Hero Inspiration! From the Start by Melissa Tagg

Hero Inspiration! From The Start By Melissa Tagg

Inspiration for from a hero: Colton Greene in From the Start

by Melissa Tagg

So when Jill and I decided to do a little blog swap and talk about the inspiration for our heroes, it sounded like a fab idea. Yeah, I thought, I can talk about Colton Greene…the main guy in my new book, From the Start.

Then I sat down to write the post. And gulped.

Because I have no idea where Colton came from.

For one thing, the guy’s a football player. A former NFL quarterback. And I…am not a football girl. The most fun I’ve ever had watching football was during this Super Bowl party when I was a teenager. I spent the whole game boasting to these guys about how awesome I was at ping-pong. Seriously, I was so busy flirting bragging, I probably saw all of three minutes of the actual game.

And then after the game, I lost at ping-pong. Big-time. Score one for humble pie.

Too, Colton has been through tragedy—the likes of which I honestly can’t imagine. (Except I guess I can because I imagined this story into being. But still.)

Plus, he doesn’t really look like any famous actor in my head. Although when it came time to give my publisher cover ideas, I might’ve thought, hmm, this might be a great excuse to Google Chris Hemsworth…but really, it wasn’t until I saw my actual cover that I had a solid picture of him in my brain.

All that said, I don’t know if I can pinpoint any one thing that inspired Colton.

BUT.

I may not know what originally inspired him, but I do know what it is about him I can most relate to. And that’s this: Deep down, Colton knows there’s more. He’s had dreams stripped away, his vision of the future is murky at best. At the start of the story, he’s fumbling to find his place and catch any hope for the future.

But as his story continues, he starts to sense there’s more…that the boundaries he’s drawn around his life are too small. His turf is bigger than he realized before.

And I get that. I get that whisper in my spirit. “Melissa, there’s more.” That feeling that my journey has only just begun and it may not end up looking anything like what I’d planned…and that God’s imagination is world’s larger than mine.

I’m not sure I know what inspired Colton, but I know how he ended up inspiring me. 🙂

***

Melissa, you make me giggle (not about the God part–that was inspiring)! I never liked football much until high school, and it wasn’t until I was almost thirty that I actually enjoyed watching it on television. I’m a big University of Michigan fan, and I’m a Detroit Lions fan, but it’s hard being a Lions fan. I’m guessing you could beat my buns at ping-pong. You still got it, girl! Congratulations on your new book! I can’t wait to read it!!

***

From the Start by Melissa Tagg

From the Start ~

Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn’t kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays…until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley.

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend’s hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he’s lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he’s never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it’s like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn’t part of the plan, but it just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to them.

***

Melissa Tagg

About Melissa Tagg ~

Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant writer and total girl. She writes romantic comedy for Bethany House, and is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Her newest book, From the Start, is out now! Get a preview with her free enovella, Three Little Words. She blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at  http://www.melissatagg.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

***

Do you enjoy football? If yes, what team do you root for? If no, what’s your favorite sport?

Pop on over to Melissa’s blog today to find out my inspiration for Reed Hamilton in Small-Town Bachelor!

Have a terrific day!

We’re Talking Heroes with Jessica R. Patch!

We’re Talking Heroes With Jessica R. Patch!

We are in for a treat! Jessica R. Patch, author of make-you-sit-back-and-sigh heroes, graciously agreed to answer my pressing questions today. Let’s talk about heroes!

Jess: Yes! I love talking heroes. I may have just swooned over the word. Yep. I did. I swooned.

Jill: Well, you know I love heroes, especially YOUR heroes! In Hope Under Mistletoe, the first in the Seasons of Hope series, Knox is a bad boy. Frankly, I liked him. A lot. Were you nervous about writing a bad boy for the Christian market?

Jessica: Not at all! I think there are a lot of women married or dating men who were once “bad boys.” Or they dated one in their past. In fact, the more flawed a person is, the more I enjoy writing them because the redemption is even more powerful.

