INTERVIEW & SPOTLIGHT: Author Amy R. Anguish

Welcome, all, to another edition of the blog and another fabulous author for you to meet–author Amy R. Anguish. Amy writes clean contemporary romance. I met her through the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Romance Genre Facebook page, which I continue to enjoy networking and learning through. But enough of that…let’s meet Amy!

Welcome to the blog, Amy! First, can you tell us a little about your novel? 

I got the idea for this book at a time when my sister and I didn’t see eye-to-eye. I’m sure most siblings go through years like that, even after they’re grown. We’re much closer now, but the idea was still there.

What would happen if two sisters who didn’t along were forced to spend a summer together? Would it push their relationship to the limits? Would it bring them closer together?

I let this idea stew for several years, before I realized it paired well with another idea that had been simmering in the back of my brain about a girl who has finally overcome her infertility struggle. Faith, the older sister in my book, is that girl. The younger sister has other issues – mainly trying to figure out what she really wants to do with her life now that she’s lost her dream job. And, of course, there’s a bit of romance, too. 😊

Intriguing…my sister and I did go through this period as well. And now she is one of my best friends!

My readers already know this about me: I definitely set the mood when I write…I have my coffee, my instrumental music…you know? What about you? What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

I’ve heard that you’ll always prefer the music you grew up with to any other kind that comes along later. That’s probably why I listen to a lot of 90s pop when I write. Although I do branch out and listen to some of what my parents grew up with sometimes (ABBA, the Monkees, the Carpenters, etc) or every now and then I throw in my Glenn Miller CD.

Sweet! I grew up on my dad’s favorite music–the Beatles!

What about your writing “atmosphere”? Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

I don’t know if it’s my favorite time of day, but the time of day I can actually find a quiet moment to write is usually early afternoon. That’s when my kids are napping. I have a comfy chair that rocks a bit and is beside the window and the fireplace with stacks of papers and books around that I can never keep cleaned up.

Kids napping–I know that’s right! Mine are just now starting school. My last one will start this next Fall. Having them home has been a joy, but it does limit your writing time 🙂

How long does it take you to write a book?

Amazingly enough, most of my books were written (first draft) in 30 days. I participate in Nanowrimo every year, and the goal is 50,000 words or more in 30 days. I think I’ve only ever written one manuscript outside of that.

That’s cool! I have done a few manuscripts during Nanowrimo, but not all. That’s a really interesting factoid!

Can you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

This book is set in central Texas, a place my husband and I lived for five years. Even though we love where we live now in Tennessee, there are a lot of things about that area that we miss. Right now, I’m missing the bluebonnets.

Aw…I’m a Tennessee girl myself. Born and raised. Lived in Central Florida for a few years, then moved back to really settle down. Can’t say I miss the palm trees though…

Before I let you go, I have to ask…do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I’ve got one manuscript on the back burner, waiting to see if it gets accepted by the publisher I’ve submitted it to. It’s about a girl who tries to adopt a baby who is the only other survivor in a wreck she’s in. I’m also re-writing another manuscript written ages ago that had good bones, but lousy everything else. It’s about a widow who is trying not to fall in love with her husband’s best friend.

What an interesting concept! Hope you have success developing those. Editing and re-writing can be so much harder than writing that first draft.

Thanks again for being on the blog…for sharing about your process and your release. And now, readers, without further ado…I release you to experience this peek at Faith and Hope!

Faith and Hope

Two sisters. One summer. Multiple problems.

Younger sister Hope has lost her job, her car, and her boyfriend all in one day. Her well-laid plans for life have gone sideways, as has her hope in God.

Older sister Faith is finally getting her dream-come-true after years of struggles and prayers. But when her mom talks her into letting Hope move in for the summer, will the stress turn her dream into a nightmare? Is her faith in God strong enough to handle everything?

For two sisters who haven’t gotten along in years, this summer together could be a disaster … or it could lead them to a closer relationship with each other and God. Can they overcome all life is throwing at them? Or is this going to destroy their relationship for good?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“In all honesty, I really thought this meeting might have been to say I was going to get a raise next year.” Hope Cook gave a little chuckle. Anything was better than bursting into tears in front of her boss, even if it was faking laughter.

“Trust me, Hope. If I could have done that, you would be at the top of my list.” Mr. Smith straightened some papers. “Unfortunately, the school board has spoken. The team has to have another coach.”

“I know.” Hope half-heartedly held up a fist. “Go Buckley!”

“If anything changes at all, I’ll let you know.”

Hope couldn’t help but slump her shoulders as she opened the doors to rain. Evidently, the weather was in the same mood she was. She stepped out from under the overhang … and directly into a puddle.

Laid off.

Wet clothes.

Soaked feet.

She listed every bad thing the afternoon had wrought thus far as she squished her way through the parking lot.

“You have got to be kidding me.” The umbrella doused her with another shower as she fought to close it. She tossed the miscreant tool into her backseat and slammed the door.

She took a moment to lay her head on the steering wheel and give in to her depression. “Why, God? Why give me my dream job only to take it away?”

