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Meet author, Cindy Regnier!

Cindy Regnier_headshotFriends, it’s been too long but I’m so glad to be back with you and today, we’re talking with my very dear friend, and debut author, Cindy Regnier! Her book, Mail-Order Refuge, releases tomorrow, June 11, 2019.

I know…I know…you’re as excited to talk with her as I am. Grab a chair!

First, Cindy, welcome!! We’re so glad you’re joining us today. So, let’s dive right in. What drew you to historical romance as a reader and made you want to write it?

CINDY: As a child, I loved reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I think I read These Happy Golden Years about fifty-bazillion times. When I wrote my first book, I didn’t even think about it. Historical romance is what came out of that pen.

SHAREE: Oh, I remember those books! They were some of my favorite as well! Folks always ask questions about writing life. Do you have any writing routines?

CINDY: Mostly my routine is whatever works. I have a full-time job that’s not writing, so when I get home I usually curl up in my recliner, open my computer, and words start appearing on the page. Kind of fun how that happens.

SHAREE: I love that kind of routine! Now, an important question. Coffee or tea?

CINDY: I like both. Coffee in the morning, especially in winter, and then iced tea the rest of the day.

SHAREE: I’m with you there. I love both of them. What’s the one message you’d want a reader to get from Mail-Order Refuge?MailOrderRefuge (3)

CINDY: Forgiveness and grace are there for the taking. By grace, we can get rid of our guilt and release our burdens. That and cowboy heroes are delightful.

SHAREE: Amen to that! What was the best advice you received and would want to pass on?

CINDY: There’s no wrong way to do this writing thing as long as people want to read what you wrote. Write what you want and don’t worry about the “rules.”

SHAREE: Definitely. The rules can stifle creativity. Writers are readers so what’s your favorite book?

CINDY: My favorite book will always be Pride and Prejudice. (Favorite movie too!) Seriously – how could anybody not love Pride and Prejudice?

SHAREE: Ah, a true romantic at heart. What were your first words when you got THE CALL?

CINDY: Stunned silence immediately followed by “Really?”  Pretty eloquent, right?

SHAREE: Giggle, I love that too. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

CINDY: My writing sisters, including Sharee, mean so much to me. I couldn’t do this without their help and support.

SHAREE: Cindy, I couldn’t agree more. There’s something wonderful about having a writing community to walk alongside during this journey. I’m so grateful to share this time with you!

Alright friends, there you have the most wonderful reasons to buy and read Mail-Order Refuge. And it gets better, because Cindy has also offered one print or ebook copy to ONE commenter. So be sure to comment! (Winner will be chosen at random. US only for print copies).

Cindy Regnier_headshotScribbling in notebooks has been a habit of Cindy Regnier since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Born and raised in Kansas, she writes stories of historical Kansas, especially the Flint Hills area where she spent much of her childhood. Cindy is married to her husband of 36 years, has two grown sons, a son residing in heaven, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and a beautiful daughter-in-law-to-be.
A graduate of Kansas State University with a dual major in Agriculture and Business, Cindy works for her local school district as clerk of the board of education and is active in her church and community. Her experiences with the Flint Hills setting, her natural love for history, farming and animals, along with her interest in genealogical research give her the background and passion to write heart-fluttering historical romance.

 

Find me at:

https://cindyregnier.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CindyRegnierauthor/

https://twitter.com/CindySRegnier

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19069509.Cindy_Regnier

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cindy-regnier

 

 

 

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Celebrating the birth of a book baby!

Sherrinda_squareOne of my favorite things about the writing community is the relationships we build with other authors. Witnessing the birth of your friend’s book baby is an honor and there’s nothing like sharing in her excitement. That’s exactly what I’m experiencing with my sweet friend, Sherrinda Ketchersid. Her debut novel Lord of Her Heart comes out on May 14th!

Please join us as we talk about Lord of her Heart.

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SHAREE: A favorite question is always where did you get the idea for the book?

SHERRINDA: When I decided to write a medieval romance, I researched women back in that time period. I learned that wealthy girls were often sent to convents to be taught various things like reading, writing, morality, spinning, weaving, and the like to prepare them to be caretakers of their homes once they married. I began to ask ‘what if’. What if a girl’s parents ceased to communicate with her? What if she was abandoned at the convent? What if she was being forced to either take her vows to the church or be married off to an old man? Those questions led to Jocelyn’s story and her escape from a convent as a boy.

