Author Interview: Stacy T. Simmons

Author Interview: Stacy T. Simmons

I am so blessed to introduce to you a fellow author and friend, Stacy Simmons. Her newest release A Promise for Faith is the first in her Briar Creek Love series as well as being her debut. Allow me to properly introduce Stacy.

Stacy T. Simmons writes uplifting fiction that delights the reader’s romantic sensibilities. Many years of marital bliss are a great contributor. By day she is a Special Education inclusion Paraprofessional. By night, she is happily working on her next manuscript and corralling her and her family’s menagerie of pets she likes to call “Noah’s Ark.”

Connect with her through her website, Bookbub, Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

 

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

 

CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

SS: Milk but any chocolate is wonderful!.

CC: Print or E-book?

SS: Print

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

SS: Both!

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

SS: Morning with coffee : )

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

SS: Summer

Now for a couple fun personal questions:

CC: How can we pray for you?

SS: For people to read and feel uplifted by my novel, thank you.

CC: It is so scary to have your book other there and to both worry that no one will read it. It’s so important to us as Christian writers to also lift up your readers, so I totally get that. We will be praying.

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

SS: As a teen I wrote horrible poetry, I wrote but never published a children’s book ages ago. What rekindled my fire was seeing the love of students reading their books six years earlier. It made me want to write a story they might read someday.

CC: I think it is the curse of every teenager to write horrible poetry. LOL We are so glad that your students inspired you to write again.

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

SS: I love to listen to music, I pray before writing and will sing some Christian pop songs.

CC: I’m a music listener too! Mostly instrumental though. Words mess me up while I’m typing.

Let’s talk abot your debut releast, A Promise for Faith.

Secrets have the power to ruin lives. Faith and love have the power to disarm those secrets.

Failure isn’t an option for Faith Fuller, She wants to prove to herself and her very successful parents she can stand on her own, even if it means accepting a job offer from someone she wanted to forget. To add to the problem, that job means facing her biggest fear.

Caleb Gaines is looking for a manager for his coffee shop. He’s in over his head running his successful river outfitters business, and being a single dad to a preschooler. But the perfect candidate wants nothing to do with him. Risk-taker Caleb is up for a challenge and wants to convince Faith to help him.

If neither one relies on faith and learns to trust, any chance at love will be washed downstream.

An out-of-work chef and successful river outfitter are both hiding secret tragedies. How much faith will it take to learn to trust in each other, overcome obstacles, and find love?

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

SS: Patience and endurance. Writing a novel is not a sprint but a long winding path through the forest. You won’t see the end until some time from now.

CC: Amen. And sometimes that forest is a scary place to be.

How do you select the names of your characters?

SS: I researched favorite baby names in their birth year, also I used some of my family names in there as well.

CC: Oh that is fun. And I totally look up names by birth year too. Just a little farther back. ūüėČ

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

SS: No matter what is thrown at you, Jesus is with you and guides you all the way through 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”.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

SS: 1. Hawaii 2. Tahiti 3. To travel back to Europe

CC: Oh, wow. I hadn’t ever considered Tahiti, now I’m intrigued. Thanks so much for hanging with us.

You can purchase Stacy’s book at Amazon.


Reader question:

What items are on YOUR bucket list?

Giveaway & Interview with Patti Stockdale

Giveaway & Interview with Patti Stockdale

Hello my lovelies!

Long time no see. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been absent for a few weeks and for good reason. The marvelous, amazing, newborn Momma, Savanna Kaiser was hard at work developing my new website. I didn’t want to add any more content and make her job harder so I’ve held off.

BUT NOW I get the incredible honor and joy of introducing you to my critique partner and friend, Patti Stockdale and her debut historical romance, Three Little Things.

TO CELEBRATE PATTI’S DEBUT, BE SURE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY AT THE END OF THIS POST

Patti Stockdale has returned to her home state of Iowa after moving around the country for years. She’s a freelance writer and previously worked as a director at a nonprofit, an administrative assistant, and a corn detasseler – a big challenge since she’s five foot one. Love letters her grandparents exchanged served as the inspiration for Three Little Things.

 

It is such and honor and blessing to have you here to celebrate the release of your debut! Before we dive in to the detailed questions, I would love to hit you with my fast five.

 

 

CC: Sweet or Unsweet Tea?

PS: Unsweetened and decaffeinated. Loose-leaf blueberry is my favorite.

