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 www.jillkemerer.com 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 http://jillkemerer.com/books/small-town-bachelor/ for links to purchase!
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kindred is…as Kindred is...With Anne Love

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables 
 
Today I'm thrilled to invite my writing friend and kindred spirit, Anne Love, to the blog! Anne is one of those people I instantly loved. We immediately knew we had much in common, and when we started to talk it was as if we had known each other for years.
 
I'm also excited to announce I have joined Anne, Jaime Wright, and Erica Vetsch on the Coffee Cups & Camisoles Blog as a weekly contributor (you can see my introduction post here). The blog is focused on history, romance, and community--three things I adore. I hope you'll join me there on Thursdays, and be sure to stop by on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays to get to know my blogging buddies, too. :)
 
Without further ado, here's Anne.
 
Anne and me at the 2013 ACFW
Genre Dinner Night

The fun of growing older isn’t sagging shapes, getting wrinkles , or being told you need glasses, and then bifocals eventually.

Nope.

Each decade brings more and more opportunity to discover that life is full of kindred spirits. You just have to find them. You have to look for them. And the fun thing about finding kindred spirits is not only the bond of friendship, but learning about yourself in the process.

Kindred spirits aren’t just dopplegangers who show you a reflection of yourself. They aren’t just a mini-me. But they do “get you” in a special way that no one else quite can, and it’s mutual.

The word kindred can mean:  allied, similar, suitable, fitted, family, folks, tribe, clan, or “of the same blood.”

When you meet a kindred, though you may never have met before, you just “know” each other easily.

So it is with writers. Especially historical writers.

I first met Gabe at ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference in Indianapolis, 2013. A whole group of writers who had connected in cyberspace met in the lobby as a group for the first time and went out for dinner. I was sitting across from Gabe and we struck up a fun conversation about history. I was hooked. I knew of all the wonderful new friends, Gabe was the one I’d love to have more time to chat with later.

Turns out we exchanged some writing and helped each other with some critiques in the following months. Since then, we’ve met again in 2014 in St. Louis, and shared phone calls and private messages.

Meeting literally hundreds of other Christian writers over the last seven years has truly been better than pen pals on steroids for me. Gabe and I are both in love with history and storytelling. We love it that we’ll never bore each other talking about historical events, museums, or fiction. So, this week at the blog I share with historical romance writers, Jaime Wright and Erica Vetsch, we are beyond thrilled to add Gabe as a weekly contributor at www.coffeecupsandcamisoles.blogspot.com.

Because Jaime, Erica, Gabe, and I are a tribe. We are a clan. We are of “the same blood.” We love history, all things vintage, Jesus, romance, and coffee. If you love those things too, we welcome you to stop by the blog and find your fit with us as we lift a cup of dark brewed coffee at our cyber cafĂ©!

Me and Anne at the 2014 ACFW
Gala Awards Dinner

...Writer of Love Notes...
 Anne Love writes full length Christian Historical Romance novels from rural settings of the 19th century. She works full-time in Northern Indiana as a Family Nurse Practitioner, and balances out her life as a wife and mother with writing, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads and of course strong black coffee. She is a member of ACFW, has participated in Scribes critique groups and has attended ACFW conferences where she met her fellow bloggers and dearest critique partners ever. Her roots and faith are Mennonite, but neither she nor her heroines wear bonnets. In her spare time she enjoys reading, gardening, music, science, worship, and historical research. She is represented by Sarah Freese of WordServe Literary.
 
You can email her at loveae1967 at live dot com
Find her on Pinterest
Friend her on Facebook
Connect at Goodreads
Read old blogs at Love Notes
Follow her on Twitter
 
YOUR TURN: Who are your kindred spirits? Have you ever met someone you've connected with immediately? Do you believe in friendship at first sight? :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Winner!

Last week I had the privilege of hosting one of my favorite historical authors, Laura Frantz. If you haven't read the interview, go here.

Laura graciously agreed to give away a copy of one of her books to a lucky winner! And the winner is: Carla Gade!

Carla, I will be contacting you shortly. Be thinking about which book you'd like...


Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. Be sure to check back here next Wednesday for another guest author and some fun news!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Interview with Laura Frantz & a Book Giveaway!

