Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Interview with Kathryn Springer and Book Giveaway

Today I'm welcoming a new-to-me author, Kathryn Springer. Kathryn and I are represented by Books & Such Literary Agency. I'm excited to get to know Kathryn better and to share her latest release, Dandelion Field, here on my blog! Please help me welcome Kathryn.
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Welcome to my blog, Kathryn! I’m thrilled you stopped by to visit today and talk about your newest release, The Dandelion Field.
Thank you for inviting me, Gabrielle! I’m excited to be here, too!
For readers meeting you here for the first time, can you tell us a little about yourself and your publication story?
I’m a small town Midwestern girl:) My husband and I are empty-nesters now, but I started writing when our youngest child napped in the afternoon. Short stories fit best in that season of my life (probably because I only had short amounts of time to myself!) and I wrote several dozen stories that were published in BRIO magazine for teen girls. When our son started kindergarten, I half-teasingly said to my husband, “I suppose you want me to get a job now.” I’ll never forget that conversation or his response. He suggested I stay home and write a book because that’s what I’d always wanted to do. His support and blessing gave me the courage to try. HQN Love Inspired (then Steeple Hill) published my debut novel, Tested by Fire, twelve years ago. I’ve written 21 books for LI and recently made the foray into long contemporary romance with The Dandelion Field.
I also started writing when my youngest were napping (they are twin boys and were two years old at the time).

Can you give us a brief synopsis of The Dandelion Field and a sneak peek at your next release? 
I’d love to! After Raine’s dad walked out, Ginevieve Lightly has never stayed in one place very long. When the car dies in Banister Falls, Wisconsin, Gin promises her daughter, Raine, they can stay there until she finishes her senior year of high school. Gin will do anything to make sure her daughter has a bright future, but that future is compromised when Raine reveals she’s pregnant.
Dan Moretti has lived in Banister Falls all his life. After losing his best friend while fighting a fire, Dan has devoted himself to helping guide Cody, Max’s son, through life.
When a small town scandal erupts, Dan’s loyalty to Cody and his mom, Evie, is put to the test when he finds himself drawn to Ginevieve Lightly. Dan makes his living coming to the rescue but the independent waitress is used to fighting her own battles. Can Dan convince a woman who doesn’t believe in happy endings to take a chance on a new beginning. . .with him?
A sneak peak at my next release. . .I am SO EXCITED to be finishing up The Hearts We Mend! It will be released in March of 2016, so be sure and watch for itJ Readers get to know Evie Bennett in The Dandelion Field but there’s so much more to her than meets the eye. Evie was widowed at the age of twenty-five and she never expected to find love again—but then she never expected a man like Jack Vale to walk into her life.
I’ve heard that some authors need a special environment to write (music, comfy chair, coffee shop, quiet room, desk, etc.). Do you have a special place you like to write?
I wish I was one of those writers who take their laptops to Starbucks (although the closest one is 45 minutes away!) but I’m at my most creative when I’m sitting at my desk. We live in the country, so it’s very quiet and peaceful and I have a beautiful view out my window. Our black lab, Bailey, and a calico cat named Sophie are my “office mates”. Sometimes I find them waiting for me at the top of the stairs if I’m late getting started in the morning!
My closest Starbucks is over thirty miles away. :)

What authors and stories have most influenced your writing?
I’ve always been a voracious reader (billboards, books, cereal boxes. . .) so it’s difficult to single out specific authors that have influenced my writing. I would have to say that all Christian writers owe a debt of gratitude to Janette Oke, though. Her book, Love Comes Softly, was a groundbreaker in Christian fiction. I was in high school at the time and I read her books as fast as they came out. Another one that immediately comes to mind is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

When I was asked to sum up The Dandelion Field in one sentence (so hard for a writer!) it was, “God can turn the pieces of a broken past into a beautiful new beginning.” The key ingredient in the stories that influence my writing and the ones I love to read is hope.
We do owe a debt of gratitude to Janette Oke, and Francine Rivers. Both women have also influenced my writing.