CC: Oh, blueberry sounds interesting! I’m going to have to find some and try it!

 

CC: Beach Vacation or Mountain Getaway?

PS: The beach is my go-to vacation spot.

CC: The older I get, the more I like the beach. It is so relaxing!

 

CC: Homebody or Love to Travel?

PS: I’m a homebody who loves to travel.

CC: That is a sweet combination! The best of both worlds.

 

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

PS: My husband rises at 5:30 for work, so that’s usually when I start my day too.

CC: Bless you, friend. No one should be up that early. LOL

 

CC: Bookmark or Dog-ear Pages?

PS: I love bookmarks, but I can’t ever find one when I need it.

CC: You created some beautiful bookmarks for your release! Of course, you probably mailed all of those out.

I feel like even though I’ve known you for a couple of years now, that I know you even better after that. So now to the even more fun stuff!¬†

 

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

PS: I either wanted to be a ballerina or operate the cash register at Van’s Grocery.

CC: That is so adorable! I can see a younger version of you dressed in a tutu playing with a toy cash register.

 

CC: What is your favorite Bible verse? Why?

PS: ‚ÄúFor I know the plans I have for you,‚ÄĚ declares the Lord, ‚ÄúPlans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.‚ÄĚ Jeremiah 29:11 Whenever I‚Äôm struggling, either physically or emotionally, the verse delivers peace.

CC: That is such a powerful verse. I agree it’s one to turn to in times of struggle for a measure of peace.

 

Now for one of my favorite parts! Introducing your book! So here is the blurb for Three Little Things.

 

One forbidden love. Two broken hearts. Three little things.

Hattie Waltz should forget the troubled neighbor leaving for boot camp in 1917. He forgot about her ages ago. It had always been the Waltzs verses the Kregers, his family pitted against hers. When she hands him a farewell gift, a chemistry lesson unfolds. The good kind.

Arno Kreger can’t leave Iowa or his old man fast enough. He’s eager to prove his worth on the battlefield and stop blaming himself for his brother’s death. Before entering the train, he bumps into Hattie. He’s loved her forever, always from the sidelines, because nobody crosses Hattie’s pa.

One innocent letter soon morphs into many. Arno and Hattie share three little secrets in each letter and grow closer together. But he’s on his way to a war across the ocean, and she’s still in her father’s house. Their newfound love will need to survive dangers on both fronts.

 

 

CC: So, Patti, which character was the most fun to create? What made them fun?

PS: My favorite character to write was Jeb, the protagonist’s brother. He dropped out of school early and starts reading the dictionary to expand his vocabulary. 

CC: I did love Jeb and his sort of know it all attitude, too. Just like a brother. 

 

This story has a special place in your heart. Can you explain why?

PS: Three Little Things is inspired by letters my maternal grandparents exchanged. Initially, I tried to tell their story. But there were too many gaps, and I couldn’t assign flaws to my grandparents.

CC: Grandparents are always perfect in our eyes aren’t they. I love that they exchanged letters and you can follow their romance through it. What a sweet way to get to know them better.

How did you select the names of your characters?

PS: To honor my grandparents, I used their first names: Arno and Hattie in Three Little Things. Another character is named after my paternal grandmother: Lena. I also ask friends to tell me their grandparents or great-grandparents’ names. Then, I pick my favorites.

CC: Thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this interview. I just have one more fun question for you. What would be your writer mascot and why? 

PS: I’d choose a sweet teddy bear as my mascot. They’re snuggly, friendly, and make me smile.

CC: Awww, that sounds an awful like someone I know. Except we don’t cuddle, but I’ll take one of your hugs any day.

 

GIVEAWAY TIME

Now to my reader friends, in order to celebrate my wonderful friend’s debut, I’d like to offer you a chance to win an e-book copy of Patti’s debut. This giveaway is open internationally and will end on March 2nd at 11:59 PM (EST). To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Atoning for Ashes by Kaitlin Covel

Atoning for Ashes by Kaitlin Covel

Atoning for Ashes is Kaitlin Covel’s debut novel and a new-to-me author. Her story is robust with lots of layers to a complex plot. Eloquent descriptions help you travel to Paris, Italy, and England, and you can really tell how much she researched to get the details just right. It is a book worth reading. Although there are a few spots you may feel like putting it down, I encourage you to read to the end. There are several surprising twists that are quite intriguing.

