Meet Erica Vestch, Author of Children of the Shadows

Meet Erica Vestch, Author of Children of the Shadows

There is an interesting dynamic in being both a reader and member of the Christian writing community. As a writer, I am SO incredibly blessed to get to know authors I read on a personal level. As a reader, I totally fangirl over getting to meet and know these incredible authors. Which means I’m often squealing on the inside every time I am meeting with each of these women. I’m a hot mess, y’all. So it’s an incredible blessing that I haven’t run them off yet, especially Erica Vetsch. While trying to be professional in this interview, know that I am absolutely squealing on the inside. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Erica’s writing, especially the Thorndike and Swann series. So now it is my immense pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite authors. 

Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/groups/inspirationalregencyreaders where she spends way too much time!

You can connect with her through:  Website Facebook  |  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 Erica with rapid-fire.

 

CC: Sweet or Salty?

EV: BOTH! I love popcorn with M&Ms

CC: Print, E-book, or Audiobook?

EV: Print for research books, and currently audio for fiction.

CC: Coffee, Tea, or Other?

EV: Tea, Black.

Morning Person or Night Owl?

EV: Night owl 🙂

CC: Favorite Holiday?

EV: Christmas

I am with you on the book formats. Unfortunately, my life has been too crazy for print. (Cue sobbing.) But I can’t wait for your book to come out on audio so I can really enjoy it. So let’s dive into the meat of this interview.

What does your writing process look like from beginning to end?

EV: I start noodling an idea, letting it marinate, and begin reading history books set in the place/time I am thinking of. I ask ‘what if’ kinds of questions. Then I schedule time with my adult daughter, who listens to the plot, and asks lots of ‘thread pulling’ types of questions to see what unravels. Then we write scene summaries on a white board, with the characters, settings, plot points, etc. After I have it the way I think it will go (which it does, sort of, but there are always changes as I write it.) I tell my girl the story again. Then I type out a synopsis, with a paragraph for each scene, and usually two scenes per chapter. Then it’s time to sit down and write. I keep the research books handy, and I make notes as I write about what else I might need to research that I didn’t know when I started. Each day, I go back over what I wrote the day before, tidying it up and then writing new words. When I get somewhere between the two-thirds and three-fourths mark of the story, I go back to the beginning and change and rewrite in all the things I’ve changed my mind about or discovered as the story unfolded. When that’s done, I’m able to write a smash-bang finish.

CC: It’s always so fascinating (and freeing) to hear how each author works differently. I have some similarities to your process and now have a few things from yours that I might try out on the next story. 🙂  

What is your writing Kryptonite?

EV: The Internet. Social media, really. I help administrate a wonderful Facebook Group for Inspirational Regency Readers, and that takes quite a bit of time, but I also love Instagram Reels. 🙂

CC: Oh, that dreaded internet and social media. Although I have to admit, I LOVE the IRR group. 

Do you have any advice for those who want to write their own stories?

EV: Write! At first, you may not know exactly what you’re doing or how to plot or craft a story, but write! Finger-paint your story. Then write some more. Don’t obsess over the first story, but begin a new one. Each time you write a story, you’ll learn more about what makes for good storytelling. Read books on the craft of writing, take a writing class online, or go to a conference and sit in the workshops. But above all, write.

CC: I echo this. Without the writing, you can’t have a book. 

Now, I’m excited to discuss your newest release, Children of the Shadows, book three in the Thorndike and Swann series. It’s literally sitting next to me and taunting me to pick it up. Sigh. To-do lists first . . .

Detective Daniel Swann and debutante Juliette Thorndike once again team up to solve a dangerous mystery–while trying to keep their growing romance secret.

Someone is preying upon the street children of Regency London. They seem to think no one will notice when urchins go missing–and even if they are noticed, who will care?

Daniel needs to do something about the missing children. But with recent revelations about his past and an unexpected, somewhat unwelcome inheritance to deal with, this is a terrible time to dive back into the seedy underbelly of the crime world. Nevertheless, he’s still a Bow Street runner, and his partner Lady Juliette is sensitive to the plight of these wayward youngsters. They’re on the case, searching shadowed alleys and coal-drenched streets to find the missing.

