About Me

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Clare writes inspirational romance, usually of a suspenseful nature. Her books are available through her publisher Pelican Book Group and Amazon. She is married with three kids and lives in the UK. She loves watching sci-fi, crime drama, cross stitching, reading and baking.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Guest Author, Marianne Evans

Today to mark the release of her new short story A Face in the Clouds we have Marianne Evans

Marianne is a multi-published author of contemporary romance novels. Her professional career began when Kensington Publishing purchased her book, Friends & Lovers. Her second offering, Right Hand Man, followed shortly thereafter. Her third release from Kensington, Hannah’s Heart, won critical acclaim from reviewers and in the local media.

Her fourth book is her inspirational romance debut at White Rose Publishing – an award-winning novel entitled Hearts Crossing. Hearts Crossing led to the creation of a four-book Christian romance series: The Woodland Series. Book 2, Hearts Surrender, released in late 2010 with Books 3 and 4 – Hearts Communion and Hearts Key, slated for late 2011 and early 2012 release. A Woodland Series Bonus Story, A Face in the Clouds, is an Easter-themed short story, also from White Rose Publishing.

Recent awards include:

Hearts Crossing:

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist

CAPA Finalist

5-Star Review, The Romance Studio

5-Star Review, Coffee Time Romance


Hearts Surrender –

Christian Small Publishers Association Book of the Year Finalist

4-Star Review, Romantic Times Magazine

5-Star Review & Book of the Week, The Romance Studio

5-Klover Review & Recommended Read, Kwips & Kritiques

A lifelong resident of Michigan, Marianne is an active member of Romance Writers of America and the Greater Detroit RWA where she served the chapter in a number of capacities, but most notably for two terms as Chapter Treasurer and two terms as Chapter President. She also belongs to the Faith Hope and Love chapter of RWA, American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.

Marianne loves to connect with readers ~ find her at:

www.marianneevans.com

www.marianneevans.blogspot.com.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Marianne-Evans/308711716744


BLURB – A FACE IN THE CLOUDS

Reporter Paul Hutchins is all about finding facts and uncovering the truth. Verification, authenticity and quantification are the fuel of his spirit…Until he falls in love with producer Sandy Pierson.

Sandy sees Christ alive in every aspect of her life. No need for quantified facts. Faith is the fuel of her spirit . But her love for Paul puts her at odds with God's call toward faith and all of its mysteries.

Paul considers Christianity to be well-meaning myth—hyperbole. To Sandy, it’s everything—and she can accept nothing less from the man she loves.

Can a miracle happen? Can the touch of God Himself keep their relationship from shattering?

EXCERPT – A FACE IN THE CLOUDS

“I know how deeply you feel things, Paul. You have a wonderful heart. That’s part of why I love you so much. I’m torn in two about my feelings for you.” Sandy’s declaration would have filled him were it not chipped and cracked by the impact of her doubts.

“Your reporter’s instinct toward authenticity and revealing the truth is a big part of what I admire about you. There’s nothing wrong with facing the world honestly, but you need to make room for a few other truths.”

“Like God.”

“Yes, and the fact that life holds as much mystery, and as many intangibles, as it does realistic things you can hold tight with both hands.”

She wanted him to change. Right down to the soul. Paul continued to study her. She was hurt enough that she had almost stepped away from attending tonight’s event—out of a frustrated sense of love. Yet here they were—together—out of a frustrated sense of love.

And if he wasn’t mindful of her beliefs, she’d step away from him.

Paul navigated the rapidly-filling parking lot of Woodland Church. Once they stopped, he killed the car engine and used a restraining hand to keep Sandy in place. He closed the space between them and gave her a kiss that lingered and thoroughly tasted. He felt the gesture ease a bit of the tightness in her shoulders and back. “I’ll keep an open mind, OK?”

She touched his face, and there was yearning in her eyes. “Keep an open heart. That’s much more important.”

Clare's Review.

Marianne Evans does it again in this amazing short read 'A Face in the Clouds'. Grabbing the attention right from the start it doesn’t let up until you turn the last page. Paul’s struggle with what is seen vs unseen is something that everyone can empathise with. As much as he wants to please Sandy by sharing her faith and removing the last obstacle to their love, he can’t in all honesty do that. He prefers fact to faith. Yet when he sees something no one else does, he’s not prepared for the resulting impact. I have never come across the form of ministry mentioned in this story, but reading it made me want to check out the web link in the letter from the author at the end and I’m glad I did. Definitely a 5 star keeper, this bonus book of the Woodland Church series shouldn’t be missed.


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Guest Author - Donna B Snow

today I welcome my friend and crit partner and fellow author Donna B Snow. Her debut White Rose novel Daffodils came out on April 8th.


How did you come up with your premise?

I love reunion stories, and even more so, I honestly believe we all hold on to at least a little bit of our “first love”. So this is just an extra twist on that.

Is there a story behind your book?

Not really, although I honestly believe God has one perfect person for each of us, if we don’t get impatient and choose for ourselves.

How did the story evolve?

Well it actually started out as a sweetheart romance, to fit in with a preconceived story line. But as I was writing, the spirit was continuously nudging me toward the inspirational element that belonged in the story. So after many rewrites, and one final rejection as a sweetheart story, I did a major rewrite, and it became the inspirational story it was supposed to be. I could have saved myself a lot of time by just listening to the spirit to begin with. LOL But it’s all in God’s time anyway, and it’s a better story because of it.

For those who are not familiar with this story, would you please give us the blurb?

Margaret Ellington is not only grief stricken after her husband dies, but guilt ridden as well. Her solution — to run away. She moves away, hoping to escape the memories of her failure as a wife. She vows never to marry again unless she can love with all her heart—and she’ll never be able to do that unless she can finally get over her first love.

Lukas North is determined to reclaim the love he threw away ten years earlier. He’s willing to give Margaret time to recover from losing her husband—but letting her go is not an option.

When Lukas keeps a secret from Margaret about a major career move, she panics. After the mistakes they made in the past, can their relationship be rebuilt on anything less than complete honesty?

Extract:

Margaret closed her eyes as she clutched the doorframe. Oh, God, why Peter? He was the good one. I’m so sorry, Peter.

A tear splashed onto the carpet. Margaret took a deep breath, wiped her cheek, and stepped into what had been Peter’s sickroom. She walked to the window seat and stared out into the backyard, arms clutched around her middle. There would be no sound of children playing, no sitting on the glider growing old together. She put a hand on the window. If only I could have loved you more—

“Any more, Megs?” Lukas’ footsteps grew louder as he came down the hall.

She wiped away another tear as it dribbled down her cheek.

“Oh, hey, there you are.” He hesitated in the doorway, resting a hand on the frame. He lowered his voice. “You OK?”

She chewed on her bottom lip and nodded, afraid that if he came near her she would collapse in those arms; arms she knew were strong enough to hold her up. Arms she had missed for years. She hated herself for wanting to feel them wrap around her again.

Are there any fun tid-bits about this story you can share with us?

Well, actually, even after the story was basically accepted, the editor came back with one more major rewrite. See, the story was originally set to start at the beginning of the school year, but daffodils only bloom in the spring – and that really messed up my story’s timing! LOL

How did you decide on the setting?

That one’s easy! I spent a year in northern California and loved it. And daffodils are just one happy flower so it all came together.

When will it be released?

The story was just released on Friday April 8th! My first white rose!

Where were you born?

I was born and raised in New Hampshire. I’ve seen a lot of this country as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. Europe is next!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Well, I’ve always wanted to see Ireland, but really I love it right where I am (well, except for in the middle of the long, cold, snowy winter, lol).

What hidden talent do you possess outside of writing... something you do for fun, but are good at?

Well, I also write my own Christian music. I play guitar and sing – and am hoping to some day get some of my songs published also. I recorded a demo years ago and I’m just now starting to try to do something with it.

