Tag Archives: interviews

Guest Post and Interview

I’ve had a couple of recent opportunities to visit other sites recently. If you visit, be sure to check out the other posts. Who knows what you might find that you’ll like?

 

I used to post monthly at InScribe Writers Online, and it was fun to go back for a guest post to talk about what opportunities I see for serving God in my writing. Here’s the link: My Corner of the Vineyard.

Because I have a short story in one of Kathy Ide’s Fiction Lovers Devotionals (in 21 Days of Love), she interviewed me on her website. What are some treasured moments to do with writing? What Bible story do I wish had a different ending? Here’s the link: Treasured Moments.

 

Win a Print Copy of Without Proof

This week there are two chances to win a print copy of Without Proof:

At Thinking Thoughts: New Novel News (ends Nov 23)

and at A Christian Writer’s World (ends Nov. 28)

Don’t need a copy of the book? Stop by and check out the interviews. Some of the questions made me think!

Without Proof available for print and in multiple ebook formats.

Meet Frank Warkentin

Imagine yourself in 1940. We’ll visit a farm in Saskatchewan, Canada, to meet Frank Warkentin, a young man who’s a central character in Elma Schemenauer’s new novel, Consider the Sunflowers.

Janet: It’s good to meet you, Frank. I know you’ve been in Elma’s heart for a long time. Since we can’t actually see you, how about you describe yourself?

Frank: You know that new movie Gone with the Wind? I look like the leading man, Clark Gable. Actually I’m joking. I’m taller, darker, and handsomer than Gable. I think so anyway.

Janet: Sounds like Mr. Gable has some competition! You’re not very old, but you’ve already picked up a variety of work experience. What are some of the highlights?

Frank: I’m twenty-seven. I’ve been a farmhand, logger, dishwasher, guitar-player, manure-shoveller—you name it. I travelled around a lot during the 1930s, going wherever there might be work. Jobs were hard to find.

Janet: And now you’re running the family farm. How did that happen?

Frank: My dad and stepmother moved to Alberta and left me the place, along with the equipment and livestock. Tractor, plough, one-way disk seeder, hayrack, closed-in sleigh, horses, cattle, pigs, chickens.

Janet: That sounds like a heap of responsibility. You’ve endured a lot of small-town gossip and prejudice over the years because of your heritage. Are you staying on the farm now to prove those people wrong, or do you really want to settle down? Or are you waiting for an opportunity to get away?

Frank: My dad is a Dutch-German Mennonite. He married a Gypsy in the Old Country, Russia. A match like that was unheard of. Even now, with my mother gone for years, people can’t forget I’m the product of that mixed marriage. They don’t expect me to settle down like a regular Mennonite. I want to prove them wrong.

Janet: The municipality of Coyote has a large Mennonite component, but there are other ethnic groups as well. Your Norwegian friends, and the Chinese man who operates the restaurant. Does everyone stick to their own group, or is there a sense of blended community?

Frank: People cooperate and help each other in these little prairie communities. They’ve got to. Life can be hard. At the same time, folks always keep in mind who’s inside and who’s outside their own group. I don’t fit into any of them, but I’m more comfortable with the non-Mennonites. They don’t carry all that Russian baggage.

Janet: As well as your friends, I hear there’s a certain young lady—or maybe two—who you’ve been spending time with. How did you meet Tina?

Frank: I met Tina on the train platform in town, west of here. She’s from this area but she works for her relatives in Vancouver. She’s got a good job. I’m proud of her.

Janet: Is she “the one”?

Frank: I’m not actually looking for “the one.” If I was, Tina would be a prime candidate, though her parents wouldn’t be in favour of us getting hitched. They want her to marry Roland Fast. He’s a jerk in my opinion.

Janet: Maybe she’d be better off with you, then, Mr. Gable lookalike 🙂 Tell us something you appreciate about where you live.

Frank: I like the freedom. I enjoy seeing the whole sky and the whole horizon, and being my own boss on this farm.

Janet: The newspapers talk about war with Germany. Would you join the fighting, or do you share your father’s Mennonite values? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand you’re not a man of faith.

Frank: Hitler has got to be stopped. I’d join the army if I got my call-up; I wouldn’t make excuses. On the other hand, I’m already helping the war effort by raising food to send to the Allies overseas. Whether I’m a man of faith or not… probably not. I don’t attend church much. Too many hypocrites. At the same time, I’ve got my principles. I know what’s right and I try to do it.

Janet: What’s your biggest challenge right now?

Frank: Doing a good job on this farm. I owe my dad that. And I owe it to myself.

Janet: What do you like to do to recharge?

Frank: I play my guitar. And I go fishing with my Norwegian bachelor friends.

Janet: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve ever done?

Frank: Let Dorrie Harms talk me into taking her to the Mennonite Church. As I said, I’m not really a churchgoer, but Dorrie’s a little blonde charmer. I relax more with her than with Tina.

Janet: Cake or Pie? Coffee or tea?

Frank: Lemon meringue pie with real coffee. Some Mennonites drink prips. It’s made of roasted barley and stuff, a poor substitute for coffee.

Janet: Is there anything you’d like to say to Elma, your writer?

Frank: Tell Elma she can’t control me. I’ll run my life my own way, though I appreciate her concern for my eternal soul.

Janet: Thanks for taking time to chat, Frank. I’m sure the farm doesn’t leave you with a lot of free time. Your life hasn’t been easy, and I don’t think that will change. But I believe you have what it takes to overcome the struggles. And maybe there are more people on your side than you realize. God might be, too, if you’d let Him.

===

Author Elma Schemenauer

Author Elma Schemenauer

Elma Schemenauer was born in a Saskatchewan community like the fictional municipality of Coyote. “As I grew up,” she says, “I sank deep roots into prairie life and the traditions of my extended Mennonite family.” After teaching for several years, Elma fulfilled a lifelong dream by moved into a publishing career in Toronto. She’s the author of many books including Yesterstories, Russia, Jacob Siemens Family Since 1685, Ottawa, and Hello Winnipeg. In 2006 she and her husband relocated to Kamloops, British Columbia. There she writes, blogs, and takes walks on grassy hillsides that remind her of her prairie roots.