SHAREE: Oh yes, “What If” is one of my favorite games! Do you have any special things or chores that must be accomplished before you sit down to write?

SHERRINDA: Yes! I like to have my bed made and kitchen cleaned up before I start. Since I have a puppy, we take a walk to wear him out so he will sleep for a while. Then I fix a cup of coffee, light a candle, and then sit down to write. I can usually get a couple of hours in before the puppy wakes up.

SHAREE: I do the same thing minus the candle, but I do have a Scentsy melting beside me so that counts too, right? I’m so glad you mentioned your puppy. We’ve seen his picture on social media and want to know all about him! Oh, and in case you haven’t yet seen Phineas, let me show you all how adorable this guy is!

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SHERRINDA: Oh, my sweet Phineas. Since I quit working outside the home, I kept thinking how nice it would be to get a dog to keep me company. I thought I’d rescue an older dog, but my daughter’s bosses found Phineas out on the street when he was nine weeks old. They tried to find the owner and took it to the vet to see about a microchip, but there was none. My daughter knew I’d been wanting a dog and sent a picture—I was smitten and picked him up that day. I will say that my writing time has been seriously compromised, but I love the little guy. He does get me off the couch and I’m in better shape because of him.

SHAREE: I give my dog all the credit for my walking habits and healthier self. They’re the best and what a wonderful story about you and Phineas’ first meeting. I’m so glad he found his fur-ever home with you! I could talk about animals all day, but I’ll restrain myself and get back to writing questions. What advice would you give to a new writer?

SHERRINDA: Oh goodness. Keep writing. You are going to have days when you do not feel like writing, but just sit down and purpose to write one page. Just one. You will be surprised how many pages will flow.

SHAREE: Absolutely!! What are you working on now?

SHERRINDA: I am in the editing/rewriting phase of my second book, His to Keep. It is the story of Ian McGowan, the head guardsman in Lord of Her Heart. They say the sophomore book is the hardest book you will ever write and I believe it! The doubt, the fear—it’s been paralyzing. With the first book, you just write for the pure joy of it. You don’t know any better. With the second, you know the rules of writing and don’t want to break them. It stifles the creativity. I keep telling myself to just to write—I can clean it up later. Whew! What a cleanup I’m doing right now!

SHAREE: I can give a hearty AMEN to that, but having read your writing, I have no doubt His to Keep will be as fabulous as Lord of Her Heart! When you’re not writing, what books do you enjoy reading?

SHERRINDA: I love romance. Historical or contemporary, it doesn’t matter. As long as there is romance, I’m a happy girl.

SHAREE: Ah yes, we do love our happily-ever-afters! You also have a unique talent in scripture journaling. How did you get started? And do you have a favorite scripture?

SHERRINDA: I happened upon it while searching social media for contemporary lettering. I love calligraphy and brush lettering was becoming all the rage. While scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest, I started seeing Bible Journaling and was immediately hooked. Painting and lettering in my journaling Bible (a Bible with wide margins for notetaking) has become a great way to meditate on special verses during my quiet time. My favorite scripture is Galatians 5:1. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” It’s my life verse. We are not only free from sin, we are free to do so many things for Him. There is so much hope in the freedom He gives.

SHAREE: I couldn’t agree more. What’s something our readers would be surprised to learn about you?

SHERRINDA: I love gummy bears. LOVE them. I would eat them every day if I could. But alas, I am a low-carb, no sugar gal now so gummy bears are a thing of the past. Hmm, I’m thinking maybe on the release day of Lord of Her Heart, I should buy a bag of gummy bears to celebrate. What do you think?

SHAREE: I say have at the mega size bag of gummy bears! And we might be having some at our house to celebrate with you! Who is your favorite character in Lord of Her Heart and why?

SHERRINDA: I want to say Malcolm, because he is dreamy and strong, but actually, I fell in love with Ian, the head guardsman. He is funny. He is kind. He is very protective and loyal. He became someone I had to know more about.

SHAREE: Is there someone we’re going to love to hate in Lord of Her Heart?