What’s your favourite colour?

GREEEEEEN – in almost any shade!

What music groups/artists blast from your CD player while you write?

None – unless it’s purely instrumental. And even then it can’t be songs I know the words to because I end up singing along and losing my train of writing thought.

What got you interested in writing?

Like most writers, I’ve been an avid reader all my life. I spent more hours in bed with good books than in front of TV, even as a child.

Why did you begin writing?

When my daughter was little I would read to her every night. And she had favourite stories, but eventually she got tired of those. So I started a story line about a neighbourhood with six friends. And on any given night she would pick the main character and I would make up a story for her. How long have you been writing? It’s been about ten years.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Write! Just write! Then find a good critique partner that knows how to edit, and learn! Learning to edit improved my writing tremendously!

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

Not really. There have been long stretches of time that I don’t write, but it’s usually because I don’t have the time. So I don’t get on myself about it, I just pick up when I can.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Oh my gosh, the hardest lesson learned, and the most important one is “Show, Don’t Tell”. Keep your writing active and you will keep your readers caught up in the story.

How do you develop your plots and characters?

Well, they usually introduce themselves to me...a little odd perhaps, but true. It’s almost like someone whispers a story line in my ear and as I jot it down, it grows. As you can tell, I don’t plot my stories. Outlines have killed a couple stories for me, so now I just let them flow. I have a clear knowledge of the beginning, some highlights of the middle, and the specific way it will end. Everything else is up to the characters.

How do you stay on course?

My compass is always pointed at the ending. I haven’t gone astray yet.

Are you working on anything at the present you’d like to share with us? Ah, A Piece of Heaven – the story after my own heart – and its sequel. This one centers around music. God willing, it will follow soon.

What are you reading now?

LOL Which one? I have 4 or 5 stories going right now. That’s pretty typical of me.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Honestly there are too many to count. A couple notables are: Katherine Stone – her lyrical way of writing made me fall in love with the craft, Nora Roberts early stories, her Irish trilogies will always be among my favourites, Sherryl Woods – love all of her series...and the list goes on and on. I swear every author I’ve ever read has given me a little bit of themselves, made me look at why I like their stories so much.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?

Usually it’s pretty obvious to me – something major out of the story line.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I started writing seriously – just a couple years ago. That’s when I decided I was going to get myself published.

What do you do in your spare time? (Assuming you have any ;-) )

My what??? LOL, yeah, right! There is the occasional movie or outing, but between work, home, family, church, writing and editing, something has to give to fit anything else in. So in my spare time I try to sleep.

What genre would you like to explore that you haven’t tried to write in yet?

The first story I ever wrote was women’s fiction – kind of a cross between Nicholas Sparks and Karen Kingsbury. I definitely intend to get back to it one of these days!

Will you? Absolutely!

What would you never see yourself writing? Sci fi is definitely way out there. LOL

Do you really, really want a dog?

Nope, I’m a cat person. I have been all my life. Unfortunately, I developed allergies to them so now I am pet-less.

Do you hate how you look in pictures?

Ugh, yes. I am once again trying to lose weight. This has been a lifelong battle.

What were you doing at midnight last night?

Sleeping. I’m not a late night person. But my husband is. It’s a wonder we spend any time together at all. LOL

What’s a saying you use a lot?

“Just sayin’” – our pastor uses it often and it makes me laugh every time!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Ants. I remember sitting on my front steps when I was little and picking up the little crawly things and popping them in my mouth. ICK! I have no idea who put me up to it!

What is your favourite animal?

I love watching the way big cats move – so sleek and gracious.

What do you want to know about the future?

Who will I see in heaven? And will God tell me “well done” or just look at me with sorrow in His eyes for things I didn’t do.

Have you ever cried during a movie?

LOL All the time – sometimes I don’t even know why something hits me so hard, but I have a soft heart and it doesn’t take much.

What is your favourite pizza?

I love Greek pizza with chicken and vegetables and alfredo sauce. YUM

Are you a morning person or a night person?