But the tangle of expectation and the dynamics of power cannot be easily ignored, even if there are children in danger. When Daniel’s past threatens to overwhelm his future, he will need a miracle and the help of his friends to both apprehend the villain and unravel his tangled family web. And it may be that his new responsibilities demand that he leave the children of the shadows to their terrible fate–or lose everything.

Erica Vetsch’s popular Regency mystery series concludes with a bang, sure to satisfy readers who have hung on every page since book one.

Purchase your copy at  Amazon  |  Baker Book House  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Christianbook 

CC: Where did you get the idea for Children of the Shadows?

EV: This is the third book in the series, and the initial idea popped into my head about 6-7 years ago. What if a girl returned from finishing school to find her parents missing and discovered that she came from a long line of spies for the Crown?
CC: It has certainly been as fun a series to read as the idea was to entertain. I’m so glad you had the idea.
What about this story drew you to it?

EV: I think one of the things I like best about this story, aside from the justice aspect, is that the characters wrestle with some really thorny problems in their faith. Is God both Sovereign and Good? I think many people can relate to those wobbles of faith where they question God’s ability to act, or the goodness of His actions.

CC: That is definitely a true struggle that I think every Christian wrestles with. And I love how you call it a wobble of faith.
What character was the most fun to create?
EV: I love Juliette’s Uncle Bertie, and I’m thrilled that he will be the main character in the next series. He’s so droll with a dry wit and a nice line in irony. He loves Juliette fiercely and wants to see her succeed while at the same time protecting her from harm.
CC: WHAT!!!! Uncle Bertie gets his own series??? Where is the preorder link? I need that book, like yesterday. 🙂 I have to agree. He’s SUCH a fun character.
How did this story affect you as you wrote it? Did God teach you anything through the writing?
EV: It’s always good to revisit struggles that I’ve had in my faith journey, including the Sovereignty/Goodness balance. I was reminded again and again that those two qualities are not mutually exclusive but perfect in every way in the Person of God. 

CC: Amen. It’s definitely not a one and done wrestle, and it’s so fascinating to see how much we’ve grown since the last time we wrestled with it.

 

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

EV: First of all, an entertaining read with a satisfying ending. Beyond that, if they can see themselves in the characters, learn alongside them, and grow, even in a small way, in their faith journey, that would be icing on the tea cake. 🙂

CC: As a reader, I can say you have definitely achieved that icing on the tea cake. 🙂 Last but not least . . . 

What animal is most like you?

EV: The Manatee. A few years ago, I visited my folks in Florida, and we went to a particular spot on the Gulf of Mexico known for its manatee sightings. As we walked along the pier, there were audio speakers along the rail at intervals, telling the listener about the life of the manatee. At one point, the recording said, “When the manatee isn’t sleeping, it can be found eating,” and I knew I had found my spirit animal. 🙂

CC: LOL, oh boy do I feel that one. Except I don’t eat my leafy vegetables as I should. Thank you so much for visiting us, Erica.

Readers, take my word for it. You do NOT want to miss this series. Grab the first one, The Debutante’s Code, if you haven’t started it yet. If you’ve read this newest and last one of the series, DO NOT tell me what happened. I can’t wait to dive in for myself. But please DO leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub. You wouldn’t believe how important that is to an author.  


Do you think you’d make a good spy? What quality or trait do you think would be your strength? Your weakness?

Meet Jaime Jo Wright

Meet Jaime Jo Wright

If you’ve never had the chance to meet Jaime Jo Wright, you NEED to. Even if it is only through her Facebook. This woman is down-to-earth, living off coffee, and loves God and Edgar Allan Poe. You can’t go wrong hanging out with her. And now I get the joy of introducing YOU to her. 