SHERRINDA: Oh yes, everyone will hate Helen, Jocelyn’s step-mother. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say I just wanted to slap her a time or two.

SHAREE: I love that! Will there be a sequel or is this a stand alone?

SHERRINDA: It is both! I’m giving Ian McGowan, the head guardsman, his own story, but the two books can stand on their own. The characters from Lord of Her Heart don’t make an appearance in the second story. It’s all about Ian.

SHAREE: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

SHERRINDA: Thank you so much for having me today and letting me talk about Lord of Her Heart! You are always so generous with your encouragement. Were you a cheerleader at some point in your life? 😉

SHAREE: Bahahahahaha. No cheerleading for me. But I’m loving the chance to cheer you on. It’s almost selfish because I’m getting to see the fruit of your labor and it is so gratifying. Friend, I’m so absolutely thrilled that the world will finally get to read Lord of Her Heart!

LordofHerHeart_FINAL

He’s fighting for his future—she’s running for her life.

Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle
because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to
force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises
herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth.

Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament
and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on
the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny
lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for.
Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite
of her conniving ways.

Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are
determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only
way either of them survives.

Sherrinda_squareAuthor Bio

Sherrinda Ketchersid is a lover of stories with happily-ever-after endings. Whether set in the past or present, romance is what she writes and where her dreams reside. Sherrinda lives in north-central Texas with her preacher husband. With four grown children, three guys and a gal, she has more time and energy to spin tales of faith, fun, and forever love.

 

Connect with Sherrinda:

Website: www.sherrinda.com

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

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/sherrinda

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sherrinda/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19022507.Sherrinda_Ketchersid

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sherrinda-ketchersid

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sherrinda-Ketchersid/e/B07Q5Y8QHF/

BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q4R9L8Z/

Meet Sharon Srock

Welcome to another author interview with the brilliant and talented, Ms. Sharon Srock.

21764724_1596547100404357_4226780777589493251_nSharon, thank you so much for agreeing to be on my blog! I’ve got lots of questions so let’s dive right in. Jesse is book four in the Sisters by Design series and I had the privilege of listening to the audiobook. I thought the narration was wonderfully done. Did it capture the story the way you pictured it?

SHARON: I don’t think that anyone except the author can capture all the little nuances that you hear in your head as you write the story. But since narration is not a part of my job description, I think Becky does a fantastic job. It helps that she’s done all of the Sisters books and knows the stories and characters almost as well as I do.  Each one just gets better as she builds the layers.

SHAREE: I love the books that you write because you have such a wonderful way of making the people and places come alive. I especially love the bond of friendship between the characters. What’s something you’d want a reader to take away from Jesse?

SHARON: I’ve been blessed to have just this sort of friendship with ladies I’ve known since I was fourteen.  I guess I’d want my readers to know just how important these friendships are to our well being. We don’t get together as often as my characters, but I know they are there if I need them. I hope they know the same thing about me.

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ASIN: B07H919D8W

SHAREE: What’s something that might surprise our readers about you?

SHARON: Oh…confession time. I’m a trekkie. I have hundreds of books and videos and a couple of uniforms in my closet. The first serious piece of fiction I wrote was Star Trek fiction. I was able to meet all of the original cast and I even got James Doohan (Scotty) lost in Oklahoma City, but that’s another story.

SHAREE: What does a typical writing day look like?

SHARON: Now that I’m retired, I try to spend regular office ours out in my writing office. I try to keep to regular hours so the hubs knows when he can bother me and when he can’t. Everyday weekday between 1 and 4, I’m “working”.  He knows not to bother me unless there is bleeding or death to report.  LOL.  When I’m writing I try to get a 1000 words a day. First I go over what I wrote the day before and see if it needs work, then I go on to what’s next. If I have writing business to do (newsletter, formatting, marketing…) I spend my time there. Maybe an admin day once every couple of weeks.

SHAREE: Do you have a muse?

SHARON: I actually had to look this up. LOL I knew what it meant, but I didn’t KNOW what it meant. What or who inspires me? Would it be cliché if I said God? He called me to this job and I depend on Him to give me the direction He wants the story to take. If that inspiration ever goes missing, I’ll stop writing.

SHAREE: Are there things you must have done or need to do before you can write?