Jill: And did you have as much fun writing his journey to redemption as we did reading it?

Jessica: Absolutely! I wrote this story originally for myself. I was burned out to be honest and I just wanted to write for ME. What I like to read. No rules. And out came Knox and Eden. It was utter enjoyment.

Jill: Your new story, Just the Way You Are, surprised me with its hero. Who knew Pastor Gabe—the opposite of a bad boy—could be so dreamy? (Yes, I said dreamy. It comes from my childhood love of Scooby Doo cartoons.)

Jessica:  Jinkies, Jill! Thanks! Hahaha He was dreamy in a completely different way than Knox. I had so much positive feedback about Knox and his “hotness” I admit to worrying what readers would think of Gabe since he’s not a “bad boy” but a solid Christian man who happens to be a pastor. But I think they’ll be happy. I was.

Jill: Which of Gabe’s qualities is your favorite?

Jessica: I love that Gabe knows how to balance being a red-blooded man and a pastor/Christian without crossing lines or boundaries. I love that he knows how to give a great kiss but also listen to the heart of the woman he loves. That’s such a romantic sigh-satisfying kind of man!  And I love his sacrificial love for Audrey. He’d give up everything for her. Do anything for her.

Jill: Okay, share the celebrity inspiration for Knox and Gabe with us! Pinterest links would help. We’re not gawking—just curious. Drooling a little and curious.

Jessica: No drooling…um…not! Ha! For Knox I knew immediately that Colin Farrell would fit his looks, build, and “bad boy” image. Here is Knox. I hope you guys love the board it was so fun to make! https://www.pinterest.com/jessicarpatch/hope-under-mistletoe/

Gabe was a little harder to picture in my head. At first I thought Daniel Gillies from The Originals…swoon, and I pictured him often when I wrote Hope Under Mistletoe, but then when I got to Just the Way You Are, he didn’t quite fit. To be honest, he was too sensual. I know. I said sensual when discussing a Christian book. I wanted an attractive man, with a softer/friendlier face. So I went with a young Noah Wyle. https://www.pinterest.com/jessicarpatch/just-the-way-you-are/

This was a fun board to create too! Especially all the Easter fun!

Jill: I know you’re an avid romance reader, as am I. What do you want in a fictional hero?

Jessica: I want a manly man. Rough. Gruff. A bit unpredictable and wild. A man who knows how to use snark and wit and then at the same time have a soft inside. A man who would move heaven and earth to give the woman he loves what she wants and needs. I want hero who knows how to do sweet and thoughtful things for his heroine, even if he feels like an idiot doing it. And I’m a sucker for the cliché tall, dark, and handsome. Can’t. Help. It.

Jill: What turns you off in a fictional hero?

Jessica: If a hero doesn’t know how to flirt, I turn my nose up. Is that shallow? Well, if it is, then I’m shallow. I want a hero who knows how to flirt and get a girl’s heart rate going.

Jill: This is a toughie, but can you pick an all-time favorite hero from a novel you’ve read? I know, I know—there are so many!

Jessica: Oh. My. That is so tough. Grr…I really adored Colonel McLinn from The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz. I’m pretty sure I fanned myself good. He was dreamy. I read a saga by Nora Roberts called The Chesapeake Bay Saga. In the first book, Cameron Quinn stole my breath. I occasionally still think of him. It’s been 15- 20 years since I read that I think. This is just too hard.

Jill: I loved Colonel McLinn!! That book. Mm-mm! So good!! Thank you so much for your input on heroes today, Jessica!!

Readers, Jessica is generously offering a free digital copy of Just the Way You Are, the second in the Seasons of Hope series, to anyone who signs up for her newsletter! This is a limited time offer until April 24th!  What are you waiting for? Sign up!

