Well, no wonder she’s stayin’ in South Carolina.”
Regina Rudd Merrick is a writer, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Having lived most of her life in Western Kentucky, she dreams of the sound of crashing waves and sandy beaches. Married to her husband of 35 years, she is the mother of two grown daughters, and the keeper of a 100-year-old house where she lives in the small town of Marion, KY. She is the author of three books: Carolina Dream (Apr. 2017), Carolina Mercy (July 2018), and coming in Feb. 2019, Carolina Grace in the Southern Breeze Series.
Connect with Regina and her writing
Publisher Website: https://mantlerockpublishing.com/
Regina is offering a giveaway! One (1) ebook version of Carolina Mercy. Please follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway.