Author Interview: Janet Ferguson

Author Interview: Janet Ferguson

Today it is my pleasure to introduce to you, Janet Ferguson. I’ve “known” Janet online for several years now, and she is a joy to keep up with. But let me introduce you to her properly. 

Janet W. Ferguson is a Christy Award finalist and the FHL Readers Choice Award-winning author of realistic inspirational fiction. An avid reader, she loved books so much she found a job as a librarian so she could be around them all day. Then she turned that love of story into writing faith-filled novels with characters who feel like best friends. You’ll laugh and cry as the quirky heroes and heroines chase their happily ever after. ​Janet and her husband live in Mississippi where they say y’all a lot, and she forces him to visit the beach as often as possible. They have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.

You can connect with her through:

Website  |  Facebook  |  GoodReads  |  BookBub  

*If you sign up for her newsletter, you will get her Christy Award finalist novella, Falling for Grace for free. Click here!

 

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

 

CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

JF: Both!

CC: Print or E-book?

JF: Love print but since my eyes are aging, eBooks are easier to read now.

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

JF: Both again. 🙂

Morning Person or Night Owl?

JF: Night for sure. Mornings hurt!

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

JF: Summer and beaches.

Now for a couple of fun personal questions:

How can we pray for you?

JF: That the stories I write glorify God and spread the Good News of His love and grace.

CC: Amen! Amen! 

What is your favorite Bible verse?

JF: So many! But I love Isaiah 55’s invitation,
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”

We think we need so much, but really God supplies our true needs.

CC: It is so easy to get wrapped up in the “things” of life instead of what we truly need.

What are you reading right now?

JF: I am finishing a novel by Tosca Lee called A Single Light. It’s a thriller for sure.

CC: I’ve not read anything from her, but I have heard her writing still keeps you on the edge of your seat.

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

JF: Walking outside, trying new restaurants, traveling, Bible study, and taking pictures of nature keep me happy.

CC: Those are all great hobbies. My family especially loves trying new restaurants.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

JF: In 2012, both my parents passed away, along with my mother-in-law within 2 months. I’d had a story idea for about 7 years. After those losses, I realized life was short, and I began writing my first novel which became Leaving Oxford.

CC: Realizing the brevity of life can be a kick in the pants for so many things. I am sorry for your losses, but so glad good came out of them in the form of your writing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

JF: A lot of times, I write sitting on my bed, LOL! My room is quiet and I have a stack of pillows piled up and research books spread out all over.

CC: That would be far too tempting for me to take a nap instead of write. LOL

What is your writing Kryptonite?

JF: I hate editing. It’s just so hard to rethink something once it’s finished, especially part of the plot or story.

CC: I’m the opposite, but I can see where that could be difficult. 

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

JF: I’m not the best at having a schedule anymore. I’ve decided to write one book a year, giving it my best work. If I get behind on my deadline though, I’ll go to a library or coffee shop to finish those last chapters. Sometimes I have to get away from distractions at home.

CC: Distractions at home are the hardest. You literally have to leave in order to escape them. One book a year sounds like the perfect pace to me! 

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

JF: Writing the stories of heroines who’ve gone through abuse was incredibly hard, because I had to dig into how that must have felt and how it affected them. The emotion of that is tough.

CC: That is definitely a huge challenge and one that also becomes a spiritual battle in and of itself.

Let’s talk about your newest release, Healing Skye.Healing Skye: A Coastal Hearts Novel by [Janet W. Ferguson]

People can’t be trusted.

Animals always made more sense than humans did to marine biologist Skye Youngblood. After her mother’s tragic death, she left Alabama and never looked back. These days, she pours her heart into protecting nature’s sea creatures. When she returns to Dauphin Island, Alabama, for a temporary manatee migration study, her dark past is much too close. She can’t let her guard down. But how can she keep her heart hidden when a kind man with a genuine smile makes her want a fresh start?

Charter fishing pays the bills for widower Pete Thompson and his little girl, but like his father, a pastor, Pete can’t help but fish for men. Only, after growing up under constant scrutiny as a preacher’s kid, Pete’s ways are a bit more unconventional. And the bulk of his life revolves around raising his precious daughter.

When he witnesses the car wreck of a new marine biologist on the island, it doesn’t take a genius to see that more than just her physical pain needs tending. Pete feels called to help Skye find true healing, but he’s navigating dangerous waters. And he’s not at all sure he’ll walk away unscathed.

Purchase your copy here.

CC: Who was the most challenging character to create?

JF: Probably this last character Skye. She’s had such a hard childhood with a terrible stepfather and a mother who suffered from depression.

CC: Those traumatic backgrounds can really make for reluctant characters–even for us the author. I’m so glad you stuck with it.

Which character was the most fun to create?

JF: My hero of For the Love of Joy, Davis, showed up in The Art of Rivers as a side character and he was just hilarious. He was also in Star Rising. At some point I knew he had to have his own story. I think God gave me Davis as a gift and a joy to write.

CC: That is so sweet. I love how those recurring side characters eventually get their own stories.

What was some of your favorite research for Healing Skye?
JF: For Healing Skye. I loved researching manatees. I even went to swim with them in Florida! They are truly gentle giants.
CC: My family saw the first time in the wild this summer. They really are fascinating and so gentle.
How did this story affect you as you wrote it? Did God teach you anything through the writing?
JF: A couple of things came to me through this story. Sometimes we don’t think God is with us because of the bad things in life, but if we really look, we can see that He was there walking with us, sometimes carrying us, all along. Another thing I processed is that the church is made up of broken people, but it is still Christ’s bride.
CC: Amen to all those hard lessons!
If you could be any of your characters, which one would it be?
JF: I love Rivers from The Art of Rivers. She’s artistic and kind and though she might come off as weak, she’s truly strong in her core because of her faith.
CC: I love that. The core of our faith is really our strength.
How do you select the name of your characters?
JF: Oh goodness, I spent hours looking at websites with names and baby names and historical names and name meanings. It’s a rabbit hole for sure. I keep a long list of names. If I meet someone or hear of an interesting one, I make a note.
CC: I love capturing names as I meet new people. Writing historical, it’s rare that I get to use them, but there are some fascinating names out there.
What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
JF: We have a God who cares about your pain. We have a God who loves purely—a Savior who heals.

CC: AMEN!
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”.
What are the top three things on your bucket list?

JF: They all involve travel, I think! I’d like to see Scotland, the rest of the United States that I haven’t gone to, and New Zealand.

CC: Travel never gets old. Or at least the dream of it, and your location selections are excellent!

Thanks for getting to know Deb Kastner with me. Don’t forget to check out her book, Healing Skye, and answer the question below to let us know what your bucket list items are.

Author Interview: Deb Kastner

Author Interview: Deb Kastner

The book world is full of interesting people, and authors tend to be their own breed. That’s why I enjoy author interviews. It gives me a chance to meet other authors who have characters and stories living in their heads and then introduce them to the readers who like to read about those stories and characters. This week I get the honor of introducing to you Love Inspired author, Deb Kastner.

Publishers Weekly Bestselling, award-winning author of over 50 novels and two million books in print, Deb Kastner enjoys writing contemporary inspirational and sweet western stories set in small communities, often including animals as major secondary characters. Deb lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband, her puppers Gabby and Sadie, and two mischievous bonded brothers, black tuxedo cats Hype and Dab. She recently went through what she terms her midlife crisis and adopted her very first ever real live horse whose name is sweet Moscato. She is blessed with three adult daughters and two grandchildren with #3 on the way. Her favorite hobby is spoiling her grandchildren, but she also enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to music (The Texas Tenors and The High Kings are her favs), singing in the church choir and exploring the Rocky Mountains on horseback.

You can connect with her through:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  BookBub  

 

 

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

 

CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

DK: Dark Chocolate for sure. The darker, the better.

CC: Print or E-book?

DK: Yes. I love books. All books. The smell of print books, the convenience of eBooks and being able to clean, declutter or play a computer game while I’m listening to an audiobook.

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

DK: Yes. I’ve been a dog person all my life and currently live with my elderly pit bull/shepherd mix Sadie, my beloved miniature schnauzer Gabriella Peaches (Gabby) and my granddaughter’s emotional support dog Oreo, who literally has the body of a Boston terrier and the small apple head of a chihuahua. Two years ago added a pair of bonded tuxedo cat brothers who keep the house lively. I also had a midlife crisis and adopted a wonderful horse named Moscato.

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

DK: Night owl for sure. I’m trying to back it up, but the truth is I go to bed at 2 AM and wake up at 10 in the morning.

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

DK: I live in Colorado, so I have to say Fall, when the colors change and it gets cooler.

Now for a couple of fun personal questions:

How can we pray for you?

DK: My husband had a double stroke six years ago and continues to fight its effects, which appear to be getting worse. My granddaughter has emotional needs which need to be met and I pray she feels God’s presence in her life. Right now she is really floundering. And for me, that I can be a caregiver for everyone and also the sole breadwinner.

CC: Oh, Deb! So many hugs. I’m a caregiver myself, and just caring for one person is a challenge, but you have SOOOO MUCH to handle. You can be guaranteed those prayers. May you feel God’s strength, peace, encouragement, and provision as you move through each day.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

DK: I cling to John 6:53-58. Jesus is the true bread Who feeds us and gives us drink. Without that I wouldn’t be able to continue fighting through life when the bad times come and rejoice through it all.

“Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats[s] my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (NABRE)

CC: It is so comforting to have the reassurance from Him. Life as a caregiver is never dull or easy.

What are you reading right now?

DK: Psychological thrillers, as I can’t read contemporary Christian romances when I’m writing them.

CC: You sure dive right into the other spectrum! LOL But I completely understand not being able to read in the genre you write while writing your story.

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

DK: I don’t get out to see my beautiful Arabian Moscato nearly as often as I’d like because he’s an hour and a half away at my sister’s farm. But whenever I can find an afternoon, I’m out there loving on him..

CC: There is just something peaceful and comforting about spending time with horses especially. I’m glad you get your time with him when you can.

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

DK: Working through various family issues that always seem to pop up. I’d like to say I just shut my office door and write through them, but that doesn’t happen. I’m too much of a wife/Mom/Granny to ignore my family’s needs.

CC: Hugs. I so understand that. It really slows the writing process, but family is always the greater calling.

Let’s talk about your newest release, A Reason to Stay (Rocky Mountain Family #5) (K9 Companions #9).

Caring for a little boy… Brings him more than he ever imagined Tied down with family and work responsibilities, Sharpe Winslow has always wondered about the world outside his small Colorado town. When newcomer Emma Fitzpatrick finds herself unsure about caring for the brother she never knew about, Sharpe and his rescue pup, Baloo, step in and take the boy under their wing. Sharpe knows he shouldn’t get close to Emma or Aidan. But maybe they’ll give him a reason to stay…

Find all the available purchase links by visiting https://www.debkastnerbooks.com/book/a-reason-to-stay/.

CC: Who was the most challenging character to create?

DK: Sharpe was difficult because, like his name, he’s very edgy. It’s difficult to write a character who lives right on the edge without having him fall too far and be downright mean. I want readers to empathize with him and his inability to have the life he wants.

CC: That can definitely be a difficult balance to maintain, but those characters need to exist. We live with Sharpes in our lives, and it’s always good to see another side of them.

Which character was the most fun to create?

DK: As always, the service dogs in the stories win out. I enjoyed writing the boy Aidan and how therapy dog and Border collie, Baloo, changes his life.

CC: Dogs make such a difference in everyone’s lives, and therapy dogs provide such a needed service that cannot be fulfilled any other way.

How did this story affect you as you wrote it? Did God teach you anything through the writing?
DK: I have to admit I sometimes feel tied down by my responsibilities and feel as if God has given me too much, even though I cling to the verse that states God will never give me more than I can handle. I learned with Sharpe that maybe this is exactly where I’m supposed to be and I don’t have to “get away” in order to find joy and peace in my life.
CC: I have been recently working through a similar season in my caregiving life, so boy does that hit home for me. Again, lots of hugs!
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”.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot?

DK: I’ve actually made a logo with my miniature schnauzer Gabby front and center and my tag line “Dare to Dream.”

CC: That is so cute and appropriate for all the dog characters you have in your stories.

Thanks for getting to know Deb Kastner with me. Don’t forget to check out her book, A Reason to Stay, and answer the question below to let us know what would be YOUR mascot. 

Giveaway & Author Interview: Grace Hitchcock

Giveaway & Author Interview: Grace Hitchcock

Today I get the pleasure of introducing you to my friend and fellow author, Grace Hitchcock. We met at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference a number of years ago, and it has been a huge blessing to watch her career blossom and grow. She is a fun and witty author with dashes of suspense depending on which book you read. She’s super talented and I’m so excited to have her on the blog this week.

Grace Hitchcock is the award-winning author of multiple historical novels and novellas. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in the New Orleans area with her husband, Dakota, sons, and daughter. Connect with her online at GraceHitchcock.com.