Thank you for answering my questions, Kathryn! It’s been a pleasure having you visit my blog!
Your Turn Readers: What authors have had the greatest influence in your life?
Kathryn has agreed to give away a signed copy of The Dandelion Field! Please enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.
*The winner of After a Fashion, by Jen Turano from last week's blog post by guest Courtney Phillips Ballinger is: Vicki Geslak! Vicki, I'll be contacting you soon!*
About Kathryn:
KATHRYN SPRINGER is a full-time writer and the award-winning author ofFront Porch Princess. She won the ACFW 2009 Book of the Year award forFamily Treasures. Her most recent book,The Soldier's Newfound Family, hit the New York Times best-seller list in November 2012.
Kathryn grew up in northern Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child she spent many hours sitting at her mother's typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of books-which eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own. Kathryn has written 19 books with close to two million copies sold. She lives with her husband and three children in Marinette, Wisconsin. 
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Guest Post by Courtney Phillips and a Book Giveaway!

Today I'm welcoming a guest writer to my blog. Courtney signed with Books & Such Literary Management last year, and I was immediately struck by her authenticity and her faith. I'm excited to have her here today. She's talking about something I think we can all relate to in one way or another. She's also giving away a book!! (By the way, let's congratulate Courtney on her wedding!!)
Where You Ought to be in the Writing World
By Courtney Phillips

This year, young as it is, has ransacked my former plans.
If you would’ve told me six months ago that I would be getting married on April 18, 2015, I would’ve tsked (you know, that sound that tends to come off more rude than we intend).
Last winter I had extreme writing goals. My first novel was being shopped around to publishers, and I was neck deep in my second novel. 2015 meant finishing the edits for my second novel and—Lord willing—earning a publishing contract. I was doing everything I could to make this whole writing thing into a concrete deal.
Then, suddenly, I fizzled.
Book one, though praised, didn’t get contracted. My sweet agent spooned on encouragement, ensuring me this was the norm—authors’ first books were rejected all the time. Disappointment pinched, but common sense reminded me I’d heard about hundreds of other writers’ dealing with the same issue. I had to keep going. Keep writing. Keep improving. The Lord had me writing for a reason or else He would’ve stopped me long ago. I had to keep working.
And I did, until another dream appeared on the ring finger of my left hand. Suddenly, instead of plots and characters, I had a wedding to tend to.
So the writing stopped.
Sure, I poked around on my laptop, typed a little here and there, but my momentum slipped into a coma. Doubt needled and nudged until I wondered if I’d misread God’s intentions. Maybe He didn’t want me to write if I could be distracted so easily. Maybe the rejections were meant to show me I wasn’t going to be a published author. Maybe I’d jumped the gun when I announced my writerly ambitions…
Maybe I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. (A paralyzing fear if I’ve ever had one.)
This is the point where you expect the happy ending, right? You think next I’m going to say I got an email about my first book being offered a contract or winning a contest.
Nope. Nothing like that happened. My writing life is still in a bit of a stumped state.
And that’s okay because this is where I’m supposed to be. Right now, as I tap out this post, my heart is jittery. My mind is full of wedding details, and I cannot imagine how I would handle everything if I were also responsible for editing a contracted book.
This season I’m in, this pause I’m experiencing, is God-planned. He controls the tiniest detail, and He knows exactly what you and I can handle. He understands how fiercely we desire success—that one email from our agent or an editor, that one call that will mean we’re finally legitimate. But He also knows how much we can handle. His watch is a great deal larger than ours. He sees more than seconds, hours, and minutes. He sees futures we can’t imagine, blessings we’ll obtain if we’ll only slip our hands into His and let Him lead.
He knows where we are and where we’re supposed to be and how to get us there.
You want the good news now, don’t you? You want to click on your inbox and find your diligence has resulted in a contract. You want to feel like a real writer. You want to pretty up your website and see your stories on the shelves at Walmart.
Yet, we’re not there yet. But if we’re seeking the Lord, if we’re structuring our lives to please Him, if we’re satisfied with His Word, then we are where we ought to be.
Don’t give into the pressure. Don’t allow yourself to deflate. Enjoy where you are right this second. Enjoy your family and your hobbies and this precious life you’re living now. The time will come for you to move forward with your writing dreams.
Hold on. Appreciate this moment.
Our earthly plans can never compare to His heavenly ones anyway.
*Y’all, I’m giving away a copy of After A Fashion by Jen Turano to one commenter!!! You want to win this book, folks. Trust me. All you have to do is share what’s going on in your writing life (or non-writing life) and what God’s teaching you through it. :)

Meet Courtney:

Courtney Phillips discovered her love of writing as a teenager. After tasting her first sip of heartbreak, she decided to write her own happily-ever-after and never quit.