I've been looking forward to this day for weeks!! It's the day Laura Frantz visits my blog. :) I met Laura on the pages of her novel, The Colonel's Lady, and became an instant fan. She was one of the first authors I reached out to on my writing journey, and she's become a wonderful friend. Though we've not met in person, she has been a joy and encouragement to me along the way. The best part? Her books are amazing, and they keep getting better!!
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Welcome to my blog, Laura! I’m thrilled, as always, to have you here. Today I’m excited to talk about your latest release, Love’s Fortune, and find out what we can look forward to next.

Gabrielle, I’ve always felt a special connection with you, ever since you found me on Facebook and we discussed our mutual fascination with Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh and all that rich history near your home and heart! That was, of course, only the tip of the iceberg! Now here you are, another novelist!

I remember that first conversation! It was the start of a beautiful friendship. You've been so kind to come alongside me and offer your support. 

First, let’s chat a little about, Love’s Fortune, which is the third and final installment of the Ballantyne Legacy Series. I shared my review last September when the book released, and when I looked back at it just now, all the wonderful feelings and emotions from the story returned to me. It’s a lovely tale that still tugs on my heart. How do you feel leaving the Ballantyne family behind to write new stories?


I’m thrilled Wren’s story reached you on an emotional level, always my heart’s desire. Leaving the Ballantynes was bittersweet as I had become quite attached to Eden and Silas and their descendants over the course of 3-4 years researching and writing about them. Ending their story in Scotland, the land of my hero’s birth, brought the series full circle and made it easier to type THE END. Publishing doesn’t give you a lot of time to catch your breath so it’s off to another storyworld…!

Your next novel, The Mistress of Tall Acre, will release in September 2015. The back cover copy sounds so intriguing! 

The American Revolution is finally over and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her closest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe and sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general's past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the point of breaking. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre? 

Oh, my! I can’t wait to read this story! Can you share with us where the story idea came from?
 
I’ve always wanted to write a novel about a hero who’s both a widower and a father. There’s something especially poignant about that to me – far more angst! So Seamus, grieving widower and war hero and single father, was the launching point for this novel. Since I love Virginia history, I set the story there, and modeled Tall Acre after Gunston Hall (George Mason’s estate). But the lovely house you see on the cover is quite different than Mason’s (Revell couldn’t use Gunston Hall due to copyright issues). My heroine is also older this time round as you will also see from the cover. I like that maturity very much and appreciate Revell nailing her look. I was able to choose the gown she’s wearing – the fabric is exquisite though the button are a bit taboo for that time period :), at least for women.
 
 
The cover is gorgeous, and I love the age and wisdom in the heroine's face! Can you share a few images you used for inspiration?
 
I really hoped to have the hero and his little girl on the cover. In fact, a dress was sewn for the child model but the heroine won out. This cover is very different than my others, less portrait-ish and more realistic. When it goes live it will be interesting to hear comments, ayes and nays ;). I really wanted to have the house, Tall Acre, a very fine, old Georgian estate incorporated and that did come to be. Tall Acre is truly the linchpin of the novel, perhaps more than any other aspect except the general’s little daughter, whose name is such a delight to me I wish I had one!
 
I had so much fun naming my own daughters--and it's just as fun naming my book characters! :)
 
I just read on your Author Facebook Page that you’re working on an upcoming novel set on the Isle of Mull in Scotland. There is so much about this bit of information that excites me! Many of your American stories have had a wee bit ‘o Scottish in them, but I know you’ve been longing to set a story in Scotland. It reminds me of Proverbs 13:19 “A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul.” I have a feeling this story has been sweet for your soul. Can you share how this story idea developed, and give us a glimpse of what we can expect?
 
Oh, love that particular Scripture, Gabrielle. Very true of this Scottish story! Since my family lineage is Scottish and they came to the colonies in the early 18th-century, I’ve always longed to put that on paper. This novel will have quite a bit of suspense within and takes place on two continents. It begins on the Isle of Mull, a place I’ve had the joy of experiencing several times – and very atmospheric, complete with a whisky cave I climbed down a cliff to see at low tide! This is also incorporated into the novel. I just hope to do all that rich history justice!
 
I can't wait to read both of your upcoming novels! Thank you for visiting today, Laura, and thank you for sharing a glimpse into your writing world. Your stories, and your sweet heart, make you one of my all-time favorite authors.
 
Always a joy to spend time with you and reading friends here and share some book buzz, Gabrielle! Thank you!

Dear Readers! Laura has graciously offered to give away a copy of one of her stories! The winner's choice. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below.

YOUR TURN: Have you read one of Laura's stories? If so, which is your favorite? And what do you think of that lovely cover?!?!


Award-winning author Laura Frantz is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Her family resides in Kentucky and Virginia.
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We have a winner from last week's visit with Jennifer Major!! The winner is Paula Moldenhauer!! Congratulations. I'll contact you soon.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Jennifer Major!

Today I have the privilege of welcoming the very funny and very talented Jennifer Major to my blog. I "met" Jennifer here on my blog in 2012. I immediately liked her and looked forward to her witty comments. I was even more impressed when I discovered she wrote historical fiction (which she shares more about below).

We met in person at the 2013 ACFW Conference in Indianapolis, which was a very memorable conference for Jennifer (and all her friends), when she accepted representation from literary agent, Mary Keeley, who happens to be my agent, as well. I also spent time with Jennifer this past October at our agency retreat in Monterey, California, and we had many laughs together.

At the Books & Such Literary Retreat in Monterey, California
What I love about Jennifer is that beneath all the humor, and all the laughter, she has a heart of pure gold--as you'll see below. I'm blessed by her friendship and I can't wait for you to meet her.

Take it away, Jennifer! 


My name is Jennifer Major, I’m Canadian, and I pretend to be a grown-up. Like, every day.

I’m also part of the “We have four kids and…what do you mean you’re hungry, you JUST ate a side of beef! And shut the fridge!” club.

Only, I’m not as calm as Gabrielle, heretofore known as The Gabinator because umm, four kids. Besides, everyone needs an inator, right? Points if you get the reference.

Squirrel!

Okay, now that we’ve established that I should not consume caffeine, I have four kids (12, 17, 21, 24), don’t look a day over 52, I’m Canadian (NO, I do NOT know Anne Shirley…but I have been kicked out of Green Gables) and I think P&F is brilliant…let’s talk writing, and reading.

I love to read deep, soul stirring stories. And I love laugh out loud stories. Yes, sometimes those are in the same book, but not often.

One would not look at me and think “Well, there goes a woman who writes about the most horrible event in the entire history of the Navajo Nation.” Otherwise known as “The Long Walk of the Navajo,” and the subsequent imprisonment of 9500 Navajo and 500 Apaches at a place called Bosque Redondo, in New Mexico. (1863-68)

But, I do. And the only source to whom I can attribute my literary obsession is God. He infused me with a physical need to tell this story as best I can.  He is my fuel. Because it’s not like I write comfy fiction that has an HEA for everyone, therefore not getting a kick to the gut every time I do research. If you want to get good and crushed, read up on something called The Doctrine of Discovery, and Manifest Destiny.

The years at the Bosque (boss-kay) decimated the Navajo. Roughly, 2000 people died in 4 ½ years. They refer to that place as “Hweeldi,” most likely a variant on the Spanish word for “fort,” which is “fuerte.”

Now, Navajo history is told “before Hweeldi” and “after Hweeldi.” 

There are few Navajo who don’t know about Hweeldi, but the ones who do, all know the same thing. Their people were herded there so that they could learn to become good Christians, and adapt properly to live among white settlers.

So, WHY do I write about it? Because if I can tell the story, if I can bring attention to it, and if I can shine the love of God into the darkness, maybe I can go back to those days in the 1800’s and tell those dear people what I want them to know…

What was done in the name of God, was not done with His blessing.

~~~
 
Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
 
 
Jennifer Major is a West Coast Canadian learning to handle life under 6 feet of snow in Eastern Canada. She speaks lousy French, and pretends she can speak passable Spanish. She and her handsome husband (of 26 years) have 2 grown kids, 1 high schooler, and a middle schooler who really needs his own TV show. Or not. She writes historical fiction based on Navajo history.
 
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To celebrate Jennifer's visit, she's giving away Canadian Chocolate to one lucky winner! (I've had this chocolate, and I'm bummed I can't enter this contest!!). Be sure to check out the Rafflecopter below. Thanks, Jennifer!
 
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Your Turn, Reader: Doesn't Jennifer's last statement send chills up your spine? "What was done in the name of God, was not done with His blessing." This statement is true for so many events in history. I love what she's doing with her writing. Do you have any questions or comments for Jennifer? 
 
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We also have a winner of Meek and Mild, by Olivia Newport! Be sure to check out my interview with Olivia here. The winner is: Wendy Newcomb. Congratulations, Wendy! I'll be sure to email you soon.
 
 
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Interview with Olivia Newport

Today I'm honored to have Olivia Newport visiting my blog. Olivia is the author of historical, Amish, and contemporary stories. She and I are also agent-mates with Books & Such Literary Management.
 
Welcome to my blog, Olivia! Thank you for stopping by to visit and talk about your newest Amish release, Meek and Mild from Shiloh Run Press.  
 
Thanks! I’m so glad to be here.  

For readers meeting you here for the first time, can you tell us a little about yourself and your publication story?  
 
After growing up in Chicagoland, and living in California, Washington State and back in Illinois, I’ve lived in Colorado for the last 19 years with my husband and now-grown children. I’ve had a string of jobs where my role was wordsmithing in one form or another. In a sense, I cut my teeth on understanding the purpose and audience for a wide variety of organizational pieces and figuring out how to make them communicate for the desired result. But I've always been an avid fiction reader and wanted to write novels. A few years ago I decided to get serious about it. My first novel, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, released in 2012.   
 
Can you give us a brief synopsis of Meek and Mild?    
 
The books in the Amish Turns of Time series put fictional characters in the middle of true-to-history events that in some way affected the development of the Amish. In Meek and Mild, Clara Kuhn and Andrew Raber find themselves caught in the vortex of events that led to the Beachy Amish separating from the Old Order about a hundred years ago. They both have to decide when is the right time to take a stand that keeps them connected both to their consciences and to each other.  
 
You write both historical romance and Amish fiction. How did your passion develop for these two genres, and do you see yourself writing in other genres in the future? 
 
A few years ago a friend introduced me to the Prairie Avenue Historical District in Chicago, and the result was the Avenue of Dreams series, set in 1890s Chicago. Then I wandered into Amish stories when I discovered a family line that traced to the Amish, and the result was the Valley of Choice series. Now I’m bringing historical and Amish together with the Amish Turns of Time series. But I also had the opportunity last year to write Hidden Falls, a 13-episode serialization available in e-book and audio formats. Hidden Falls has a contemporary small-town setting. I’ve had a blast writing a variety of genres, but when it comes right down to it, they all have a historical element. That seems to be in my writer DNA.  
 
Since you write historical fiction, I’d love to know your favorite historic site you’ve ever visited. 
 
Oh, so many options! I love visiting small local museums, such as the home of a town founder or industry leader. It seems to me that these places always have enthusiastic docents who love to showcase their town’s history. On a larger scale, one museum that stands out in my mind is the Glessner House Museum in Chicago, which was the inspiration for the Avenue of Dreams books. Tours are open to the public, but a friend is a volunteer docent there, and a couple of times he got permission to take me on behind-the-scenes private tours where I got to see parts of the house most people don’t have access to.  
 
I’ve heard that some authors need a special environment to write in (music, comfy chair, coffee shop, quiet room, desk, etc.). Do you have a special place you like to write? 
 
I have a couple of different set-ups in my home that I can turn to depending on mood or ergonomic needs. In the summer, I’ve been known to get comfortable in the hammock on the patio. Sometimes on Saturdays if the house is too noisy I go to a coffee shop in the morning and the library in the afternoon. Now that I think about it, it doesn’t sound like I’m too particular, does it? Wherever I am, classical music is my style of choice. There’s something about the rhythms and pace of Vivaldi and Mozart, for example, that seem to keep my brain clicking along.  
 