You can connect with her through:

Website  |  Newsletter  |  BookBub  |  GoodReads

 

 

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

 

CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

GH: Dark chocolate!

CC: Print or E-book?

GH: Love the feel of a print copy in my hands and seeing it on my shelf! I recently got a paperwhite kindle and I have to admit, I love that I can read at night again!!

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

GH: I’m allergic to both sadly, so I’m more of a Holland Lop bunny person!

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

GH: Totally morning, which is great because my kiddos wake up before six most mornings haha!

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

GH: Spring! Not only are the flowers bursting all around, but it’s King Cake season in Louisiana 🙂 And if you haven’t had a King Cake before, you should definitely order one! Heavenly.

Now for a couple of fun personal questions:

What are you reading right now?

GH: Currently, I am listening to Regina Jenning’s A Most Inconvenient Marriage and reading Gabrielle Meyer’s When the Day Comes. I recently finished Erica Vetsch’s The Gentleman Spy and LOVED it!!

CC: Oh girl. I can’t rave enough about The Gentleman Spy and The Debutante’s Code by Erica Vetsch! AMAZING. And Gabrielle Meyer’s is on my TBR. I haven’t read Regina’s but I know it is on my shelf. 🙂

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

GH: I love to bake! I will take any excuse to make a pie or cake from scratch, or create new cookie recipes. I have been branching out into the pastry world and enjoy the challenge. In my current work-in-progress for Kregel Publication’s, the heroine is a baker, so I have the perfect excuse to try out her Regency recipes as well 🙂

CC: I am a baker as well, except my family rarely eats the types I like to make. LOL I cannot wait to read your book and maybe find a way to sneak to your house and try some of those Regency recipes.

What has been the biggest challenge on your writing journey?

GH: I’d say the biggest challenge is the ever-changing schedule of my writing days. With a Pre-K son, toddler, and almost-here infant, writing time happens in the little moments throughout the day and at night. Being flexible with writing time is difficult, but I’ve learned to focus during those spurts of time and have studied how to become more efficient with my writing speed while leaning heavily on the knowledge that the Lord will give me time and inspiration. I’m ever thankful to have a supportive husband who entertains the kiddos at the end of his work day and makes sure I have time to write each day if I wasn’t able to get to it.

CC: Having a supportive family is so huge, and I could definitely use some of your tips and tricks for focus during those snippets of time.  

Let’s talk about your first indie release, The Finding of Miss Fairfield.The Finding of Miss Fairfield: A Victorian Harvey Girls Romance (Aprons & Veils, Book 1) by [Grace Hitchcock]

When an engagement of convenience becomes anything but convenient . . .

Forced into a betrothal with a widower twice her age, Charleston socialite, Sophia Fairfield is desperate for an escape. But, while her fiancé is away on business, he assigns his handsome stepson, Carver, the task of looking after his bride-to-be. Much to her dismay, Sophia finds herself falling in love with the wrong gentleman—a man society would never allow her to marry, given Sophia was supposed to be his new stepmother. The only way to save Carver from scandal and financial ruin is to run away, leaving him and all else behind to become a Harvey Girl waitress at the Castañeda Hotel in New Mexico.

Carver Ashton has had his life planned out for him since birth, but when he encounters Sophia Fairfield, he glimpses a new life—apart from his overbearing stepfather’s business. But, when the woman he loves disappears before he can express his devotion, Carver abandons all to find her. However, his stepfather has other intentions for Sophia and will stop at nothing until she is his bride . . . even if it is against her will.

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

CC: What was some of your favorite research in preparing for The Finding of Miss Fairfield?

GH: As an avid Harvey Girl fan, I read just about every Christian Historical Fiction work I could find as well as several non-fiction works on the subject. One of the craziest things I discovered while researching was that Fred Harvey originally had waiters serving in his houses, but one of his managers thought that if the houses were run by waitresses, the male guests eating at the Harvey House would be better behaved. Fred Harvey agreed and thus, the Harvey Girls were created!

CC: That is so cool. It is generally true that men behave better around women. Or at least that used to be true and is still true of my boys. But that may be that they just better behave FOR Mom so they don’t get in trouble.