Consider the Sunflowers, by Elma SchemenauerConsider the Sunflowers paints a colourful, often humorous picture of family life on the Canadian home front during World War II and beyond. As the story begins, it’s 1940 and Tina Janz doesn’t want to marry the man her pious Mennonite parents have chosen for her. He’s as boring as turnips compared with the dashing half-Gypsy Frank Warkentin. Obsessed with Frank, Tina leaves her job in Vancouver to marry him. However, her joy pales in the face of loneliness on Frank’s farm in the prairie community of Coyote, Saskatchewan.

When Frank shuns local Mennonites because some of them scorn his mixed parentage, Tina feels torn between her Mennonite heritage and her husband. Their son’s death drives the couple farther apart. Then Tina’s former Vancouver boyfriend shows up, setting off a series of events that send her and Frank stumbling toward a new understanding of love, loyalty, faith, and freedom.

Paperback 299 pages $19.95, ISBN 978-0-88887-575-4, available from the publisher, Borealis Press. Also available online at Chapters Indigo by about November 15. E-book coming in 2015. For more information, please visit elmams.wix.com/sflwrs.

SPECIFICATIONS
Paperback 5½” x 8½”, 306 pages
ISBN 978-0-88887-575-4, $19.95
Ebook ISBN 978-0-88887-576-1

ORDER FROM
Borealis Press
8 Mohawk Crescent, Nepean (Ottawa), Ontario, Canada, K2H 7G6
Telephone: (613) 829-0150
Facsimile: (613) 829-7783
Toll Free: (877) 696-2585
Web site: www.borealispress.com/
E-mail: drt@borealispress.com

Character interview: Daisy Turner

Susan Fish is a Canadian author and editor as well as the principal of Storywell, an online resource for writers. Her new novel, Ithaca, releases October 1, 2014.

Susan Fish

Susan Fish

Today I’m chatting with Daisy Turner, the main character of Ithaca.

Janet: Welcome, Daisy, and thanks for taking time to join us. First, let me offer my sympathy for your loss. Would you care to tell us a little about yourself, and about Arthur, too? You were married a long time, and you’re bound to have shaped each other along the way.

Daisy: Thank you, Janet. I appreciate your sympathy. My husband, who died in May, was a geology professor at Cornell University. I was his right-hand man. Right-hand woman, I should say. I typed his papers for him and, as much as it isn’t fashionable to say this, I was very happy being Arthur’s wife and Nick’s mother, and running our household.

Janet: What do you miss most about him?

Daisy: Oh goodness, my answer to that would probably be different every day. What surprised me was that it’s the little things more than the big things, the things only I would know about him.

Janet: Shh… is there anything that’s easier about living alone again?

Daisy: This is actually the first time I’ve ever lived alone. I was very young when I married. I’m not sure easier is the word I would use, generally. Arthur had a heart condition and we had to adopt a low-sodium diet. It is nice to be able to season my food again.

Janet: Your son is working overseas, correct? Do you think you might visit him at some point?

Daisy: My son works in Singapore. We visited him a couple of years ago. I always keep a small rock in my pocket, a rock I picked up on a beach in Singapore. It helps me feel that he isn’t so far away. I imagine I will visit him again at some time, but he’s been good about coming home too.

Janet: I love that idea of the pocket-rock for connection! So much of your life revolved around Arthur’s schedule. I see you’ve kept the weekly Wednesday soup nights. How did those start? And do you find comfort in keeping up the tradition?

Daisy: I don’t think the people who come to Wednesday nights would let me stop even if I wanted to! But I don’t want to stop. It’s been part of my life almost since we moved to Ithaca. Initially it was just Arthur’s grad students who came to dinner, and soup was the easiest thing to make—because it stretches to accommodate an extra person or two. After a few years, it became a standing date.

Janet: Do you create your own recipes? And are you a local food cook, or does that matter to you?

Daisy: I cook for a large crowd so I have to adapt but I usually start with a recipe. Over time, it becomes my own. We have a vibrant farmer’s market in Ithaca and that’s where I get most of the food for my soups. All the vendors there come from a small radius around the town, so I suppose yes, I do cook local foods.

Janet: I confess I hadn’t heard of Ithaca before. It sounds like a charming university town, and I’d love to see the waterfalls. Please tell us about your home. What do you like best about where you live?

Daisy: I’m from the South originally but Ithaca has been my home since the early ’70s. I think I’d have to say—and I’ve never really thought about this before exactly—that there are two things I like most about Ithaca, and they aren’t that different from each other. One is the waterfalls and the other is the students. In both cases, what I love is the liveliness, the sense of movement. We have dozens of waterfalls in our area and I’m fond of all of them. You really should visit, and this time of year is a beautiful one with all the leaves in color. We aren’t a big city but Ithaca is home to Cornell, where my husband taught, and Ithaca College. Having the students around brings a freshness to our town; I always look forward to the end of summer when the students come back.

Janet: One of your friends keeps bees. Are you learning a few things about helping with them?

Daisy: I used to think bees were just a menace—other than the honey. Our friend Henry invited me to help him harvest honey recently, and it was fascinating to watch the process. I think we could learn a lot from bees. I’ll tell you one thing: bees eat honey but they don’t live long enough to eat the honey made from the nectar they collect. They have to depend on those who came before them, and they leave food for those who come behind them,

Janet: There’s a life lesson for humans in the bees’ pattern, I think! And there’s a new word in your vocabulary these days: fracking. I’m hearing more about that here in Nova Scotia, too. Do you think you’ll be able to figure out what it’s all about? It’s hard to know whose information to trust.

Daisy: I decided to take a course at the university to understand more about fracking. And yes, there are a wide variety of opinions on fracking—all of them quite strong too.  There’s a lot of excitement about being able to retrieve little pockets of gas from the shale, but I do worry that they are acting first and thinking afterward. That’s not the way to mess with things, if you ask me.

Janet: Your story isn’t particularly about faith, but you’ve recently returned to church. You’re even a Sunday School teacher now. Is there anything you’d like to share about what brought you back, or what difference faith makes in your life?

Daisy: I did come back to church. My son had moved to Singapore not long before the tsunami hit in south-east Asia. Singapore was not directly affected and my son was safe, but it unsettled me and it made me aware of how small I was and I needed something, Someone, who was bigger than a tsunami. I do teach Sunday School, and Father Jim comes to Wednesday nights, and I have a good friend who also came back to church with me. I feel like there’s solid rock under my feet now.

Janet: I find comfort in knowing there’s Someone bigger than me, too. Coffee or tea? And what’s your favourite season?