Any of those places would do for me, too! I can almost imagine sitting in that hammock... 
 
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Olivia. It's fun to get to know you a bit better and to learn more about your writing.
 
READERS, IT'S YOUR TURN: What is your favorite historic site?
 
Olivia has been kind enough to offer a free copy of her new release to one lucky winner! Please fill out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.
 
 
Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Meek and Mild is book 2 in the Amish Turns of Time set, which began with Wonderful Lonesome and will conclude with Brightest and Best later this year.  
 
 
 
 
Suddenly shun has become a serious word for Clara Kuhn. As 1917 approaches, her Amish church’s aging bishop is coming down hard on members who dally in untraditional practices—like offering Sunday school for children—and Clara’s gift for telling Bible stories to little ones collides with new mandates. The young Pennsylvania Amish woman had always moved freely over the state line to visit family in the more progressive Maryland district, but now those visits are coming under scrutiny by some members of Clara’s church.  
 
On the verge of accepting Andrew Raber’s marriage proposal, Clara is unsure what to make of his new hobby to rehabilitate an abandoned Model T. Just how ward can they push against the bishop’s wishes? As the chasm widens between Old Order Amish and the Marylanders, and tensions rise between longtime friends and close-knit family, Clara and Andrew must look inward to examine their own hearts and consciences and, above all, seek Gottes wille—God’s will. 

Please visit Olivia:
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Debut Cover Reveal with Pepper Basham

Today I am honored and privileged to reveal the debut cover for one of my writing friends, Pepper Basham. Her debut novel, The Thorn Bearer, releases on May 7th. I was thrilled when she asked me to share her brand new cover!

I met Pepper online a few years ago, and then in person at the 2012 ACFW Conference. Pepper is one of those rare and unique individuals that makes you feel rare and unique, as well. She has a contagious smile and a sweet, sweet spirit. I'm honored to have her here today. Be sure to read to the end to see the cover reveal!

Lindsay Harrel, Pepper, and Me at the 2012 ACFW Conference
Welcome to my blog, Pepper! Thank you for stopping by to visit and talk about your upcoming debut releases.
 
Thanks so much for having me, Gabrielle. Do you realize you are the VERY FIRST blog I’ve visited where I get to share about my debut?!? I’m so thankful to have this first opportunity with someone as sweet as you! J
 
I feel honored to be the very first blog!! I'm sure there will be many, many more. :) For readers meeting you here for the first time, can you tell us a little about yourself and your publication story?
 
Well, I wear a lot of hats as a music minister’s wife, mom-of-five, and speech-language pathologist, and I think the many ‘hats’ inspire my love for various genres. I’m a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the border of NC and VA and come from a long storytelling tradition, so my love for story began at my granny’s knee. I’m a big fan of chocolate, jazz, laughter, and dress-up, and I LOVE spending time with other writers.
 
It’s been a very long road. I’ve written ever since I was a little girl, but I didn’t start pursuing publication until about ten years ago. I started with Writer’s Digest and The Christian Writers Guild in hopes of learning the craft – and then I began my faithful conference visits. All along the way I worked full-time and added kids J Writing happened in the nooks and crannies of my life. I learned, wrote, submitted, received rejections….and started the process again.
 
It wasn’t until 2011 that things started moving at a little faster pace. I double-finaled in the ACFW Genesis Contest with two different genre books. A year later I obtained an agent which then transitioned into THE BEST AGENT EVER in Julie Gwinn. Julie took charge of my stories and publication with a passion – which ended in three contracts in three months. (All different genres.)
 
That's an amazing publication story! I love how God shows up at the perfect time, with the perfect agent, and the perfect stories to pitch to publishers. Speaking of the perfect stories, can you give us a sneak peek at the stories you have releasing this year?
 
I have two novels coming out soon. My debut, The Thorn Bearer, arrives in May and is a WW1 era historical romance. With the backdrop being the Lusitania and WW1, it is a very dramatic novel about friendship, forgiveness, and love. Be forwarned – it can be a little dark too. We have a sinking ship on our hands.
 
Historical: Ashleigh Dougall survived a painful past only to find her future in jeopardy aboard the ill-fated Lusitania. As she and her childhood friend, Sam Miller, face the tragedies both outside and inside themselves, they learn forgiveness and friendship can lead to something greater than either ever imagined. But Ashleigh’s secrets may be too dark for anyone to accept, even her best friend. Can she learn to release the pain from her past, savor the promises of the present, and believe in the hope of the future?
 