Jaime Jo Wright is a coffee-fueled and cat-fancier extraordinaire who resides in Wisconsin’s rural woodlands. Her literary vocation involves penning chilling Gothic tales, with a strong preference to the master of dark, Edgar Allan Poe. Jaime’s books will keep you on the edge of your seat, with twists and turns that will leave you breathless. She is a multi-award-winning author, with numerous bestsellers under her belt.

You can connect with her through:  Website Facebook  |  YouTube  |  Instagram |  BookBub  |  GoodReads

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

 

 

CC: Sweet or Salty?

JJW: Definitely salty

CC: Print, E-book, or Audiobook?

JJW: Print because you can’t smell the pages on an eBook!

CC: Coffee, Tea, or Other?

JJW: Coffee – duh.

Morning Person or Night Owl?

JJW: Neither – Sleeping is my hobby.

CC: Favorite Holiday?

JJW: Halloween – because Edgar A Poe and Ravens and Cats.

Your coffee habit cracks me up, and seriously, you can’t go wrong with Edgar Allan Poe.

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

JJW: When I got frustrated that there were none of the books I wanted to read! Then I realized they were in my head, so I decided I should write them. I was 9.

CC: I love how you took control of your reading life at such a young age. That is fantastic.

What does your writing process look like from beginning to end?

JJW: Absolute chaos. I’m unorganized, inefficient, and the last-minuter everyone gets annoyed by. Although, I actually have some structure in my actual story writing . . . once I start.

CC: I so relate to that “once I start.” Chaos is totally my writing kryptonite, which makes me wonder.

What is your writing kryptonite?

JJW: My short attention span. And no, I’m not ADHD. I just enjoy too many things and want to do them ALL!

CC: There really are too many things that need doing in a 24-hour period. I can never do them all . . . But I try.

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

JJW: The last two years for many unspoken reasons, but also my mom’s moving to Heaven was like a punch in the gut. Happy for her, but man, it’s been tough!

CC: I’ve yet to lose a parent, so I can only imagine. But know that my heart hurts for you and you are in my prayers as you face “all the stuff.”

How have you seen God work through your writing journey?

JJW: Gosh! The people in this community of books are AMAZING encouragers. Whether from the Christian community or general book community, readers are cheerleaders and deserve awards.

CC: Amen to that. The reading community is such a blessing from God.

Do you have any advice for those who want to write their own stories?

JJW: Just write. Seriously. I’m a firm believer people can study the craft too much, because I’ve talked to writers who’ve read every craft book and have yet to finish one manuscript. So WRITE!

CC: Yes, writing is the #1 thing to do. But this is where I’m also going to plug Jaime’s MadLit Mentoring services because she’s too modest to bring it up here. Jaime offers workshops, small group writing courses, mentoring opportunities, and focused group sessions. Check it out, because she is a GREAT mentor!

Now I’m excited to talk about your newest release, The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater.

It promises beauty but steals life instead. Will the ghosts of Barlowe Theater entomb them all?

Barlowe Theater stole the life of Greta Mercy’s eldest brother during its construction. Now in 1915, the completed theater appears every bit as deadly. When Greta’s younger brother goes missing after breaking into the building, Greta engages the assistance of a local police officer to help her unveil the already ghostly secrets of the theater. But when help comes from an unlikely source, Greta decides that to save her family she must uncover the evil that haunts the theater and put its threat to rest.

Decades later, Kit Boyd’s best friend vanishes during a ghost walk at the Barlowe Theater, and old stories of mysterious disappearances and ghoulish happenings are revived. Then television ghost-hunting host and skeptic Evan Fisher joins Kit in the quest to identify the truth behind the theater’s history. Kit reluctantly agrees to work with him in hopes of finding her missing friend. As the theater’s curse unravels Kit’s life, she is determined to put an end to the evil that has marked the theater and their hometown for the last century.

Purchase your copy at ALL THE PLACES by visiting this link to pick your favorite vendor.

CC: Where did you get the idea for The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater?