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 Just the Way You Are

Just the Way You Are ~

When Pastor Gabe asks Audrey Gilbraith to use her mad florist skills to help him design a prayer garden, she’s all in, especially since it helps take her mind off the fact she’s about to lose her job and her apartment. But working closely with Gabe and not falling for him is complicated. She’s not pastor’s wife material, and she has the past to prove it.

Gabriel Brookson wants out of Audrey’s friend-zone, but when he pursues her romantically, he ruffles more than a few feathers in his congregation. How much is he willing to give up for this wonderful, quirky woman, and will Audrey accept him if he risks it all?

 

***

 

Jessica R. Patch

Jessica R. Patch ~

Jessica R. Patch lives in the mid-south where she pens inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. When she’s not hunched over her laptop or going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends, you can find her sneaking off to movies with her husband, watching way too much Netflix with her daughter, dominating her son at board games, and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she’ll probably never cook. Her debut novel with Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense will release in January 2016. She is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.

 

***

 

What qualities do YOU love in a fictional hero?

 

Have a terrific day!

Ice Cream, Bunnies and Tree Buds

I have a love/hate relationship with April in northern Ohio. I’m pretty sure it rained every day last week. On Saturday, the sun came out, the weather warmed, and I believed for a few hours summer might eventually arrive.

Tuesday night I bought my first ice cream cone of the season. It tasted so good. I’m definitely seeing a Slurpee in my near future.

As I write this, the sky is light gray. It’s dismal. Rain is on its way. But I saw a fluffy bunny in the yard, crocuses popping up at the neighbors, and did I mention green grass everywhere? Green!

Robins, cardinals and sparrows are flying like maniacs, singing and chirping, a sure sign we’ll be putting winter clothes away soon. But what really excites me? Tree buds. Red, purple, green–all will soon blossom with flowers and leaves. I can’t wait!

I still have my winter coat ready for action, but in another week or two, I might be able to shove it down the basement where it belongs.

What is April like where you live?

I’m at Mary Vee’s blog today! Stop by for details on how to win a copy of  Small-Town Bachelor!

Have a terrific weekend!

 

Writer’s Life: Catherine West

Writer’s Life: Catherine West

Welcome to another edition of Writer’s Life, my interview series with authors of inspirational or sweet romance. Today I’m delighted to have Catherine West! Catherine is an award-winning author and a witty friend. She has a new contemporary romance out, Bridge of Faith. It’s getting rave reviews, and I love the cover!

Let’s get to it!

1. What about writing makes your heart sing?

Love this question, Jill! Oh, so many things. I love diving into a new story, creating the setting, discovering new characters and wondering what they’ll teach me. Because they always do – I like to think I’m in control of the story, but really, it’s astonishing what pops onto the page without my planning. I love having the freedom to just write. Too often I worry about things like is it good enough, will people like it, will it sell – when really, the joy comes in just getting the words down.

 

2. What is the biggest hurdle you’re facing right now as a writer?

 

Ha! Well, to be honest, it’s always been my goal to be traditionally published. I had a brief stint at a small publishing house, but we’ve never been able to infiltrate the walls of the bigger houses. My books seem to fall through the cracks somehow. Hence the decision to move forward with Indie publishing. While I don’t know what God has in store, I may still get that elusive big name publishing house behind me one day, but for right now, I’m changing my mindset (slowly) to being okay with it if it doesn’t happen. I will continue to write and continue to share my stories by whatever means possible. So that’s been a challenge, but I’m getting there. Another big one for me is faith in myself. Believing I’m good at this gig and I can do it! I think I’m getting there with that one too, thanks to the love and support and encouragement of wonderful friends and family.

 

3. What do you do to fill your creative well?

I’m very blessed to live on the beautiful island of Bermuda, and our house overlooks the ocean, so I will often sit outside and just breathe in the view. That can recharge me quite quickly. I also love playing with my border collie, Noah, who is my third child! We go for long walks and he spends time in the garden with me when I’m weeding or tidying up. And reading. I can never get enough of reading. I love to paint too, and I started up again last year, but sadly, haven’t kept up with it. So much to do!!