 She finaled in the 2013 ACFW First Impressions contest and the 2014 RWA Great Beginnings contest and also received an Honorable Mention from the Seekerville Perfect Pitch Contest. In July of 2014, she learned she was the overall winner in the RWA Touched By Love Award contest. Months later, she tied for second place in the RWA Lone Star Contest. (She’s kind of contest-obsessed.)

Courtney writes contemporary romance novels for the ones aching to find the right path. The ones who long for heart-stabling contentment. Combining God's Truth and a pinch of wit, she’s sharing the stories of imperfect characters in need of heavenly intervention.  You can read more about her or visit her blog at

**The winner of The Wood's Edge, by Lori Benton from last week's guest interview is Sylvia Miller!**
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Interview with Lori Benton and a Book Giveaway

It is with great pleasure that I welcome today's author to my blog. I met Lori Benton for the first time at the Books & Such Retreat in Monterey, California last October. I had not yet read Lori's books, though I had heard a great deal about them. When I had the opportunity to read and review The Wood's Edge, (you can see my review here) I jumped at the chance--and I'm so happy I did. I was instantly (I mean instantly!) captivated by her story. If you read no other book this year, read The Wood's Edge (but please read other books!!). I'm so excited to have Lori here today, and I'm even more excited to offer her book to one lucky reader!! See below for details.
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Welcome to my blog, Lori! I’m thrilled to have you visit for the first time and talk about your newest release, The Wood’s Edge.

Thank you, Gabrielle. I’m so pleased to chat with you.

I can’t wait a moment longer to start discussing The Wood’s Edge! I was given an advanced reader’s copy to review, and I was mesmerized by the story. Truly, it is now in my top five favorite! I couldn’t put the book down and I fell in love with Two-Hawks, Anna, Reginald, Lydia, William, Good Voice, and Stone Thrower.

The story explores the collision of British Colonial and Oneida cultures in the second half of the 18th century. How did your passion develop for this time period and subject?

I stumbled upon a passion for the 18th century and the particular types of conflicts it encompasses on something of a whim. After a season away from writing due to illness, I decided to try my hand at historical fiction. This was 2004, and by then I’d seen the movie The Patriot (with Heath Ledger and Mel Gibson), and knew I wanted my male characters clad in knee breeches. A little research told me I’d better choose the 1700s for that. I know, how utterly profound! Little did I know what awaited me in the pages of the now hundreds of research books that fill my bookshelves.

I'm thinking Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger have inspired many a writer. :) Our daughter Maryn is actually named after William Wallace's wife (Murron) from Brave Heart with Mel.

Your writing is beautiful and filled with depth and emotion. Which authors have influenced your writing the most?

There are so many, but at the top of the list are James Alexander Thom, Diana Gabaldon, Susanna Kearsley, and Ellis Peters/Edith Pargeter.

I love discovering new authors, especially ones that inspire other writers. I'll have to look into some of these.

The Wood’s Edge is rich with historical detail and a vibrant setting. How long did it take you to research this story? And what research tools did you use? Did you visit the setting?

I wrote the first draft of The Wood’s Edge in 2012; safe to say I was researching for a few months prior. A lot of the research for this novel happened while I was writing Burning Sky in 2009. Much of what happens in The Wood’s Edge and especially its sequel, A Flight of Arrows (spring 2016), forms the back story of Burning Sky. So it’s accurate to say I began research for The Wood’s Edge as early as 2008, though of course I didn’t know then that’s what I was doing.

I didn’t do any traveling for research this time around, unless you count multiple visits to the Mohawk Valley and points westward via Google Earth and other people’s YouTube videos. Amazing what you can find online these days.

It is amazing what research tools we have at the tips of our fingers!

If one of the characters from The Wood’s Edge could come to life, and you could spend the day with him/her, which one would you choose? And why?

I’m sure I’ve wished to be able to do this at some point with every single character in this book. But now that I have a little distance from it I’d say Two Hawks, because he’s the one most caught between two worlds in this book—a theme that continually draws me to write novels—and even more so in A Flight of Arrows.

I really enjoyed Two Hawk's character. He is caught between two worlds, and as a reader, you feel the pull. I can't wait to see where his story goes in Flight of Arrows.

For readers meeting you here for the first time, could you give us an overview of your writing and publication story?