SHARON: If you are talking about outlines and research, no. I’m a total seat-of-the-pants writer. Outlines make me feel trapped and since my characters are whispering to me all the time, things never go the way I think at the start. Research I do as necessary while I’m writing. In Jesse’s story I needed to know more about spouse abuse than I knew, so I sent out questions to my writer’s groups and Facebook readers groups. Between them and google, I can usually find what I need pretty quickly and just keep writing.

SHAREE: What do you enjoy reading?

SHARON: I am not a reader locked into a single genre. I love well done Science Fiction and fantasy. I like court room dramas and romantic suspense. I don’t read a lot of women’s fiction, and I rarely do straight romance.

SHAREE: Thanks so much for joining us today. Here’s my review of Jesse for all of you.

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Author Sharon Srock went from science fiction to Christian fiction at slightly less than warp speed. Thirty years ago, she cut her writer’s teeth on Star Trek fiction. Today, she writes inspirational stories that focus on ordinary women using their faith to accomplish extraordinary things. Sharon lives in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma with her husband and three very large dogs. When she isn’t writing, she loves to read, cook, and travel. She’s still working on a way to do all three at the same time.

Sign up for Sharon’s newsletter

Visit Sharon’s website: www.sharonsrock.com..

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SharonSrock/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6448789.Sharon_Srock

Please visit her AMAZON page to find current info on her books: http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Srock/e/B009OB2HSO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

These are universal links for each of the Sister’s stories:

Links:

MAC:  https://books2read.com/u/4XodDg

RANDY:  https://books2read.com/u/4NRpyG

CHARLEY: https://www.books2read.com/u/3RokRB

JESSE:  https://books2read.com/u/4AYGJq

SYD: https://books2read.com/u/bPZNN7

 

Measuring Success as a New Author

Please welcome my very dear friend,

Sara L. Foust

Headshot Sara L Foust

As a new author, I must sheepishly admit I had big dreams. Even though I’d heard in conferences over and over, writing and earning an income that can be considered a full-time career is rare in this industry these days, I chose to hope, with fingers and toes crossed, I might be one of those “special” ones. My first novel was going to go straight to number one on the New York Times Bestsellers list and I would launch my career nationwide. Everyone would love my books. I would be able to provide for my family with my writing within the first few years. Oh, yeah, big dreams.

I completed my first manuscript in late 2015 and started sending out queries. It really didn’t take me long to tuck that manuscript in a drawer and pretend like it didn’t exist. My second manuscript was better. I worked hard, read everything I could about the craft of writing, and applied that new knowledge to improving my writing. It was published in November 2017 and I now have three published novels and one self-published novella.

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I’m still not making anything you could exactly call an income, but I have learned to measure my success in other ways.  I was recently emailed from my website contact form and invited to come speak at a library about an hour from my home. Friends have sent me pictures of them reading the books, finding them in my local library just down the road, and passing them to friends and family of theirs. I met a bookstore event planner at a local event and she invited me to come for a book signing in May at the store in Sevierville. I have “met” hundreds of new people online who want to engage and talk to me and expressed interest in my writing. And most of all, I have learned so much. Each of these small victories adds up to success in my book (hehehe). I’m not going to stop writing or slow down just because I’m not seeing the big money roll in. This is my passion and I am proud of the things God has allowed me to do so far. Money would be helpful for my family’s finances, but it isn’t why I write.

I recently told my best friend and writing pal that we have to learn to measure our success in different terms than the “big guys,” you know, those little-known writers like J. K. Rowling and Stephen King. We have to be willing to look at every new contact with someone where they express interest in our work, or every new email signup, or every new review as a success. Writing may not yet be paying my bills, but the value this career has added to my self-esteem, my enjoyment of life, and my feeling of fulfilling my God-called role is worth so much more!

Are you a new author out there? Or maybe you are one who has been around the block a few times but still feel you haven’t “made it.” Let’s start thinking about success in this industry differently, together. How do you measure success?

Get your copy of Sara’s book: Rarity Mountain!

No job. Little faith. A paralyzing secret and a life-changing survival show.