 

4. What are you working on now?

 

Currently I’m working on marketing. Boring and tedious but very necessary! I have a few ideas kicking around for new books, but I haven’t made much headway on them so far. I have three unpublished books ready to go, so we’re waiting to see what happens with those as well. I’m taking a little sabbatical from writing anything new right now, but that won’t last long I’m sure.

 

***

Catherine, I can relate to your tough journey. I’ve had nine books rejected since I first started submitting almost a decade ago. And the publishing climate has been pretty chilly for a few years now. I’m really proud of what you’ve done, and you should be too! Yes, marketing is tiring, but, as you say, necessary. Your dog sounds like a sweetheart. Border Collies are so smart. 🙂 Thanks so much for being my guest today!

 

***

Bridge of Faith

Bridge of Faith ~

 

Two lives taken down different roads – one enduring love – one shot at starting over.

If only they believed in second chances.

Julia Connelly is finally free from twelve long years in an abusive relationship. Now able to live the life she’s longed for, Julia takes her two children back home to Vermont, hoping for peace and healing. The last person she expects to see is the man she eloped with at eighteen—who then abandoned her two months into their marriage, with little explanation.

 

When an assignment in the Middle East ends in tragedy, popular news correspondent, Reid Wallace, returns to his hometown seeking answers and peace of mind.

Confronting his past was not in the plan.

 

Now he’s asking different questions. Like why the only woman he’s ever really loved still mesmerizes him. Why the haunted expression she wears reaches right into his soul.

And why her twelve year-old son looks just like him.

They say you can’t go home again. Sometimes you don’t have a choice.

 

Purchase Bridge of Faith here!

 

 

***

Writer's Life: Catherine West

About Catherine West ~

 

INSPY Award-winning author Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Connect with Catherine: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Google+

***

Okay, who wants to visit Catherine in Bermuda?? I’m picturing turquoise water and endless sunshine. A far cry from April in Ohio!!

My good friend, Cynthia Herron, interviewed me on her blog today, and she’s giving away a copy of my book! Click HERE to stop by!

Have a terrific day!

Last Night’s Scary Tornado

Last Night’s Scary Tornado

All week my daughter took a class in a busy part of the city. Road construction around here is terrible right now, and we were both glad last night was her final meeting. When class let out, the sky turned an ugly yellow-brown on one side and dark blue on the other.

As soon as we got on the highway we knew we were in trouble. Tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings blared from the radio. The sky behind us grew muddy brown as two lines of stopped traffic greeted us. The nearest exit was three miles away. We were trapped.

A huge murky white cloud to our left flashed intermittent lightning. Traffic crawled, stopped, then nudged ahead. Tornado sirens screeched outside. My daughter Googled what to do during a tornado if you were in a car. Naturally, automobiles are the most dangerous place to be in during a tornado! The radio announcers kept saying to get to a safe place.

We wanted to get to a safe place, but how could we? We couldn’t get off the highway!

The weather grew more severe, but my daughter texted friends and learned the weather at home was even worse. Apparently our house was being pelted with hail. A tornado touched down in a town a few miles from ours.

The sky grew darker and darker, but thankfully, the tornado and storm were heading east of us. It took us an hour to get home, but we made it safely.

My brain kept going back to my book. Small-Town Bachelor features a terrifying tornado. I’ve been near tornadoes in the past, but this was the first time we were stuck in a traffic jam with one nearby. I prefer to be in the safety of my basement! Severe storms and tornadoes are scary, and I hope we won’t be anywhere near one again!

Have you ever been stuck in a tornado? What storms scare you?

My friend, the extremely talented writer Beth K. Vogt, is hosting me on her blog today! She features quotables! I love her site. 🙂

Also, if you’re in the Oakley, Michigan area this Saturday, April 11, pop in at the Oakley Village Hall from 2-4pm for an author meet and greet! I’ll be selling and signing copies of Small-Town Bachelor! See my Events page for the address and details.