A clap of thunder sounded. She lifted her head and hands.

“Okay, okay. Sorry. But I don’t understand.”

She shook her head. Was she really arguing with God? Obviously, she needed to go home and rest.

Buy Link

Amazon

More About the Author

Amy R Anguish grew up a preacher’s kid, and in spite of having lived in seven different states that are all south of the Mason Dixon line, she is not a football fan. Currently, she resides in Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and son, and usually a bossy cat or two. Amy has an English degree from Freed-Hardeman University that she intends to use to glorify God, and she wants her stories to show that while Christians face real struggles, it can still work out for good.

Connect with Amy and her books

Follow her at http://abitofanguish.weebly.com or http://www.facebook.com/amyanguishauthor

INTERVIEW & SPOTLIGHT: Author Diane E. Tatum

Hello, Readers! A special Wednesday edition for you of Author Spotlight! Today I have an author who writes clean romance – both contemporary AND historical! Author Diane E. Tatum has a new release that is the second book in a three part series set in early American history. And I am just itching to get my hands on it. But let me introduce you to Diane and get this interview going…

Welcome, Diane! First, can you tell us a little about your novel?

Michael Browning was the first child of Amanda and Colin in Book 1. His parents have died when he was 19, leaving four siblings who needed his care. A blacksmith like his father, Michael has run the forge and supported and cared for his siblings. When his Uncle Ben died, Michael feels left alone with no hope for a life of his own now that his siblings are grown and gone. Like Beauty and the Beast, he became bitter, striking out at those around him, particularly the beautiful new pastor’s daughter Susannah who encouraged his youngest sister to elope and has promised to care for him. In the days before the War of 1812, Michael and Susannah find they have A Time to Love.

Interesting storyline…and take on Beauty and the Beast. Care to share the more historically significant events behind A Tie to Love?

Michael’s brother Theo is impressed into the British Navy. Michael postpones his and Susannah’s wedding to find Theo and bring him home before he is murdered.

Quite a twist! What was the inspiration for A Time to Love?                      

I wrote book 3 before the others because the Civil War is so integral to the American experience. Clearly Book 1 was about the American Revolution. Being an intergenerational story, I needed to write Michael’s story, and the historical setting had to be prior to the War of 1812. Having been born during the Battle at Bunker Hill, Michael’s age is older than the average to be married and having a family. His bitterness at not having that experience due to his parents’ early death reminded me of the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. So I brought a beauty to help him shed the curse of bitterness.

Fabulous! I love how the writer’s mind has to work like this. And I love even more that I’m not the only one!

Did you always want to be a writer?

I always wanted to write, but I was also pragmatic. I studied Accounting for my first degree, then married and had 2 sons. When they entered high school, I went back to college to get a Masters of Teaching – Language Arts and a teacher certification.

Finally, my husband asked me to retire from teaching and “come home to write your stories.” Gold Earrings is my first novel. I began it as a short story when I was in high school.

How wonderful to have such a supportive and encouraging husband! I have one at home, too. We are blessed for certain.

But not everything about writing is roses and sunshine, as you well know. Some things would be great to “farm out” if we could. What part of the writing process do you dread?

Marketing and finding a publisher

I know for most of us our first love was reading, and most of what we learn is intuitively picked up from reading other authors, or from research, or from reading books on the craft of writing. What about you? What are you currently reading?

The Black Prince: England’s Greatest Medieval Warrior  by Michael Jones

This is research for a contemporary romance set in Oxford, England, called Oxford Fairy Tale.

Love it! I generally have to “set the mood” when I write. I love instrumental music of some connection to what I’m writing. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

I don’t listen to any particular music while writing, but I do have themes for each of my novels, should anyone want to produce them for Hallmark!

What about your writing environment? Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

I’m an adjunct English professor teaching Composition 1 & 2 in the dual enrollment program for our local community college at our local high school from 7-8:15 AM Fall and Spring semesters. I love being able to come home by 8:30 and still have the whole day to write. Mornings are my best times.

Sounds like a nice segue. Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

A Time to Choose, Book 3 of Colonial Dream. The latest novel of the Browning family as they navigate the Civil War.

Kudzu Sculptures, a Main Street Mystery, Book 1

Dorie Hudson moves to Daelin, GA, to be an investigative journalist who discovers a murder and works to solve it with her fiancé Ross MacAvoy.

How exciting. I, too, have to have multiple projects going at one time.

Thanks again, Diane, for your time and for visiting. I appreciate you sharing about your process and your works as well. Now, I’ll not delay, but let my readers dive into A Time to Love!

A Time to Love


Michael Browning, a child of the American Revolution, becomes surrogate father for his four siblings after the early death of his parents. His Uncle Ben has also died, leaving the pulpit empty in the church he started after the war. Bitterness has overcome Michael as each of his siblings finds love with only his youngest sister, Louisa, remaining at home. When the new pastor and his daughter, Susannah, take over the rectory adjacent to the Browning home, he cannot accept Reverend Hawthorne as a substitute for his Uncle Ben. When Louisa falls in love with Susannah’s cousin Theo, Susannah encourages Louisa to elope and offers to serve Michael in her stead. Susannah enjoys matchmaking and sets out to find a match for Michael.
When Michael’s brother Isaiah is taken by the British Navy, Michael must leave his bride before the wedding to find and save his brother as the country begins a new war with Britain.