It was long and winding. I began writing as a child, but didn’t get serious about it until my early 20s. 1991 to be exact. I wrote several novels and submitted them to publishers in the mid to late 1990s, but met with rejection. Then I faced cancer at age 30 (1999), and while I came through the treatment relatively unscathed (and have been in remission since) for the next 4-5 years I suffered a long term side effect called chemo fog. I wasn’t able to write much at all during that time. When my brain began to clear is when I decided to try writing historical fiction. That was 2004. I was very rusty, so it took a while—nearly four more years—to finish another novel and then edit into shape for submission. I was in no hurry however, and still discovering who I was as a writer, and all the changes God had worked in me through that cancer and non-writing experience. Around 2008 I felt I was again ready to submit my work to agents (the publishing scene had changed during my hiatus and a writer now needed an agent). It wasn’t until 2010 that I finally signed with my agent and not until 2012 that I signed a contract with WaterBrook Press for my first novel, Burning Sky. Which of course wasn’t really my first novel. Or second, or sixth. Some of those early attempts will never see the light of day, and rightly so. But maybe some of them will. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.  

I'm so thankful you answered God's call to be a writer, and continued to pursue the call even through the difficult seasons of life. Your writing has a great impact on me, and I'm looking forward to many more of your novels to come. Thank you for visiting my blog, Lori! I’ve had fun interviewing you.

Thank you very much, Gabrielle. My pleasure!

Lori has kindly agreed to give away a copy of The Wood's Edge to a reader. Please see the Rafflecopter below.

YOUR TURN, READER: Have you read any of Lori's books? What authors and/or stories have had the greatest impact on you?

Meet Lori:
Lori Benton’s novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of Burning Sky, recipient of three Christy Awards, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, an ECPA 2015 Christian Book Award finalist, and The Wood’s Edge.

The Wood's Edge:
At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?

The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.

On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.

When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Book Review: The Wood's Edge, by Lori Benton

Sometimes there are no words to express the depth of enjoyment I experience while reading a book. There are some stories that drag me in, and I become so immersed, I feel as if I am standing amidst the action, watching every detail, listening to every word, and feeling every emotion the characters are feeling.

This was the case with The Wood's Edge, by Lori Benton. I was given a free copy by the publisher to review and offer my honest opinion. And my opinion is that this is an award-winning story. It quickly rose in the ranks, and became one of my top five all-time favorite novels.

The story begins in 1757 during the fall of Fort William Henry. This is where we meet one of the story's heroes, Major Reginald Aubrey. His wife has just lost yet another child, and Major Aubrey is distraught. He and his wife will have to flee the fort--but not before he tells her their child died in her sleeping arms. As he makes his way through the fort with his dead son, he comes across a white woman who is dressed like an Oneida Indian. She is also asleep, and has just given birth to a set of twin boys--one is white and the other is dark. In a split second decision, Major Aubrey switches his dead infant for the white child in the sleeping woman's arms, and then he presents the living baby to his wife.

This is the first scene, which sets up the story in a magnificent succession of events that follow two very different families--one Oneida, seeking their lost son, and the other British Colonials, hiding the truth of their son's origins.

This story has everything a good story should have. Love, hatred, loyalty, betrayal, faith, doubt, forgiveness, vengeance, hope, despair, mystery, revelation, and so much more. I had a hard time putting this story down--and then I had a hard time reading the end, because I knew it would be hard to say goodbye to the characters.

I loved The Wood's Edge. Lori Benton is an incredible author--one who has quickly become a favorite.

The book releases April 20th. If you'd like to pre-order, it's available here.

Lori Benton will be my guest on Wednesday, April 15th! Please come back for a visit and a chance to win a copy of this stunning book.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Interview with NLB Horton

Today I'm welcoming author Norma Horton to my blog. Norma and I are agent-mates with Books & Such Literary Management. It's my pleasure to have her here today! Please sit back and enjoy this fun interview.
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Welcome to my blog, Norma. Thank you for stopping by to visit and to talk about your newest release, The Brothers’ Keepers.

Gabrielle, it’s so kind of you to invite me! It’s always a joy to share my work with readers, especially when they follow an author represented by my literary agent. We’re a sisterhood!

For readers meeting you here for the first time, can you tell us a little about yourself and your publication story?

Somehow, much to my surprise, I have lived a pretty adventurous life.

I married late, then homeschooled when necessary. (They survived my teaching to become an attorney and engineer.) I retired from twenty-five years of owning a marketing and advertising agency, pursuing a later-in-life master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

As part of my study, I embarked on archaeological surveys of the Holy Land. These laid the groundwork for the adventures of my protagonist, archaeologist Grace Madison. I also traveled along the journeys of Paul through Greece and Turkey; returned to the Holy Land a year ago; and just returned from the Mediterranean. I write about what I know and places I know well.