JJW: My psychotic brain? Seriously though. Local lore on this one. Lots of ghost stories surrounding our theater on which Lost Boys at Barlowe Theater was based.
CC: Local lore can be such a great inspiration for SO many stories!
What about this story drew you to it?

JJW: Honestly? The ghost stories. I’m not a theater junkie, although I do love beautiful architecture. But the ghost stories that still swirl around our local theater were demanding ot be used.

CC: Jaime Jo Wright intrigued by a ghost story??? I would never have guessed!!! LOL 
Who do you think will be the readers who most love this book?
JJW: Readers who love creepy, mysterious thrillers but without outright horror and gore. I call it “Edgar A Poe meets Scooby Doo”.
CC: As much as I love Edgar Allan Poe and Scooby Doo, I really need to pull up my big girl panties and read your books. This sounds like a fun one to start with too. That being said, I always like to wrap my interviews up with a fun question, so . . .
What animal is most like you? Why?
JJW: A cat. Because they sleep a ton. 

CC: I love that. I wish I could sleep a ton. Although, lately I have been sneaking a nap in every day . . . And just because you are too fun not to ask . . .

 

If you were a pirate, what would your nickname be?
JJW: Whiskey Jo. I don’t know why. It just sounds fun.
Readers, I hope you’ll check out The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater and then leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub. You wouldn’t believe how important that is to an author.  

Reader, how do you feel about books that are compared to Edgar Allan Poe and Scooby Doo? Have you read any of Jaime’s books? Which one would you recommend to a first time reader?

Meet Ruth Douthitt With Giveaway

Meet Ruth Douthitt With Giveaway

I had the honor of meeting Ruth Douhitt for this interview. Doing these interviews is one way that I can support other authors, and she took me up on the opportunity that I put out there in a writing group I’m part of. I’m so glad she did. Let’s get to know her together!  

Former writing teacher Ruth Douthitt is an award-winning author of many books for middle-grade readers and adults in fiction and non-fiction. She is the winner of the Moonbeam Children’s Books Award-Bronze Medal for Best Book Series and the 2022 Christian Indie Awards First Place for YA. The Doors of Rome is the first book in her Christian-themed women’s inspirational fiction series. She currently works for Grand Canyon University and lives in Phoenix with her husband of 35 years and their little dog. When she isn’t writing, Ruth loves to run, draw, paint, and garden.

You can connect with her through:  Website Facebook  |  GoodReads

 

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

 

CC: Sweet or Salty?

RD: Sweet

CC: Print, E-book, or Audiobook?

RD: Print

CC: Coffee, Tea, or Other?

RD: Coffee

Morning Person or Night Owl?

RD: Night Owl

CC: Favorite Holiday?

RD: Christmas

Is there anything better than curling up to read a good book with a hot drink in front of a lit up Chrsitmas tree? Sigh. We’re getting closer!

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

RD: When my family said I was a good story teller. That was when I was in college.

CC: Familes can have such an impact on how we grow and what we pursue. I’m so glad they told you that you were a good story teller. 

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

RD: Being Indie published is difficult because of the marketing and publicity. I find it a challenge, but I am learning. I love learning new things, so it’s helped me grow as a person and writer.

CC: There really are so many aspects of being an author that stretch well beyond just writing the book.

How have you seen God work through your writing journey?

RD: I never intended to be a writer. I am an artist first, but I can clearly see how He guided me toward some story ideas and away from others. Just when I want to give up and quit, He’ll show me that this is the path He wants me on by my winning an award or receiving an excellent review. It’s that pat-on-the-back I need to keep going.

CC: It really is such a hard job. Praise the Lord that He is kind enough to carry us through and encourage us on that journey.

Do you have any advice for those who want to write their own stories?

RD: Read a lot and write something every day, even if it’s just 200 words. Writing is a skill that we lose if we don’t practice. So is reading! I recommend reading a lot to see what others are doing and what publishers are interested in.

Great advice!

Before we dive into questions about your newest release, let’s find out what it’s about.

A delightful, up-lifting story of an ordinary woman whose life is transformed by one simple task: Photographing the doors of Rome.