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

GH: It is always funny to me that the themes written about in my novels are reflected in some form in my life. For The Finding of Miss Fairfield, the heroine deals with fear and I found as the release date for this novel approached, I was allowing myself to fall prey to fear as well. There is a healthy fear in writing in wanting to do your best and pushing yourself, but if that fear keeps you from taking a step that you know God has called you to take, there’s a problem. I had to laugh when it came time to send out my ARCs to my street team and NetGalley because I literally put it off for a few hours because I was so nervous about sending out my official first Indie published novel. Closing my eyes in prayer, I hit send. I’m praying the readers will find it entertaining!

CC: That fear can be a killer! You have not idea how proud I am of you for following God’s call and taking that step of hitting send.

How do you select the names of your characters?

GH: Usually I pick the names first and when I find the right name, I at once begin to see the person I am writing about. For this novel, I changed the heroine’s name several times to fit the woman she had become throughout my drafts. The hero’s name has stayed the same though 🙂 I use Names Through the Ages to pick accurate names for the region and the era. It’s an AMAZING resource!

CC: Oh girl, I am so excited about that resource! THANK YOU!!! I cannot wait to use it. 

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?

GH: This is a hard one! I have several places on my travel list, but I’d have to say that I want to go back to Paris and from there, I’d take the train and visit all the palaces and castles I could reach, filling a journal of writing research as I went!

CC: Sigh. Paris! One day, and YES to all the castles. How much story fodder there must be in those places! 

Thanks for getting to know Grace Hitchcock with me. Don’t forget to check out her book, Miss Fairfield, and answer the question below to let us know where you would travel. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for an autographed print copy! (Sorry, open to US mailing addresses only.)


The giveaway runs until August 23rd at 11:59 EST. Open to US mailing addresses only due to the cost of shipping.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview: Rachelle Paige Campbell

Author Interview: Rachelle Paige Campbell

As my reading has been sporadic and my ability to write book reviews has been limited, I am relieved that I can at least provide you with introductions to some great authors and characters. This week I have the privilege of introducing you to Rachelle Paige Campbell.  

Rachelle Paige Campbell writes contemporary romance novels filled with heart and hope. She believes love and laughter can change lives, and every story needs a happily ever after.

You can connect with her through:

Website  |  Newsletter  |  Instagram  |  Amazon  |  BookBub  |  GoodReads

 

 

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

 

CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

RPC: Dark

CC: Print or E-book?

RPC: Print (I love bookstores.)

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

RPC: Dog

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

RPC: Morning person

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

RPC: Summer

Now for a couple of fun personal questions:

CC: How can we pray for you?

RPC:  I want to pray that we all recognize our similarities over our differences. Our communities make our country strong and we can’t be ripped apart from each other.

CC: That is definitely something our country needs in a big way. It has broken my heart to see our country so divide. 

What is your favorite Bible verse? Why?

RPC: John 8:32. “You will know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” I feel this so deeply in my soul. When you are guided by Him, you can’t be dissuaded by (sometimes petty) other influences.

CC: Amen. It’s so important to stand firm with him. It makes things so much easier to deal with life, even when life isn’t easy.

What are you reading right now?

RPC: At the moment, I’m reading craft books as I edit two manuscripts. I’m looking forward to the next batch of Love Inspired suspense books.

CC: I have a soft spot for LIS. I have few waiting for me as well.

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

RPC: I love to garden. I live in the Midwest so I have a limited season. I take full advantage of the warm days.

CC: I envy your ability to garden. I have a black thumb. Although, I am very proud of the ONE tomato I have. . . even if it isn’t really growing anymore or turning red . . .

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

RPC: I’ve been telling stories since I was a kid. It wasn’t until I had my first child that I decided to pursue my dream.

CC: I think storytelling just runs through must writer’s blood.  

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

RPC: When I’m writing a first draft, I “see” the plot. I end up editing to make sure my readers can “feel” the book.

CC: That makes sense to me!

What is your writing Kryptonite?

RPC: The words “hey mom” snap me out of my writing groove in a second. It’s a little complicated writing over summer break but I figure it out.

CC: Boy do I feel that one. Interruptions are TERRIBLE.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

RPC: I do my best writing in the morning. Over my morning coffee, I review my notes for the next scene and think about it while I’m walking my dog. When I get home, I’m ready to dive in.

CC: Routine makes such a difference when you have the ability to write.

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

RPC: At the start, I wasn’t hitting goals as fast as I “thought” I should. Learning to embrace my process and my path has made so much difference in my mindset. I love the journey I am on and am so grateful for every step on the way.

