Author Interview: Danielle Grandinetti

Author Interview: Danielle Grandinetti

One of the great things about being an author is you get to meet so many other great authors. I met Danielle Grandinetti through an editing Facebook group and then through a Word Count Sprinting group this year. Yesterday she released her prequel novella, To Stand in the Breach, and in April, A Strike to the Heart will release. Both books however are already available to purchase/preorder for just $0.99 each.

I am so excited for you to meet Danielle and to get to know this wonderful person and author.

Danielle Grandinetti is a book blogger at DaniellesWritingSpot.com. Her short stories have appeared in several publications and her writing has won the University of Northwestern Distinguished Faith in Writing Award. Originally from Chicagoland, she currently lives along Lake Michigan’s Wisconsin shoreline with her husband and their two young sons. Danielle especially loves quiet mornings served with the perfect cup of tea.

You can check out her landing page for To Stand in the Breach here.

Connect with her through her newsletter, on Instagram, Bookbub, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, her website, or her blog.

Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Danielle with rapid-fire.

 

CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

DG: Dark

CC: Print or E-book?

DG: Print

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

DG: Dogs (My dog’s name is Penny.)

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

DG: Morning 

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

DG: Fall

Now for a couple fun personal questions:

CC: What are you reading right now?

DG: My next-up books include The Heart of a Cowboy by Jody Hedlund, Night Prey by Susan Sleeman, and Deadly Target by Elizabeth Goddard

CC: Oh! Those sound like good reads. I’ve actually never read any of those authors yet, even though I have a few of their books on my shelf waiting for time.

CC: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

DG: I think of my first draft like a skeleton. It’s short of my word goal and needs much fleshing out, which I do during the second draft.

CC: I just giggled at the very punny image of a skeleton and “fleshing” it out. I’m familiar with the terms, but it never fails to amuse. 🙂

CC: What is your favorite Bible verse? Why?

DG: It’s hard to narrow it down to just one, so I’ll pick a whole book. The Psalms. They always express what my heart is saying better than anything else.

CC: I do love how the Psalms really show the unrestrained emotion of man, and yet how it is always brought back to God.

CC: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

DG: Since I’m a mama of littles, I snag writing time whenever and wherever I get a chance, but mostly during naptime.

CC: Bless you! Writing with littles is so hard. I am amazed you are able to do it.

CC: What is your writing Kryptonite?

DG: Description does not come naturally to me, but it’s fun to layer it in during the editing process.

CC: Praise the Lord for editing processes, and for your willingness and desire to layer it in, even when it is hard.

Since yesterday was your release, To Stand in the Breach, let’s talk a bit about that.

She came to America to escape a workhouse prison, but will the cost of freedom be too high a price to pay?

1933, Wisconsin – Large animal veterinarian Katy Wells takes her patients’ welfare personally, so it’s no surprise when she stands up to angry farmers planning a milk strike or takes in an injured draft horse to save its life. But after a visitor from the past discovers her location and reveals a threat, she must choose between her work and her freedom, and whether to trust a man to keep her safe.

To Stand in the Breach is the prequel novella to A Strike to the Heart, releasing April 2022 from Heritage Beacon Fiction/Iron Stream Media.

 

CC: Who was the most challenging character to create? What made them so difficult? 

DG: The bad guy. Making his reasoning logical when it … isn’t.

CC: Villians are so challenging because they always are the hero in their minds.

Which character was the most fun to create? What makes them fun?

DG: Katy. Her character began to develop while writing A Strike the Heart and I knew I had to tell her story.

CC: I love when side characters take on their own life and demand their own story.

CC: What was some of your favorite research you discovered while preparing for To Stand in the Breach?

DG: Cow health issues, such as udder infections, and the prevention and ramifications of them.

CC: That would be fascinating. . . and kind of gross.

CC: How did this story affect you as you wrote it? Did God teach you anything through the writing?

DG: Not so much taught as provided an outlet for my own wrestling through what it looks like to stand between those with power and those without in a given situation.

CC: Writing is a great way to wrestle through those tough topics!

CC: How do you select the names of your characters?

DG: In the case of the animals, Clover, Nessa, and Glenn, I purposefully chose Irish names as a nod to Katy’s Irish heritage.