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Author: Sara L. Foust Title: Rarity Mountain: Journey to Faith ISBN-10: 1945094737 ISBN-13: 978-1945094736

 

Headshot Sara L Foust

Author Bio:

Sara is a multi-published, award-winning author and homeschooling mother of five who writes surrounded by the beauty of East Tennessee. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is the author of the Love, Hope, and Faith Series, which includes Callum’s Compass (2017), Camp Hope (2018), and Rarity Mountain (March 2019).  She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone and a novella, Of Walls (November 2018). Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit www.saralfoust.com.

 

 

How to reach me:

Meet Rachel Dylan!

56157759_2198407000249657_2803427331371171840_nPlease join me in welcoming, Rachel Dylan to the WordyNerdyBlog.

SHAREE: Thanks so much Rachel for being here! I have absolutely loved the Atlanta Justice Series and I think Breach of Trust is becoming my favorite! I’m still reading so I won’t be offering any spoilers, but I will say plan to be up late reading with this one.

I’m so excited for you all to meet Rachel. She’s an amazing writer and a beautiful person! If you’re not already an avid reader and fan of her books, I’m urging you to start today with Breach of Trust!

Let’s dive right in and start with writing questions.

Everyone’s always curious about where writers get their story ideas. Have any of your stories developed as a result of cases you’ve worked on (realizing confidentiality plays a huge roll here) or have your characters come from people you’ve met?

RACHEL: None of my stories have arisen out of cases I’ve worked on, and as you suggest, that’s by design. I choose topics and situations that are outside of my cases. But of course, being a lawyer is built into my DNA at this point, so I do bring those parts of me into the story.

SHAREE: I love audiobooks because I can be doing chores while listening to a great book. Would you share a little about the process of converting your books into audiobooks? Do the narrators contact you to make sure they’re conveying the story and characters accurately?

RACHEL: For my Bethany House books, it’s completely dealt with at the publisher level, and I’m not directly involved. For the Windy Ridge Series, which is Indie, my awesome agent got me the audio deal. I have worked with the narrator on pronunciations, and I’m thrilled at how the Windy Ridge Series has come to life. I’ve been listening to the audio during my commute to work.

SHAREE: Could you tell us about your next series and the release dates?

RACHEL: I’m starting a new series called Capital Intrigue and book one: End Game releases in January. This book still has legal elements but brings in a broader group of law enforcement characters and government agencies. I’m really excited about it. End Game involves an FBI and NCIS agent along with a JAG attorney and some other great characters.

SHAREE: Woowhoo!! Can’t wait for that series! You have some of the coolest book trailers. Do you create them yourself?

RACHEL: Yes, I do. Unfortunately, the website I was using to create them has shut down! So, I’ll have to look for other options in the future.

SHAREE: I’m sure the next trailers will be as just as fabulous. Now, for those writers in our reader audience, what writing advice were you given or do you have, that you’d be willing to share with new authors?

RACHEL: Write the story of your heart and know that there isn’t just one way.

SHAREE: Oh, I love that! One of the things that is especially interesting about you is that you’re a lawyer as well as a multi-published, award winning author. I’m astonished how you do both and you do it remarkably well. What would you say is the key to balancing the two?

RACHEL: I ask myself this everyday LOL. The bottom line is there is no substitute for hard work. I take my work ethic from being a lawyer and apply that to my writing. Given the time constraints I have, I must stick to a schedule.

SHAREE: Yes! Writing is hard work and I so appreciate keeping to a schedule. What kind of law do you practice?

RACHEL: I worked in a large law firm for eight years as a litigator defending large companies. Now I work in-house at a global automobile manufacturer. If you pay attention closely enough to the cars my characters drive, you might be able to guessJ

SHAREE: The hunt is on to learn what cars those are! For our readers, if know the answer, please consider adding it to your comments below. As a fellow animal lover, I always enjoy seeing pictures of your fur-babies. Can you tell us a little about them?

RACHEL: Yes! I have five furry babies—two dogs and three cats. Four of them are rescue including a three-legged cat. Chloe the Labrador is the oldest. She turns 13 in April. Happy Birthday!!

SHAREE: AWWW Happy Birthday Chloe! If you could write the book that changed the world, one that would be read for centuries to come, what message would you want it to convey?

RACHEL: That God’s love is relentless, and no matter how far gone you feel like you are, Jesus will meet you there in the darkness and walk with you through the fire and into the light.