Morning – much to the disgruntlement of my daughter and husband.

If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?

Make me skinny, keep me healthy, make me the best witness for God that I can be! God is the only genie I know. I just pray He holds me close!

If you could go anywhere to tomorrow, where would you go?

Ireland! I have always wanted to see the green isle. I’ll get there someday!

If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?

My dad. He died when I was a teenager so I never got to talk with him as an adult. He was such a kind and gentle man, I just wish I could have known him better.


Review:

Can second chances happen? Is it possible for love to come again once the moment has gone? This debut novel by Ms Snow explores that in a wonderful story. Margaret leaves all she knew after the death of her husband, to start a new life in a new town. Only Lukas seems determined to reclaim her heart, one piece at a time. Filled with spring flowers and hope, this story of love and faith is one to not to be missed.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Author Interview - Loree Peery


Today we have fellow white rose author Loree Peery talking about her new release Rainn on my parade. It released last week and is available HERE and in print and amazon.com and amazon.co.uk

How did you come up with your premise?

Rainn on My Parade is book two in the Frivolities series. I hadn’t planned a series, but sometimes the characters take over (with a little divine direction, I believe). When Rainn said to Eric in Moselle’s Insurance, “If the daughter looks anything like the mother, you’ve got a good thing going here.”


Is there a story behind your book? How did the story evolve?

I’d already planned to write a reunion story with Moselle as the heroine’s name. When the women in my writer’s group critiqued or listened to the progress of that story, they kept talking about how much they liked Moselle’s mother and aunt. So I started thinking about stories for the older widows.

For those who are not familiar with this story, would you please give us the blurb?

After firefighter Rainn Harris rescues Geneva Carson from being stuck in a tree, she feels she owes him. Helping to care for his autistic niece comes easy, but her attraction to Rainn is a different story. Being drawn to a man twelve years her junior metes internal havoc as Geneva attempts to balance responsibility and personal fulfillment. And the prospect of becoming a middle-aged mom to a special -needs child sends Geneva into a tailspin of conflicting emotions.

As the custodial parent for his young niece, Rainn is determined to be a better parent than his absentee sister. When Geneva agrees to help care for Mia, Rainn is overjoyed. He admires Geneva’s compassion and enthusiasm for life, and expects she’ll be a positive influence on Mia. What he doesn’t expect is to fall in love with the beautiful and vital woman. But Geneva’s hung up on their age difference, and he must convince her of his sincerity before they will ever have a chance at happiness together.

As tension threatens to pull them apart, both must learn to rely on the Lord to direct their futures—whether that means two lives joined or paths in opposite directions.


Are there any fun tidbits about this story you can share with us?

Oh boy, my age is showing. In dialogue, Rainn said Geneva looked “foxy,” but the editors told me that expression is dated. When I shared that with my youngest daughter and said how exciting it was to be publishing an older woman/younger man romance, she said, “Mom, it’s called cougar.” Now, that expression doesn’t sound pleasant to me at all. I have yet to look that up. Do mother cougars eat their young or something gross?

Hmm I’d say foxy too. Guess I’m showing my age as well.

How did you decide on the setting?

The setting was the first thing that came to me after I visited a couple crazy women’s shops in a neighbouring town. Frivolities was born. One of my writer friends told me she wanted to live in Frivolities.

When will it be released?

The e-book will be available April 1. And I’m really looking forward to holding a print book in my hand.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

The Nebraska Sandhills. I dream of a house high enough that I could see a vista of native pasture, sunrises, and sunsets. It doesn’t bother me at all to not go anywhere accept church. But loved ones can’t always come to me. And there are amenities of being close to a city.

What hidden talent do you possess outside of writing... something you do for fun, but are good at?

I have an eye for taking pictures. My daughters and granddaughters think I should have them available to sell. But I find it still stressful, and time consuming, to get a few on Facebook!

What’s your favourite colour?