Salt-of-the-earth housewife, Millie Devonshire enjoys making a home for her husband and going on “therapy” jogs with her best friend, yet Millie feels adventure is missing from her life. Middle-aged, childless, and married to all-too-practical Walter, Millie is consistently told to wait until retirement for their adventurous life to begin. One day, she enters a photography contest and wins first prize—an all expense paid trip to Rome for two. Certainly Walter will agree to go on this free adventure with her, right?

When Walter declines because he’s up for a promotion at work, Millie decides to make her own dreams of adventure come true. She heads to Rome with her best friend and running partner, Edith instead. Yet Edith has her own demands: She’ll go only if Millie runs the Rome Marathon with her. When Millie and Edith arrive in Rome, they have no idea how their lives are about to be turned upside down and how many other lives will be transformed forever. Always kind, always cheery, and always hopeful, the indomitable Millie takes Rome by storm and learns some of life’s greatest lessons along the way: If you don’t invest in love, you’ll lose it and sometimes you have to leave someone behind to get their attention.

Purchase your copy at  Amazon 

 

CC: Where did you get the idea for The Doors of Rome?

RD: From our trip to Rome in 2018. I ran the Rome Marathon and almost had to quit. At the finish line, I told my husband about what happened and felt there was a plot for a book in there somewhere!

CC: Life does bring some of the greatest inspiration for books, doesn’t it?

What about this story drew you to it?

RD: I wanted to tell a story to encourage and inspire women in their 50s or above. I ran that marathon at age 51. I’m big into inspiration and using my stories to encourage and motivate people to personal growth. So, this story has special meaning in that it follows two ladies in their 50s on an adventure. Life doesn’t end when we get older! We can still reinvent ourselves.

CC: I love that. So many stories are characters who are young, and the older I get, the more I appreciate older characters.
Who do you think will be the readers who most love this book?
RD: Readers of women’s adventure fiction (Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, for example…) who like light romance, comedy, and scenic settings will love this book.

CC: Adventure fiction sounds like a good draw to me!

Who was the most challenging character to create?

RD: Judith. She’s the “villain” or main antagonist who irks and challenges the protagonist, Millie. She was difficult to write because I didn’t like her and I knew readers wouldn’t like her. She has everything yet complains. Her heart is filled with resentment, so she cannot see the beauty around her. That saddens me.

CC: It’s definitely hard to be around those types of personalities. 

Which character was the most fun to create?

RD:
Edith! She was so fun to write because I know many women like her. She’s blunt but kind. She’s interesting because she’s had a fascinating life. She has a sharp wit that I wish I had! Many readers told me they love Edith. She’ll appear in the other books.


CC: Yay! It’s always fun to see repeat characters.

What was some of your favorite research you discovered while preparing of The Doors of Rome?

RD: Researching the famous Boboli Gardens in Florence. That was a delight! I had to research some of the Vatican because I had forgotten. That was fun. But it was the FOOD that I enjoyed researching about the most. I have a family friend who is a sous chef from Sicily, so he helped me with the food, wine selections, and some of the language used.
CC: Oh, man. You have access to that sort of research? I’d be having my Sous Chef friend teach me all the ins and outs of cooking an amazing dish! How fun for you!

How did this story affect you as you wrote it?
RD: Yes! God reminded me of the importance of contentment and the poison of discontentment. As I wrote about a couple struggling with marriage, it made me appreciate my own marriage and my husband. God also reminded me about the time I relied on everything but Him to get me across that marathon finish line. Marathon running is very humbling.

CC: Such an important lesson to be sure!

What is next for these characters?
RD: What’s next for these characters? I am plotting out book two, which will follow Joy to Venice for her own adventure. Next, book three will follow Edith to Florence, where she’s inspired to write another romance.