Genre:  Historical Romance, late 1700s or 1800s England (Not 100% sure)

Plot Overview:

Josie Chadwick dreams of marrying for love in Cornwall, England, but with her father’s debt threatening to destroy all she holds dear, her romantic options are dwindling. When her elder sister Delia is disowned, Josie finds herself heiress of Chadwick Park, torn between dreams and duty. After sacrificing her heart to atone for Delia’s sin, Josie clings to the hope she will learn to love a distant husband, whom she fears is incapable of requiting her affection.

Charles Radcliffe’s heart has been scarred and hardened by rejection. He fears hurting his new bride, but his fears of betrayal and rejection are stronger, making it impossible for him to trust her love‚Äēlet alone the love of her God.

As Josie and Charles face their new life together, ominous events warn of dark family secrets that could shatter them both. More than a loveless marriage is at stake if they cannot stand as one. Will they learn to trust God and each other before it’s too late?

What I loved:¬† The rich historical details were a real pleasure. I really learned a lot and could sink right into the story world. The second half of the book was my favorite. Go figure, it’s where the majority of the mystery and danger are located. ūüėČ

Favorite Character: Esther is my absolute favorite. Although a secondary character, she was well-rounded with her own secrets. She was wise yet fallible.

Who would like this:  Those who enjoy epic stories with lots of layers, stories where broken souls are restored, stories of married couples learning to love one another and break free from the hurts of the past, and those who enjoy a bit of mystery and danger.

Rating and Why:¬† I gave this story a 3.5 because this was a story that had sections I skimmed and felt a little preachy in areas. It wasn’t enough to keep me from enjoying the story, but I did have to push myself to read to the end. The first half of the book felt like a pure romance, but in the second half my interest was really snagged by the danger and mystery.

*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. The above opinions are my own and are in no way influenced.*

Purchase Links:

Amazon.com Barnes and Noble Christianbook.com

Author Interview: Kaitlin Covel

Hello, friends! I’ve got another debut author to introduce. Meet Kaitlin Covel who reached out to me via my contact form. I had the privilege of reading her novel Atoning for Ashes a few weeks ago and that review will go live next Tuesday. For now, I’d love for you to get to know the woman behind the words.

Kaitlin Covel has a thirst for adventure much like the heroines of her stories. She is an old-fashioned romantic, and if she could time travel to any historical period, it would be the Regency Era. Here in the 21st century, she is a certified Nutritional Therapy Technician, but writing is her passion, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. Her debut novel, Atoning for Ashes, releases on February 14th, 2019 from Deep River Books. She has honed her craft since childhood, benefiting from the insights of other writers through professional writing associations such as the Jerry Jenkins Writer‚Äôs Guild and Hope*writers. She lives with her family in Maine, where she enjoys teaching the teen Sunday school class at her church. Her favorite things are family, books, history, chocolate, music, the ocean, and strong cups of tea. Visit her at www.kaitlincovel.com.

FastFive

Sweet or Unsweet Tea?

Kaitlin: I know sweet tea is a big deal to everyone down south, but I prefer mine unsweetened!

Beach Vacation or Mountain Getaway?

Kaitlin: Definitely a beach vacation for me! Perhaps on Prince Edward Island!

Homebody or Love to Travel?

Kaitlin: I really love to travel. If I ever inherited a fortune like the heroines of novels, I would spend the first cent on a plane ticket to the first place on my bucket list: Paris, France! 

Morning Person or Night Owl?

Kaitlin: I’m a night owl for sure! 

Bookmark or Dog-ear Pages?

Kaitlin: I love bookmarks! 

Writing, Life, and God

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Kaitlin: My dream job as a child was to be a published author and see my books on a library shelf. I thank God for making my dream come true!

Crystal: I love when God makes the desires of our heart a reality.

What is your favorite Bible verse? Why?

Kaitlin: Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, for he shall direct thy path. 

I love this verse because it is a daily reminder to trust the Lord and rely upon Him in all circumstances. Life is complicated, but I know the Lord will direct my path if I acknowledge him in all my ways. 

Crystal: That is a great one. Although, I confess every time I read that one, I do the little song with it that I used to teach it to my Sunday School kiddos.

What was the best advice someone ever gave you about writing, life, or anything that strikes your fancy?

Kaitlin: One of the greatest pieces of writing advice I ever received was to write until I was confident enough of my writing skills to share them with the world. I wrote short stories and several novels to practice my skills. I engaged in writing memberships and contests to polish my craft until I knew I was ready to attempt publication. This journey has taken me almost ten years, but I have loved every moment of it. I look forward to the next chapter of my publishing journey and all the new experiences that await me. I know I am doing what I was born to do!