Then this summer, my first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, comes out. It’s a modern-day version of My Fair Lady with an Appalachian Twist. As a speech-language pathologist, I really had fun with this one!
 
Contemporary: The Language of Love doesn’t have an accent.
 
Dr. Adelina Roseland is determined to get out of backwoods Appalachia at all cost – even if it means making a wager with her arrogant supervisor to turn cattle farmer, Reese Mitchell, into corporate world material in two months. His accent is thick, but the love that binds his family is thicker and opens up a longing in Dee for a place called home. But will the truth of the wager end her future hopes with Reese and can forgiveness teach them both to speak the language of the heart?
 
The third book is a middle reader fantasy/steampunk that I’m coauthoring with two game designers from New Zealand. It’s slated to come out in late fall or early winter 2015.
 
All of those sound amazing! I love WWI (my current WIP is set during that era), and My Fair Lady is one of my all-time favorite stories. I can't wait for all of them to release. You write in a variety of genres. I’d love to know where your passion for each genre comes from.
 
What can I say? The Lord has a sense of humor?!? And He’s given me an overactive imagination J
 
I’ve always been in love with a ‘fantasy-like’ story, basically stories that have some sort of element of ‘magic’. Magic can be anything from the wonder of falling in love to the powerful amazement in the imagination of other worlds.  I’m a big fan of history too, especially the Victorian era-WW1. There was so much ‘creativity’ and ‘imagination’ going on at a fast pace during that time.
 
So, to answer your question, I guess, it’s been an evolving closet of stories my whole life. In high school my first lengthy story was something like a ‘historical romantic paranormal mystery” – so I guess I’ve always been a little confused in the genre-world J 
 
Author Cathy Hake once told me to “write where the passion is” and until someone decided to publish my books, that’s what I did. It just so happens that God’s decided to keep me in various genres even in publication. This year I’ll publish the historical, contemporary, and co-author a middle reader Steampunk J CRAZY!
 
That is crazy, but so amazing, too! Besides being a wife, a mom, and a published author, you also have a day job! Can you tell us a little about it?
 
I love being a pediatric speech-language pathologist! My specialty is Autism, especially highly verbal Autism and Social Communication Disorders. Up until last year, I worked in a university setting, but last year we moved to Asheville, NC and I began working back in the clinic-scene. Right now I serve a couple of charter schools in Asheville and hope to ‘someday’ focus most of my therapy on social communication. My charter schools are great, though. Fun kids! Fantastic teachers!
 
I'm sure they feel the same about you. I'm amazed you find time to write! I’ve heard that some authors need a special environment to write in (music, comfy chair, coffee shop, quiet room, desk, etc.). Do you have a special place you like to write?
 
Nope. Whether it’s been a skill forged out of necessity or not, I can’t say – but I usually write in the middle of life happening around me. If I waited for quiet and alone time– I’d probably never have a good opportunity to write J
 
And – you never know what kind of inspiration you’ll find in the middle of the everyday. My kids are a constant source of inspiration! I do enjoy those rare moments of focused writing time, but, thankfully, they’re not a necessity. I audio record in my car, scratch out info on napkins while waiting in the carpool line, and sometimes take my lunch break to edit a scene.
 
I guess I’ve learned to seize the moment – whatever moment God provides – to encourage this dream.
 
Pepper, it's been so much fun hosting you on my blog! I'm excited to see what the future holds for you and your writing.
 
Thanks so much for hosting me, Gabrielle. You’ve made my day!

Now, it's my pleasure to reveal Pepper's debut cover for The Thorn Bearer, releasing May 7th!!


Releasing May 7th from Vinspire Publishing
Ahh!!! There are so many things I love about this cover! The mood is dark and stormy, yet full of mystery, intrigue, and beauty. I love the era and setting, and am eager to meet Ashleigh Dougall. Not only is this cover stunning, it has an endorsement from the amazing Laura Frantz. Congratulations, Pepper!

Meet Pepper:

 
Pepper Basham writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She’s a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mom of five, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of chocolate. She writes a variety of genres, but enjoys sprinkling her native culture of Appalachia in them all.  She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she works with kids with special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her group-writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. She is represented by Julie Gwinn and is debuting her first novel, The Thorn Bearer, in Spring 2015. www.pepperdbasham.com

Your Turn Reader: What do you think of that cover?!?! Isn't it stunning? Please join me in congratulating Pepper.

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The winner from last weeks drawing for a Navy Seal Noel from my interview with author Liz Johnson is: Susan Johnson. Congratulations, Susan! I'll be in touch.