Archive | Romance

Interview with Author Anne Carrole

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 1.05.30 PMWhat is your book’s genre or category and what draws you to the genre?

THE MAVERICK MEETS HIS MATCH is a contemporary romance. I love romance novels, reading them and writing them. In romance, because everyone knows that it is going to turn out okay, having great characters that grow is so very important and I love writing characters that have a lot of layers to them. And I also love writing (and reading) books that have a happily-ever-after. With so much turmoil about us, I want my reader to be assured that no matter what is happening in the world or in their personal life or what obstacles my characters are facing, my reader can count on a happily-ever-after. I know I need that when I read books.

Can you describe the story in one or two sentences for our readers?

After her grandfather’s death, Mandy Prescott is determined to take back control of her family’s rodeo company from the man who broke her heart years ago. Ty Martin is just as determined to do right by his former mentor, Mandy’s grandfather, even if that means selling the company before it loses its sterling reputation. Mandy is prepared to fight him but a crazy provision in her grandfather’s will has changed the stakes. Risking her company is one thing. Risking her heart is quite another.

Tell us the story behind the story. What influenced you to write it and how long did it take you?

I like strong female characters who can match a strong hero and when I read an article about the challenges a daughter of a stock rodeo contractor was facing running the business given it is a pretty male-oriented industry, I was intrigued. The story came together quickly but I take my time producing a book because I go back in and layer my characters and plot line to assure I am giving the best reading experience to the reader and that revision process takes me many months. I envy those who can write fast but that’s not me.

Is there a part of you in any of the characters?

Before I started writing full-time, I was part of the corporate world and had climbed high enough that there were not many women at my level (at least during my tenure) so I definitely can empathize with Mandy’s situation.

If you assigned an actor/actress to the characters in your novel, who would they be?

Chris Hemsworth with dark hair would be perfect to play Ty Martin—and he is always inspiring!

LovingaCowboy3_300_OfficialWhen did you decide to become a writer?

I actually started writing stories while in middle school and continued my love of literature and writing as an English major in college but the need to earn a living outweighed the starving author track. Once I was home raising my daughter, it seemed the perfect opportunity to pursue something I loved.

How do you find the time to write?

That is the challenge, isn’t it? My daughter is college-aged so it is much easier now but when she was younger I usually wrote after she went to bed. I also have a very supportive husband so he would “spring” me on weekends. And then there was writing time while I was waiting for her after dance class or tennis lessons. I caught time whenever and wherever I could.

What are you working on right now?

The Maverick Meets His Match is Book 2 in the Hearts of Wyoming series so I am hard at work on Book 3, The Wrangler’s Heart. This is Cat McKenna’s story. She’s a rancher’s daughter who never liked ranch life (she pined for the city) and is now forced to run her family’s large and prosperous ranch. Only she doesn’t even know what questions to ask, much less the answers. The Taylors have been “feuding” with the McKennas over water rights for over a century and guess whose son Cat asks to help her? Cody Taylor has his own dire reasons for taking a paycheck from the McKenna’s despite the fact he feels he’s betraying a long line of Taylors. The attraction between these two has always been there but their family issues have served to dampen any flame. Now that they are working together, though, it’s like a wind has caught that flame and is making it burn. Think “Hatfields and McCoys find Romeo and Juliet” only with a happy ending.

How can readers find you online?

My website: http://www.annecarrole.com

Like and friend me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lovewesternromances and http://www.facebook.com/annecarrole

Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/annecarrole

Catch me on my blog: http://annecarrole.blogspot.com

Follow me on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/annecarrole 

 

Excerpt The Maverick Meets His Match by Anne Carrole

She circled the oval wood table, putting it between them, and looked at Ty through the narrow space framed by two chrome pendant lights dangling from the high ceiling. She’d been in the long, narrow conference room once before, ten years ago, but she remembered nothing about that day. She’d been crying too hard. “What do you want to know?”