Crystal: Very sound advice and we are excited to see where this journey brings you.

Josie Chadwick dreams of marrying for love in Cornwall, England, but with her father’s debt threatening to destroy all she holds dear, her romantic options are dwindling. When her elder sister Delia is disowned, Josie finds herself heiress of Chadwick Park, torn between dreams and duty. After sacrificing her heart to atone for Delia’s sin, Josie clings to the hope she will learn to love a distant husband, whom she fears is incapable of requiting her affection.

Atoning for Ashes

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

Kaitlin:  God taught me so much through writing this story that I don’t even know where to begin… I think the biggest lesson God taught me in writing Atoning for Ashes was the unconditional nature of His love. I’d never really meditated on this aspect of our God, but because several main characters in my book struggle with a crisis of identity, I reflected on the unconditional nature of my God’s love and grace more than I ever had before.

Crystal: That unconditional nature is just so mindboggling to our  human  minds. 

How do you come up with the names of your characters?

Kaitlin: I like to look at the census for the year my story is set if it is available. I’m always taking note of unusual period names when I’m watching period dramas or reading classic literature/biographies/memoirs. For surnames, I do a lot of research based on the setting, and I have fun exploring historical documents from the time period. It is a struggle, but I persevere until I’m satisfied with the ring of each characters’ full name! 

Crystal: That is very cool. I love period- accurate names and am so glad  you take the time to find them.

What was your hardest scene to write?

Kaitlin: Hmmm… I’ll try not to give any spoilers! There were several scenes that were fairly difficult to write, but the hardest scene of all was the scene where Josie and Charles eat dinner in their hotel room in Paris. It is quite an emotionally charged scene, and the climax in the dialogue occurs when Charles confesses a dark secret of his past.

Crystal: I can see where that would be a very difficult scene to write.

Fun, Zaney Question of the Day

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

Kaitlin: A trip to Paris, swimming with dolphins, and I’d love to go on a missions trip sometime!

Crystal:  I hope those are things you get to enjoy at some point!

Readers, tell us what your top three things are on your bucket list, and be sure to check out Kaitlin’s debut book,¬†Atoning for Ashes¬†at Amazon¬†or¬†Barnes and Noble!

Connect with Kaitlin at:

A Love Restored by Kelly Goshorn

See bottom for the giveaway winner.

ALoveRestored_prc5391_750

A Love Restored

by Kelly Goshorn

5star

Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Virginia 1873

Overview of Plot:

Ruth Ann is a kind-hearted person with a passion for teaching at the Freedman’s School for Negro children and adults…but her less-than-petite frame binds her as tightly as the shackles of her former slave students did. Pushed by her mother toward a wealthy, up-and-coming political leader as her only hope for marriage, she longs for a marriage built on love and a man who loves her for who she is and what she looks like.

Benjamin Coulter wants to escape his past and earn the respect of every man by having an envious job, good clothes, and a beautiful wife. Falling for Ruth Ann is natural, but when his choice is ridiculed by those whose approval he seeks, he struggles with what to do.

Sometimes learning to love ourselves and others comes with life-altering mistakes.

Favorite Character and Why:

Ruth Ann is my favorite, purely because I can see her struggles as my own. She is a real person with real struggles. Her pain was my pain. You can’t help but become Ruth Ann in your mind and rejoice with her, grieve with her, and be restored with her.

What I liked:

I typically am not a big fan of books that make me cry, but this one did and I still liked it. I really connected with Ruth Ann. Her struggles touched a tender personal nerve, a nerve I feel will resonate with many–if not all–women. Even Benjamin’s struggles resonated with my experiences with men I have known. I can’t speak personally for men, but it seemed a believable problem.

Who would like this:

Anyone who loves a sweet romance with lots of emotional ups and downs, books that might touch a tender nerve but will grow you, or stories of restoration.

Amazon blurb:

“With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn‚Äôt measure up to Society‚Äôs vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman‚Äôs School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.

Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter‚Äôs reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earns him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad‚ÄĒa position that will garner the respect he craves. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality. When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?”

Links for Purchase:

Amazon        Barnes  and Noble       Christianbook.com

Congratulations to Trisha R.! You’ve won an e-copy of A Love Restored. Check your e-mail and spam box for information on how to claim it.

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