CC: Learning what is realistic for yourself and your life is really key. I’m struggling to learn that one myself.

Let’s talk about your release, Love Overboard.

Forced to share a stateroom with her ex-fiancé, Caitlyn fakes amnesia to stay on board her dream Alaskan cruise. Torn over deciding his future, Cruise Director Gregory tumbles into helping her. As they grow closer, unspoken secrets threaten to rip them apart, for good.

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iBooks  | Google Play  | Kobo

CC: Which character was the most challenging to create?

RPC: Caitlyn was a challenging character because she is shy. My dad is a very shy person. I’ve grown up watching people make assumptions about him based on his reticence. The opinions are always wrong so I wanted to explore shyness from the inside out.

CC: Having personal insight into that must have been helpful and helpful for understanding your father. 

What was some of your favorite research you discovered while preparing for Love Overboard?

RPC: While writing Love Overboard, I discovered a slew of old travel videos available on Amazon Prime. I watched hours of Alaskan cruise videos from the 1980s and 1990s, produced by cruise lines. It was like traveling back in time to my childhood.

CC: Oh, that is fun. I didn’t even realize they had those!

How do you select the names of your characters?

RPC: When I’m selecting character names I first check to make sure I haven’t used the name already. I am not trying to create a universe populated with relatives across my non-series books. Then I figure out the year they were born and look up the popular names from that year on the social security database.

CC: That Social Security database is SO incredibly useful for that!

What was the inspiration for your story?

RPC: I have always wanted to take an Alaskan cruise (still dreaming about it). I have been lucky enough to take several Caribbean cruises. On one trip, my husband and I found a hidden room in a fake smokestack with a beautiful view and a baby grand piano. The discovery sparked a story (and you’ll see this in a scene).

CC: Oh that is cool! Now I’ll have to be searching for secret rooms if I ever make it onto a cruise!

What do you hope readers will take away from reading your story?

RPC: I hope readers will be encouraged to take the trip, take the chance, and fully embrace their lives.

CC: That is an exciting encouragement.

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?

RPC: Alaska is my dream trip and I hope to go one day.

CC: I am right there with you. It’s definitely on my bucket list. 

Thanks for getting to know Rachelle Paige Campbell with me. Don’t forget to check out her book, Love Overboard, and answer the question below to let us know where you would travel.


Reader question:

What do you think about historical stories? Should they portray things with as much accuracy as possible to the time, or should authors make adjustments for today’s cultural perspectives?

Author Interview: Pegg Thomas

Author Interview: Pegg Thomas

It’s always fun for me to get to meet some of the authors I’ve met on Facebook. I’ve watched Pegg Thomas’s journey of making her wool shawls all the way from the beginning stages of sheering the sheep. How cool is that? Now it’s my pleasure to introduce you to her as an author. 

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. They raise sheep and chickens, plus keep a few barn cats and Murphy the spoiled rotten dog. Pegg is published in five Barbour historical romance collections, won the 2019 FHL Readers’ Choice Award, was a double-finalist for the 2019 ACFW Carol Award for novellas, and a finalist for the 2019 ACFW Editor of the Year. She was also a finalist in the 2021 FHL Readers’ Choice Award. Pegg spent 3 ½ years as the managing editor of Smitten Historical Romance. When not working or writing, Pegg can be found in her barn, her garden, her kitchen, or sitting at her spinning wheel creating yarn to turn into her signature wool shawls.

Connect with her through:

Website  |  Facebook   |  Instagram  |  MeWe  |  Amazon  |  BookBub  |  GoodReads

*Sign up for Pegg’s newsletter and be entered to win Abigail’s Peace shawl, handspun and handknit by Pegg.*

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

 

CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

PT: milk

CC: Print or E-book?

PT: both

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

PT: dog

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

PT: morning

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

PT: all of the above

Now for a couple of fun personal questions:

CC: What is your favorite Bible verse?

PT:  “My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29

I raised sheep for 28 years, so Jesus as my shepherd is a power description to me.

CC: I can see how that would make you appreciate it all the more, 

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

PT: My tagline is “Spinner of Yarns” for a reason. When I’m not writing and spinning a literary yarn, I’m working with actual yarn. I have tubs of sheep wool from my own sheep, four spinning wheels, and more knitting needles than I can count. My wheels include the one in my social media header, a Revolutionary War era great wheel. And it still works! I also have a 1830s flax wheel, a 1920s Hutterite wheel, and a 1990s modern production wheel. I use all of them for different projects. With the release of each of my books – or re-release of my novellas from Barbour collections – I give one shawl away to a subscriber to my newsletter. I did the first one sort of as a lark, but it was so much fun, I’ve kept doing it.