Have a terrific weekend!!

Writer’s Life: Varina Denman

Welcome to another edition of Writer’s Life, my interview series with authors of sweet or inspirational romance.

I’m so excited to have Varina Denman as my guest! I met Varina a few years ago at the ACFW conference. We, along with Jill Lynn, were finalists in the Genesis contest. Varina’s kind smile and witty conversation drew me to her immediately. She ended up winning the Genesis! Her debut novel, Jaded, released in March, and if you sign up for her newsletter (link is below), you’ll automatically be entered to win a copy of Jaded!

Let’s get to it!

1. What about writing makes your heart sing?

I know this is going to sound crazy, but I love editing! When I first start a story, it’s total drudgery coming up with the plot. But once I’ve got it all thrown onto the page, I enjoy moving scenes around, tweaking characters, and polishing grammar. And then when I start feeling the scene as though it’s happening to me…then my heart sings.

2. What is the biggest hurdle you’re facing right now as a writer?

Oh. My. Goodness. That would have to be the deadlines, and the marketing, and attempting to juggle the two at the same time. Wow. For years, I’ve heard authors talk about how crazy it can be, but I really couldn’t imagine what they meant. Until now. I don’t have time to wipe my nose! Not that I’m complaining. All good things, right? I prayed long and hard for this, so I might as well buckle my seatbelt and enjoy the ride.

3.What do you do to fill your creative well?

REST. I don’t get enough sleep, so when I do, it makes an enormous difference. It’s almost comical. I can sit in front of the laptop, pondering a problem scene for hours with no hope, but after a good night’s sleep, the answer just pops into my head.

In addition to rest, I fill my creative well with housework, or mindless exercise, or romantic movies. The housework option may sound strange too, but when I’m the only one home, I get involved in monotonous chores and let my mind wander. Then my subconscious starts working on plot holes, and I don’t even have to try.

4. What are you working on now?

Right now I’m finishing up book three in the Mended Hearts series. It’s titled Jilted, and it ties-up all the loose ends that were left hanging in Jaded and Justified. Even after three books, I enjoy working with Ruthie and Fawn and the other characters. And I enjoy the small town setting. Often, I want to go there, just so I can get that rest I need.

Many thanks to Jill, for inviting me to your blog. I’ve enjoyed being here!

***

Varina, I can relate to everything you wrote! I’m not a multi-tasker. My to-do list scares me! But one-by-one, I get things done. Still, I get panicky at times. Rest is so important. I get more sleep in the summertime, so I’m looking forward to the warmer weather. Congratulations on your books!! The series sounds wonderful!

***

 Jaded ~

Jaded by Varina Denman

 

Having been unjustly shunned by the local congregation, Ruthie Turner despises the church members who refuse to speak to her. When the new preacher asks her out, Ruthie’s bitterness is put to the test. Against her better judgment, she falls in love then re-examines Christianity while he risks his reputation to be with her. Their relationship reveals a string of secrets which turn the little church upside down as Ruthie learns to forgive.

Jaded is a love story, not only between a man and woman, but also between the church and the lost.

Purchase Jaded HERE!

***

About Varina ~

 

Varina Denman

 

Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. She has five children, teaches creative writing and literature, volunteers in her local homeschool cooperative, and boasts sixteen years as a home educator. She resides with her family in North Texas. Her first novel, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis Award.

Connect with Varina Denman: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

 ***

Click on the box to sign up for Varina’s newsletter! You’ll automatically be entered to win a copy of Jaded!

Sign up for Varina's newsletter!

 

***

Do you get enough rest? Any tips you can share?

My extremely talented critique partner and one of my best friends–Wendy Paine Miller interviewed me on HER BLOG today!

She’s also part of a huge giveaway with nine authors of women’s fiction!! Click here, Spring Giveaway, for her post with the easy entry options!!

