I was given an opportunity to participate in a giveaway where readers each have a chance to get up to fifteen Christian romance books free of charge. It’s a great opportunity for readers to discover new authors while also helping the authors by introducing them to new readers. What’s not to love, right?
It’s not often that you get fifteen authors in the same room working together on a joint project – even if that room is virtual. ^_^ So, while I had access to this great group of women, I decided to ask them some questions. Read below to find out about the book they’ve put into the giveaway and how they answered their question (they’re not all the same question).
When you’re done with that, scroll all the way to the bottom, and I’ll tell you how you can get all these books at no charge. (Every reader can pick and choose which of the fifteen books they’d like, and every reader can get all fifteen books if they want. It’s not like a raffle drawing where one person ends up with all the prizes and everybody else goes home empty-handed.)
Dandelions for Dinner by Valerie Comer
She hates him. He loves her not. Man-hater Allison Hart starts to build a house and farm school at Green Acres when she gains custody of her nephew. Too bad contractor Brent Callahan builds a rapport with the boy. Can Brent tear down the walls around her heart or will their secrets push them apart forever?
So Valerie, I know you want to write the stories God wants you to write. How do you let God direct your story while you’re in the middle of working on it?
Because I’m not a plotter, I find I often pause in my writing and ask God which direction the story should go from here. I ask Him to put words in my characters’ mouths and thoughts that will reach people with a message He wants them to hear.
Wish You Joy by Jan Thompson
Christmastown USA has a new CEO. But owning a majority share of the holiday-decorating company makes no difference for Cyrus Theroux if the other forty-nine percent won’t cooperate…
Christmas stories are always fun, Jan, but can you tell me what inspired you to write this particular one?
I love Christmas but there are so many Christmas stories out there. I decided to make this a year-round story instead. The company is Christmastown USA, and the struggle is between the two partners and running a business. They need to think ahead anyway, so for me, this Christmas story begins in July, right in the middle of a hot day in a southern coastal town.
Courage to Change by Elizabeth Maddrey
When Phil and Allison work closely together to help a pregnant teen, both must re-evaluate the personal convictions that threaten to keep them apart. Can love give them the courage to change?
I know you’ve invested a lot of time in helping women who are faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Tell me how that experience led to this story.
I spent more than 20 years working in pro-life ministry. One of the things that I think gets so overlooked sometimes is the work that pregnancy help centers do to help women parent their unplanned babies or place them for adoption. It was that aspect of the work that was the seed for Courage to Change.
The Preacher’s Faith by Caryl McAdoo
Can the orphaned preacher and the heartbroken rodeo queen navigate the path to true love with a life and an ex-beau blocking their way?
Writing tends to be a solitary career, and we don’t often think about it in terms of collaboration. So what prompted you to work with a group of authors on this giveaway project?
I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this Contemporary Romance Giveaway with so many author friends! What a great way to bless Christian readers with SO MANY FREE BOOKS! Isn’t only one winner, too! EVERYONE, each reader, may claim all fifteen books!!! Woo Hoo and ✞•♪♫✫ Laaaa! ♫•*•♪✞♪
Homecoming by Carolyne Aarsen
Going home isn’t always easy. Neither is love.
Your book Homecoming has such a profound message. What prompted you to tell this particular story?
Homecoming was the first book I ever wrote. At the time I was dealing with forgiveness and struggling with how to articulate that and what that looked like, so I worked through it by way of Sheryl’s journey. It was a long struggle and even though, in my own life, it wasn’t resolved by the time I finished the book, I still felt some sense of movement to a place I knew I had to be for my own sake as much as the person I was learning to forgive.
Ordinary Snowflakes by Jennifer Rodewald
Someone has noticed me. A secret admirer? A man with a good heart, who sees how much I actually need help, even though I never admit it? Maybe this is the beginning of a beautiful story – a romance full of hope and second chances and love. Maybe…
Ordinary Snowflakes has such a fun and playful premise. Can you tell me a little bit about how you came up with the story?
After I finished writing Red Rose Bouquet, which was a heavier book, I needed a break. I prayed for something lighter, fun, and something that would remind me of the joy of writing (not that RRB wasn’t a joy, but like I said, it was heavy, and it was a hard book to write). Ordinary Snowflakes was God’s answer to that prayer. I didn’t expect God to serve me a lesson in it, but He did, and I am so delighted. I hope my readers find what I found—that God sees. He loves. He smiles down on us, even though our lives may seem painfully ordinary. We are crafted and loved by an extraordinary God.
A Model Bride by Autumn Macarthur
Christmas in London, New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh, where next? Nothing in her Europe trip goes as Tiffany planned, but when she meets wounded Scottish photo-journalist Mac, she discovers God’s purpose for her life is far more than she imagined!
Let’s face it. Being a Christian can be hard sometimes. Being a Christian author has its own set of complications, though, as we struggle to find the balance between our own personal creativity and the stories God wants us to write. How do you find and keep that balance?
My goal is to let God totally guide me as I write. I try to remember to pray before writing, during writing, if I feel stuck or despondent about the writing. It does make a big difference. When I forget to ask God into my writing, the writing is hard hard slog. I feel He has a reader He wants reached with a specific message for every book I write, and I don’t want to get in the way and mess that up!
A Match for Magnolia by Marion Ueckerman
Womanizer. Adulterer. Divorced. That is Lord Rathbone’s history. His future, on the other hand, remains to be seen…
You’ve been a part of several group projects with other authors, Marion. It can’t always be easy. There must be challenges that come up. So what keeps bringing you back for more?