Can the beauty tame the beast and his bitterness to create a new relationship based on trust and love?
How will a second war for Independence from Britain affect their love?

Enjoy a Video

CLICK FOR VIDEO LINK

Enjoy an Excerpt

Chapter 1

A Time to Elope

Warwick Village, VA, 1810

After a hard day at the forge, Michael Browning entered the kitchen. The aroma of the mouth-watering stew emitted from the iron pot hanging over the fire. His sister Louisa was known throughout the village for her stew. He began eating as soon as she served him.

“Wonderful stew, as always.”

Louisa nodded, then bowed her head in prayer.

Michael had no use for religion since Uncle Ben died. A new pastor filled Ben’s pulpit and parsonage. He couldn’t abide that.                 

When she looked up, he asked, “What issues fill your prayers, Louisa?”

She stretched out her hand to cover his enormous one.

“A ring?” Michael jumped up from the table. “What does this mean?”

“Theodore asked me to marry him. I said yes.”

“Without consulting me nor asking for my approval? I am the head of this household. In lieu of Papa, he should have asked me for your hand.” Michael sat back down, but he shook. He softened his tone. “Do you love him, baby sister? Has he found a home here then?”

Louisa came to him and knelt beside him. She turned her blue eyes up to meet his. “I love him with an everlasting love, Michael. But he’s returning to Baltimore tonight. Talks with the British are failing, creating political disruption in the District of Columbia. He feels he needs to return now.”

Michael kissed her forehead and tucked loose strands of her blonde hair behind her ear. He remembered the first time he’d had to braid her fine hair after Mama died. “When does he plan to return for this wedding?”

Louisa’s eyes were bright with unshed tears. “The wedding is tonight. Please give us your blessing and come with me to the church.”

“Tonight?” Michael’s voice sounded louder than he intended. “Were you going to tell me this at all? No, I forbid you to leave with Theodore James tonight, or any night. You’ve not posted banns at church. He has not asked me for your hand!

Tears flowed down Louisa’s blushed cheeks. “You must let me go sometime.”

“I forbid it. I cannot run the forge and the household without you.” Only then did Michael notice her bag by the door, packed and ready to go. Why hadn’t he noticed it before now?

Buy Link

Amazon

More About the Author

Diane Tatum grew up in St. Louis, MO. She started writing her own stories in elementary school. Her first novel grew out of a short story she wrote in high school. College was a detour to a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Administration and later a Masters in Teaching Language Arts. Between degrees, she stayed home raising her boys and began writing again. She started freelance writing for magazines and church Sunday school curriculum. She also finished her novel, Gold Earrings.

After teaching middle school language arts in Tullahoma City Schools for 11 years, she retired with her husband’s encouragement to write the historical fiction books that she had been starting and saving on her computer. Gold Earrings was published in 2011. She completed her second novel, A Time to Choose, in 2012, and finished her third, Colonial Dream, in 2013. In addition she serves as an adjunct English professor at Motlow State Community College.

Diane has taught and worked with youth at her church for 38 years. Her Bible study Guide and Resource Book are meant to help youth workers create new Bible studies to use with their youth groups.

If interested in these youth materials, you can find them by clicking HEREfor Bible Study Materials and HERE for Resources

Connect with Diane and her works

www.dianeetatumwriter.com

Facebook:

Diane Elaine Tatum

Diane E. Tatum (author page)

Gold Earrings (book page)

Twitter: @DianeTatum

Instagram: tatumlight

Check out some of Diane’s other works

Buy Link: Amazon
Buy Link: Amazon
Buy Link: Amazon

INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Author Kathleen Neely

Hello, readers. I am welcoming back to the blog an author who visited a couple of months ago – author Kathleen Neely. She has a new release to share and a giveaway opportunity! So, let’s tune in with Kathleen and find out what she’s got for us today.

Welcome back, Kathleen! Can you tell us a little about your newest release?

Beauty for Ashes is a story about living with guilt, recognizing its far-reaching consequences, and seeking redemption. Novelist Nathan Drummond carries a secret for ten years, one that gripped him with panic attacks at the thought of it being revealed. Vowing to never forget the cost of his sinful folly, he journals. With his fear of discovery, he burns each journal entry, keeping the ashes hidden in a jar.

When he’s forced to move back to his hometown, Nathan comes face to face with his past. He begins to write a novel that parallels the events of ten years ago. He begins to see the cost of his sin and realizes it will cost him the only woman that he’s ever loved. 

Beauty for Ashes blurb:

Nathan Drummond’s actions at the age of eighteen had devastating consequences. Writing became therapeutic, leading him into a successful career as a mystery writer. With seven novels to his credit, Nathan is rapidly becoming a household name. 