Daisy: Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon. Goodness, my favorite season… how can I choose? I don’t think I can pick one.

Janet: If you could do anything at all—travel, try something new, whatever—what might it be?

Daisy: I feel that that is exactly the question I am asking of myself these days. I don’t know the answer. There’s a lot that is new in my life, my new life without Arthur. I’ve had a nice, settled life until the last few months—and now I need to figure out what comes next.

Janet: Susan Fish is a fine person to write your story. Is there anything you’d like to say to her?

Daisy: She keeps asking me for my soup recipes. I was a bit surprised when she wanted to tell my story but she says she’s interested in grief and food and the power of community and sharing food, and I suppose my story really is about all these things, isn’t it? I would like to thank her for writing my story.

Janet: Daisy, I’m glad you joined us today, and I’m looking forward to getting to know you better as I read your story. I trust there are good surprises in store for you.

===

Ithaca, by Susan FishFor 39 years, Daisy Turner has been a professor’s wife, typing his notes and helping out. The centerpiece of her life is a weekly community dinner she hosts—one that always features soup. When her husband drops dead, Daisy has nothing to hold onto except, perhaps, the soup. Then, suddenly, Daisy finds herself entangled with a man whose wife is disabled, mothering a young activist-farmer, and swept into the controversy about fracking that has begun to concern their small Ivy League town.

Ithaca explores what happens when a quiet, almost sedimentary life meets the high-pressure forces of a small town. How do you rebuild after life as you know it is suddenly turned upside down—or is fracked?

Want to win a copy of Ithaca on Goodreads? Enter the giveaway before October 1, 2014.

Ithaca can be pre-ordered on Amazon or through your local bookstore. Book club members, this would be a great story for you to read together.

Susan Fish is a writer and editor (storywell.ca) in Waterloo, ON Canada. She loves to cook, walk her dog, and spend time with her husband and three kids. You can find Susan at her blog, Susan Fish Writes, and at Storywell.

Interview: Heaven’s Prey

Heaven’s Prey has been out for nearly a year now. I’ve done interviews, character interviews, guest posts, and they’ve been fun. Here’s an idea I learned from Australian author Paula Vince, from the blog tour for her novel, Imogen’s Chance.

cover art: Heaven's Prey by Janet SketchleyIt’s the readers’ turn to ask the questions.

If you’ve read Heaven’s Prey, what would you ask the characters? Ruth, Harry, Tony? Ruth’s pastor? Susan? Or for me, although my imaginary friends may have more to talk about.

Ask your questions in the comments, and I’ll assemble them into an interview to post closer to the anniversary date (November 1… which is also the release date for Secrets and Lies… cover reveal coming soon)

 

Interview: Meet Imogen Browne

Imogen Browne is the main character in the novel Imogen’s Chance, by Paula Vince.

Paula Vince photo

Paula Vince, author of Imogen’s Chance

Janet: Welcome, Imogen. I’m looking forward to chatting with one of the voices in someone else’s head for a change. Please tell us the basics about yourself: age, employment, educational background, the usual “stuff” that helps us place one another in the world.

Imogen: I’m 24 years old. Until recently, I’ve lived at home in New York City with my family. My father is a paediatrician and both he and my mother are missionaries. My older brother, Scotty, is following in their footsteps. They’ve been very busy, helping to set up medical facilities in underprivileged areas of the world. One of their favourite spots has been way up in Australia’s Northern Territory. Don’t ask me what it was like though, because I didn’t go with them.

We’ve never had a typical family unit because there has been a steady stream of foster kids through our home ever since I’ve been old enough to remember. That’s been interesting. Not always good, because some of those kids have been pretty rough and mean to me. There’s never been a dull moment.

Since leaving school, I’ve done a bit of retail and secretarial work, as well as house cleaning. Nothing as noteworthy as the rest of my family, though. My parents and older brother are all very high achievers.

Janet: You live in Australia, right? Could you introduce us to your part of the country? What do you love about it? Anything you’d rather change?

Imogen: Australia isn’t my native home. I’ve just returned recently, to touch base with the Dorazio family, who I knew when I was younger. They live in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia. It’s surely one of the world’s prettiest spots. Everybody should visit, if they possibly can. I find the climate pleasant, even in the winter, which the locals think is freezing cold. I can’t help laughing when they say that. If only they could experience a Northern Hemisphere winter.

There are all sorts of colourful birds and quaint wild animals here, such as koalas, kangaroos, bilbies and echidnas. You have to see them to believe them. There are clear, aquamarine skies, green trees all year round, vibrant, crystal-clear oceans – although I don’t like to think about the ocean. Especially after what happened during my last visit to Australia.

Janet: Sounds like there’s a painful story in that answer. I hope this visit goes better and you find a way to enjoy the ocean again. I’d love to visit Australia some day. If Paula gave you airline tickets anywhere in the world, where would you go? And why?

Imogen: I’d love to explore the rest of Australia, just to see the sights my parents and brother have seen. I’d go further north to see the deserts and tropics. And I’d explore each of the capital cities on the eastern coast. They only difference is, I would go for fun rather than to work. I feel a little guilty saying that. I was brought up to please and serve other people before thinking of myself. If my answer comes across as selfish or thoughtless, please forgive me.

Janet: It sounds like there’s been pain in your past, but you’re not going to let it define your future. Would you tell us about this chance you have to make a difference? And did it come to you, or did you have to pursue it?

Imogen: To be honest, I can’t help fearing I’m on a fool’s errand. My parents certainly think I am. Here’s the story. I thought I was going to die in hospital, but it turns out I had appendicitis. While I was in pain, I promised God that if only the agony would stop, I would return and try to make up to the Dorazio family for some things I did. Well, guess what? The pain stopped, so here I am.

The things I did were accidents, but the Dorazios suffered because of me, so I should try to make up for it. It seems the right thing to do. I’ve made my own opportunity. I bought the airline ticket and came to Australia, but now I’m feeling a bit deflated and very nervous.

Janet: It takes a lot of courage to do what you’re doing. Do you think this will work out? What – or who – might wreck it all?

Imogen: Well, I was really hoping Asher wouldn’t be around anymore. He’s the Dorazios’ youngest son. I heard he’d got a really good job. I was hoping he would have moved far away by now, because he’s the hardest one to face. No such luck, though. He’s still here, and he’s grown really good looking. I don’t know why I even mentioned that, because it has nothing to do with anything.