SHAREE: Amen and amen! Was there a particular book or television show that propelled you toward wanting to be a writer?

RACHEL: I’ve loved writing since I was a little girl. My love for reading and English classes started super early.

SHAREE: Yep, me too!! Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

RACHEL: I love connecting with readers via email or on social media. You can find more info at http://www.racheldylan.com.

SHAREE: Please connect with Rachel and be sure to grab your copy of Breach of Trust! Rachel, thank you so very much for being on my blog!

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ISBN-13: 9780764219825 Publisher: Bethany House

 

Welcome Laura Conner Kestner

Please join me in welcoming my friend, Laura Conner Kestner!

pic.jpg After 25 years in community journalism, Laura Conner Kestner embarked on a career in inspirational fiction. Laura is a proud seventh-generation Texan. Born in Fort Worth, she now lives in central Texas. She is happily married to the “boy next door” and they have two daughters, two wonderful sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. She’s thankful for God’s grace, her family, and an opportunity to do the work she loves. Laura is a 2016 ACFW Genesis Award winner, 2016 ACFW First Impressions winner, 2016 SWFRW/RWA Joyce Henderson Contest winner, a 2016 NWH/RWA Lone Star Writer’s Contest finalist (second place), a 2016 SARA Emma Merritt contest winner, a winner in the RWA/KOD 2017 Daphne du Maurier award for excellence in mystery suspense, a 2017 Maggie finalist, and winner in the inspirational category of the 2017 RWA Southern Magic Linda Howard contest. Laura was also a 2017 GOLDEN HEART® finalist, and a double finalist in 2018. Her novel Remember Texas was published in October.

Today, we’re talking about Laura’s debut novel, Remember Texas.

Remember-Texas_THISONEFB

Abigail Horton’s life is turned upside down during the last night of a week-long revival when her father—believed dead—shows up in the custody of a Texas Ranger. Abby is thrilled to see him, and equally devastated to learn he’s been living the life of an outlaw.                                    

Texas Ranger Caleb Calhoun stops in Moccasin Rock to let his prisoner, Bob Horton, visit briefly with family before transporting him to Austin for trial. Caleb takes a room at the family’s boarding house, planning to be in and out of the small town by morning. But within hours he’s kissed Abby Horton, made an enemy of her naïve suitor, and let his prisoner escape.  

As Caleb searches for the missing outlaw, and Abby struggles to keep the man’s whereabouts a secret, they also battle a growing attraction to each other. 

Throw in a Calhoun family mystery, an elderly preacher on a mission, an old flame of Caleb’s, a secretive spinster, a team of surveyors, and Abby’s mother and brother—and you have a compelling story of faith, family and forgiveness.

Friends, grab a chair and hang with us as Laura shares insights about Remember Texas.

Laura, First thank you for visiting!!

Thank you, Sharee! I’m thrilled to be here!

  1. Okay, before we begin, your debut Remember Texas has the most fascinating cover! Did you have any input on the design?

Yes, I had several images in mind for my cover, including a church, a Texas Ranger badge, a gun, and a train, and I was thrilled when the designer worked each of them in. I fell in love at first sight.

  1. You have a background in journalism? Tell us about that.

For twenty-five years I worked in community journalism, which just means I worked for several small town newspapers doing a variety of tasks including writing and photography. It was never boring. I’ve photographed everything from drug busts to structure fires, to kindergarten programs and record-setting produce (biggest melon, etc.) Okay, so sometimes it was boring. But I definitely benefitted from the experience. And I also wrote historical features about Texas, which included outlaws, gun-toting preachers, floods and fires. I loved every minute of it. But through it all, I wanted to write a novel. I had about a dozen partially finished manuscripts when I finally got serious about fiction in 2015.

  1. You have so many amazing accolades and awards. Are they all for Remember Texas?

No, many of them are for Fair Haven, a contemporary romantic suspense. That book is scheduled for release in 2020. And one award is for middle grade fiction. I love to write in different genres.

  1. Did you start with that title?

In a way. I wrote the first part of Remember Texas years and years ago, then put it in a drawer and moved on to other things. At that time, I was owner/publisher of a (small) regional magazine which had a similar name. It was a publication featuring historical tidbits, photos and stories from my home state. When I started working on this novel again I referred back to my own magazine often for research, and that name just seemed to fit.