Family responsibilities force him to return to his home town , pushing him too close to painful memories. Although he’d intended the living situation to be temporary, Nathan didn’t count on falling in love. 

As guilt threatens a return of panic attacks, Nathan begins to write a novel paralleling the tragic event from his youthful folly. Will the novel be seen as a work of fiction, or will it expose his secret? 

Wow. I’m interest in piqued. What was the inspiration for Beauty for Ashes?

I read Water from My Heart, a novel by Charles Martin, one of my favorite authors. When I finished that remarkable novel, I knew that I wanted to write something with a similar theme, living with guilt, seeing its far-reaching effects, and seeking redemption. My novel is a different story, different plot, setting, and characters, but the over-arching theme is the same.

I do like this theme – one of my favorite tropes.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?

I think that characterization is one of the most important elements of writing a novel. Authors need to dig deep down inside their characters, show what drives them, how they think and feel. I recently read a novel that gripped me. When I finished, I realized the simplicity of the plot. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t a deeply orchestrated story line. I lived it through the well-written characters.  

James Scott Bell writes about this quite a bit. He believes the plot should be simple enough to explain in a couple of sentences and simple enough for most anyone to grasp. It truly is the characters that set it apart and, in the end, drive the story. Great advice!

Do you have a favorite time of day to write What about a favorite place?

Writing a book takes a long time. For me, it’s the better part of a year. It’s important to be comfortable. I like natural light. When the house is empty and quiet, I move from my office to the kitchen table, right beside a big double window. That’s where I work best. When I can’t claim that spot, I hide away in my office. My desk is beside a window, but light is more hampered by trees and my Camellia bush.

I like this perspective – “writing a book takes a long time…it’s important to be comfortable…” I don’t often put that much thought into my writing sessions. But I will from now on.

Can you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Readers will encounter an urban ministry, details about basketball and the NBA, dyslexia, and classical violin.

Nathan finds himself volunteering at an urban afterschool center working with teens. He tutors and mentors a dyslexic teen. They share a love for basketball.

Angie, an employee at the center, plays classical violin. I had the assistance of a first chair violinist from a major symphony orchestra as part of my research.

That’s quite a bit! Great tidbits!

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I’m doing on a story about a mother’s love. After a teenage pregnancy, she gave her baby up. Twelve years later, she has another chance to be part of his life. Until the unthinkable happens. That’s all you get. Sorry. No spoiler alert.

Thank you so much for your time, Kathleen, and for sharing about your process. Now, readers, let’s dive intoBeauty for Ashes !

Beauty for Ashes

Enjoy an ExcerptE

Nathan picked up their sandwiches at the counter while Angie found a booth. He slid in to join her. They made small talk, avoiding the obvious conversation. The question hung heavy. Did they have a chance at a relationship? Nathan found his heart and his brain at war with each other, knowing his brain would win. It felt like a knife to his heart. How ironic. He had saved a woman from her knife wounds but couldn’t stop his own from bleeding. 

Angie dabbed at her mouth. “Carlos probably won’t be returning to the center. His Aunt Rosa told me she plans to take them to live with her. She has two children and was frightened to do it when his father was a threat. If his mother agrees, they will move in with them.” 

Nathan finished his sandwich and pushed his plate to the side. “I hope he doesn’t have to go back to the house for anything, even after they clean it up. It would be way too traumatic.”

When they finished their sandwiches, they stood and walked toward the door. Angie reached for Nathan’s hand, turning her eyes toward him. Coffee brown with fringed lashes, flecked with light. The eyes that he froze on his TV screen. Could he really walk away from her?  “Is your car still at the center? Shall I take you there or home?” he asked.

“Yes, it’s there, but I’m weary. Would you just take me home? I’ll ride in with Elizabeth in the morning.” 

Nathan turned onto her street and parked in front of her house. “Is Elizabeth home?”

“No.” Angie raised her eyebrows with a slight smile. “She’s with her friend.”

Nathan opened his car door. She stopped him. “I’m fine, Nathan.”  He ignored her and walked around to open her car door. Angie walked beside him, fishing her keys out of her pocket. When they reached the door, he took the key from her and unlocked the front door.  They entered in the darkness until Angie reached the light. “I never expected to be this late or I’d have left lights on.”

Nathan glanced up toward the porch. “You should have motion-detector lights here. OK if I check your house out? Your dad would want me to.”

“Yes, worrywart.” But pleasure glowed from her eyes. “Shall I make us some tea?” 

He should check the house and leave. There was no good that could come from spending any more time with her. After a prolonged pause, he nodded. “Sure.” As Nathan did a quick walk-through, another irony hit him like a boulder. He was walking through Ramón Garcia’s home. This is where he’d lived, laughed, loved his wife, raised his daughter. And now, ten years later, the man who killed him walked through his home. Nathan returned to the kitchen. 

“No monsters under the beds?” Angie teased as she reached the mugs. 