CC: That is fun! I love looking up names for characters, and I love how you connected the animals to Katy’s heritage.

Thank you so much for joining me today and providing all of us with a wonderful distraction. As my final question, I have my usual “Fun Question”.

If you could travel anywhere without worry about cost, where would you travel?

DG: My list is too long! I’d probably pick New Zealand because it’s the only hemisphere I haven’t been to yet.

CC: I want to see the hobbit holes there!!! One day we will both make it!

You can purchase Danielle’s book at Amazon or other retailers.

Author Interview: Cynthia Roemer

Author Interview: Cynthia Roemer

Hi friends! I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Cynthia several times, so this time I shook things up from my normal format for interviews. First let me give you the traditional introduction:

Cynthia Roemer is an inspirational, bestselling author with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the hearts of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the mid-1800’s prairie and Civil War era. Her Prairie Sky Series consists of Amazon bestseller, Under This Same Sky, Under Prairie Skies, and Under Moonlit Skies, a 2020 Selah Award winning novel. 

Cynthia writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband of twenty-seven years. They have two grown sons and a daughter-in-love. When she isn’t writing or researching, Cynthia can be found hiking, biking, gardening, reading, or riding sidesaddle with her husband in the combine or on their motorcycle. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit Cynthia online at: www.cynthiaroemer.com

Now for a little more personal introduction. I meet Cynthia four or five years ago at a book signing I attended with a friend, and have since had the enjoyment of reading all her releases. (I’ve got her newest one sitting on the corner of my desk waiting for me to finish a couple of other required reads first. So watch for that review in the next month or so.) Cynthia is a beautiful woman who has walked through some very difficult trials over the last two years– her husband’s cancer, the death of her beloved father, and her own continued battle with cancer. Through it all, she has been an amazing example of loving and trusting God even in the hard times. She has graciously agreed to share some of her experiences and how they have affected her and her writing.

CC: Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing your story. While you were writing Beyond These War-Torn Lands, you faced multiple family and personal challenges, including fighting an aggressive cancer diagnosis. How have you seen God work during that process?

CR: The past year and a half have truly been challenging with both myself and my husband being diagnosed with cancer and the loss of my dad. But through it all, the Lord has given me the strength and determination to press on. Writing provided a welcome distraction from the dismal reality of cancer and chemo and helped me focus on something worthwhile that I enjoyed.

CC: Writing certainly has been a gift from God for me in troubled times. I am so glad He provided you the strength and determination to keep at it. 

Did any of your experiences, emotions, or struggles with this time play into Beyond These War-Torn Lands? How so?

CR: I do feel the depth of emotions and spiritual content were enhanced by my experience. I’ve always had a deep sense of emotion, but during this health challenge, the Lord drew me in even closer to his unfailing love, and I pray that resonates with readers in this story.

CC: You have been such a light of faith, grace, and courage to your readers on social media as you go through this valley of struggles. What gives you the greatest encouragement on those hard days? 

CR: Thank you, Crystal. Just knowing others are praying for me is such a comfort. I received more than a hundred cards and so many gracious comments on social media. We had people stop by to bring food and offer to help in any way. All of those expressions of Christ-like love truly inspired me to keep going. I feel so blessed! 

CC: How can we be praying for you as you move forward in your treatment and in your writing? 

CR: You are so thoughtful, Thank you! Specifically, I would appreciate prayers for renewed strength and healing, for my kidney function to return to normal (it has suffered from treatment), and for the Lord to be glorified through this experience and in my writing. Please pray what I write will honor Him and that I will be obedient in whatever He calls me to do. Thanks so much!

CC: Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse into this season of life for you. I’m excited to introduce readers to your newest release, Beyond These War-Torn Lands.

The War brought them together ~ Would it also tear them apart?

While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel.

After being forced to flee his place of refuge, Sergeant Andrew Gallagher fears he’s seen the last of Caroline. Resolved not to let that happen, when the war ends, he seeks her out, only to discover she’s been sent away. When word reaches him that President Lincoln has been shot, Drew is assigned the task of tracking down the assassin. A chance encounter with Caroline revives his hopes, until he learns she may be involved in a plot to aid the assassin. (Purchase here.)