Have a terrific day!!

New Tricks and the Blog Tour Continues

I hope you enjoyed your Easter Sunday! We had a beautiful sunny day, and we’re still eating leftover ham and snacking on Easter basket goodies. Rain moved in. I’m hoping this means our yellow grass turns green. I am SO ready for spring!

New Tricks and the Blog Tour Continues

April is always hectic around here, and I’m not home in the evening much. Add a growing to-do list of small writing-related tasks, and I decided to try a few new tricks.

1. I got the Google Docs app for my phone. I can add a few paragraphs to short stories, work on interview questions or outline a handout on the go. I’m loving this!

2. Ever since I hopped on the scale at the doctor’s office a month ago, I’ve been determined to get my health back on track. I’m using the free MyFitnessPal app to log workouts and my food intake. It might not work for everyone, but it’s working great for me.

Today I’m at Jennifer Major’s blog talking about What I Wish I knew When I Started Writing. Hint: it involves the first draft! Stop by and join the conversation!

Up next:

Wednesday: Wendy Paine Miller’s Thoughts That Move

Thursday: Candice Sue Patterson

Friday: Beth K. Vogt

Saturday: The Pink Heart Society

Also, on Saturday I’ll be in Oakley, Michigan for an author meet & greet! If you’re in the area, stop by Oakley Village Hall from 2-4pm on Saturday!

What tricks are helping you meet your goals? I’d love to hear them!

Have a fantastic day!

 

What Sin Is Too Big For God?

What Sin Is Too Big For God?

I co-teach our church’s preschool Sunday school class. The other teacher and I take turns, so we each lead the class about twice a month. I love it. Little children bring so much joy to the world!

Last week, we talked about Peter’s denial and how sad he was after denying Jesus. Then we discussed how Jesus still loved him and forgave him. I asked the sweet children a series of questions.

Would God forgive you if you murder someone?

They all shook their heads no.

I assured them that if they were sorry and trusted in God, He would forgive them.

What if you stole something, would He forgive you?

Again, a lot of serious head-shaking!

I assured them that this too would be forgiven.

What if you hit your friend? Lied about something?

A few started to catch on, but the concept of forgiveness is tough to understand.

We, as adults, can be so like these precious young ones. Too often, we hear the message that God hates sin and will judge the world. Yes, He does hate sin and judgment will come, but God is love! He’s mercy! He forgives!!

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Yes, we all have sinned. God hates sin, but He loves us. There is no need to be separated from God’s great love–if sin is eating at you, repent. Give your guilt to Him who overcame sin and death, and rejoice in the peace of forgiveness!

John 3:16 (NIV) “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

No sin is too big for God to forgive! Give it to Him!

***

In lighter news, I’m chatting about my love of coffee over at Coffee Cups and Camisoles (linked) today. Stop by! I’m giving away a copy of Small-Town Bachelor!

And Heart-Shaped Glasses (linked) interviewed me today! They had some terrific questions. I hope you’ll stop by!

What is your favorite Easter hymn?

Mine is “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!!

Writer’s Life: Susan Crawford and a Giveaway!

Welcome to another edition of Writer’s Life, my interview series with Christian romance authors. Today, inspirational contemporary romance author, Susan Crawford, joins us, AND she’s giving away a copy of her debut novel, Saving Justice! I met Susan a few years ago at an ACFW conference. She is beautiful, funny and makes you feel right at home when you talk to her. I’m so excited to have her here!

Let’s get to it!

1. What about writing makes your heart sing?

I think the beginning and the end of the novel-writing process are the most exhilarating pieces. I love the spark of a new story, the way a character forms into this multi-dimensional friend in my head, researching and discovering interesting places or scenarios that would fit just right into the storyworld. I also love the final editing phase, where the whole mess starts to come together and I can spend time searching for that perfect word or phrase. And finishing, of course, is the most majestic feeling because most of the time in the middle feels like a struggle. To come to the end and see what you’ve accomplished is pretty sweet.