“Nope. All clear.” Only me.  They carried their mugs to the living room. He should have chosen the chair, but Angie sat on the sofa and looked up at him with those doe eyes. None of this was her fault. They had started something, and he owed her more than a brush off. He sat beside her and placed the steaming mug on a coaster before moving an arm behind her.  “Angie, it was wrong for me to kiss you. Wrong to care for you as much as I do. There’s no possibility of a future for us. I know you don’t understand the reasons, but please trust me on this.” 

“Why don’t you just tell me the reasons? How can I trust you when I don’t know? You said it’s something in your past, but I don’t care about your past. I care about the man sitting here with me today.”

“You can say that because you don’t know everything about me. If you did, you’d probably hate me.” 

She raised her hand and laid a curved palm against his cheek. “I could never hate you, mi amor.” 

Mi amor, my love. It was Nathan’s undoing. He pulled her close and held her as he had done at the crime scene. Only now, she was the strong one, and he needed a place of respite. Her hands went around his neck, buried in his hair as she cradled his head against her. Her lips touched his cheek, and he turned to meet them. The kiss deepened, leaving him breathless.  “Oh, Angie,” he whispered against her. 

She stepped back and tilted her head so she could see his face. Her eyes twinkled. “Nathan, here’s the wonderful thing. You have a mysterious secret in your past, but that is past. You say we cannot have a future together, but the future’s not here. Today is not the past or the future. It’s the present, so it’s our time together.”

Her words brought a curve to the sides of his mouth. “Yes, it is. But what does that make tomorrow? Isn’t that the future?”

“Yes, but here’s the beauty. When it arrives, it will then be the present.”

He suppressed a chuckle. “And next week?”

“It’s also the future that will soon become the present.”

He allowed the smile to grow. “Angie, Angie. Always the optimist. Are you ever a skeptic?”

“Not if I can help it. What good does it do? We can choose sorrow or joy. I choose joy.”

He leaned in and kissed her again.  She held her face inches from his. “Nathan, do I make you happy?”

He rested his forehead against hers. Had he ever really been happy before Angie? He’d had accomplishments that pleased him. He had enjoyment playing basketball. But those were temporary— superficial feelings that didn’t touch the heart. Angie awakened something deeper that had been missing. “More than anyone ever has.”

“Then choose joy, mi amor. Choose joy.”

Buy Link

Amazon

More About the Author

Kathleen Neely resides in Greenville, SC with her husband, two cats, and one dog. She is a retired elementary principal, and enjoys time with family, visiting her two grandsons, traveling, and reading.

She is the author of The Street Singer and Beauty for Ashes. A third novel, The Least of These, will be released in May, 2019. Kathleen won second place in a short story contest through ACFW-VA for her short story “The Missing Piece” and an honorable mention for her story “The Dance”. Both were published in a Christmas anthology. Her novel, The Least of These, was awarded first place in the 2015 Fresh Voices contest through Almost an Author. She has numerous devotions published through Christian Devotions.

Kathleen continues to speak to students about writing and publication processes. She is a member of Association of Christian Fiction Writers.

Connect with Kathleen and her books

Website – www.KathleenNeely.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/kathy.neely.98

Twitter – https://twitter.com/NeelyKneely3628

GIVEAWAY

Kathleen is offering a digital copy of Beauty for Ashes to one (1) winner, chosen by Rafflecopter. Please follow the directions on the Rafflecopter below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Author Candice Sue Patterson

Hello, readers! I am pleased to introduce you to author Candice Sue Patterson today. I met Candice through the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Romance Genre Facebook group page. I’ve mentioned how much I appreciate these networking, assisting, and encouraging opportunities afforded to us through this organization. At any rate, let’s meet Candice!

Thanks for being on my blog today, Candice! First, can you tell us a little about your novel?

How to Stir a Baker’s Heart is a contemporary romance set in coastal Maine. It’s book two in my Cadence of Acadia series. They’re written as standalone novels, so book two can be read without reading book one first. Here is the back cover description of the novel:

Certified mental health therapist Olivia Hudson has spiraled into a dark depression her own training can’t pull her out of. Since Olivia can’t return to her practice when she can’t even help herself, she moves to Stone Harbor, Maine, to heal and help her dementia-ridden grandmother run her once-famous bakery.

Blake Hartford is living his dream of farming blueberries and restoring a Victorian farmhouse on his coastal property, while his beloved community withers away under a rocky economy. Blake joins the town board to help revamp things and boost the much-needed tourism that can turn his community around. 

After a misunderstanding with the bakery owner’s granddaughter and the town board’s suggestion they lead the tourism project together, life in Stone Harbor gets a little bit sweeter. But when the truth of Olivia’s past comes to light, Blake is forced to confront his own. 

How to Stir a Baker’s Heart is a story of healing and forgiveness, proving God can mend our brokenness and soften even the hardest of hearts.

This seems particularly interesting to me. I have experienced postpartum depression after each of my three children’s births. I feel depression is just now coming out “into the light” and being understood at large. We as a society are fighting the stigma and being more open. I hope that your book is only one of many that increases others’ understanding. So, thank you.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?