Mandy pulled out one of the table’s black leather chairs and sank into it, taking refuge in its overstuffed comfort as she set the large purse she carried on the floor.

“Everything,” he said, still standing in the doorway like some gatekeeper controlling who entered and exited. “What stock you’re pulling, how many of the crew you’re using, your expense estimates, how much you expect to make on the event.”

This from a man who knew nothing about supplying stock. Those beaters inside her whirred faster.

“Everything,” he repeated.

“You can get that from Karen, our admin.”

Ty’s mouth drew in, and his eyes narrowed as he stepped into the room, covering the distance to the table in two long strides. He placed his hands on the table’s polished surface and leaned forward until he was mere inches from her face so that he blocked out everything around her. Even with that strong jaw of his clenched, he was still too attractive for her own good. She tightened her grip on the chair arms as her pulse quickened, determined to meet his steely gaze with a glare of her own.

If he was trying to intimidate her, it wouldn’t work.

“Here’s the thing, Mandy. I want the information from you. And I want you to go through it with me, number by number.” His tone was matter of fact, even if those tantalizing lips of his had flatlined.

“I need to understand the business if I’m going to lead it. And you’re the best one to show me.”

She could feel the blood pulsing at her temple, which meant she was on her way to an epic headache. Breathing deep, she cocked her head to get a better bead on his arrogance. “Here’s the thing, Ty. After today, I expect the family to own the required shares to vote you out of your role.” She prayed she was right. “And you won’t need to understand anything about the business.”

Leather creaked as Ty folded his long, lean, undoubtedly buff body into the padded chair while his dark eyes scrutinized her, as if her words puzzled him. She thought she’d been pretty darn straightforward.

Six tension-filled beats of her heart passed before he finally spoke.

“I guess we’ll just have to wait and see about that.”

Click below to check out all of Anne Carrole’s books.

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Interview with Author Ruth Price

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 10.17.27 PMWhat is your book’s genre or category and what draws you to the genre?

This is a Christian Amish romance.

Can you describe the story in one or two sentences for our readers?

Can an Amish widow and widower move through the pain of their past and losses in order to find love with each other?

Tell us the story behind the story. What influenced you to write it and how long did it take you?

I’ve often thought of survivor guilt. What would it be like to survive a tragedy that takes your entire family? How can you find the faith to live on in spite of that without forsaking God? I’ve been extremely blessed to not have been tested in this way, though as I get older, it becomes more imminent that one of us, my husband Harold or I, is going to outlive the other. I think the germ of this book was born from these thoughts. How do we reconcile a loving God with the tragedy of loss? And how can we love again? This is a theme which runs through my writing and definitely through this book.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 9.49.35 PM

In spite of having lost her husband and child, Katie Fisher finds the strength to give of herself to another family and love again. It’s so much harder having the courage to give of yourself wholly when you have already done so and suffered for it, I think.

Is there a part of you in any of the characters?

There’s a part of me that is in all of my characters, even (especially?) the despicable ones.

Have you ever faced criticism living a life a faith and how have you dealt with it?

Yes, I have. Sometimes people will assume that because I believe fervently in God that it makes me uneducated or naïve. I can only show those people who I am and know that by opening myself up to them sincerely, that I am living the Gospel, to love my neighbor as I love my God and myself.

What is the message in your books that you want your readers to grasp?

Hmmm… probably our love of God is shown through our love for each other. Loving is difficult, especially when you’ve been hurt. But that’s also when it’s the most powerful expression of yourself.

If you assigned an actor/actress to the characters in your novel, who would they be?

I know a lot of writers do this, but I don’t. I tend to see my characters from the inside, and I’m also terrible with actor names. So I’m going to reserve answering this question, but if anyone has a suggestion, I’m open to it.

What is the best thing about your writer’s life?

I get to share the stories that have always been in my head.

Do you have a favorite book or art that inspires you?