Well, perhaps it does. When we were little, he never used to be intimidating, but now he is. If he knew the extent of the damage I caused, I hate to think what he’d say and do. Let me put it this way. He’d have a right to be really angry with me.

Janet: And what happens if it all falls apart? If you can’t fix everything?

Imogen: I guess I’ll just have to fly back home to America with my tail between my legs. That is, if Asher leaves me standing, when he finds out what I’ve done. I know he has a temper.

Janet: Forgiveness sounds like it’s an important theme in your life right now, and maybe loyalty too. What do those words mean to you?

Imogen: The word ‘forgiveness’ actually makes me tear up a bit. It’s such a loaded word. I forgave somebody for something he did to me, but I don’t think I forgave him soon enough. If only I’d forgiven him on the spot, things might have been far different. I’d tell anybody to be quick to forgive. Having said that though, I can’t imagine Asher, or any of the others, being willing to forgive me, if they learn the full story. I wouldn’t expect them to. Perhaps it’s because I’ve let so much time lapse before deciding to do something, even though there’s not much I can do. If anybody could talk them into forgiving me, I’d be extremely grateful (and very surprised too).

As for loyalty, I guess Asher would be the one to ask about that. I don’t know what he’d tell you, though. He probably thinks that his big act of loyalty created a huge mess. I can’t talk to him about it, though, because then he’d find out the full story about me. It’s all so mixed up.

Janet: And what would you say to people keeping family secrets?

Imogen: I’d be the first to say that being open and honest is the best way to behave. It’s easier to treat an open wound than one which has been covered up and left to fester. As it is, I have to creep around the Dorazio family, keeping my mouth shut, because I’m just not sure what each individual knows about the whole mess.

Now I’m beginning to wonder whether I’ve said too much in this interview. I’d better keep quiet. I don’t want to hurt anybody by dredging it all up.

Janet: Is faith a part of your life?

Imogen: I really want it to be. I mean, I guess it is. I was brought up in a strong Christian household. My parents did their best to help us become fine, godly children. It’s just that it seems to have ‘taken’ for my brother, Scotty, while I’m not so sure about me.

I’m trying to be faithful, but I don’t really know what God’s leading looks like. I believe I’m keeping a promise to Him by coming here to Australia, but I wish there was some way I could know for sure that it’s not just my imagination.

Janet: Maybe you’ll find confirmation as you spend time with the Dorazios. When you were growing up, your parents probably told you the story of the Israelites crossing the Jordan. The priests had to go and stand in the raging river before God stopped the water. It sounds to me like you’re standing in some pretty tumultuous waters right now, and I think God will honour that step of faith. Is there a particular song or Scripture verse that’s made a big difference for you?

Imogen: I’m clinging to Jeremiah 29:11, ‘I know the plans I have for you, to give you a future and a hope.’ I just wish I knew for certain whether coming back here might be part of His plan, and not just my own.

Janet: We all struggle with that one at times. What’s your favourite season? What’s that like in Australia?

Imogen: Summer has always been my favourite season, because it reminds me of long holidays, swimming and soaking up the sun. Here in Australia, it tends to get incredibly hot. Their heatwaves make the mercury soar for weeks. It’s a clear heat which blasts down on you, if you don’t wear a hat.

Janet: What do you like to do to recharge?

Imogen: I like to relax with engrossing books, or take long walks. I also appreciate good talks with friends, although with the people around here, I’m not sure what I ought to say.

Janet: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Imogen: I’m really beginning to think it must be coming back here thinking I can make amends for what happened. It was a reckless decision without any forethought. But here I am, so I have to make the best of it.

Janet: I hope everything works out for you, Imogen. Thanks for visiting us today. 

===

Imogen’s Chance released April 1, 2014 from Even Before Publishing and is available worldwide through the Amazon online network in print and ebook formats.

Imogen's Chance, by Paula VinceShe has given herself a chance to fix her personal history. But will old mistakes bring up new emotions?

Imogen Browne longs to make up for past mistakes before she can move on. She quietly resolves to help the Dorazio family, whose lives she accidentally upset. Her biggest challenge is Asher, the one person who may never forgive her. And he is facing a crisis of his own. Imogen must tread very carefully, as trying to fix things may well make them shatter.

A sensitive story about misplaced loyalty, celebrating life and falling in love. Can family secrets concealed with the best intentions bear the light of day?

Come back on Monday to read my review of Imogen’s Chance.

Interview: Valerie Comer, Farm Lit author

Valerie ComerValerie Comer is a Canadian author with a passion for local food, faith, and fiction. We’re talking today about her new novel, Wild Mint Tea, and also about healthy eating.

Janet: Welcome back, Valerie, and congratulations on the release of your new novel. The Farm Fresh Romance series features three friends: Jo, Claire and Sierra. This is Claire’s story, right? What do we need to know about her?

Valerie: Thanks for having me back, Janet! Yes, this is Claire’s story. She’s a chef who specializes in local foods and who’s grounded in Green Acres, the farm she bought with her two friends. All her life she’s moved from one place to the next, and she’s so done with it. If she never leaves her new community of Galena Landing, Idaho, again, it will be too soon.

Janet: And Noel, the hero, has an entirely different plan for his life, right?

Valerie: So true. Noel believes the whole world is there for him to explore. It’s why he loves owning a reforestation company. He gets to move around the Pacific Northwest all summer and play hard in the tropics all winter.

Janet: Sounds like they’ll have some obstacles to overcome, but the journey will be worth it. Thinking of Claire’s work as a local-foods chef, I suspect she’s good at adapting recipes. Is that something you do, yourself?

Valerie: I hate to admit it, but I rarely prepare a recipe (at least a savoury one) exactly how I found it. There’s usually some ingredient I don’t have but can substitute for, etc. I think it comes from living on the farm and growing a garden, as there’s always an abundance of some foods and a dearth of others. For one thing, did you know that green beans and asparagus are interchangeable in most recipes? Try it!

Janet: Ooh. I like asparagus! Do you share recipes on your website, or in your author newsletter?

Valerie: I do share recipes on my blog from time to time. Here’s the recipe for Honey-Mustard Potato Salad that I attribute to Noel in Wild Mint Tea. This is entirely my own concoction, and a sweetly pleasing upgrade to the typical potato salad. One day soon it will be summer and I can justify making it again!

