Welcome back, Elizabeth. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I spent 20 years active with a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC), so the women and men who go through those doors every day are dear to my heart. I think very often it’s easy to limit your support of places like CPCs to a monetary donation – and while they absolutely appreciate those gifts, they also need people to understand what it is they do and who their clients really are. While at their heart, my books are romances, I hope they also provide a smidgen of insight into what it means to work in the pro-life arena.
In earlier years, my family has served as a shepherding home for young single women who were pregnant, so I totally understand. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
This is tough. It’s probably a three-way tie with the day I married my husband (he’s absolutely the best) and the days we brought our boys home from the hospital.
How has being published changed your life?
I’m busier, certainly! But really, it hasn’t gone much beyond being able to say I’m a published author (instead of hoping that someday I will be.) Oh! It has gotten me on Twitter – something I never really wanted to do before. J
What are you reading right now?
Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m actually a little behind my deadline for Serenity to Accept, book 3 in the Grant Us Grace series. It’s the story of Karin Reid (Phil’s sister) and Jason Garcia (who you also meet in Courage to Change.)
What would be your dream vacation?
A trip around the world. Right before we found out that we would be adopting our first son, my husband and I were in the process of planning six weeks traveling the globe. Obviously we wouldn’t have made it to every country, but we were putting together a pretty neat itinerary. I hope someday (maybe when the boys are a little older) we can follow through on at least some of it.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
So far, I’ve been sticking to the DC area – primarily because I’ve lived here so long, so I feel like I can portray it pretty well. Besides that, it’s a great and diverse area – so it’s kind of fun to put into a book. Though I’ll admit I add some things that don’t actually exist (usually stores or restaurants, that type of thing.)
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
This actually took me a little thought. I’m going to go with Jim Caviezel – I’d love to talk with him about his faith in Christ and the persecution and ostracism he’s suffered and how that’s affected him. I’d also love to talk to him about adoption (some of his children were adopted, as were my boys.) Then if you just consider how incredible he is as an actor – I could just let him talk about craft and simply listen. Even though I have no interest in acting, I’m guessing I could get plenty of interesting information about characterization that would help improve my writing.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love to cook. I’m not a super creative person in the kitchen, but I can follow a recipe pretty well (and make a few tweaks here and there if I know who I’m cooking for.) I also enjoy crocheting and playing Xbox with my older son (we’re both hooked on Skylanders.)
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Self-doubt. I can’t say that I’ve yet managed to completely overcome it – but I get away from being paralyzed by it with a lot of prayer.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Keep at it! For me, I had to learn to put my mental editor away when I write – otherwise, I go back through what I wrote the day before, decide it’s terrible, get depressed, decide I’m not good at writing…and so forth. If you’re prone to that cycle, don’t let yourself even start it. Just set aside time to get words on the screen – finish the book. Then, and only then, let yourself go back through and critique. And then, be open to non-traditional publication. The world of publishing is constantly in flux – there are opportunities today with smaller presses that are much more accessible to a debut author.
Tell us about the featured book.
Should you be willing to change for love?
When Phil Reid became a Christian and stopped drinking, his hard-partying wife Brandi divorced him. Reeling and betrayed, he becomes convinced Christians should never remarry, and resolves to guard his heart.
Allison Vasak has everything in her life under control, except for one thing. Her heart is irresistibly drawn to fellow attorney and coworker, Phil. Though she knows his history and believes that women should not initiate relationships, she longs to make her feelings known.
As Phil and Allison work closely together to help a pregnant teen, both must reevaluate their convictions. When Brandi discovers Phil’s new relationship, she decides that though she doesn’t want him, no one else can have him. Can Phil and Allison’s love weather the chaos Brandi brings into their lives?
Please give us the first page of the book.
“Come open the door. It’s cold out here and I’m freezing my you-know-what off.”
“Brandi.” Phil sighed into the phone and sank onto the foot of his bed. “What are you doing here?”
“I figured it had been a while since we partied, so I brought a six pack over to share with my husband.”
Her voice lost the playful tone and took on a hard, bitter edge. “It’s not my fault you decided to get sober. Find Jesus. All that crap. What a drag.”
The pounding on his front door echoed up the two flights of stairs.
“I came by to give you another chance to see what you’re missing. Let me in.”
“I’m sorry, but no.” Phil rubbed his temples as a migraine began to build. “Go home…please.”
He should just hang up. Of course, the last time he’d done that she’d made such a scene the neighbors had called the police. At least after that his mother had finally understood why he hadn’t wanted Brandi to have his new address. If he didn’t love this historic little town on the river that was still an easy commute to his job in downtown D.C., he might consider moving again and just not tell anyone. He realized Brandi had been wailing into the phone and he’d missed it. “Back up. What?”
“I said I’ve got nowhere else to go, Phil. Let me in.”
The rational side of his mind argued against the tug of guilt. Steeling himself against the inevitable tirade, he took a deep breath. “You don’t have a place here, either. Now, you need to leave before the neighbors get concerned.”
He flinched and held the phone away from his head at the string of threats and epithets she unleashed. When she was finally quiet, he put the phone back to his ear. “I’m hanging up now. Good night, Brandi.” He clicked the phone off as she started in again. The phone rang almost immediately. Phil cradled his head in his hands and ignored it. When his answering machine picked up, she started ranting right where she’d left off. He groaned and went to the bathroom for some aspirin.
He’d never expected things to turn out this way. He’d been filled with such joy when he understood and accepted what Christ offered; he’d assumed Brandi would share in his excitement. Boy, had that been a miscalculation.
Phil shook two aspirin into his hand. He wouldn’t trade his relationship with God for anything. If only he’d been more willing to hear God calling him before he made the mistake of marrying Brandi in the first place. Of course, he wasn’t listening to anything about God at that point. What was it everyone always said about hindsight? The phone was ringing again and more vicious banging resounded from the front door. He crawled into bed fully clothed and buried his head under a pillow.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ElizabethMaddreyPinterest: http://pinterest.com/chalfonthouse/courage-to-change-by-elizabeth-maddrey/
Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing this new book with us.
Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Courage to Change (Grant Us Grace) (Volume 2)
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