I love the camaraderie and friendships that are born out of collaborating with other authors as we plan, design, launch, and market. Plus the wider reach to readers we are able to make together.
For All Time by Meredith Resce
Analiese is young, independent, funny, outspoken and intelligent. And it may just get her killed…
I often wonder how much of an author’s personality is reflected in her (or his) characters. You’ve written a time travel Christian romance, though, which makes the question even more interesting to. So tell me…how much does your personality influence your characters?
Sometimes my personality emerges, but I try to be broad in the creation of characters, so that there is a good cross-section of personality types represented in each story. If anything, my rural, Australian roots do tend to shine through more than anything.
The Best of Friends by N.J. Lindquist
Easy-going Glen begins his last year of high school unaware that his tranquil life will be the first casualty of a new student’s arrival in town.
We all battle that urge to compare ourselves to others, and when we do that, we usually focus on our own flaws and the other person’s strengths. I certainly know that was a problem I battled as a young-in-faith-but Christian. Can you tell me about the experiences that led you to tackle that kind of angst in a book?
While I was teaching high school and leading youth groups, one of my biggest frustrations was that so many kids saw themselves in a negative way, as in “I’m not smart enough, not athletic enough, not good-looking or pretty enough, don’t have money” and so on. As if those things were what made them worthwhile people.
I got thinking about I Samuel 16:6-7, where Nathan anointed Jesse’s youngest son, David, as the future king–but only after God told him to pass over the other sons, who all looked good to Samuel.”But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
So my idea was to have two guys: one ordinary/average and one who seemed to have everything. And the novel would hinge on the premise that what’s really important isn’t any of those surface things you have little control over, but who you are inside—with God’s help.
And that’s how The Best of Friends was born.
Dance and Be Glad by Melissa Wardwell
She was content being a single mother and he was happy with bachelorhood. When Jillian and Michael reconnect again after being apart for more than a decade, though, they learn to trust each other and God through tragedy and life changes. But can that their blossoming feelings are more than just a bit of nostalgia?
I’ve talked about how authors can sometimes insert parts of their own personality into their characters. What about the opposite, though? Do you ever use your characters to explore what your life might be like if (fill in the blank)?
Jill, in Dance and Be Glad, for example, is an independent woman who has lived her life without a man for years. There’s a part of me that would love to come and go as I please without having to make sure my husband will be home or that my kids won’t need me. I would love to spend my days writing or reading without having to stop to make dinner. Writing is secondary to the main ministry God has given me, though, which is to be a wife and mother to my family.
Nowhere for Christmas by Heather Gray
Two virtual strangers, one teen, and the worst rental car in the history of mankind…
Let the road trip begin.
Can I admit that it feels a little funny interviewing myself? Hm. Let’s see. I think I shall ask myself… Where did you get the inspiration for Eli’s character? (Eli is the heroine’s teenage son.)
My son is an endless source of entertainment and inspiration. He makes me laugh without even trying. It’s been such a joy to watch him grow and explore life as he’s transitioned from boy to young adult to what I now refer to as the man-child phase. (He’s seventeen. I can’t call him a boy anymore, but he’s still not quite all grown up.) I tried to capture all the essence of my relationship with my son and pour it into the relationship that Avery and Eli have. Eli’s not a replication of my son, but the fun relationship that these two have is a reflection of the relationship I’ve been blessed to share with my son.
Sweet Dreams by Cecelia Dowdy
A single mom with a short temper and plenty of street smarts runs ends up next door to a professional baker with plenty of family trouble of his own.
I kind of sprung this interview on everyone at the last minute, so not everyone had a chance to answer my questions. For those who couldn’t, I’m going to share a little bit of their bio with you instead. So here’s some information about Cecelia.
Cecelia Dowdy has been an avid reader since she learned to string letters together to form words. While pursuing a business degree in college one of her professors tried to convince her to get an English degree since he felt she was a great writer. Years later, after receiving her BS in Finance, she took her former teacher’s advice, and started pursuing her literary career.
A Family for the Cowboy by Linda Goodnight
Every cowboy has a dream…
Now to tell you a little about Linda…
NY Times and USA Bestseller, Linda Goodnight writes novels to touch the heart as well as to entertain. Her emotional stories of hope have won the RITA, the Carol, the Reviewer’s Choice, and numerous other industry awards. A small town girl, Linda remains close to her roots, making her home in rural Oklahoma. She and husband have a blended family of eight, including two teenagers recently adopted from Ukraine.
Snow Belle by Jackie Castle
Welcome to Madison County where northern hospitality meets southern comfort…and a rogue snowblower.
And here’s a taste of Jacki’es biography.
Jackie Castle is the author of The White Road Chronicles a fantasy series, The Sentinel Archives for school-age readers, and newly released Madison Creek Bed & Breakfast romance series. She’s enjoyed many crazy adventures from working as a hairstylist, to her bravest quest: teaching children in daycare and elementary schools. Eventually, she settled down to a somewhat safer pursuit of being a Story-weaver.
So now that you know about all fifteen of the books in this great giveaway, it’s probably time I give you the link so you can get the books for yourself, right?
Just go to http://books.bookfunnel.com/freeChristiancontemporaryromance and click on the covers of those books you’d like to receive. You’ll need to provide a valid email address to participate, but once you do that, the sky’s the limit! Happy reading!
Now that we’ve talked to a bunch of authors about a lot of different things, why don’t you tell me about what you like to read. Do you have a favorite book? A favorite author? Do you prefer fiction or nonfiction?
You can find Heather online at the links below in her bio, and you can find out what else she’s written here.