Janet: I’ll have to give that one a try myself. Love a good potato salad. We’re tea drinkers in my house, and the word “tea” in Wild Mint Tea caught my eye. Is there a specific connection with the story?

Valerie: There definitely is a connection, one I was able to bring into the story on several levels, including the drink of choice for the characters throughout the tale. Also, mint is a persistent plant. When the conditions are right, it flourishes and is difficult to uproot. Sort of like love.

Janet: That’s a great illustration for love, and I liked how you threaded it through the story. One of the nice things for readers about a series is that we can reconnect with the friends we made in the previous book. I’m looking forward to an update on Jo, Zach and Domino, the Border collie. Has much time passed since the events in Raspberries and Vinegar?

Valerie: There’s 6-7 months between the end of Raspberries and Vinegar and the beginning of Wild Mint Tea. I hadn’t planned for each story to be a March-July tale but, when I figured out the storyline for the second book heralded the beginning of tree-planting season, my hands were tied. When writing stories set in farming and forestry, the season is pre-set and part of the plot.

Janet: You’re also working on another project… something to do with snowflakes, while the rest of us look forward to warmer days?

Valerie: Yes! Snowflake Tiara contains a fun pair of Christmas novellas that will release in one volume this September. My good friend Angela Breidenbach has written a historical tale while mine is contemporary, and both center around the (fictional) Miss Snowflake Pageant in Helena, Montana. Some readers have told me that a story about pageantry seems far removed from my typical farm lit tales, but I found a way to connect them strongly together.

Janet: Sounds fun! This isn’t your first collaboration, either. Are you finding it different from working on Rainbow’s End?

Valerie: Yes and no. Four authors worked together on Rainbow’s End, so there was more input on how things worked—both a positive and a negative. In Snowflake Tiara, Angie and I have only each other to consult, and we’ve made one visit to Helena together, which was a big help. Also, this novella is twice as long at 40,000 words than the one in Rainbow’s End. However, in both cases, I’ve loved the sense of a bigger story and world than I’d imagined myself.

Janet: Let’s get back to Wild Mint Tea. It’s light romance, like Raspberries and Vinegar, but is there an idea or bit of information you’d like readers to take away?

Valerie: There are several themes in the story that are best uncovered in context, but one take away I can mention today is my desire for people to think about where their food comes from. In the context of Wild Mint Tea, some discussions involve using all the parts of an animal and not simply living off chicken breasts… and should it matter to the average person?

Janet: Your covers for the Farm Fresh Romance series are a different style—one might say fresh if you’ll forgive the pun—and I’ve seen a few like them but not many. For me, they work really well to set the books apart as one of the “lit” genres (in this case Farm Lit) as opposed to traditional romance. What prompted you to go for a visible difference?

Valerie: My daughter was my biggest prompter, as she’s the illustrator who created both covers. I think her style suits the genre of the stories, like you said. I’m thankful that my publisher was willing to take a chance on a slightly different cover style because they catch a lot of attention, almost all of it positive.

Janet: There’s another Farm Fresh Romance in the works, right?

Valerie: There is! I’m currently working on the final story of the three young women who bought a farm together. This one is called Sweetened with Honey and is set about two years after the end of Wild Mint Tea. Readers will get to see Green Acres Farm as a more established event destination and enjoy seeing Sierra, the resident naturopath, take on beekeeping as well as romance.

Janet: Sounds good! Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

Valerie: I have so much advice, I don’t even know where to begin! I’ve written for 12 years now and discovered I do things differently than most other writers (surprise…). I’ve created a free course providing an overview of the fiction-writing process over at towriteastory.com. I want to help newer writers understand what writing fiction entails and what some of the paths are that they might take. I invite your readers to check it out!

Janet: I second that suggestion. I signed up for those emails, myself. Now, we’ve met Valerie the writer, but there’s plenty more that fills your days. Tell us a bit about Valerie the private citizen.

Valerie: Busy. I stopped working an outside job over a year ago, but so much has flooded in to take that empty time. I’m doing some freelance work online as well as writing fulltime. In the summer, I add gardening and food preservation to the mix. No matter what, I always find time to enjoy my three little granddaughters! I love hanging out with them, reading, doing puzzles, or jumping on the trampoline.

Janet: I’ll bet they love to come to visit! Tell us something you appreciate about where you live.

Valerie: My husband and I own a small farm in south-eastern BC, Canada. I love rural living and I love having the mountains around me. I truly believe I live in one of the most beautiful spots on the planet. So blessed.

Janet: I have to ask, since I know local food is important to you: is there something special food-wise that you’ll buy even though it has to be shipped in?

Valerie: Definitely. Like many Canadians and Americans, we like our coffee and chocolate, to name two biggies. However, we try to eat (and drink!) organic not only for the sake of our bodies but also for the sake of the environment and the workers who labor in the fields. Buying organic and fair trade helps protect those workers and our planet.

Janet: I confess to buying Mexican raspberries in the winter. Because of shipping, they’re not as good as locally-sourced ones, but those are strictly a summer treat. Thanks for visiting today, and all the best in the year ahead!

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Wild Mint Tea by Valerie Comer

She’s rooted deep. He flies free.

Local-foods chef Claire Halford envisions turning Green Acres Farm into an event destination. Weddings prove trickier than she imagined when the first one comes with a ruggedly handsome brother-of-the-bride, who has everything but a fixed address. Oh, and faith in God.

Noel Kenzie loves the freedom his reforestation company affords him. Why worry about deep stuff like God and commitment when he’s in his prime? Except there’s a woman who might make it worth giving up his wings…and digging in some roots. If he dares.

Click the cover to visit Valerie’s site and read a sample chapter of Wild Mint Tea.

Meet Author D. M. Webb

D. M. WebbWriting as D. M. Webb, Daphne Self is the author of the novel Mississippi Nights and the devotional book 30 Days: A Devotional Memoir.

Janet: Welcome, Daphne. I see from your blog that you’re a homeschooling mom with a lengthy to-do list and a love of travel. Scotland and Florence, Italy… what puts those diverse locations at the top of your overseas wish list?

Daphne: Thanks for having me here, Janet. It’s an honor. To answer the question, Scotland because my ancestors, the McGregors, came from Scotland. I want to travel from Oban, Scotland and across the hills to Loch Katrine. The history of the McGregors is full and rich, and I think it’s cool to have ancestors that fled the oppression during the mid 1700’s to come to America. As for Florence, Italy, I want to see the art, museums, experience the romance of Florence. Plus, I just love that name!