CC: THAT IS SO COOL!!! I admire your ability to do it. It’s so fascinating to watch your posts. 

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

PT: My biggest challenge in the past couple of years has been writing Colonial American historical fiction and historical romance in the age of woke. So many authors have been burned on social media for portraying history as it was – and not as our 21st Century sensibilities wish it would have been.

Portraying history is not the same as endorsing it or glorifying it. History was what it was. We can’t change it. We shouldn’t sugar-coat it. We absolutely need to learn from it. And while there are parts that are hard to revisit, much of it is fascinating, engaging, and peopled with characters to be admired.

My Forts of Refuge novels are set during Pontiac’s Rebellion in 1763 and are set at the three forts that did not fall to Pontiac’s combined forces, Fort Pitt, Fort Detroit, and Fort Niagara. It was a brutal time in history, following the end of the French and Indian War. My goal in writing these novels was to put ordinary people in the midst of of extraordinary circumstances and show how they survive and ultimately overcome. I had three first-hand historical accounts to guide me and keep the history as accurate as possible.

I hope readers will walk along with Sarah, Maggie, and Abigail and see their world through their eyes, being sympathetic to these 18th Century women who were products of their time – not ours.

CC: The woke culture has definitely made writing historical anything with accuracy really difficult. It’s hard to portray an accurate history when society often wants it white-washed or rewritten altogether. 

Let’s talk about your release, Abigail’s PeaceAbigail's Peace: Forts of Refuge - Book Three by [Pegg Thomas].

Abigail Aldridge’s life in Boston was difficult. Her inability to converse with the fluid grace of her societal peers made her an outcast, a spinster sister living with her step-brother and his wife. When she concocts a way to join her uncle at the British outpost of Fort Niagara, she has no idea what dangers lurk at the edge of civilization.

Working at the fort, Koyengquahtah, a Seneca scout for the British army known as Koyen, watches the white women carried ashore from the boat. Soldiers are one thing, but women mean families. Families that plan to stay on Seneca land. It sparks in him a rebellion against the changes threatening to overwhelm his people and their way of life.

When Abigail befriends the sisters of Koyen, their paths cross and their initial distrust of each other grows into a grudging admiration. But violence erupts as two cultures clash, fueled by the Ottawa leader to the west, Pontiac.

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Bookshop.org

CC: Which character was the most challenging to create?

PT: Koyen – Koyengquahtah which means Young King – was by far the most challenging. I spent a lot of time researching Seneca history and customs, including reaching out to the Seneca Nation in New York, so I could understand him better. The challenge of researching Native tribes is the lack of any contemporary written documentation. But I hope I was able to piece together a character that readers will be able to connect with.

CC: I am sure that readers will walk away with a better understanding, and God will fill in the rest. 

How do you select the names of your characters?

PT: Koyengquahtah I found during my research, and Young King fit the character for many reasons. And it tickled my fancy. I had the British shorten his name to Koyen instead of Anglicizing his name because it let me play with the British biases. The soldiers will not call him Young King because they only recognize King George. 😉

For the British names, I looked up the 1790s census and picked last and first names that were found in that area of New York. I use census records for almost all my character names. Historical accuracy is very important to me, and I like using names that could have been there at that time.

CC: I am the same way. Historical names are so important, and research provides so much fodder for names.

What do you hop readers will take away from your story?

PT: That people are more than the sum of their backgrounds, their appearance, or their limitations.

That is such a great lesson that we all need to learn and relearn. 🙂 

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”.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot?

PT: A horse – because history was achieved by the strength of the horse.

CC: I never thought of it that way, but absolutely!

Readers, you can purchase Pegg Thomas’s books at Amazon.


Reader question:

What do you think about historical stories? Should they portray things with as much accuracy as possible to the time, or should authors make adjustments for today’s cultural perspectives?

Author Interview: Virginia Vaughan

Author Interview: Virginia Vaughan

I always enjoy introducing other authors to my readers, and today is no exception. Virginia is a new author to me, even though she’s published 16 books with Love Inspired. I hope you’ll give her a warm welcome.