  1. What’s been the biggest surprise since becoming a published author?

The biggest surprise is something that I became aware of before publication (but it’s definitely carried through, post publication) and that’s how incredibly supportive other authors are with advice, inspiration and encouragement. I’m so very grateful, and I’m trying to pay it forward.

  1. You’ve done book signings? What was the most memorable and why?

I’ve done only one official signing, at a nearby library. It was memorable because so many of my friends and family showed up, and I made some new friends. One of the local ladies clubs provided finger foods, and several people brought roses. I was so touched. It was truly a magical day.

  1. What do you hope your readers discover in Remember Texas

That even though God doesn’t promise believers a trouble free life, He does promise to walk through trouble with us. Also, don’t decide you know everything about a person before you get a chance to really know them. Sometimes things are just not what they seem.

  1. Is this a standalone or a series?

It can be enjoyed as a standalone, but there are other books about the Calhoun family. In fact, I started writing the second book in the series before Remember Texas, but then Caleb and Abby’s story just didn’t want to wait. The second one should be out in the next few months.

I’m so grateful Laura stopped by today. Please grab your own copy of Remember Texas. Friends, if you have questions or comments for Laura, please post them below. She’s an amazing lady and we’d love to have you join in our discussion!

 

Interview with Author Laurie Wood

northerndeception

Publisher: Anaiah Press ASIN: B07K8SLZVS

Thank you so much for joining us today! I can’t wait for you to meet my friend, Laurie Wood as she talks to us about her romantic suspense debut Northern Exposure.

Here’s the book blurb:

Reunions can be deadly.

 After a savage attack in university, Kira Summers fled to the safety of northern Canada and her work as a polar bear scientist. But when her whistleblower brother dies in a mysterious car crash, she must return home to bury him and pack his belongings. Unaware she’s carrying explosive evidence someone’s willing to kill for, she has no choice but to rely on the one person she never thought she’d see again. 

Lukas Tanner, a widowed single father of a special needs toddler, moved to Churchill five years ago. As the proud owner of Guiding Star Enterprises, a wilderness tour company, he and his daughter lead a simple life. But when Kira comes crashing back into his world, he realizes God has other plans. Now, Lukas and Kira must confront a merciless killer as their past and present collide in a deadly race—a race they must win if they have any hope of a future together.

 

Please welcome Laurie Wood:laurie-wood-for-screen-1211

SHAREE This book has some wonderful information about polar bears. Being an animal lover it immediately caught my attention. I don’t want to give any spoilers but I’ve gotta ask…How did you know about polar bear jail? Are there really attacks in town? Have you seen polar bears in the wild?

LAURIE These are all great questions! I learned a lot about polar bears researching for this book. They’re fascinating creatures. The “Polar Bear Jail” is what the people of Churchill call the facility. Its official title is the “Polar Bear Holding Facility” and they keep the bears locked up there with water but no food until they’re released back into the wild. They don’t want the bears to associate food with humans in any way. The bears are either airlifted miles north via helicopter, like in my book, or out onto the sea ice once it’s solid on Hudson Bay, so they can’t return to town.

The most well-known attack in town was November 1, 2013 when a woman was attacked by a male polar bear around 5 a.m. when she and some friends were walking home from a Halloween party. The bear had her by the head and was throwing her around like a rag doll. A 69-year-old man saw it happening from his front window and rushed outside with his shovel to help. The bear then turned on him and attacked him as well. The two of them survived but were gravely injured and had to be airlifted down to Winnipeg. They awarded the man the Canadian Star of Courage for his bravery in saving the 30-year-old woman. Other attacks have been less injurious, but the town is built on the bear’s migratory path and in the middle of their territory so it’s a tenuous human-animal relationship.

The town follows a rigorous “Polar Bear Alert Program” where everyone is encouraged to call a phone number to report any bear seen near town or in town 24/7. It’s an emergency line and is staffed that way. Staff with go out to check on the bear and its location. Natural Resources Officers follow up as well. People use air horns, paint balls, rubber bullets, cracker shells, pepper spray, etc. when dealing with bears they encounter. But the best thing is to avoid them entirely. A polar bear is bigger than a human, faster than a human, and unlike a black bear or grizzly, they will kill you not just maul you if they get you down on the ground.