I’ve wanted to write books since I was old enough to hold them. They’ve always held a fascination for me. I always wanted to be a librarian, too. It drove my mom crazy when I would “stamp” the inside covers of my books, pretending to be a librarian. When we passed those books along years later, the covers were full of black ink. I’m blessed to be living both dreams now.

Fun! My grandfather always said “find something you love, then find someone who will pay pay you to do that.”

What are you currently reading?

Tamera Alexander’s With This Pledge. She’s one of my favorite historical romance authors. Her attention to detail, and the complex, moving way she writes her characters amazes me every time.

I, too, am a Tamera Alexander fan. I am just starting to make my way through her books. Looking forward toWith This Pledge myself.

What about your writing environment? What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

I don’t listen to music, but I listen to sounds to immerse me in the setting. For example, my Cadence of Acadia series is set in coastal Maine, so I would listen to ocean waves while writing. Sometimes I’ll even light a candle for inspiration. If I’m writing a Christmas novella, I’ll light a balsam and cedar candle to help set the mood.

Interesting. Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

Yes! My favorite time of day to write is in the morning after my quiet time with God until around noon. My mind is most clear and active during these hours, and I get more accomplished. Unfortunately, I can’t utilize that time slot often, unless it’s a long break from school or summer break (I’m an elementary librarian), so I mostly write after work or on lunch breaks.

We do what we can, right? How long does it take you to write a book?

If I’m able to write consistently every day, a novella will take me about three to four months (that’s from first draft to critique partners, another polish, and then to the editor). A full-length novel will take me eight to ten months.

One last question before I let you go…can you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb?

Several things in the novel were real-life experiences I had when I visited Maine in 2011. For example, there’s a scene where the hero takes the heroine to a shoreline off the beaten path to hunt for heart-shaped rocks. She’s so busy looking that she’s not paying attention to the fact high tide is beginning and large waves are heading her way, and she gets soaked in icy water. I’ll never forget how cold that water was.

There’s another scene where they stumble upon a group of seals sunbathing in a cove. This will always be one of my favorite memories from that trip.

I love those authentic moments that are breathed into the story!

Thanks again, Candice, for taking the time to share about your release and your process a little bit. I won’t keep my readers waiting any longer…I’ll let them dig into your fabulous cover and excerpt. But read on, there’s something fun at the end.

How to Stir a Baker’s Heart

Enjoy an Excerpt

Here is the first page of the novel:

For Olivia Hudson, starting over was like trying to bake an award-winning pie out

of olives and sauerkraut. No matter what ingredients she added to balance the flavors or how she arranged them, it wouldn’t work. Life was not a beach or a box of chocolates. Though chocolate did help.

The delectable, fudgy scent of her triple layer chocolate cake stirred Olivia’s senses as she stretched across the bakery counter and placed a fresh slice in front of her favorite customer. In the four months Olivia had lived in Stone Harbor, Maine, she’d formed an attachment to Arianne Anderson. The sugar-craving bridal boutique owner had an honest, down-to-earth personality Olivia found refreshing.

“Thanks.” Arianne lifted her fork as though it weighed a hundred pounds.

“Vanilla latte?” Olivia picked up a disposable cup and started the process, already knowing Arianne’s answer.

“With a shot of espresso.”

“Wow, someone’s had a rough day.”

Arianne stared at the thick brown frosting in a daze, sighed, and swallowed her first bite. Her eyelids fluttered closed, and her shoulders relaxed.

Olivia chuckled. All would be well in Arianne’s world now—at least until the plate was empty.

“It’s hot.” Olivia placed the latte in front of her friend then leaned her elbows on the counter and clasped her hands, her lower back grateful for the reprieve. “What’s got you down?”

Arianne’s dark blue eyes pooled with tears. She swallowed and tucked a strand of curly blonde hair behind her ear. “I….” Arianne glanced down at the cake. “I’m cheating on my husband.”

Olivia straightened.

A tear dropped onto the granite countertop. Arianne swiped away the dampness on her cheeks and sighed. “Two evenings a week for the past three months, I’ve had things to catch up on at work,”—she made air quotes over the last word—“when really I’ve been driving twenty miles to escape my husband and indulge in the sinful ecstasy of your baking.”

The tight band around Olivia’s throat eased. “There isn’t another man?”

Arianne shook her head. “No. But the way I lust after this cake when I’m with Huck is adultery.”

Relief almost swept Olivia’s legs out from under her. She threw a wadded napkin at her friend, satisfied when it made contact with Arianne’s nose. “You scared me.”

More tears. Now that Arianne’s faucet was running, there was no turning it off.

Olivia checked the time on the tea-stained clock with a cupcake from an old Victorian postcard decoupaged to the face. Close enough. She locked the front door and flipped the sign to Closed. “What’s got you running?”

Buy Link

Amazon

More About the Author

Candice Sue Patterson studied at the Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, watching her kids play sports, or helping children discover a love for reading as an elementary librarian, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. She is represented by Linda S. Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency.