CC: It sounds like readers have a lot to look forward to. Before we wrap up this interview, I have one last question for you:
Which animal is most like you?
RD: The Dragon. I have a tough scaly outer shell, but underneath, I am soft. I can be fierce when I need to be! I love dragons because they are paradoxes in that they can be hideously ugly yet gracefully beautiful. They can be fierce yet gentle. They are powerful yet vulnerable.
CC: I’d never thought about those paradoxes, but you are right! I have a new respect for dragons.
Readers, I hope you’ll check out The Doors of Rome and then leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub. You wouldn’t believe how important that is to an author.  

Reader, have you ever traveled internationally? Where did you go?


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Meet Linda MacKillop

Meet Linda MacKillop

Today I have the honor of introducing a new to me author, so it’s my hope she will be new to you as well and we can both add a book onto our TBR pile. 

Linda MacKillop holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Her articles and essays have appeared in magazines and journals such as The Philosophical Mother, The MacGuffin, and Relief Journal, and her writing has been nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays. The Forgotten Life of Eva Gordon is her first novel. Her second novel titled Hotel Oscar Mike Echo releases June of 2023 for middle-grade readers. Linda makes her home in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.

You can connect with her through:  Website Newsletter Facebook  |  Instagram  |  GoodReads

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

 

CC: Sweet or Salty?

LM: Salty with a side of sweet.

CC: Print, E-book, or Audiobook?

LM: Print

CC: Coffee, Tea, or Other?

LM: Definitely coffee!

Morning Person or Night Owl?

LM: Neither.

CC: Favorite Holiday?

LM: Thanksgiving

I think I definitely am falling into the neither category for Morning Person or Night Owl anymore. Although, I’m definitely not a morning person since I fell down the steps in my half-groggy state one morning in July.

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

LM: When I was 16 years old and wrote a poem that caused me to sit back and feel like the words came from outside of me. The poem was on acceptance and taught me something new.

CC: It never fails to amaze me how our writing can teach us something–even when it “came” from our imagination. 

What does your writing process look like from beginning to end?

LM: I’m a “pantser” trying to learn how to be a plotter. For anyone who doesn’t know those terms, I write by the seat of my pants, but this practice causes problems when all the threads don’t come together or need a major overhaul in the end. Usually an idea in real life strikes me, and I begin to ask myself questions: What if it wasn’t a young woman, but an older woman? What if this setting in Illinois was moved to Virginia? What if the character had a lot of regrets in their past? But my favorite part of the writing process is revision when I get to fine tune and smooth out language while fleshing out the storyline.

CC: What if statements are such a fun and sometimes dangerous road. All those stories and not enough time to write them all!

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

LM: Finding a plot line that is both original and compelling for readers to keep them turning pages.

CC: Ugh! That is just absolutely petrifying to think about. Both original and compelling is a miracle from God.

How have you seen God work through your writing journey?

LM: He has fulfilled my dream of publication in my later years. Let’s just say I’m a late bloomer.

CC: Considering God called Noah when he was around 500 to build the Ark, I think you’re still a spring chicken. 😉 

Do you have any advice for those who want to write their own stories?

LM: Read lots of books, practice writing, and practice some more. Find your tribe of writers to keep you encouraged and growing.

Now I’m excited to talk about your debut, The Forgotten Life of Eva Gordon.

Eva wants to run away from her life–if only she could remember how.

Failing memory has forced Eva Gordon to move in with her granddaughter, Breezy. But Eva hates the bustle of Boston. All she wants to do is move back to her quiet, cozy Cape Cod home and be left alone.

Then Breezy announces she’s getting married, and they’ll be moving to her new husband’s rundown family farm, where he lives with an elderly uncle. They’ll be one big family–but only Breezy and Brent think it’ll be a happy one.

It’s all too much for Eva. Too much change, too much togetherness, too much of an over-crowded life she never wanted. But as her desire for privacy collides with her worsening memory, Eva may find herself in a pickle she can’t get out of. Can an unlikely cast of misfit characters step in to woo Eva from her self-imposed isolation?

Purchase your copy at  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Christianbook

CC: Where did you get the idea for The Forgotten Life of Eva Gordon?