I can pinpoint the date of Grace’s birth because I stood on the top of tel Dan in far northern Israel, under artillery fire from Syria and machine gun fire from Lebanon. My then-teenage kids were with me as a camo-painted bomber with an IDF (Israeli Defense Force) tail number dropped through the clouds. Happy birthday, Grace!

She continues her adventures, via my imagination, across the Middle East (When Camels Fly), through Western Europe (The Brothers’ Keepers), and the Near East (book 3, which I’m drafting).

Along the way, I floated the Amazon River with a Robinson’s tarantula on the prow of the skiff. Studied with an Incan shaman. And was nominated to membership in the Explorers Club, whose members have included Teddy Roosevelt and Sir Winston Churchill.

The Brothers’ Keepers is the second book in the Parched series. Can you tell us a little about the series?

Humanity’s role at creation was that of co-stewards of the garden; I am committed to environmental stewardship. Living in the west, I am familiar with drought. My protagonist’s daughter is an international hydrologist, and the importance of water is an undercurrent in the Parched series.

According to Christy Award winner DiAnn Mills, the series is “masterful international suspense driven by contemporary dynamics.” Aside from kidnappings and disappearances, running for their lives and loving each other, Parched touches on the importance of careful and fair management of the most precious natural resource on earth: water.

And as an aside, The Brothers’ Keepers will be featured on BookBub on April 10, kicking off a ten-day, 99-cent sale of the e-book. Although readers prefer to start with book 1, When Camels Fly, everyone likes to save their pennies, right?

I hope everyone will take advantage of the sale--as well as buy the first book!
What meaning does the series name hold for you?

I rode out the Hayman Fire summer at our ranch, watching a huge hunk of Colorado burn. We were at the end of a seven-year drought. Although our water table was steady at ten-thousand-plus feet, where the ranch house perched, many down-valley families received air and dust when they turned on their spigots.

As Americans, we think that drought is a problem for Africa or the Middle East. Drought is our problem, and it’s here to stay.

What plans do you have next for your Parched series?

Ah, Grace. She just keeps getting into trouble. And when she’s behaving, her family finds ways to draw her into their misadventures.

Right now, she’s in a war zone. Not willingly, of course. She’s too smart and careful for that. But nonetheless, someone has just been shot (by her) in self-defense. Her family is trying to figure out how to rescue her. Her daughter, Maggie, a hydrologist, is about to have a very personal encounter with the young man she doesn’t know she loves.

Seriously, book 3 should go to the editor next month, with a planned release of January 2016. Two or three are fighting for dominance in my frontal lobes, and I’m trying to keep that rowdy crowd under control.

What do you hope readers walk away with after they’ve finished reading The Brothers’ Keepers?

I hope they’re empowered to find the joy with which Grace lives. I hope that they admire the way she and her family stretch to use their God-given gifts to the utmost to glorify God and share the love of Christ.

We are all created so uniquely. Not everyone wants to ride a camel across the Negev, but there’s a place at God’s table for so many gifts. I hope readers dig deeply into themselves, searching for what makes them special. Then have the courage to share their discoveries with the people in their lives.

Thanks again for having me here, Gabrielle.

Thank you for being my guest, Norma. Your series, and life experiences, sound so fascinating.

YOUR TURN READERS: Do you live in a part of the US under drought conditions? If so, please share your experience. What do you think environmental stewardship means?

When a dear friend disappears without warning, archaeologist Grace Madison exposes his deadly deception--only to realize that it endangers everything she cherishes.  
While cataloging looted antiquities in Brussels, Grace learns that her son's bride has been attacked in Switzerland. Her day careens from bad to catastrophic when daughter Maggie, a hydrologist, disappears in France.

Coincidence is a luxury that Grace cannot afford. Particularly when near-fatal history--saturated in espionage--is repeating itself.

Family members convene in Paris, where they discover the key to the danger consuming them. Embedded like a taproot in the Ancient Near East, the cuneiform clay tablet is their only lifeline. But before they can save themselves, they must first find and rescue their elderly friend--if he'll let them.

On an epic journey following two brothers, crossing three continents, and spanning four thousand years, the Madison family risks it all to save it all. They rediscover and reinvest in love. Offer and receive redemption. And summon the courage to face truth: about themselves, each other, and the difference in right and wrong.