Janet: Oban—you just reminded me of one of my favourite Celtic songs, The Dark Island. It has the line “as the steamer leaves Oban and passes Tiree.” Yes, Scottish heritage is rich and gives lots of scope for writers 🙂  And there’d definitely be lots of atmosphere and culture in Florence. I hope you can visit both places one day. From a wish for the future to a look at the past: what got you started writing?

Daphne: I honestly couldn’t remember. Ever since I was a small child, I always wrote things. Just recently I found a small play that was written when I was about 8 or 9. Horrible, but pretty good for my age, though. I always made up worlds and stories to tell my sister and small cousins. Fanciful tales of unicorns, goblins, kings, queens, and knights. I don’t think I ever stopped writing. I always read, so in time the love of reading a good novel meshed into the desire to write one.

Janet: I understand your new devotional, 30 Days: A Devotional Memoir, comes out of personal experience and a desire to minister to others who may be struggling through a hard spot in life. Will you tell us a bit more about it, please?

Daphne: 30 Days was hard, but yet, easy to write. Hard because I was sharing some of the most private parts of my emotions and laying my sins out there to see. In 30 Days, I express through true stories the hardships of being a widow and single mother, and how at times I wanted to give up. What was the point? I had no help, not even from the church; I gave up my food at dinner so my kids could eat because we usually had nothing but a little bit; I cried and cried so many nights, hoping and praying for someone to help me, to not only alleviate my hurting, but to comfort me, to encourage me… but there was no one. So I thought… I eventually realized that God was there all the time, I just had to look for Him and reach out to Him. There was no magical solution, but through prayer and studying of His word, I learned to lean completely onto God for everything. 30 Days is a candid look at the temptations, trials, and emotions that anyone who suffers from divorce, widowhood, and/or single parenting and how faith in God helps someone through it all.

Janet: The Bible encourages us to comfort others with the comfort we’ve received ourselves. I pray 30 Days will get into the hands of those who need it most. If you could tell readers one key thing you’ve learned from your spiritual journey to date, what would it be?

Daphne: To always, no matter how small my faith had become, no matter if it’s smaller than a mustard seed, I am to keep my eyes on Him. No money, no food, no job, etc… keep my eyes on Him. Jesus will always see me through.

Janet: That’s something we all need to take to heart, whatever our struggles. Now, you also blog at Rebel Book Reviews. Is there a story in that title? And what kinds of books do you most enjoy?

Daphne: I chose rebel for two reasons: 1) I’m a southerner (even if I am trying to move north) and Southerners are proud to be known as rebels. 2) I buck against a society that tries to control people and against stifling rules that hinder freedom. So, I blog about those books and those writers I find that are inspiring, and sometimes not as well-known, but they are free-thinkers. As for the kinds of books: well written books. My shelves are loaded with every genre imaginable.

Janet: You write fiction, non-fiction and reviews… do you have a favourite area of focus?

Daphne: Oh, fiction, most definitely. 30 Days was a book where I was pushed into writing. The nagging thought would not leave me until I had it compiled and sent into my publishers. But fiction is my greatest love when it comes to stories.

Janet: Tell us a bit about your novel.

Daphne: Mississippi Nights is a novel that was reborn from one that I had written when I was 14. Back then it was called One Big Happy Family. And in Mississippi Nights, it is a big, happy family who goes through a troubling time. The youngest son, David, comes back home 3 years after his fiancé dies. He and his brother, Jeremy, are still at odds and still resent each other. David blames Jeremy for Rebecca’s death; but, David also brings home a terrible secret–his addiction. The book tells the story about the two brothers and their ability to overcome resentment and hate, and to bond together to help each other. And how David’s faith is reborn through it all. Of course, there’s a little love story thrown in there. Maggie, the preacher’s daughter, is the perfect person to cool the hot emotions that burn David. The town is fictional, but the places mentioned in the book are real. The setting is true Southern life and the love of family.

Janet: You have a wide range of life and job experience, and probably some research as well. What’s the most unusual item of trivia you’ve filed away for future writing?

Daphne: Minnehaha means “Little Laughing Waters”. I plan to use that in a future book. My character will be from Sioux Falls, SD and he would always wonder about that name until he meets a woman from Savannah, GA who is a walking encyclopedia.

Janet: Is there a particular song or Scripture verse that’s made a big difference for you?

Daphne: I use it in 30 Days: Mark 4:39 “and he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, ‘Peace, be still.’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”

Janet: Chocolate or vanilla?

Daphne: Chocolate… Dutch chocolate to be precise.

Janet: Precision in chocolate is important! Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

Daphne: Never give up, never surrender! I love that statement from Galaxy Quest, but it’s true. Never give up on writing. Never surrender to defeat. Trust God to lead you and never fear where that journey takes you.

Janet: Amen! What do you like to do to recharge?

Daphne: I watch BBC series, such as Dr. Who or Keeping Up Appearances, or maybe a little Star Trek or CSI (all three). Sometimes, it’s reading a book or playing the xBox games Disney Infinity or Plants vs. Zombie. Sometimes it’s board games (I’m addicted to Monopoly. I collect them.) It just depends.

Janet: Tell us something you appreciate about where you live.

Daphne: The lakes I live nearby. Sardis Lake and Enid Lake are just minutes away. It’s a good place to enjoy nature. I appreciate spring here, but not winter. Too wet! Plus, Mississippi is one of the freest states in the nation and it’s beautiful!

Janet: Thank you for taking time to join us today, Daphne. May the Lord bless you and your family, and bless many through your words.

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D.M. Webb's books

30 Days: A Devotional Memoir

Do you desire to no longer be alone? Do you yearn for understanding and hope? Do you wish for a closer walk with Jesus?

When a relationship ends, whether through divorce or death, it leaves us with heartache and sadness. Fear of loneliness overwhelms our soul. Anger at God consumes us. We are suddenly thrust into unknown territory, lost and bewildered.

30 Days brings you deeply moving stories to strengthen your walk and bring you closer to Christ. Author D.M. Webb shares her three year spiritual journey with a collection of thirty devotions designed to reach out and uplift those who have endured the turbulent emotions that come with divorce, widowhood, and single parenting.