LM: My brother was dating a woman with two small children while living with our elderly uncle. I began to ask the questions, What if she didn’t have young children but was also living with an aging relative? And what if that relative hated the living arrangements? And what if that relative desperately needed people who would move toward her despite her abrasive personality rather than letting her repulse them? Eva Gordon was born!
CC: As a caregiver, I can certainly see the challenges faced by all. The concept is definitely a realistic one, or at least one I can relate to.
What about this story drew you to it?

LM: I have wondered for many years why some people in life could be such curmudgeons and difficult to live with, but also loveable. I’ve known a few of these people–but I’m sure to some folks, I am one of these curmudgeons!

CC: LoL. The older I get, the more curmudgeonly I feel!
Which character was the most fun to create?
LM: Mabel was so fun to create. She’s a bit zany with her idea of attending the funerals of strangers while having a really sacrificial side. I love her!
CC: That is really interesting. Attending the funerals of strangers. That might actually make for good story fodder . . . But I am getting side-tracked. Speaking of zany, I love to ask on fun question at the end of our time.
You are in the back of a police car on your way to jail. What did you do? and is anyone with you?
LM: I’m all alone, and I forgot to pay for my Target items before heading to Starbucks (also inside the store). After grabbing my coffee, I just left the store. This could really happen to me!
CC: LOL! It’s really easy to get distracted in today’s world. I can see that happening to a lot of people.
Readers, I hope you’ll check out The Forgotten Life of Eva Gordon and then leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub. You wouldn’t believe how important that is to an author.  

Reader, have you ever had an elderly relative live with you? What were some of the good and bad things of it? If you haven’t, what do you think would be hardest about bringing an elderly relative into your home?

Meet Sara R Turnquist

Meet Sara R Turnquist

I have had the privelege of not only getting to know Sara through my writing journey as a friend, but I’ve had the pleasure of sitting at her feet and learning how to be a better author. Now it is my joy to introduce you to a woman who writes stories you don’t want to miss.

Sara is a coffee lovin’, word slinging, Historical Romance author whose super power is converting caffeine into novels. She loves those odd little tidbits of history that are stranger than fiction. That’s what inspires her. Well, that and a good love story. But of all the love stories she knows, hers is her favorite. She lives happily with her own Prince Charming and their gaggle of minions. Three to be exact. They sure know how to distract a writer! But, alas, the stories must be written, even if it must happen in the wee hours of the morning. Sara is an avid reader and enjoys reading and writing clean Historical Romance when she’s not traveling. Her books range from the Czech lands to the American wild west and from ancient Egypt to the early 1900s. Some of her titles include The Lady Bornekova, Hope in Cripple Creek, The General’s Wife, Trail of Fears, and the Convenient Risk Series.

You can connect with her through:  Website Newsletter  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  YouTube  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

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

 

CC: Sweet or Salty?

SRT: Sweet . . . usually

CC: Print, E-book, or Audiobook?

SRT: print for nonfiction, ebook for fiction (for the most part…), and audiobook for both!

CC: Coffee, Tea, or Other?

SRT: coffee….I like tea, but I cannot discount my extreme love of coffee

Morning Person or Night Owl?

SRT: I am naturally a night owl, but life has made me more of a morning person

CC: Favorite Holiday?

SRT: Christmas

I’m right there with you on the night owl vs morning person. Although, I’ll never be happy about being up in the morning.

What does your writing process look like in general from beginning to end?

SRT: I started as a complete and total pantser. But, over time, I have found that if I spend some time getting to know my characters first, it is not wasted. It enhances my experience of the characters and, in turn, deepens the reader’s experience. I also have added some simple plotting…more of a skeleton outline that is subject to change. I have read and enjoyed many plotting methods. And every book’s journey looks a little different for me. But that is, in general, what happens on this end of things.

CC: I feel you on the pantser to loose plotter. 

What has been the biggest challenge in your writing journey?

SRT: I struggle with a mood disorder. And, as anyone who has been challenged by depression or anxiety or both, it creates obstacles from time to time with motivation, energy, and follow-through. As well as throwing a wrench in that creative flow.