CC: What are you most proud of with this story? 

CR: All the historical details I was able to weave into the storyline. It was such great fun inserting my characters into encounters with real historical events and people. Countless hours of research went into this novel, and it’s so rewarding to see that appreciated in reader reviews and comments.

CC: I can only imagine all the work that went into creating this novel. What do you hope readers will take away from your story? 

CR: The main themes are forgiveness and loving our enemies—two issues that are challenging to us all! The theme verse for Beyond These War-Torn Lands is Matthew 5:43-44:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”

Throughout the novel, both Drew and Caroline face challenging people “enemies” that they must make the difficult choice to seek revenge against or show Christ-like love to. With all the hatred and bitterness going on today, I feel this is a message we can all benefit from hearing. Loving the unlovable is one of the hardest things we’re asked to do but, as Christians, we are called to love even when others are unkind toward us.

CC: Was there anything you found fascinating while researching for this story? 

CR: Oh, wow! I could write another book on that. LOL! This was the first novel I’ve written that involved so much actual history and I became lost in the research numerous times. But, for the sake of time and space, I’ll share just a couple of fascinating tidbits that I ran across. 

In the opening scene of Beyond These War-Torn Lands, my hero, Sergeant Andrew (Drew) Gallagher, is injured at the Battle of Monocacy Junction, a lesser-known battle that was a loss to the Union. The Union commander in the battle was General Lew Wallace. After doing a little digging, I discovered something intriguing. If you’ve read or seen the movie, Ben Hur, you might find it interesting that it was written by none other than the retired Union General Lew Wallace!!

I also found that renovations to the U.S. Capitol dome began in 1861, but were stopped briefly at the start of the Civil War. Work quickly resumed, however, and was on-going throughout the Civil War and completed in 1866! I find that amazing!

CC: I love the research that goes into a story. There are so many fascinating details. Who was your favorite character to create? Why? 

CR: Oh, I loved Drew. He was such a good-natured guy, so fun to create. I dearly loved how he related to Caroline, his horse, his men, his superiors, and God!

CC: Who was your most challenging character? Why?

Definitely Caroline’s father, Eugene Dunbar. He was gruff, overbearing, and spiteful—all the traits in a person that make me want to curl up in a ball and hide!

CC: I am with you on that type of book. Will there be others in this series? 

CR: Yes. I’m currently working on Book 2 in my Wounded Heart Series which will be Drew’s younger brother Luke’s story. It begins in Richmond, VA in the final week of the Civil War and during the aftermath. The story is still in the developmental stages, but is slated to release in November, 2022.

CC: Ooooh. Already sticking it on my TBR list. 🙂 I’ve always enjoyed reading your stories. As always, I love to wrap up with a fun question. If you could choose to have lunch with any book character, who would you choose?

CR: Hmm. That’s an interesting question. The first that comes to mind is Anne of Green Gables. I love her down-to-earth nature and her tenacity! I’m certain we would be kindred spirits. =)

CC: Thank you so much for the interview, Cythnia. I truly appreciate it and will be praying for you. Readers, which book character YOU would choose to have lunch with? Tell me in the comments so we can create a virtual luncheon. 🙂

If you’d like to connect with Cynthia Roemer, you can find her at any of these places:

Website:  https://cynthiaroemer.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCynthiaRoemer/

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16785237.Cynthia_Roemer

Author Newsletter Sign-up: https://mailchi.mp/2a0d03dfaa50/newslettersignup

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Roemer/e/B06Y1CJ588/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1

BookBubhttps://www.bookbub.com/profile/cynthia-roemer

Twitterhttps://twitter.com@cynthiaroemer  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cynthiaroemer_author/

 

Author Interview: Jennifer L. Wright

Author Interview: Jennifer L. Wright

It’s been a while since I’ve managed an interview, but today is my great pleasure and honor to introduce to you Jennifer L. Wright, one of the 2021 Christian fiction debut authors.