Check out Daphne’s Rebel Book Reviews, and you can also find her at these links:

Website: www.dmwebb.com

Find 30 Days at: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Deeper Shopping. You can connect with Daphne through:

Twitter: @DaphMichele

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

Blog: www.dmwebb-writebyfaith.blogspot.com

 

Interview: Historical Author Janice L. Dick

Janice L. DickJanice L. Dick writes richly evocative historical novels about the Mennonite people in Russia during the first part of the 20th century – around the time of the revolution and Stalin’s regime. I loved her Storm Series, set in southern Russia in 1914. Janice agreed to chat with us today about her new novel, Other Side of the River.

Janet: Welcome, Janice, and thanks for taking time to join us. Congratulations on the publication of Other Side of the River! This novel is releasing differently from your previous series – in a series of bite-sized novellas. Will you tell us a little about that?

Janice: This was new to me as well. The idea is to divide a longer novel into installments that release every two or three weeks until all the parts are out, then release it as a complete book. So it’s not a serial but consecutive parts of the whole.

Janet: With the publishing world shifting as it is, this is the time for new approaches. Who knows where the innovators will take us? Readers like me have been waiting a long time since your Storm Series. As a writer, I know that your waiting was harder than ours. What helped you to persevere?

Janice: I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do than write. The stories were there, waiting to be written, to be read. As a Christian writer, I also felt a certain call on my life to write for the encouragement of others.

Janet: Tell us about Other Side of the River.

Janice: This book is based on a true story I read as I researched my other novels: how a group of Mennonites escaped Stalin’s ever-tightening regime into China in 1930. I built the story around that.

Janet: Do you start with characters or plot? What sparked this story?

Janice: In this case I began with the plot, then created characters to live it. As I said in the previous answer, I read about this event and it created such a sense of amazement at the perseverance and faith of these people under enormous pressure. The actual story is incredible and fairly well documented.

Janet: Do you have a favourite character in Other Side of the River?

Janice: Well, I like the two main characters, Luise and Daniel, but the Russian horse trader, Josiah Markowiscz (pronounced Markowits) is also a favourite. I admire his conscience, courage and loyalty.

Janet: What was the best part of the story to write?

Janice: In this story, the ending was the most exciting part for me to write. I wanted to stay true to the extraordinary facts and also weave in the lives of the characters in a way that would impact the entire story.

Janet: It sounds like the characters have quite the journey to reach the end. What’s the novel’s theme? Or what do you want readers to take away when they’re done?

Janice: As in my Storm Series, one of the main themes is the faithfulness of God in times of great trial. In River another take away is that life is not fair; it does not always turn out as we hope it will. We take what we get and, with God’s help, make the best of it. This life is a testing ground for the real life to come, which gives us hope and strength to carry on.

Janet: From reading Volume 1 of this story, I know that Luise embodies the attitude of making the best of things and looking on the bright side. She still struggles with the darkness affecting her loved ones, and her choices to stay positive encourage me to be careful with my own attitude. I’m glad to see you’re working on a sequel. Can you tell us anything about Far Side of the Sea without giving spoilers for Other Side of the River?

Janice: Sea begins fifteen years after the end of River, and it follows the life of a young man caught in the chaotic aftermath of World War II in northern China (Manchuria). A few years ago I met an elderly man who told me his story, and although I’ve used literary license quite freely, so much of the story colour comes from his fascinating memories. It’s extremely difficult to find accurate facts—or any facts—on China between the 1930s and the 1950s, so people are my most trusted resource.

Janet: And people’s conversation can bring up such interesting tidbits that you’d never find in a written history. Those are the little things that make the setting feel real. Can you think of any particular snippets of information you’ve gleaned this way?

Janice: My source gave me visual comparisons between places I have been and my historical setting. He told me about cultural aspects of that time and place that I couldn’t have found out otherwise because his was one of the few Mennonite families that stayed in China more than a couple of years. For example, I asked if their family ate Mennonite food or Chinese? He said mostly Mennonite, but there was always a bottle of soy sauce on the table as well.

Some of the questions he answered for me were: what did you wear, where did you get your clothes, what did you eat, what kind of transportation was used, how long did it take to ride from point A to point B, and the list goes on. I tried to create a believable story world from the answers he provided for me.

Janet: So many readers love Amish fiction, I think in part because of the peaceful, simpler approach to even the hard parts of life. What do you say about Mennonite fiction? Is there an overlap or are these two entirely different subgenres of Christian novels?

Janice: I don’t see a lot of comparison between the two subgenres. Most of the Amish fiction I’ve noticed has been primarily romance fiction with a buggy and bonnet. The Mennonite story is one of almost constant persecution and flight from those wishing to annihilate them. Because I am a romantic at heart, I can’t help but include that aspect of the lives of my characters, but my stories are much deeper than that. They involve severe testing of faith, adaptation to difficult situations, and the discovery of joy in the most unlikely places. We are a people who have moved often from place to place for survival, both physical and spiritual. One of the main reasons I started to write Mennonite fiction was to preserve the faith stories of my forefathers, because I believe they are worth passing on to my children and grandchildren. It’s part of who they are. And some people just need story to bring the point across!

Janet: Well said! Time to get to know you a little better. What’s something you love about where you live?

Janice: We have a lovely house on the farm with a large yard (translation: lots of work in summer, but I love the space and privacy). We’re also blessed with a wonderful family, a great circle of friends and a church family that gives us a sense of community.

Janet: What do you like to do to recharge?

Janice: I love reading most of all, but I also like to watch mysteries on TV—nothing too violent though. My husband and I sing in a community choir, so that involves weekly practices and four concerts a year. And we have been blessed with ten amazing grandchildren who recharge my heart while physically exhausting me (grandparents will understand this comment).

Janet: I understand it even without grandchildren! Again, congratulations on the new novel, Janice. May it bless many. And thank you for stopping by.

Janice: Thanks for this opportunity to talk about books and writing, Janet. God bless!

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Janice L. Dick began writing intentionally in 1989, then continued to learn through courses and conferences. In 2001 she began her first novel, followed by two sequels. These historical novels were released in 2002, 2003, and 2004, the first two winning first place in The Word Guild’s Canadian Christian Writing Awards. The third was shortlisted for the same award.

Besides one more completed historical novel and a sequel as yet unfinished, Janice has also written a contemporary cozy, book reviews, guest blogs, articles, short stories, devotionals, stories for children, and a bit of poetry.