Right now it’s purple. I have an affinity for cobalt wine bottles (hubby gathers them from the recycle bins). Green has always been at the top of my list. And, depending on my mood, red and yellow as well.


What are you most passionate about, other than writing?

I believe the Lord’s return could happen any day. My greatest desire is for all my children and grandchildren to come to the knowledge of saving grace.

Name some of your most favourite things.

Photo albums. I have one for each grandchild. A picture on my wall of me sitting on my mother’s lap when I was three, and she’s reading to me. The concentration on my face is priceless. My green tea CR-V, which my honey gave me for our 35th anniversary.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

I’d call it more procrastination than anything. Writing creates writing. Even if I don’t have a plan as to where I’m going, if I just start typing, I’m soon in the zone. Not always, some days I may only write a passable paragraph, or a page, which depends a lot upon interruptions.

How do you develop your plots and characters?

Each story has been different. I have umpteen notebooks on craft, and have attempted and tossed many processes that work for other writers. Sometimes I start with a character, a setting, a dilemma, or even dialogue. I’ve finally developed a chapter by chapter goal that involves plot elements or turning points with a scene idea. But most of the time, it’s the writing that gets me to where I want to go. And in the process, I delete a lot of what goes into the first draft.

Are you working on anything at the present you’d like to share with us?

The third book in the Frivolities series is with my editor now. The fourth is finished and my critique partners are having a look.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?

They usually just happen. Sometimes I’ve brainstormed. When they don’t come easy, I pray. And I should have said that earlier. When I struggle with any aspect of my writing it’s because I’m trying to do it on my own strength.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I would say the feedback when I wrote for, and then became the editor of a large church women’s ministries newsletter. (Now, that was a mouth full!)

Describe your writing space.

After my son moved from home the third time, I took his room and turned it into my study. The room houses eight oak bookcases, of which my husband built two. They hold mostly hardcovers, well over 1,000. On top are special collections of books and Gone with the Wind collectibles. Sprinkled throughout the shelves are other special mementos from former co-workers, family, friends, and writing events. One bookcase is for writing reference, including a shelf of filled craft/business three-ring binders.

File cabinets are tucked in the closet, along with crates of filled journals and paperback “keepers.” My TBR stack and a tote of books I’ll pass on to my daughter, wait on the floor. Copies of manuscripts are stored in decorative rectangle hatboxes in the center of the room.

My desk is an antique I refinished. It features a drawer almost as big as the desktop, with deep secrets going back to 1990. The stained glass Tiffany lamp is a retirement gift from co-workers in Modern Languages at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I hadn’t realized I needed a lamp until they gave it to me.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I like to be outside, tinkering in my rock and flower gardens, taking walks, watching birds, just sitting. Coffee or lunch with special Christian friends or other writers are highlights. I especially like movies or lunch with my husband. I’m looking forward to a ladies retreat, and enjoy Bible study.


Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?

Such an interesting question. I juxtapose printing and cursive. And I write my r’s a very old-fashioned way. In recent months I met a cousin I had never known. He is a few months older than me and writes his r’s the exact same way. I need to ask him if he went to country school. Maybe it was a sign of the times.

You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

The unsolved homicide of my father. That act has affected generations of my family. But, it has enabled me to have the outlook of overcomer.

What is your heritage?

German. My maiden name is Mosel, which is a river in Europe.

Have you ever cried during a movie?

Oh, my goodness, yes. My kids and grandkids have made fun of me. It doesn’t take much. There are certain commercials that bring a tear. Watching performances by Jackie Evancho or Susan Boyle do the same.

If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?

(I’d like to have a picture of Clare coming up with these questions. Does that count?) (LOL ummm maybe)

I’d like the rooms in my home painted and updated. I would LOVE the ability to be a tech whiz. And, I guess I’d like some of my writing friends who really deserve to be published, see their names in print.


If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?

My mother. Over the years I’ve had so many questions about many things, I’d like to talk to her about.


:) thanks for stopping by.

The review is coming. I'm on the last chapter :)