Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Déjà vu Bride - Debra Ullrick - Free Book

Debra, welcome back. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

To be honest, at first it was to take the place of a bad habit in my life. Then it became about the money. And now, it’s to glorify the Lord. To lift Him up. I want my stories to minister to those who are hurting. To those who need to hear the good news of the gospel. Many times, I picked up a Christian romance novel so that I could be transported from the harsh realities of life. And many times, God took the beautiful messages in them and set me free in an area I’d been struggling with. Knowing how they transformed my life, and knowing that most people won’t pick up a "how-to" book, but they will pick up a romance novel, the hunger to help others like I was helped burned inside of me. So, I write stories to give people hope. To lead them to the only One who can give them that hope. The only One who can transform their lives. That’s why I write the books I do.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

My wedding day. I got to marry the man who exceeded all of my dreams and all of my expectations. He truly is my real life hero. Even after thirty-four years of marriage. I know you only asked for one, but my next happiest day was when my daughter was born, and the next time after that was when I held my first published book, The Bride Wore Coverall, in my hands.
How has being published changed your life?

This is going to be a strange answer, but it is the truth. I truly thought once I got published that I would feel better about myself. That I would now be worthy. That I would have some value as a human being. After all, I was a published author now. You see, I’d always looked up to people whose books I’d read for years, and I envied their abilities to write such beautiful stories. Well, now that I’m published, I’ve learned that being published doesn’t validate me as a person. Only God can do that. And He has. He has used writing to draw me closer to Him. I pray more. I trust Him more. And I only want what He wants for me. I’m no longer looking to the money, to the "feel good about me thing," or the worthiness thing. I’m only looking to take the steps that He is asking me to take, when He asks me to take them. And I now know that I’m worthy because of Who He is and what He’s done. Not in who I am and what I do.
What are you reading right now?

A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman. The series is so romantic and totally excellent.
What is your current work in progress?
I’ve got several projects going. I’m working on, Powder Puff Bride; the sequel to, Déjà vu Bride. I’m editing, You Ordered What, my first historical. And I’m reworking the first few chapters of my romantic suspense, Forewarned.
What would be your dream vacation?
I’m fascinated with the underwater sea life and the various species of brilliant colored fish. So my dream vacation would be just me and my husband on a tropical, private island someplace where the water is crystal clear. I would spend hours with him watching the sea life, swimming, boating, water skiing, basking on the beach together in the hot sun, listening to the water lapping against the shore. We’d take our time hiking through the lush green foliage, stopping long enough to enjoy the menagerie of bright, intricately made flowers, and tropical birds. Hopefully we’d end up at a waterfall where we would take a long, leisurely swim. No rush, no people, only us and God.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Most of the time my settings are places I’d love to visit; like the south. I tend to set a lot of my stories there. For me, writing about them and doing the research is like going there without actually leaving my home. Some of the settings are places where I’ve lived or lived near. But most of the time, they’re places I’d love to visit.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Staci Stallings. She’s an amazingly gifted writer who has taught me more about trusting the Holy Spirit and His guidance than any other person. She doesn’t just talk it either, she lives it. She truly loves Jesus and it shows through her actions, words, and deeds.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Wow, the list is long. Going to classic car auto shows, collecting classic car and monster truck models, hot rod and mud-bog racing, drawing western art, visiting museums, watching Jane Austen movies, (every version ever made), PBS documentaries like: 1900’s House, Manor House, and Frontier House, and watching and feeding wild birds.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Being told that my stories are unbelievable. I’ve overcome this by finally realizing that just because it might be unbelievable to someone who has never experienced it, doesn’t mean it’s unbelievable to everyone. In fact, a lot of things that I’ve written are things I’ve gone through, or something similar to what I’ve gone through, or I’ve witnessed personally. I had one person tell me that there was no way the plane crash scene in, Déjà vu Bride, could ever happen. Well, it did. I just changed the names and the setting. I’m learning to write my stories the way God is asking me to write them. I now take the advice I’m given and ask God if there is any truth in what they’re saying and go from there. Plus, I try to put myself in the reader’s shoes. Just because "I" think or know it happened, I want to write something that will justify or convince my reader that it did indeed happened. Being told it was unbelievable made me stop and look at how someone else views it. It makes me ask myself, what can I do to convince the reader that it can actually happen?
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
To follow your heart and write the stories that God lays on your heart. So many times we’re told we can’t write this and can’t write that, only to see that same thing that we were told not to write about in another book. I truly believe that God has a plan for each one of our lives. So therefore, write the stories that God is asking YOU to write. Take the steps that He’s asking YOU to take, and leave the results in His hands. Ask God to send you someone who understands your unique writing voice and style and who doesn’t try to change it or you. Also, take what people say to you to the Lord and weigh their advice out prayerfully. Step back and look at the advice objectively. At first we tend to be crushed, but when you ask God and yourself if there is any truth in what they’re saying, it gives you a whole new perspective on things.