2. What is the biggest hurdle you’re facing right now as a writer?

Balance. As someone newly published, I’m still trying to learn how to navigate all the different demands that have suddenly dropped into my life. It took me two years to write the first book in my series, but the second book had to be done in six months. Learning to plot more efficiently and write faster has been a pretty steep learning curve for me, but I’m working on it. And once the book is finished, there are still lots of other things that have to be done (don’t even talk to me about marketing because I might hyperventilate). The task list is endless, and I have this constant feeling that I’m behind and will never catch up. There’s always something I could be working on. But I have a family that I like to see sometimes and a day job thrown into the mix, too, so I’m trying to figure out how to balance everything and keep the most important things (hi, family!) at the top of the list.

3. What do you do to fill your creative well?

I read lots of books, do crafty things with my daughters, or paint something. Usually if I’m stuck or feeling empty, getting up to do anything besides staring at the computer screen helps, even if it’s just starting a load of laundry or getting a snack (chocolate makes everything better!). And if all else fails, it might just be time for a nap. I’ve found that getting enough rest helps to keep me from being depleted creatively.

4. What are you working on now?

I’m revising Book 2 in the Heart of the City series and working on a new novella, as well. Book 2 features Cade McGuire, the brother of the hero in Saving Justice. He captivated me when he showed up in the first book, and I knew he had to have his own story. He has a broken past, but finds grace, redemption, and something completely unexpected in a feisty blonde politician named Darby Phillips.

***

Boy, Susan, I can relate to everything you just said. I love the final, final edits of a story when you know it’s as close to great as you’re going to get it. I always feel behind, too. As soon as one thing is checked off my list, ten more are added. I am NOT a multi-tasker! Yikes!! Your new book sounds fabulous! Thanks so much for being my guest today!

***

Writer's Life: Susan Crawford

 

Saving Justice ~

After losing her brother to gang-related violence, elementary schoolteacher Kinley Reid is on a mission to help her at-risk students. When one of them, Justice, is caught in an act of vandalism, she intervenes.

Entrepreneur Nash McGuire has gone to great lengths to overcome the poverty he grew up in. When working on a renovation project in his old neighborhood he collides with a juvenile delinquent and his do-gooder teacher.

Kinley believes Justice can overcome the influence of his environment; Nash knows the odds and has little patience with Kinley’s naivety. But as the boy’s mandatory community service forces Justice and Kinley into Nash’s life, he can’t help but discover a boy searching for love and purpose–a boy very much like he once was.

Then Justice is accused of another crime. And Kinley’s stubborn belief in the boy’s innocence is just too much for Nash to accept…

Purchase Saving Justice (linked)!!

***

Susan Crawford

About Susan ~

Susan Crawford is an author of inspirational contemporary romance, published by Redbud Press. Before publication, her debut novel Saving Justice was named a finalist in the 2014 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis writing contest. Susan lives in Oklahoma City, where she happily crams writing in between being a wife, mom, and small business owner. Visit her online at www.susancrawfordbooks.com to sign up for her email newsletter and be the first to hear about her writing news and upcoming releases.

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Enter to win a copy of Saving Justice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Are any of you artistic? I occasionally sketch, and strolling the halls of our local art museum always fills my creative well!

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My blog tour continues. Today is the official release of my debut novel, Small-Town Bachelor!! There are THREE ways to win a copy of my book. The following stops on my tour are all offering a free copy, so stop over!!

1. I’m over at Seekerville! I’d love it if you stopped by for “Tricks to Keep Your Eyes Fresh When Revising.

2. I’m also talking about my new-to-me hometown over at Gabrielle Meyer’s blog! Come on over to “My New-To-Me Hometown“!

And  Margaret Daley interviewed Claire, the heroine of Small-Town Bachelor. It’s really fun! Check it out at “Heroine Interview from Small-Town Bachelor.”

Thank you!!