CC: Ugh. I SO feel you on the wrench in the creative flow. It’s definitely something messing with my current story as well.

How have you seen God work through your writing journey?

SRT: I am convinced that He has called me to write and to partner with Him…sharing stories about people (characters, that is), overcoming things within themselves and around them with His help, His guidance, His strength. Because that is what I know. And I believe He is in the business of redeeming. It is my truest desire that others see that in my stories and that they will be edified in the pages of my novels.

CC: Amen, and I can totally see it in your books. Hugs.

This week we’re going to shine the spotlight on her novel, A Convenient Risk.

He never imagined her heart would be so hard to reach.

Forced into a marriage of convenience after her husband dies, Amanda Haynes is determined she will never love again. Not that it bothers Brandon Miller. He needs her husband’s cattle. She needs financial stability and long-term support for her son and herself. But she never expected to care so much about the running of the ranch.

Butting heads over the decisions of the ranch, adding to her frustration and grief at her loss. Her wellbeing is soon threatened as their lives become entangled with Billy the Kid and his gang.

What has she gotten herself into? What kind of man has she married? Is there any way out?

Purchase your copy at  Sarah’s Store  |  Amazon  |  Universal Buy Link 

ALERT: This book is FREE on ebook right now, so hop over and snag your copy while you can.

CC: Where did you get the idea for A Convenient Risk?

SRT: For A Convenient Risk…strangely enough I got the initial seed of the story idea from a cemetery. Now, I am not one who makes visiting cemeteries a pastime. But I have a writer/history fanatic friend who loves it. So, I went with her (in the daylight…let’s be clear about that) and we looked at especially the older stones and imagined (as writers do) about that person’s life. There was one set of stones that sparked an idea…it was a woman who had first married a man much older than she, then he died, and she married someone closer to her age. It got me thinking about marriages of convenience/for advantage and second marriages that involved a death in particular. And also how we tend to memorialize loved ones who pass…remember the good times and glaze over the challenges. And how that might affect a second marriage.
CC: I love how you explore that. For me, that’s the most fascinating part of a marriage of convenience.
Who was the most challenging character to create?

SRT: Honestly, the heroine of the story, Amanda, was the most challenging. She is brave, but broken. And struggles with her view of God due to her life experiences. Having a very different life and walk with God made this character a little stretching for me to get in her head and walk in her shoes, as it were. To not only understand how she arrived at that place, but to relate in a real way so I could make her relatable.

CC: It’s so difficult to walk in other people’s shoes, but creating characters makes it an intimate experience which can be exceptionally challenging.
Which character was the most fun to create?
SRT: I really enjoyed one of the minor characters – Dorothy (also known as “Cook”). She is sassy and fun and wise and real. When my narrator gave her a voice, I was even more hooked. So much so, that I later wrote a collection of short stories with Cook as a main character. Now that was a blast!
CC: Oh fun! I love it when minor characters take on lives of their own and spur on the creation of other stories.
What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
SRT: That no one is perfect. We all have struggles, hurts, and hang-ups. But God, in His infinite mercy, will meet us where we are. It is His desire to use our stories/experiences to bring us to a deeper knowledge of Him and His grace.
CC: Amen and amen. Now for a sign-off fun question.
If you could be any superhero, who would it be?
SRT: Oh, friends, I AM a superhero. You probably don’t realize because of my alias. But I’ll tell you. My superhero identity is “Random Girl.” My mind moves so much faster than my mouth and so I end up coming out with the most random stuff in daily conversations. My friends and family know that this means “Random Girl strikes again.” If I am faced with criminal activity, I suppose my superpower is helpful in that I can utterly confuse and stymie the evil-doers until the authorities arrive. You’re welcome.
CC: That is HILARIOUS and PERFECT!! I love it.
Readers, I hope you’ll check out A Convenient Risk and then leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub. You wouldn’t believe how important that is to an author.  

Reader, how do you feel about marriage of convenience stories? What things do you wish you saw more of?

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