I’ve never seen one in the wild although we plan on going to Churchill together. My husband has been there several times with his military career, so I was working with his hundreds of photos for my reference. We have six Churchill polar bears here in our Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg though. They’ve been brought here because they were either orphaned or had human-animal encounters and it was decided that they wouldn’t be able to fend for themselves in the wild. Polar bears don’t mature until they’re about four years old. If they lose their mothers before that they won’t survive.

SHAREE You tackle the tough topic of rape in such a careful and considerate way. What was the hardest part of including such a delicate topic in your story?

LAURIE  It was important to me to balance out Kira and Lukas’s story and bring them both full circle. My publisher, Anaiah Press, liked the fact that I did the reveal through Lukas’s point of view. I wanted it to be part of his own character growth and his spiritual growth. I think the reality is that most men who are married to or are going out with anyone who’s been the victim of a sexual assault, struggle with it and hurt deeply, and as a society we don’t pay enough attention to that aspect of how rape culture affects us.

When I was a police officer, I dealt with a horrendous case of a woman who suffered a rape through a home invasion. Her husband was away on a business trip and her teenage son was tied up and gagged before her assailant trashed the house and then violently attacked her. And her biggest fear was how her husband would react to her being raped—that he would now reject her.

She wasn’t the only sexual assault victim I dealt with and that was a common theme. So, when I made this Kira’s deep secret I knew her shame of not being perfect for Lukas anymore would tie in just right with him needing to learn that his shallow, materialistic view of life as a rich kid wasn’t what God wanted from him either.

My goal in writing this story was to write a high-action suspense story with a good love story. But I also wanted to write about an issue that many women share and to say: “God’s got you. You are safe now. If this happened to you, it wasn’t your fault.”

SHAREE  Will we see Kira, Sophie and Lukas in book two?

LAURIE  Book 2 is the story of Ben Koper, who’s mauled by the polar bear and he and Lukas are best friends, so I think they’ll make an appearance. I’m not sure how much will remain in the book once final edits are done, so I can’t promise anything!

SHAREE Tell us about book two and when does it release?

LAURIE I don’t want to give out too many spoilers, but Ben has to deal with PTSD after his attack and the uncertainty of whether he will be able to recover and use his right arm again. His life revolves around being a police officer, and he doesn’t want to do anything else. His past will catch up to him as well. When it will release, I have no idea but I’m hoping next year!

SHAREE I loved the way you addressed Kira’s uncertainty about how to treat and talk to Sophie. I have an adult niece who has Down Syndrome, so this was a touching part of your story for me as well. What advice would you give to someone meeting a child with Down’s versus meeting an adult with Down’s?

LAURIE Whenever you meet anyone with a disability, I’d say the best thing to do is look them in the eye, smile at them, and talk to them directly. Don’t raise your voice as if they’re deaf (you’d be amazed at how often people do that!) and don’t talk down to them. A child with Down’s is just that—a child—so speak to them as a child. When you meet an adult with Down’s then introduce yourself by first name and ask them what their name is… you’ll be able to tell by how they respond to you verbally how well they can speak, but that won’t tell you anything about them cognitively.

My son and daughter both have Down Syndrome. And they speak much less than they can understand. We don’t “discuss” important things around them because they have the memories of elephants! But if you judged them on how they put a five word sentence together, you’d never know that they can memorize twelve months of birthdays, travel vacations, and Mom’s weekend retreats!

 

LAURIE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE TODAY!!!

Thank you so much for having me, Sharee! It’s been wonderful visiting your blog.

 

Friends, don’t delay! Get your copy of Northern Deception!

About the Author:

Laurie Wood is a military wife who’s lived across Canada and visited six of its ten provinces. She and her husband have raised two wonderful children with Down Syndrome to adulthood, and their son and daughter are a wonderful blessing to their lives. Over the years, Laurie’s books have finaled in prestigious contests such as the Daphne du Maurier (twice), the TARA, the Jasmine, and the Genesis. Her family lives in central Canada with a menagerie of rescue dogs and cats. If the house were bigger, no doubt they’d have more.

Website:  https://www.lauriewoodauthor.com

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

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LaurieJeanWood