Virginia Vaughan is a multi-published author of inspirational romantic suspense. Blessed to come from a large, southern family, her fondest memories include listening to stories recounted by family and friends around the large dinner table. She was a lover of books even from a young age, devouring gothic romance novels and stories of romance, danger, and love. She soon started writing them herself. A former investigator for the State of Mississippi, Virginia utilizes her criminal justice background with her love of writing to transform words into powerful stories of romance and danger. Her sixteenth novel with Love Inspired Suspense, TEXAS KILLER CONNECTION, is now available.

Connect with her through:

Website  |  Facebook   |  Amazon  |  BookBub  |  Newsletter

 

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

 

CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

VV: Definitely Milk Chocolate.

CC: Print or E-book?

VV: I love the convenience of E-books but there is nothing like holding a real book in my hand.

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

VV: I love both cats and dogs, but I do have a soft spot for rescue dogs.

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

VV: Definitely a night owl. I do my best work late into the evening when the house is quiet.

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

VV: Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the cooler weather, boots, and football season! .

Now for a couple of fun personal questions:

CC: What is your favorite Bible verse?

VV: My go-to verse is Jeremiah 29:11. In my darkest days, this verse gives me hope that God has something planned for my life that is better than anything I can see.

CC: Amen. And I love how that promise is given with the knowledge that the Israelites are getting ready to walk some pretty dark days.

CC: What are you reading right now?

VV:Right now, I’m re-reading Patricia Bradley’s Natchez Trace Park Rangers series since I’m working on my own story featuring a Natchez Trace Park Ranger.

CC: Oh that is fun. I try to read books with similar settings to mine while writing as well. 

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

VV: Lately, my free time has been spent babysitting my grandbaby, Izzy, when they need me and it is so hard to get back to work when all I want to do is love on her.

CC: Congratulations on the grandbaby!!! Baby snuggles are the best and definitely hard to break away from.

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

VV: I write out of order as I’m writing. Sometimes, I can be working on a scene and not even know where in the story it takes place. After my first draft, I go back and put all the pieces together into a coherent story. It’s a crazy way to write but it works for me.

CC: That is a neat quirk that I only dip into when stumped. I can’t believe you can write an entire book that way! 

CC: What is your writing kryptonite?

VV: Time is my greatest obstacle. I’m raising kids, homeschooling, and a caregiver for my mom so I have to be intentional with protecting my writing time.

CC: I’m a caregiver too and that can definitely be a huge challenge, especially on top of raising kids.

CC: What does your writing schedule look like?

VV: I’m not a great multi-tasker so when I’m writing a story, I tend to focus on getting words down as fast as possible.

CC: I am so similar. I think you and I need to do a little more chatting after this is over.

Let’s talk about your release, Texas Killer Connection.

To catch a killer

they’ll need to find the evidence.

When the investigation into her look-alike cousin’s death stalls, former army intelligence officer Brooke Moore arrives in Texas searching for justice—and is thrust into the middle of a deadly conspiracy. Now she must turn to her cousin’s ex, FBI agent Colby Avery, for help. But with every clue leading them deeper into danger, they must uncover the truth…before they are buried with it.

CC: Which character was the most challenging to create?

VV: My hero, FBI Agent Colby Avery, was a difficult character to get to know. I’d gotten to know his siblings well in the previous books in the series, but Colby was always kind of stand-offish to me in the previous stories. So getting into his character in this book was almost like starting from scratch with a new character.

CC:Those silent stubborn types can really give us authors a run for our money to be sure!

What was some of your favorite research you discovered while preparing for this book?

VV: One of the scenes in TEXAS KILLER CONNECTION involved a bomb threat in a hospital. It was interesting learning about the different security codes facilities use to indicate trouble.

CC: My brother works in a children’s hospital and we had a discussion once about some of those topics. It really is fascinating how prepared they really are for such scenarios.

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

VV: I loved my heroine, Brooke, and the way she was able to take care of herself. She’s strong, independent, and not afraid to take risks for those she cared about.

She sounds like an amazing heroine, and I can’t wait to get to know her more soon.

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 have one superpower, what would it be?

VV: As a huge superhero fan, I’ve thought about this question a lot. My superpower would be to be able to fly or transport myself from place to place at will. No more driving for me! LOL

CC: Oh I so feel you on that one! My second job is an unpaid chauffeur. LOL

Readers, you can purchase Virginia Vaughan’s books at Amazon or at Harlequin’s website.


Reader question:

If you could pick a superpower what would it be?

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