Tell us about the featured book.
Déjà vu Bride is the sequel to, The Bride Wore Coveralls. It’s a story that shows just how deeply God loves each and everyone of us and the measures He takes to sweep us up into his loving and protective arms. Olivia Roseman is a young woman who’s suffered much tragedy, including the loss of several loved ones. She feels abandoned by God and even questions His very existence. When she lands the job of her dreams, airbrush painting monster trucks, Olivia leaves her old life behind in hopes of making a clean break and a fresh new start. One without God; and one without love.
Only problem is, she ends up working for the handsome Erik Cole, whose kindness and compassion makes not falling in love a challenge. Restlessness, and God’s prompting led Erik Cole to move from Swamper City, Alabama, to Charity, West Virginia. Missing his family, he questions the sanity of his moving. That is, until he hires the beautiful airbrush designer and painter, Olivia Roseman, who he’s immediately drawn to.
When Erik senses she’s a gal who’s down on her luck, he decides he’s going to do everything within his power to change that. Only problem is, the little beauty creates more challenges than one; especially with her animosity toward God. Things change, however, when Erik puts his life in danger to protect Olivia.
Déjà vu Bride is one example of what the enemy meant for evil against Olivia, God turned it into something good. Just like in the story of Joseph, (Genesis 50: 20) God took what the enemy meant for evil against Joseph and turned it into something good.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
or they can email me at christianromancewriter@gmail.com
Thank you, Debra, for spending this time with us.
Readers, here's a link where you can order the book:
And here's a link to the Kindle version of the book:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Déjà vu Bride. The only notification you'll have will be the winner post on this blog, so be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you're the winner.
If you're reading this in Feedblitz or on Facebook or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave a comment. Here's the link:


Jo said...

I enjoyed reading " The Bride Wore Coveralls" and would love to win a copy of this book. Please enter me in the drawing.


Julie Lessman said...

DEB and LENA -- What a great interview!!!!

Deb, I love your statement that you've learned that being "published doesn’t validate me as a person. Only God can do that." Amen to that, my friend!!!

I can't wait to read your new book because I loved The Bride Wore Coveralls -- please enter me in the contest.



Linda said...

I love your honesty about why you began writing, and finding that only God can make you feel validated and worthy. Your books sounds like ones I'd love to get into. Thank you for the interview. Please enter me in this drawing. Thank you.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Debra said...

I LOVED this interview! At times it brought tears to my eyes.
I really enjoyed reading "The Bride Wore Coveralls" it's one of my favorite books. Now,I can't wait to read "Deja Vu Bride"
Debra,You are an amazing writer and friend!
Please enter me in the drawing.


Carly Kendall said...

I really enjoyed this interview. I have not read The Bride Wore Coveralls, but I would like to read it along with Deja vu Bride.

Debra Ullrick said...

Lena, thank you for this amazing opportunity. It is an honor to be interviewed on your blog.

Jo, I'm so glad you enjoyed reading, The Bride Wore Coveralls. Thank you.

Julie, I'm glad you enjoyed the interview, and I'm thrilled that being published doesn't validate any of us as a person, because if we never have another book published, then where does that leave us? I shudder to even think about it. Aren't you glad God knows what He is doing? I sure am. I can't wait for you to read, Déjà vu Bride, too! *smiling* Luv ya dearly, my friend.

Linda, sometimes it's hard to remember that it is God who validates us. As I read over this interview, I was reminded of it again. Now, I know why God says to "encourage one another daily". Or in this case, be reminded daily. *grin*

Debra, speaking of tears to the eyes, you're sweet words of being an amazing writer and friend definitely brought tears to mine. I think you're an amazing friend too, and I'm blessed to know you. I'm deeply touched that, The Bride Wore Coveralls, is one of your favorite books. Sure puts a wide grin on this ol' mug o' mine. *hehe*

Carly, glad you enjoyed the interview.

Thank you, everyone, for stopping and for making my day. Your kinds words definitely caused a few sniffles. Okay, okay, a lot of sniffles. Now, where's a Kleenex when you need one. Sniff Sniff. *smiling*

God bless you all.
Debra Ullrick

Sheila Deeth said...

I love your answer to how being published changed your life. Made me stop and think about why I want to get published, and yes, I should be looking just to God, not my dreams, to validate me.

Renee said...

Oh my this book looks GOOOOOD!!!! The interview was great too, Deb you sound like my kinda girl!!! I LOVE to go to car shows and "mudding", and museums and I love to watch PBS as well...WOW!!! Can't wait to read your book!


Carlene said...

Great interview and the book looks like a winner. Please include me in your giveaway.

peachykath said...

This book sounds really interesting. I'd like to be entered in the drawing for this book.


sherrinda said...

Airbrush painting monster trucks! What an awesome job...so unique! Did you have to research that to write about it? Sounds like a great read and I would love a chance to win.


Debra Ullrick said...

Sheila, we sure do need to look to God to validate us. Dreams come and go, but God doesn't. *smiling* Thank you for stopping by.

Renee, you sound like my kind of gal too. Luv all that hot rod stuff. Vrrrooom vrrroom! Anything that sounds louder than a sonic boom is music to my ears. hehe Have you read, The Bride Wore Coveralls? It has a lot of mud bog racing, some monster truck, and a bit of classic cars in it. What kind of museums do you like?

Carlene, what a pretty, unique name. Glad you enjoyed the interview and that you think my book sounds like a winner. Kinda makes ya wanna pile up. Sniff sniff. *smiling* Thanks for stopping by.

PeachyKath (Katherine) Thanks for stopping by and entering the drawing. I'm thrilled that my book sounds interesting to you. Very encouraging.

Sherrinda, another unique and interesting name. I love different, and your name is definitely that. Lucky you. I got stuck with Debra. sigh. My mom didn't like me very much, I think. hehehe Actually, in school, there were five Debra's out of twenty-six kids in one class. Talk about confusing.
And, yes, I did have to do some research about airbrush painting, but a friend of mine, Greg, who is a photographer and an excellent artist, helped me with the airbrush painting research. His work is absolutely breathtaking. He double checked my airbrush scenes for me to make sure I had everything correct. Whew. hehe
I'm tickled pink that you think it sounds like a great read.

Makes me wish I could give everyone of a you a copy. Such sweet comments. sigh. *smiling from ear-to-ear*

Thank you.

Debra Ullrick

sherrinda said...

Debra, your name is lovely! Though 5 out of 26 kids in a class? How confusing! Actually, my name was a compromise. My mom liked Sherry and my dad liked Linda, so they ended up just sticking it together. Now, that is not so bad coupled with Williams (my maiden name) but marry a guy with the last name of Ketchersid and well, you can imagine how many times I have to spell out my name for people. Not to mention that I will have to get a pen name some day because Sherrinda Ketchersid won't fit across a book!!!! lol

How wonderful to have a friend you can help you out like that! I am just amazed at the creativity you have the job for your heroine. Totally fun and unique!

sugarandgrits said...

Hi Debra! (Lena, Julie & Renee)

I haven't read any of your books yet, but I'm putting them all on my Wishlist after reading your interview ~ very heartfelt btw.

I really like "modern" romances ~ you can't get much more "modern" than a Monster Truck airbrush artist! Good for you! *HIGH 5*

I've always loved muscle cars ~ my Mom has a 1971 Camaro RS (it's silver), I got to drive it when I turned 17-18. LOVED IT! I want the new 2009-2010 model so bad! It looks AWESOME!! (new Mustangs too, Renee!)

Sorry ~ I didn't mean to go on and on!

Lori S.


Renee said...

Deb, I love to visit museums with automobiles (of course!) and I love the Heinz History Center...since I'm a southwestern PA girl, they have exhibits about local towns throughout the area and a Pittsburgh Steelers wing (heaven on Earth :-D)

I haven't read The Bride Wore Coveralls but it sounds GREAT!!!I'll have to pick that up too!

Sorry Lori the 2010 Mustang is waaayyy better than the '10 Camaro :-P what can I say I'm a Ford girl through and through!


Sherry K said...

Great interview with Debra. She is a very "real" and "down-to-earth" person. Which I love.

I have already had the pleasure of reading Deja vu Bride and it was great! You will be in for a real treat. Debra has a wonderful personality that shines through in her writing. Looking VERY forward to reading her other books in the future.

I would love to win a copy to share with a friend because I am NOT giving my copy up!! *grin*

Sherry K

Marla said...

Great Interview. I can really relate to Debra on how stories can change a person's personal life. I have received help in my own life just through reading Christian fiction and it so much more interesting that reading self-help books. Would love to win this book. Thanks, Lena!


Debra Ullrick said...

That is too funny, Sherrinda. I mean trying to spell your last name with your first name. It ought to be real interesting trying to fit that on a book cover. But what a dilemma. A nice dilemma that is. *smiling* For some reason I've always hated my name. Of course it could be worse.

Well, I hope the Wishlist fairy visits you, Lori. (sugarandgrits)
A big HIGH 5 back at ya. Lucky you to drive your mom's '71. I love muscle cars! Last weekend they had a huge car show. Over 1500 muscle cars and classic cars. I died and went to muscle car heaven. I hope there are hot rods in heaven and monster trucks. hehe My monster truck would be called: Holy Roller. Boo hiss that was so bad. hehe My bad?

Renee, you really do have to get, The Bride Wore Coveralls. It has a lot of Chevy/Ford rivalry. I used to be a Chevy lover all the way, but now that I'm older, I appreciate anything that runs and looks great. And the louder the better!

Sherry K, you made my whole year! What a sweet thing for you to say, not wanting to part with your copy, Déjà vu Bride. My face now resembles the Joker's. From now on, whenever I start questioning my writing, I'm going to read your post. It's just what the "writing doctor" ordered. *smiling* Thanks!

Marla, I so agree about fiction books being more enjoyable than self-help ones. I've always enjoyed reading books that I can relate to; books that minister to me. And fiction is so much more enjoyable. I like the others as well, but not nearly as much.

Thank you everyone for stopping by and for chatting with me. What a blessing you all are.

Debra Ullrick

rebornbutterfly said...

I have The Bride Wore Coveralls, but haven't read it yet. I'd love to read the sequel right after it though!