Because sometimes, doing what's right is all that's left.

(The Brothers' Keepers is book 2 in the Parched series, continuing the misadventures and exploits in When Camels Fly.)

Meet Norma:

After an award-winning detour through journalism and marketing, then a graduate degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, NLBHorton returned to writing fiction. She has surveyed Israeli archaeological digs accompanied by heavy artillery rounds from Syria and machine gun fire from Lebanon (twice!). Explored Machu Picchu after training with an Incan shaman. Cruised the Amazon and its tributaries after tossing a tarantula from her skiff. And consumed afternoon tea across five continents and the North Atlantic.

She writes international suspense driven by contemporary family dynamics.

NLB is a member of the venerable Explorers Club, an international, multidisciplinary society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore.

A mother of two adult children, she lives atop a Rocky Mountain with her husband of almost thirty years, an ancient tabby cat, and whatever predator wanders through the back meadow. She’s passionate about her faith, archaeology, women’s issues, and the environment. She’s also a world-class angler, a competent wing-shooter, and a dirt-encrusted gardener once the snow melts.

Her first and second novels, When Camels Fly (May 2014) and The Brothers’ Keepers (November 2014), are available on Amazon. She is writing the third now and plans to release it in January 2016.
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We have a winner from last week's drawing for Jill Kemerer's debut story! The winner is: Shelli Littleton!!! Shelli, I'll email you right away!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My New-To-Me Hometown...With Jill Kemerer

Today I'm welcoming my author friend, Jill Kemerer, and we're celebrating the release of her debut novel, Small Town Bachelor! I first met Jill online at her blog, and then in person at the 2012 ACFW Conference in Dallas, Texas. Jill is a fellow Midwesterner and she's been a wonderful example of hard work, tenacity, and perseverance. Many of us celebrated with Jill this past year when she announced she had sold her debut story to Love Inspired. She's here to talk about that story and to give away a free copy to one lucky winner!!

Here's the first night of the 2012 ACFW Conference.
Jill is wearing white and I'm in the jean jacket. :)
Here's Jill:

My husband and I have moved many times for his job. We’ve lived in various parts of Michigan, Ohio and even Virginia. Almost three years ago, we moved to our current home in a teeny town outside of Toledo, Ohio. I love it here!

I’m a nature girl. I crave being outside, unless it’s below freezing. Then I’ll gladly snuggle up with a blanket in front of a fire and watch the snowflakes dance beyond the windows. The rest of the year, though, I’m hiking, bird-watching or just plain sitting outdoors.

The Maumee River flows past our cute downtown, and there are bike trails for miles along the river. We often hike, just soaking up nature and listening to the gentle babble of the water and birds singing overhead. Bald eagles perch high in the sycamore trees. Great blue herons and snowy egrets stand in the shallows. The water itself is brown, but I still think the setting is beautiful.

Farmland surrounds our town, and I’ve always felt a deep peace when I drive past rows of corn or soybeans. We see plenty of deer and rabbits. The blue sky stretches forever, and Midwest sunsets snatch your breath away.

Some of my favorite things in my new-to-me hometown?

The local ice cream shop opened up a few weeks ago, and we’re lining up for Slushies and cones. There’s never more than a two-minute wait at the post office. Our library might be small, but it has a terrific selection of books, music and DVDs. I only have to drive a mile to get to my grocery store, and I make the short trip to Toledo to purchase gifts or to shop for clothes.

We’re thrilled to plant roots in our new home. It’s a perfect fit.

Tell me about where you live!

About Jill ~

Jill Kemerer writes inspirational romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer and homemaker, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules.

Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&M’s, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.  Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website and find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Small-Town Bachelor ~
A Place to Call Home
When Reed Hamilton arrives in Lake Endwell for a family wedding, he expects to do his part as best man then head back to the big city. But when a tornado postpones the wedding, the town is in shambles and Reed is injured. Thankfully maid of honor Claire Sheffield offers him one of her cottages to recuperate in.

Dedicated to her family and her dream job at the zoo, Claire is all about roots. She's this city slicker's opposite, yet as they help the town rebuild, Reed is captivated by her stunning looks and caring ways. He can't ask Claire to leave the life she loves for him, but he also can't imagine ever leaving her behind...

Interested in buying Small-Town Bachelor? Click on for links to purchase!
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