You can find Janice at these places online (and please scroll down to read more about Other Side of the River):

Other Side of the River, by Janice L. Dick

The year is 1926, the Russian Revolution is past, and the grip of communism tightens around the Mennonite people in Western Siberia. Luise Letkemann wants nothing but freedom, security, and to be married to Daniel Martens, but escalating oppression from Stalin’s regime threatens to destroy everything she lives for and believes in.

Daniel would be content with Luise and a degree of compromise with the system, but as he faces life-and-death situations at every turn, he realizes there is no middle ground. When he confronts a Soviet official in defense of the truth, he is separated from Luise and she must choose her path and trust that God will bring them back together.

Over time and vast distances, Luise and Daniel struggle to survive and to make sense of their interrupted dreams and plans, not even knowing if the other is alive. Meanwhile, Soviet secret service official, Leonid Dubrowsky, launches a personal vendetta against both of them. Will Luise and Daniel be reunited, or will all they long for be lost forever? What will be the cost of freedom calling them from the other side of the Amur River, and will the sacrifice be worth the reward?

Interview: Carole Brown (part 2)

Author Carole BrownJanet: Welcome back, Carole. As I said last week, Caralynne and her struggle upstaged you at the start of this interview. How about introducing us to Carole Brown?

Carole: I don’t mind; it’s important her story be told! But if you insist (lol):

  • Holidays are favorites of mine because I get to spend time with family. Love decorating for the fall and Christmas seasons more than any other, but have learned to appreciate Thanksgiving because of the many blessings I’ve been given, and Easter because of the resurrection of our Lord and the harbinger of spring!
  • ŸI adore flowers and plants! My gardens are beds of serenity and peace to me as is my garden pond. I dream of the day I can get my garden pond to the place it can safely house Koi.
  • We dream (my husband to a greater extent) of the time when we can retire early and travel even more. I’m just not positive I can do without my grandsons for a lengthy period of time.
  • I love having a warm, cozy home surrounded by things I enjoy. Favorite books, music, candles, my writing stuff, our collections (music boxes and elephants for me; m&m figurines and guns for my husband). The older I get the simpler I want things. I don’t want too big and too fancy, just welcoming and comfortable which suits me.

Janet: Your home and garden sound like lovely places to visit! Are you a morning person? Evening?

Carole: Both in a way, but for different reasons. Mornings and afternoons I work on writing stuff. When evening comes though I tend to need relaxation time with family or my husband, light fun stuff like Facebook visiting, etc. I also enjoy meeting with friends which seems to stir my imagination.

Janet: Which do you prefer: plays or movies? Or books?

Carole:  Hmmm. For keeper items: books written by my friends and a few really good ones that I call keepers. We enjoy plays now and then too, but they are scattered throughout the year.

Janet: What got you started writing?

Carole: I’ve always written! Loved, loved, loved suspenses and mysteries as a child and young person, so it tended to lead me in that direction. 🙂

Janet: What’s your biggest challenge right now?

Carole: Finding the time to write. I’m spending so much time marketing, along with my normal routine (watching my baby grandson sometimes and other things) that I’m finding it hard to actually get much writing done. I aim to change that soon!

Janet: Tell us what a typical day looks like.

Carole:

  • ŸWake and get ready for the day
  • Devotional reading and prayer
  • Any quick house/family duties I need to get done
  • Email, quick checks/responses on Facebook, Twitter, and once a week or so Pinterest
  • Add to that, while I’m marketing The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, is checks on new places to advertise or promote.
  • Writing on whichever novel I’m inspired to work on for the rest of the morning and afternoon
  • Edits, and this depends on how much I have to do whether it takes up the morning and afternoon of any particular day
  • Preparation for supper/dinner
  • Evening miscellaneous computer stuff and relaxation

Of course, this routine is “routinely” broken with babysitting my youngest grandson who seems to need all of Grandmamma’s attention. (love it, but does put a limitation of getting any writing done!) There are always ministry trips to be done and other demands upon my time that can’t be ignored.

Janet: What do you like best about the writing life?

Carole: Finishing a manuscript!

Janet: Amen, sister! What do you like least?

Carole: Writer’s block.

Janet: Writers are told to read widely and voraciously. I think that’s one of the perks of the deal. What are you reading these days?

Carole: I have several books I need to review for friends and others. I’m hoping to get them done soon.

  • Friend Me by John Fabion,
  • Lorilyn Roberts’ home schooling recipe book,
  • a suspense from Barbara Dirksen (I think it’s called The Christmas Stalking!),
  • Tamera Kraft’s Soldier’s Heart and so many other good books.

Janet: What are you listening to?

Carole: Nothing right now. I enjoy gospel (different types), a little bluegrass and country (if the theme isn’t leaving your wife and drinking to drown your troubles; there’s more to life than that!), some oldies, and easy listening. Love hearing a man play the piano and a sax! Zowsie!

Janet: Is there a particular song or Scripture verse that’s made a big difference for you?

Carole: I have several favorite scriptures but this is one I’m particularly fond of taken from the King James version, Saint John 14, verses one through four. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

Isn’t there a lovely cadence and rhythm to the King James verses? The words are warm and reassuring. God loves us and is preparing a beautiful new world for us! 🙂 

Janet: It’s one of the most cadence-filled version, definitely. What do you like to do to get away from it all?

Carole: Go somewhere with just my husband and me. Doesn’t have to be fancy or a long period of time. An evening out at a nice restaurant, a drive with lots of discussion, a fast food joint, sitting in the car and speculating on what the other couple in the car across from us is arguing about. 🙂

My family particularly enjoys renting cabins in the Smokies.

Janet: Thanks so much for taking time to let us get to know you a bit, Carole. May the Lord continue to bless you and make you a blessing to others—in every area of your life.

Carole: Thank you, Janet, for allowing me to visit your nice site. I really appreciate the opportunity, and what a blessing it is to writers!

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You can find Carole at her personal blog, Sunnybank Secrets, or at these group blogs: Barn Door Book Loft, Geezer Guys and Gals and Stitches Thru Time. Carole is also on Facebook and Twitter. You can also find an interview with her character, Caralynne Hayman, at Wordsmith Woman.

The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, by Carole BrownThe Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, by Carole Brown

A novel of hope shining through the darkness. Contemporary women’s fiction with strong elements of suspense and romance, of particular interest to anyone who has been abused or for those dealing with abusive situations.