http://lenanelsondooleynewsletter.blogspot.com . Welcome, Janice. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
Swinging on a Star is the second installment in the Weddings by Bella series. I knew (based on the first book) that Bella would need to coordinate many different types of themed weddings. And, as one who’s coordinated themed weddings, I knew they would have to be unique. Several years ago, my good friends Phil and Leslie got married in a medieval ceremony. My daughters were bridesmaids. I’ve never forgotten that special day. I devoted the book to Phil and Leslie in honor of their themed event, since it triggered my story for Bella. Besides, Leslie is a member of my “tribe” (twelve special readers who help me spread the word about my books) and reads every novel I write as soon as it’s released!
If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Only six, huh? Well, instead of going with my usual answer, I think I’ll look for six people I’ve never met before (or only met briefly). First, I’d invite Linda Nichols. Her book, At the Scent of Water simply took my breath away. I want to know how she kept such a beautiful secret until the very end of the book. Then I’d want to tell her how much I cried once that secret was revealed. Next, I’d invite Frank Peretti. His first few books really inspired me to write my suspense/thriller, Duty to Die. Third, I’d invite Robert Elmer. Some of his earlier books really touched me. I love his writing style. Fourth, I’d invite Robin Jones Gunn. (We’ve met briefly at conferences.) I’d love to sit with her and tell her how much those first few “Sister Chicks” books meant to me back in 2005 when our family was going through personal tragedy. Fifth, I’d ask Sandra Bricker. Her books are a hoot. Everyone needs to read her Love Finds You romantic comedies. Finally, I’d invite Jan Karon. (Nothing like aiming high!) Her books were among the first contemporaries I read that truly captivated me.
Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
First, I’d invite Calvin Miller. His Singer Trilogy is still one of my favorites. I’d chat with him about his poetic prose, then gush all over him like a groupie. Next, I’d invite Jeanette Oke. (Why not dream big, right?) I’d explain to her that her books were among the first Christian novels I read, and that they inspired me to want to write, as well. Third, I’d invite Nancy Jo Jenkins. Okay, I know. . .Nancy and I are friends. But she’s the same caliber of writer as the ones listed above, and rightfully belongs in the group. If you haven’t read her book Coldwater Revival, you simply don’t know what you’re missing. Fourth, I would invite my best friend and critique partner, Kathleen Y’Barbo, whose book The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper has been garnering rave reviews. She has earned my respect for a thousand reasons, but primarily because she’s been able to write through extreme adversity. Fifth, I’d invite Tricia Goyer. Tricia’s already a friend, but no one (repeat, no one) can write about WWII the way she can. Her stories are vivid, realistic and genuine page turners. Finally, I would invite my critique partner, Martha Rogers. She’s waited for years and years and years to be published and just signed a four-book deal with Strang. All four books are historical and they’re wonderful! Look for Becoming Lucy soon.
Actually, I was at a Christians In Theater Arts regional conference in Dallas several years ago, and I met Calvin Miller. We chatted for a while. He's very down to earth. And you've included some of my very good friends in your party. I just might have to crash it. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
And you're like me. We love being with other people. I face the same challenge. Tell us about the featured book?
BACK COVER COPY:
There's a fine line between ambitious and crazy. Bella's just not sure where it is. Bella Rossi's life is nearing perfection. Not only does she have the perfect guy, but she's also running a successful wedding-planning business and is about to plan its most ambitious wedding yet--a Renaissance-themed fairy tale come true, complete with period costumes and foods, horse-drawn carriages, and even a castle. There's only one hitch. The best man just happens to be Hollywood's hottest and most eligible bachelor, and he's showing an interest in Bella. Oh, and did we mention he's staying at her house to avoid the paparazzi?
With all the pressure surrounding this wedding, Bella's not sure she's going to make it through. Add her starstruck sister and her feuding aunt and uncle, and you've got a recipe for disaster--and a lot of laughs.
"If you enjoy weddings, Italian cuisine, and stories filled with humor and romance, you're going to love Swinging on a Star."--Anita Higman, award-winning author, Love Finds You in Humble, Texas
"Swinging on a Star has more layers of love than Aunt Rosa's lasagna. A sweet romance that sizzles and simmers on every page."--Allison Pittman, author, Stealing Home
Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and native Texan. An experienced wedding coordinator herself, Thompson brings alive in her books the everyday drama and humor of getting married. She is the author of Fools Rush In.
Please give us the first page of the book.
If Aunt Rosa hadn’t landed that gig on The Food Network, I probably wouldn’t have ended up on the national news. And if their pesky camera crew hadn’t shown up at our house on one of the most important days of my life, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been hauled off to the Galveston County jail. Unlike my brother Armando, I’d never aspired to get arrested or have my face plastered across the television screen on the evening news. But, thanks to Aunt Rosa’s homemade garlic bread, I found myself facing both of these things. . .and in exactly that order.
When the call came last Tuesday from the powers that be at The Food Network, the entire Rossi family went into a tailspin. Aunt Rosa’s recipe had been chosen from among thousands to be featured in an upcoming episode titled Italian Chefs From Coast to Coast. This was a great honor, of course, but the timing couldn’t have been worse. After all, I was right in the middle of coordinating my first-ever medieval-themed wedding at Club Wed, our family’s wedding facility. I was up to my earlobes in castles and moats. Who had the time—or patience—for television crews?
My book came yesterday. When I finish reading a manuscript for an endorsement, I'm diving right in. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I can be found at:
Janice, thank you for this fun time together. I know the readers will enjoy it, too.
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