Connect with Candice and her books

Readers can always find me on Facebook at: https://m.facebook.com/Candice-Sue-Patterson-Author-420360958035447/

My website is also a great place to contact me: www.candicesuepatterson.com

I LOVE  to hear from readers!

GIVEAWAY

Candice is offering an ebook copy of her novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart to one winner, chosen by Rafflecopter. Please follow the directions on the Rafflecopter below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Author Robin Densmore Fuson

Welcome, all, to another day and another blog! I have another Tennessee author for you today – author Robin Densmore Fuson. And my interview with her was just delightful. I can’t wait for you to dive in. But keep with me, there is a giveaway if you can hang in there. But I doubt that will be a problem.

I met Robin through our affiliation with the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), but it seems we have other things in common as well. I have been a part of a critique group (mine is online) called Word Weavers International that she is a member of as well (we are not in the same critique group). This is a fabulous group that can place you in a group that will offer valuable feedback no matter where you are in your writing journey.

Again, I ramble. Let me jump right into the interview…

Welcome to my blog, Robin. First, can you tell us a little about your novel?

At first blush, fifty-two-year-old Renee Harris appears to be a confident sophisticated woman. Hidden are the scars of deep pain and fear. A meeting in an ordinary elevator will not only take Renee to the designated floor but also on a journey of discovery.

Chaplain Lance Freeman’s only thought is to help a family in their hour of need though unknown to him, the woman in the elevator needs him more than the family down the hall.

Elevators can be strange things. Full of ups and downs, they may be used as a vehicle to change the course of someone’s life. Renee and Lance are about to find out just how much a chance meeting can alter a person’s direction. Can real love be a part of their new beginnings? Will they allow God to lead and interrupt their lives so they can eventually find peace, joy, and love?

Interesting. And I must say, rather intriguing. I don’t see a ton of romance novels where the primary characters are more in the prime of life. What was the inspiration for The Encounter?

My publisher, Cynthia Hickey asked for a romance where the characters were older than the typical young love. I have experience with this. A few years after my husband passed away, I met and married my husband, Jimmy. Older people have more life experience and can have a bit more baggage. At age fifty-three, my character Renee has both. She needs to heal and learn who she is in Christ. Some of the issues Renee faces I had to face. Love reigned supreme in my life as well as Renee’s. I pray this book will touch hearts with romance and help people solidify how the Lord sees them.

So great. I love it when the book contains a bit more of the writer’s own experience.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?

 I didn’t dream of becoming a writer although I loved to tell stories. I first wanted to be a chiropractor then an elementary school teacher.

Fun! But eventually, that writing bug got ya!

I know we as writers are always learning more about our craft. Some of tht is learned, I believe, intuitively from what we read. And, reading is often a writer’s first love…

What are you currently reading?

I have a book going all the time. Currently I’m reading, Canyon of Death by J. Carol Nemeth. I love to read friends books and new author’s works and review them.

Same here. I like to find new authors to introduce my readers to. (And to find those gems for myself.)

One thing I do to “set the tone” when I write is listen to music. Especially i a coffee shop…some of those places have the strangest music playing 🙂

What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

In romance scenes, I listen to romantic music mostly songs from favorites from eras gone by. When suspense is going on the page, I gravitate to exciting instrumentals or movie tracks. I also listen to praise and worship music. There is always music going or I’m singing. 

Love it! Do you have a favorite time of day to write?

I’m not a morning person so I don’t typically hit the keyboard till after 11am. I am known to work nights but my favorite block of time is 12 to 3 in the afternoon. I wake in the night and jot down things in the dark—sometime whole scenes. My husband is amazed it’s legible.   

I’m amazed it’s legible! Jotting notes is the last thing I can imagine doing at night!

What about a favorite place?

I love my office. The room is bright and cheery. I angled my computer desk so I can see out the window to the beauty of God’s creation and listen to the birds as well as see down the hall into the living room.

Sounds so nice! A pleasant set up 🙂

Readers are always curious about this next question: How long does it take you to write a book?

I’ve written children’s chapter books and novellas which typically take me two to three months, start to finish. The historical works take a bit longer because of the research needed. I also write flash fiction which is a complete story in under a thousand words. Those I can complete in a day. The novel I’m writing is a long project of the last few years. I fulfill my contracts for the novellas and go back to, The Race of Her Heart.I

I would be remiss if I let you go without asking this one last question: Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

As I stated, The Race of her Heart is a novel I’m always working on. LOL! This contemporary story takes place in Durango, Colorado. A romantic suspense set in the rugged and majestic Rocky Mountains. An injured Olympian, Jalyn is being stalked and threatened. Jalyn’s name is a combo of my parent’s middle names. Jay and Lynn, only with five letters because my name and my children’s names all have five letters. I’m also delving into devotionals and hope to submit them soon. 