Aside from the Bible…probably Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont. I love what she has to say about writing, and when I’m having book trouble, flipping through this book usually helps me get mentally back on track.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. It was only after I retired and ePublishing became feasible that I was able to be an author though.

How do you find the time to write?

I am fortunate enough to be retired. Mostly I write in the afternoons. My husband uses that time for fishing and spending time in his woodshop.

What advice would you give to encourage readers in their own spiritual journey?

A person’s faith isn’t perfect all of the time. Sometimes we doubt or question, and that’s normal. Give yourself permission to forgive yourself for failing and get back up again. And read your Bible, of course.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on the next book in my Goats Gone Wild series, starring Annie Miller, a really spunky Amish young lady who ends up in a goat-load of trouble when she accidentally “wins” five Nubian goats in an auction. Annie is also a tomboy who is has to come to terms with her emerging femininity (and interested young men) as the series continues. I have had so much fun writing these books and characters. And this series is also set in the same community as Lancaster County Second Chances, so you’ll get to revisit your favorite characters in the new books as well.

How can readers find you online? 

I’m on http://familychristianbookstore.net (Just click on Ruth Price)

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

Twitter @ruthpriceauthor. I haven’t made it onto Instagram or other social media sites yet. I’m a bit old fashioned, I guess.

 

Excerpt of Lancaster County Second Chances

Katie Olsen looked out the kitchen window. The sun was just coming up, and everyone but her mamm and younger sister were already out in the fields. It was spring, and the rising sun spread its beams over soft brown earth, ready for planting. The landscape was the same as she remembered.  The gentle hills of her Lancaster County home seemed to be forever rolling away to the horizon.  It had always been a comforting view.

She picked at the white cotton tablecloth with her fingers.  It was the same familiar table cloth she had used as a child – the hand sewn border, the faint stain from the strawberry accident, the little uneven nubs that she had loved to rub with her fingers.

This plain white farmhouse still looked just the same as it had when she was six years old. The massive gray barn had seemed endless then, and it still looked huge. The freshly-tilled earth would soon be filled with movement and color and sound.

This farm had been her home. She had felt so comfortable in it, as if she herself had been a young plant springing up from her daed’s fields. She had grown from this soil, like the oak trees overshadowing the house. Like her mamm’s roses. Like the wheat that swayed and whispered secrets to the lavender twilight. Once, her world had been as safe and predictable as bud and bloom and harvest.  It had seemed to her that nothing would ever change.

But everything had changed. She was 26 now. The familiar white farmhouse wasn’t her home any longer. It was her parents’ home.

The tablecloth, the house, the barn, the oak trees, and even the rolling hills, all of them belonged to the child she had been, not the young woman she had become.

For the past three months, she had been an increasingly uncomfortable guest in her parents’ home.

Maybe even a burden.

Of course, her mamm and daed would never put it that way. And she did her best to help them around the house and with her little sister and brother.

But still.

Katie’s fingertip raised the corner of a paper lying underneath her breakfast plate. Her mamm had “forgotten” it there this morning.

It was an Amish advertising circular. The headline read: Young Widowed Men Interested in Remarriage.

A cheerful voice interrupted Katie’s thoughts.

“Why such a sad face, Katze?”

Katie pulled her lips into a smile and turned to face her 10-year-old sister, Bett.

“No sad face for you, Bett.” She pulled her blonde giggle box of a sister into her arms and smiled. “Come, I will help you with your chores.”

They walked out to the chicken coop and roused the hens. Katie had always liked gathering eggs – the sleepy, blinking hens, the feel of their soft feathers, the warm, smooth eggs.

Bett was skipping in her joy. “I’m glad you’re back, Katze,” she was saying, calling Katie by the nickname everyone in her family used. Bett’s blue eyes were full of affection.

Katie stopped gathering eggs momentarily. She bit her lip. She wished she could say, I am glad to be back, but that would have been a lie, and she already had too many sins on her soul.

“I’m glad you are pleased,” was what she said.