Jennifer Wright has been writing since middle school, eventually earning a Master’s degree in Journalism at Indiana University. However, it took only a few short months of covering the local news for her to realize that writing fiction is much better for the soul and definitely way more fun. A born and bred Hoosier, she was plucked from the Heartland after being swept off her feet by an Air Force pilot and has spent the past decade traveling the world and, and every few years, attempting to make old curtains fit in the windows of a new home. She tries to squeeze in time to write in between rolling with the punches of her husband’s unpredictable schedule and corralling her two children (and one grumpy old dachshund).

She currently resides in New Mexico and has discovered a passion for all things green chile.

She is a member of ACFW and can be found on https://jennwrightwrites.com/, FacebookGoodreadsInstagram, and sometimes (but very rarely) on Twitter.

Her debut novel, If It Rains, will be released on July 6, 2021. Pre-orders can be purchased on Amazon, through Tyndale House Publishers, and any other place where Christian fiction is sold.

 

Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Jennifer with rapid-fire.

 

CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

JLW: Dark

CC: Print or E-book?

JLW: Print

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

JLW: Dog

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

JLW: Morning 

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

JLW: Fall

I’d love to learn a little more about you before we dive into your debut novel.

CC: What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?

JLW: My biggest challenge has been patience! I have been writing steadily for over ten years, and yet ‘If It Rains’ will be my first published novel. Publishing requires a lot of grit and persistence, more than little luck, and mounds upon mounds of patience. It takes long time to complete a book, from first draft to polished manuscript, and even longer to get it into the hands of readers. Learning to be still and wait has been a huge but valuable challenge for me. 

CC: A valuable challenge to be sure, but so hard to endure as it is being developed in you.

CC: What is your favorite Bible verse? Why?

JLW: I keep several Bible verses taped to my desk, but the one I read daily is: “My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is a mighty rock, my refuge.”—Psalm 62:7 Especially as I move into the time of publication, I know I will be confronted with criticisms and not-so-nice reviews; it comes with the business. This verse is a reminder that, no matter what happens with my book, my salvation and my honor depend on God alone. He determines my identity and nothing else. 

CC: As silly as it sounds, I am so proud of you for walking into it with that mindset and totally surrendering it all to God. You are absolutely 100% right, He does determine your identity and nothing else.

CC: What is your writing Kryptonite?

JLW: Reading a really, really, really good book! As crazy as that sounds, if I find one of those rare reads that leave me breathless and stay with me long after I’ve finished, I have a terrible tendency to hate everything I write because I feel as if I’ll never write anything as good as that book. It usually takes a little while before I regain my confidence enough to start writing again.

CC: I both love and hate that. Reading is such a wonderful escape, but it can also be a stumbling block when you read something from someone so amazing you just know you’ll never compare.

Thanks for sharing those fun things. Let’s dive right into talking about your debut novel, If It Rains!

A story of resilience and redemption set against one of America’s defining moments—the Dust Bowl.

It’s 1935 in Oklahoma, and lives are determined by the dust. Fourteen-year-old Kathryn Baile, a spitfire born with a severe clubfoot, is coming of age in desperate times. Once her beloved older sister marries, Kathryn’s only comfort comes in the well-worn pages of her favorite book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Then Kathryn’s father decides to relocate to Indianapolis, and only the promise of a surgery to finally make her “normal” convinces Kathryn to leave Oklahoma behind. But disaster strikes along the way, and Kathryn must rely on her grit and the ragged companions she meets on the road if she is to complete her journey.

Back in Boise City, Melissa Baile Mayfield is the newest member of the wealthiest family in all of Cimarron County. In spite of her poor, rural upbringing, Melissa has just married the town’s most eligible bachelor and is determined to be everything her husband—and her new social class—expects her to be. But as the drought tightens its grip, Henry’s true colors are revealed. Melissa covers her bruises with expensive new makeup and struggles to reconcile her affluent life with that of her starving neighbors. Haunted by the injustice and broken by Henry’s refusal to help, Melissa secretly defies her husband, risking her life to follow God’s leading.

Two sisters, struggling against unspeakable hardship, discover that even in their darkest times, they are still united in spirit, and God is still with them, drawing them home.

CC: Who was the most challenging character to create? What made them so difficult? 