Seems like you are one busy lady! I wish you well with those endeavors. Thank you again for coming on the blog and sharing about your release and your process with us. I don’t want to ramble too much before I let my readers jump into the details of your novel (including a video and except!)…

The Encounter

Book Trailer

Enjoy an Excerpt

The elevator moved as slow as a sloth on a tree branch. The normally crowded elevator stood vacant a moment ago as Renee glided her blue tennis shoe-clad foot into the gaping space. The cubical swallowed her as the doors closed with the usual swish and she pressed the top floor number, causing it to light up. Tension snarled her shoulders as the conveyer inched upward.

Only acquainted with the three parts of the hospital, she tried to steady her nerves as she ascended to the floor and the familiar place where her husband lay in a bed all alone. She had only been gone to the cafeteria for half an hour when she received a call from the nurse to hurry back up.

Earlier, the nurse on duty, Carol, practically pushed her out the door. “Girl, go grab some food. I called down and they still have some of the amazing chili and sandwiches. Even at three in the morning, they serve some delicious food. You need to keep your strength up. He will be fine. Now, go.”

The ascending lift seemed to slow even more as thoughts crept into her mind, she mulled over the crash. What could they have done differently? Darin said he had swerved to miss the deer. She had screamed when the car swerved. The car began the skid that took them off the shoulder of the road. Renee awoke to men banging on the window for her to unlock the door.

The throbbing in her casted arm and headache reminded her that she was one lucky woman whereas Darin’s injuries were far worse. She sighed.

The elevator chimed as it came to a stop. The door slid open and a tall man entered. That’s when she glanced up and saw she hadn’t made it to her destination. Renee scooted back and to the right out of the man’s path.

He nodded. “I see I’m not the only one up. Well, the staff are, of course. Visiting?” He frowned as he took in her cast and sling.

“Yes. My husband.”

His eyes bespoke of compassion and intelligence that had quickly summed up her ordeal. Blue eyes. Crinkles of laugh lines around them. The badge hanging from the lanyard read “Chaplain.” A shudder skimmed down her spine. She pulled her sweater closer but it slipped out of her grasp, causing it to slide off instead.

“Here, let me help.” He took hold and clasped the edges and buttoned it before dropping in into place. Not touching her but it felt as if he had.

“Thank you.” The automatic words slipped out. The ding of the elevator saved her. She glanced up. Relieved. “My floor.”

He stepped up and placed his hand on the edge of the door to keep it open so she could make her way through. She heard him follow. Of course. This was the top floor, after all. She kept her eyes on the hall in front of her that led to Darin’s room. Before she got to his open door, she paused to place the smile on her face and squared her shoulders. The scene that met her inside caused the world to spin out of control.

~

Lance noticed the sway and grabbed her before she collapsed. He swiftly took in the scene and guided her to the only chair, close to the door. He helped her sit and then stood next to her with his hand on her shoulder as the emergency team worked on the man in the bed whom he assumed to be her husband.

One nurse glanced up and nodded before returning her attention to the task at hand. Lance turned his attention to the whiteboard. Patient’s name, Darin, interesting spelling. Wife, Renee. Nurse, Carol. Phone numbers followed. Area code—not from Utah. No secondary contact. Renee must be alone. He counted five people trying to get a response out of the heart they jolted. The team worked feverishly but to no avail. The doctor he assumed, shook his head. “Time?”

“Three forty-three a.m.” They turned in unison at the gasp from the woman beside him.

Lance aided her to stand. The staff parted, clearing the way as she walked to the bed and took hold of the still hand. Her husband’s bare chest did not rise. Dead. Lance hated the word. He itched to help this woman, this stranger. Spiritual needs were heightened during this sort of crisis. He grabbed the chair and took it over and again clasped her elbow and guided her to sit. The silent staff wheeled out the machines…

Buy Link

Amazon

More About the Author

Robin recently moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee with her husband Jimmy. Together, they celebrate with seventeen grandchildren. An award winner for romance and flash fiction, Robin is multi-published and also writes stories on her blog for children. Her historical and contemporary romances are wrapped around a twist of intrigue. The Rosita Valdez series for children lends itself to a character building lesson through an adventure. Robin is a member of Word Weavers International, ACFW, and a member of John316 Marketing Network. She enjoys the new challenge of helping a start-up church, NewPath Community, touch lives in the Antioch, Tennessee. Robin loves company and challenging her young guests to discover the many giraffes in the obvious and hidden nooks and crannies of their home.

Connect with Robin and her work

Robin Densmore Fuson

http://www.robindensmorefuson.com/

Blog, kid Bible lessons

http://www.kidbiblelessons.com/

Twitter, Robin L Fuson

@RobinLFuson

Facebook, Author Robin Densmore Fuson

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRobinDensmoreFuson/

Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.com/Robin-Densmore-Fuson/e/B06XGKVDDV/ref

Google+, Robin Densmore Fuson

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RobinDensmoreFuson

Pinterest,

https://www.pinterest.com/revelation411/the-encounter/

Goodreads,

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6604786.Robin_Densmore_Fuson

GIVEAWAY!

Robin is offering an e-book copy of The Encounter to one winner, chosen by Rafflecopter. Please follow the instructions below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway