Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Softly and Tenderly is book two in the Songbird Novels so the plot and characters originated in book one, The Sweet By and By. Sara and I came up with the characters and story after sitting and talking about what Sara loved in story and the commonalities we had in life.
If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Oh, what a great question. Well, I’d invite Lena Dooley because she’s such an encouragement. I’d invite my brainstorm partner, Susan May Warren, and Colleen Coble because she’s been such a mentor to me. Add to my list… I can only pick six? So not fair. Well, add James Rubart because he’s fun to hang out with and share the Lord. Next, I’d give a shout out to Jenny B. Jones because she’s funny and cute, and a sweet friend. Last but not least, my good friend Debbie Macomber. She’s sweet, kind and an amazing encourager.
I am honored to be included with that group. We would have so much fun! Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Lauraine Snelling, Tamera Alexander, Siri Mitchell, Margaret Brownley and Golden Keyes Parson.
That's another great group. 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?
Great question. I’ve been through a unique writing opportunity by writing with Sara. It’s caused me to deepen and improve my craft. My editor says it’s like I’ve been through a graduate course. But for me, I feel like figuring out who I am as a romance and women’s fiction author.
Softly and Tenderly is about Jade Benson facing the hardest days of her life. She thought her troubles were behind her in her past, but in a matter of days, life crumbles down around her and she finds herself at odds with everyone she loves and trusts.
Sounds like a hard place many of us have been in before. Please give us the first page of the book.
Along the first of spring, when winter began to ease its grip on Whisper Hollow mornings, the word barren began echoing over the shadowy recesses of Jade’s mind.
“You’re quiet.” Her mother-in-law peered at her from the passenger side of Jade’s truck. She looked out of place perched on the faded red, torn vinyl seat wearing an haute couture pink suit.
“Thinking.” Jade forced a smile just as the tires hit a bump in the road, jostling the passengers from side to side.
June grabbed the dashboard. “Mercy me.”
“Sorry . . .” Jade urged the truck up the hill to Orchid House, her husband’s childhood home. “You feel everything in this truck. No matter how new the shocks.”
Truck shocks aside, Jade had managed to hit all the holes today. Holes in the road. Holes in her business. Holes in her heart. With a slow exhale, she propped her elbow on the door and pressed her fingers against her forehead.
Today it seemed that every woman, every woman who came in to Jade’s downtown shop was pregnant. Nearly picked clean Jade’s retro maternity clothes. She’d been folding and hanging the remaining items when June called and asked Jade to give her a ride home.
“It’s beyond me why you still drive this old bucket of bolts, Jade. Why don’t you just buy a new truck?” June brushed a piece of foam from the crumbling ceiling off her skirt. “You’re a Benson now. A successful business owner in Whisper Hollow and river front Chattanooga. Surely you can afford a vehicle better than this. Max would buy you one if you asked. I’m quite sure he-”
“Your pink suit is beautiful,” Jade interrupted. “Did you get it on your girls’ shopping trip in Atlanta?”
June cut Jade a glance. “Paris, last spring. I figure I could risk wearing it another season.”
“Do I get dibs when it’s out of season twenty years?”
“Shug, this thing will be completely out of vogue in three months. And by the end of summer, sold at the club auction.” June ran her hand along the three-quarter sleeve, finally smiling. Ever since Jade had picked her up from the Read House Starbucks, she’d been fuming beneath a stone-face.
“So Rebel got tied up with a case or something? Couldn’t bring you home?” Jade asked. June had yet to say why she was stranded at Starbucks, and so steamed.
“Oh, who knows? That man. He can be so self-focused. I specifically told Rebel that Honey Andover could not drive me up to the house when we returned from Atlanta. Her granddaughter’s birthday party is up in Knoxville, so she wanted to get back on the road. So . . .” June fiddled with the air conditioning vents. “Rebel agreed to meet me at Starbucks.”
“The truck doesn’t have air, June.”
“Well, why not? Mercy, Jade, buy a decent truck. What’s this thing, a hundred years old?”
“Thirty-eight. So what happened with Honey? What’s got you riled?”
Way to leave us hanging, Rachel! How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can find Softly and Tenderly online at CBD, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. Also on my web site, http://www.rachelhauck.com/ and Sara’s site, http://www.saraevans.com/.
Thanks for the fun interview, Rachel.
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