JLW: Helen was an extremely difficult character to write. There’s a fine line when you’re creating a villain; she had to be unlikeable but also believable. Though her actions may be unforgiveable, I hope I did justice to why she did the things she did. People are not black and white. We are all shades of gray, and I hope readers find something redeemable in Helen (even if they hate her!)

CC: Villians are some of my favorite to write because they are complex. I know I never do it justice, but I am looking forward to seeing Helen and why she is the way she is.

Which character was the most fun to create? What makes them fun?

JLW: Kathryn was the most fun to write. She’s obnoxious and immature and pigheaded, but she also has a lot of heart. She is based partly on how I was as a child (minus the clubfoot, of course), and it was so much fun to dig into that side of myself as I wrote her.  

CC: Oh that is fun! I bet it was really fun to revisit that aspect of your life.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find? 

JLW: It’s no secret If It Rains is an homage to L Frank Baum and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I’ve hidden several Oz easter eggs within the pages, from names to character parallels to quotes, and I can’t wait to see how many my eagle-eyed readers can spot. 

CC: Secret admission…I’ve never read it and I can’t remember the last time I watched The Wizard of Oz. Now you have me wanting to before I read your book just so I can find all the easter eggs

Thank you so much for joining me today and providing all of us with a wonderful distraction. As my final question, I have my usual “Fun Question”.

If you had to live in any time period except modern-day, which time period would you choose? Why?

JLW: I have such an obsession with the Roaring Twenties. The fashion, the music, the overall mentality of our nation during that time—take me back to the days of The Great Gatsby please (minus the booze!) I’m sure I’m romanticizing it all in my head, but I still find everything about that era fascinating. 

CC: It is definitely a fascinating time. My mind tends to wander to all the dark crime of that time, but I tend to write romance with suspense so that makes sense. LoL Thank you so much for joining us today. It is such a blessing to have had you.

You can purchase Jennifer’s book at any of the following retailers or your favorite bookseller.

Amazon     Baker Bookhouse     BarnesandNoble.com     Christianbook.com

 

Author Interview: Kimberly Duffy

Author Interview: Kimberly Duffy

This month I have the great pleasure and honor to introduce to you author, Kimberly Duffy. I met Kimberly through a mutual friend just before her debut book came out. Kimberly is a wonderful mom, wife, and author. I hope you enjoy getting to know her better as much as I did.

Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio. When she’s not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn’t mind.

You can connect with her at:

Newsletter (free short story): http://kimberlyduffy.com/index.php/newsletter/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/authorkimberlyduffy/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKimberlyDuffy

Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Kimberly with some rapid-fire.

 

 

CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

KD: Neither. I’m allergic to caffeine.

CC: Ugh! That must be so hard! I stress eat chocolate way more than I should.

 

CC: Print or e-book?

KD: Print!

 

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

KD: Allergic to those, too.

CC: You poor thing! I guess the best pet in those instances is a fish. 

 

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

KD: Night Owl.

CC: The night seems to be when everything is finally quiet.

 

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter? 

KD: Fall or spring. I love both seasons.

CC: They really are each pretty in their own rights. I could do without the tree pollen though. LOL

 

Before we dive into your book, let’s learn a bit more about you. What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey??

KD: Not falling into the trap of comparing my journey with someone else’s. Especially with social media, it’s hard to resist that temptation. It’s in your face all the time and typically, you only see the very best parts of someone’s journey. 

CC: Hugs. Comparision is so incredibly hard. I think it is a trap we can all be tempted to fall into, and often do.

Why do you write with settings in India?

KD: India is the most vibrant, colorful, energetic, warm place on the planet. It lends itself well to beautiful imagery and descriptive writing, as well as being so diverse which makes writing each book an opportunity to dive into new research. Though, only the first three books are set there. I’m looking forward to writing other places as well.

CC: I am looking forward to seeing India through your writing. It is such a unique location, although, any location you write is bound to be wonderful.

So let’s talk about A Tapestry of Light

Calcutta, 1886.

Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.

When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie’s English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.

But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn’t forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land.

CC: If you could be any of your characters, which one would it be? Why?

KD: If I could be anyone from Tapestry, it would be Damaris who is my heroine’s closest friend. She has a larger-than-life personality, kindness tempered by a realistic outlook and sharp sense of humor, a stunning figure and mound of red hair, and purpose. She’s also loyal, lives with a wealthy, permissive aunt, and honestly deserves her own book. Maybe one day?

CC: She definitely deserves her own book! And I have a feeling you will have many readers clamoring to read it.

What drew you to this story?

KD: Initially it was the beetle-wing embroidery. I stumbled across a piece of 18th-century ruffle at an Indian fabric exhibit and was just fascinated by it. The Victorians were big fans of using things from the natural world in their fashions and elytra are the most beautiful green, iridescent, and have a long history of being used in embroidery. Then I was drawn to Ottilie’s fierce strength, her pursuit of truth, and her willingness to wade through hard things.

CC: That is so cool. For our readers, here an image of some beetle-wing embroidery to feast your eyes upon. 

Dress fabric embroidered with beetle wing-cases, makers unknown, 1858, Hyderabad, India. Museum no. 4498:1/(IS). © Victoria and Albert Museum, London (https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/indian-embroidery)

Thank you so much for joining me today and providing us with a taste of you and your story. The last question is always my fun one:

If you could have any super power, which would it be?

KD: Teleportation definitely. I’ve actually seriously considered this question in case I’m ever offered the opportunity. I love to travel. I wish I could wake up in Paris, eat a croissant, then hop on over to India for lunch and a visit with friends, then be in Greece for dinner time and a walk along the ocean. 

CC: I’d definitely jump on board with that one, but for a completely different reason. LOL It would be so nice to get my family where they need to be in seconds instead of taking all day. 🙂

Seriously, thank you again so much for the interview. It’s so neat to get to know you a bit more.

Readers, you can purchase Kimberly Duffy’s book at any of the following retailers or your favorite bookseller.

Amazon     Baker Bookhouse     Barnes and Noble     Books-A-Million     Bookshop.org    Book Depository     Christianbook.com     Indiebound.org


Reader Question: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

 

Author Interview: A.D. Lawrence

Author Interview: A.D. Lawrence

The winner of the February Reading Challenge giveaway is Alisa W. Check for an email from me, and if you didn’t get it, email me at crystal@crystalcaudill.com. CONGRATULATIONS!!!


It is my great pleasure and honor to introduce to you A.D. Lawrence, one of the 2021 Christian fiction debut authors. Be sure to read the full interview and then enter the giveaway at the end for a chance to win a copy of The Purple Nightgown.

A.D. Lawrence makes her home in Northeastern Nebraska. She has been passionate about writing and true crime for years, and her two obsessions melded into the goal of authorship. She is an active member of the ACFW, writes a true crime blog, won the 2019 Crown Award and was a 2019 First Impressions finalist and a 2020 Genesis finalist. Her first book will be released through Barbour in March of 2021 as part of the True Colors series.

You can connect with her at https://adlawrencefiction.com/, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit A.D. with rapid-fire.

 

 

CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

ADL: Dark

CC: You are my kind of girl!

 

CC: Print or e-book?

ADL: Print

 

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

ADL: Cat

CC: I guess I can forgive you for that. 😉

 

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

ADL: I’m not very good at either, but I’m becoming a bit of a Night Owl.

CC:  I used to be a Night Owl, but now I’m like you. I’m not good at either.

 

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter? 

ADL: Fall . . . always fall.

CC: It’s such a pretty time of the year!

 

Before we dive into your book, let’s learn a bit more about you. What are you reading right now?

ADL: Though it’s not my typical reading genre, I’ve been enjoying The Smoke River series by Adina Senft. The first two books are amazing, and I’m just starting book three. 

CC: For those who are interested in what genre that is, it’s Amish. I’m so glad you are enjoying the series! I have to admit, Amish isn’t typically my thing, but my interest is piqued.

What do you like to do when you aren’t reading or writing?

ADL:  Please don’t judge me, but I’m really into 90 Day Fiancé at the moment. It’s pretty crazy.

CC: When I first read that, I read 90 Day FINANCE. LOL Fiancé makes so much more sense. 

What is your schedule like when you’re writing?

ADL: I have a full-time job, so writing keeps me busy. Since I only had seven weeks to write and edit The Purple Nightgown, I woke up at five to write before work and wrote until late into the night. Thank goodness, it came together!

CC: Holy cow! Seven weeks AND a full-time job? Girl you amaze me. I’m not sure my brain can function that early and go to bed that late afterward. Bless you!

Thanks for sharing those fun things. Let’s dive right into talking about your debut novel, The Purple Nightgown!

Marvel at true but forgotten history when patients check into Linda Hazzard’s Washington state spa in 1912 and soon become victim of her twisted greed.

Heiress Stella Burke is plagued by insincere suitors and nonstop headaches. Exhausting all other medical aides for her migraines, Stella reads Fasting for the Cure of Disease by Linda Hazzard and determines to go to the spa the author runs. Stella’s chauffer and long-time friend, Henry Clayton, is reluctant to leave her at the spa. Something doesn’t feel right to him, still Stella submits herself into Linda Hazzard’s care. Stella soon learns the spa has a dark side and Linda a mean streak. But when Stella has had enough, all ways to leave are suddenly blocked. Will Stella become a walking skeleton like many of the other patients or succumb to a worse fate?

CC: Which character was the most fun to create? What makes them fun?

ADL: I had the most fun with Henry, probably because I pictured him as James Norton. His conflicting emotions made him fun to write.

CC: That’s a new actor to me. I had to look him up to know who you are talking about, but I can see him as being a character of conflicting emotions. He just sort of has that face.

What was your hardest scene to write?

ADL: Since I’m a romantically stunted person, the mushy scenes were a challenge. Emotions like fear and anxiety are easy for me to write, but warmer feelings … not so much. I’m thankful for critique partners who experience the full range of human emotion and gave me a hand.

CC: I am the same way! That does make writing romances so much harder, but you did a great job!

Thank you so much for joining me today and providing all of us with a wonderful distraction. The last question is always my fun one:

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

ADL: 1) Tour Highclere Castle 2) Hot Air Balloon Ride 3) Serve on a Jury (something serious, not some car theft or drug case.)

CC: Your third one is so funny to me. Everyone tries to get out of jury duty, and you want on it. In fairness, you want a serious case, but i still find it humorous. My dad served on a grand jury once, and I can remember the cameraman filming the shoes of the jury as they walked by and my family recognizing my dad’s ratty tennis shoes. LOL

Readers, you can purchase A.D’s book at any of the following retailers or your favorite bookseller, but be sure to enter the giveaway as well! If you win, you can make someone’s day by giving it as a gift.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Christianbook.com


The Giveaway

To enter, please comment below with YOUR top three bucket list items and then click on the Rafflecopter entry below. Entries are open from 3/9/2021 12:01 AM (EST) to 3/15/2021 11:59PM (EST). This giveaway is restricted to US residents only. The winner will be announced on next Tuesday’s book review.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Author Interview: Jennifer Deibel

Author Interview: Jennifer Deibel

It is my great pleasure and honor to introduce to you Jennifer Deibel, one of the 2021 Christian fiction debut authors.

Jennifer Deibel is a middle school teacher whose work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and others. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children. You can find her online at www.jenniferdeibel.com. Her debut novel, A Dance in Donegal, releases Feb. 2, 2021 from Revell and is available for pre-order wherever books are sold!

You can connect with her at Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, or BookBub.

Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Jennifer with rapid-fire.

 

 

CC: Sweet or Unsweet Tea?

JD: Can I say both? LOL Honestly, though, in a pinch I’d probably go for dark!

CC: Absolutely you can say both. Good choice. 😉

 

CC: Print or E-book?

JD: Print! I love the feel, smell, the heft of it.

CC: I’m 100% with you!

 

CC: Cat or Dog person?

JD: Dog, for sure!!

CC: Who can resist a tail that wags every time they see you?

 

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

JD: Permanently Exhausted Pigeon. LOL

CC:  Oh that’s hilarious! I’ve not heard that one, but it’s perfect!

 

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

JD: Oh, fall, most definitely!

CC: It is so beautiful!

Thanks for sharing those fun things. Let’s dive right into talking about you. 

How can we pray for you? 

JD: I’m heading into edits for book 2—which I’m so very excited about! I absolutely love this story and can’t wait to get it into readers’ hands! But I’m also in the midst of grading middle school essays, and thinking of which story idea(s) I want to pursue next. So, I’d appreciate prayers for energy and strength, but also for wisdom and discernment. And divine inspiration.

CC: Absolutely! Teaching is such a full-time and mentally draining job, I can’t imagine how you manage to balance both writing and teaching. You are definitely in our prayers!

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

JD: Being a teacher, I tend to write the bulk of my books during the summer. I try to balance good, big chunks of concentrated writing time with good, concentrated time with my kids—they are getting older, and won’t be home forever, so I want to be wise with my time. During the school year, I rotate evenings and weekends with writing, schoolwork/planning/grading, family time, etc.

CC: Bless you. You have so much to balance in your life. You completely amaze me. The mom guilt is hard and you definitely don’t want to miss those moments, but being called to write has its demands as well.

Now let’s dive into your debut novel, A Dance in Doengal!

After the loss of her Irish mother in the summer of 1920, Moira Doherty decides to fulfill her mother’s wish for her to leave Boston and teach in her mother’s home village of Ballymann in Donegal, Ireland. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about a scandalous family reputation abound and threaten not only her new position but also her life.

Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of unlikely friends including Sean, a handsome thatcher, to help her clear her family name before it’s too late. As she seeks to navigate her new life in Ireland, she may find that this is truly the life she was always meant to live.

CC: What was some of your favorite research you discovered while preparing for A Dance in Donegal?

JD: I really loved researching all the ancient traditions of Ireland. I’d experienced many of them firsthand when we lived there, but I wanted an even deeper understanding of why they do or say the things they do—things they’ve done and said for centuries, and still do to this day. I don’t want to give too much away, but there’s one major life event in particular that I just found absolutely fascinating the sheer number and depth of traditions involved in it. It’s like a well-choreographed dance, and everyone seems to automatically know their parts. Which, I loved, as it fits well with the dance theme that runs throughout the story. And it deepened my own appreciation and love for Ireland’s culture and traditions because I understood even more where they are coming from, and the rich meaning behind literally everything they do.

CC: Wow. I’m a little jealous you lived there. It’s definitely on my bucket list to go one day, but I’m glad I’ll get a glimpse of it by reading your book!

How did this story affect you as you wrote it? Did God teach you anything through the writing?

JD: So much of this story was written during or shortly after major seasons of change and transition for our family. And, much like Moira, I often found myself questioning God’s plans, and whether or not He truly knew what He was doing…or if I’d misheard/misinterpreted His leading in some way. Walking this story alongside my characters helped strengthen my own faith that God does in fact know what He’s doing, and He is good, and He is for my good…even if the circumstances He chooses to use to do that are painful.

CC: Hugs. Those are the best and most painful lessons to learn, but I’m so glad you were able to process those changes through your characters.

How do you select the names of your characters?

JD: For some of the characters, the names just came to me—I just knew the main character’s name was Moira, for example. Others, I had to look up. I wanted names that were common in that time-period, and in that area of Ireland. But I also wanted the names to match the characters and their personalities. The meanings of names are hugely important to me in my own life, so I brought that to my characters as well. I also chose harsh-sounding names for the antagonists because they are caustic people, and I wanted their names to be consistent with that.

CC: I love how much thought went into all of that! Name meanings are so fun to look up and now you’re going to have me looking up the meanings of your characters. 

Thank you so much for joining me today and providing all of us with a wonderful distraction. I have one last, fun question to give you. 

Would you rather face 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck? Why? 

JD: Oh, 100 duck-sized horses. No question. First of all, they sound completely adorable! Secondly, I feel like they might be more manageable…or at least less threatening than a horse-sized duck. I feel like one peck from that duck would be the end of me. 

CC: I can just see the beak coming at you now. LoL

Thanks for spending time with me and my readers today. I am so excited to share your story with them. READERS: You can purchase Jennifer’s book at any of the following retailers or your favorite bookseller. The reviews are rolling in and they are great. I can’t wait to dig into my copy soon.

Amazon     Baker Book House    Barnes and Noble     Books-A-Million     ChristianBook     IndieBound    Target     Walmart

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