“Everyone is pleased,” Bett nattered on. “Last Sunday I heard Mr. Hershberger say that you have a pleasing countenance and that you are a diligent worker. And Mr. Beiler said that he’s glad you’re back, and that it’s a good thing.”

Bett dug a toe into the dirt and smiled shyly up at Katie.

“I think they like you,” she added, in a conspiratorial tone.

Katie stifled an impatient exclamation. Mr. Hershberger was 20 years her elder. He was bald and fat and had an ungovernable temper. And Mr. Beiler was 70 if he was a day and as shriveled as a stick. The last thing in the world she wanted was to attract the attention of men like Mr. Hershberger and Mr. Beiler.

Or, really, the attention of any man.

She closed her eyes and counted slowly to ten before saying, “I think that’s all for now, Bett. Let’s take these back.”

Bett giggled and skipped along beside her. “I can’t wait until I’m your age, Katze,” she confided, “and all the men are asking after me.”

Katie said nothing in reply, but she was wishing with all her soul that she could somehow revert to her sister’s age and once again be a freckled, laughing child.

***

At dinner that night, the table was laden with baked bread and butter, beans and bacon, ham, baked potatoes, apple pie topped with cheese. It was good, solid farmhouse cooking, some of which Katie had made herself, but she had no appetite.

Katie’s mamm shot her husband a glance. He straightened in his chair and cleared his throat.

“Are you feeling ill, Katze?” he rumbled.

“No, Daed,” she replied.

“Eat, then.”

She dutifully picked up a forkful of potatoes and put it into her mouth.

Katie retreated to bed immediately after dinner, pleading a throbbing head. Her parents had put her in her old bedroom. It still looked much the same as it had – the bare wooden floor, the plain single bed next to the big window overlooking the fields, the same starburst quilt that her grandmother had made for her when she born, with its red, blue, and green.

Even her old toys were still there – the old cotton doll and the stuffed bear that she had worn to shreds, all still lying at the bottom of the quilt chest at the foot of her bed.

There was the prayer book she had used as a child, still with her childish scrawls inside.

The old bedroom should have been a reassuring haven, but for Katie, it was oddly jarring – a reminder of what she wasn’t anymore, and could never be again.

Just as she had always done, she knelt down beside the bed for her evening prayers. As a child, it had been easy and natural for her to pray to God. She had felt His presence everywhere. But tonight, she found no words to say. Now, she didn’t feel His presence at all.

She had not felt His presence for months. Sometimes, in her darkest moments, she even feared that God had…

The sound of a soft knock at Katie’s bedroom door ended her devotions. Katie rose and opened the door to find her mamm standing outside. The candlelight touched her braided brown hair with gold.

“May I come in?”

“Of course.” Katie sat down on the bed and patted the space beside her. Katie’s mamm sat down quickly and put an arm around her. Her eyes looked worried.

“I shouldn’t have left that advertisement on the table. I think I’ve upset you,” she said softly. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to.”

“You have a right,” Katie replied, looking down.

“It’s not about our rights,” her mamm corrected quickly. “Your daed and I, we just want to see you smile again. To come back again, just a little bit.” She smoothed a tendril of Katie’s soft brown hair back from her face. “It was too soon, maybe.”

“You’re not the only ones,” Katie told her, with an unhappy grimace. “Bett told me today that Mr. Hershberger and Mr. Beiler were asking after me,” Katie added, wrinkling her nose.

Her mamm burst out laughing and hugged her close. “Then I don’t blame you for picking at your food tonight.” She smiled. “It would trouble me, too.”

Katie smiled in spite of herself, and her mamm laughed again. “There,” she said tenderly, lifting Katie’s chin. “That’s what I was looking for. My Katze.”

Suddenly everything that had happened, everything that she had lost, welled up in Katie’s heart. “Oh, Mamm!” she cried, and sobbed as her mamm made soothing noises and rocked her back and forth like a child.

See all of Ruth Price’s books here on Amazon.

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