Saturday, October 25, 2014

AILEEN'S SONG - Marianne Evans - One Free Ebook

Welcome, Marianne. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
My characters don’t so much come from me, and my life/life experiences as they come from people watching, expanding upon whatever vignettes I stumble into and asking myself “What if?”

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Well, it’s not quirky—it’s more like hilariously stupid. I was a very young bride—married for less than a year—and I was determined to follow my dad’s recipe and make my hubby this delicious spinach, garlic, and butter dipping sauce for our crusty, fresh from the oven Italian bread. The recipe called for three cloves of garlic. I put in three HEADS of garlic. It was pungent, to say the very least. Best part is, he ate it wearing a smile (and he issued some chest-deep laughter once we discovered my error). Right then and there, I knew I had a winner in my forever man.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was in grade school, ignoring math equations in favor of my English composition book! Back in the sixth or seventh grade, I started writing short stories long hand. I handed them out to my friends and they liked them, so I kept on writing. I also had teachers who were incredibly encouraging and prompted me to keep at it. You might say they were my first critics and reviewers.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My auto-buy authors in the CBA are Karen Kingsbury and Irene Hannon. In the ABA, it’s Nora Roberts. All three of these authors are consummate storytellers and know how to bring characters and circumstances to life with vivid, relatable detail and emotion. I love their books and they constantly inspire me to work even harder at my craft and continue to hone my skills as a writer.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Sanity isn’t something I keep, it’s something I merrily lose every day – LOL!! In all seriousness, isn’t it amazing that technology gives us tools meant to make our lives more efficient, yet at the same time, we’re all more crazy-busy than ever? I wonder about that cycle, because it seems the more we think we can “do” – the faster we run, and that’s not always healthy. I don’t have an easy or simple answer to the question, because it’s a topic I battle every day. I can only say I try to find a balance between my work life, home life, and author life. In that regard, sometimes I win, and sometimes I lose—but God’s got my back, so I keep relying on Him and I keep on trying!

How do you choose your characters’ names?
For the most part, the names come to me as my story evolves and I begin to plot it out. I tend to need that reference immediately, and my character’s name/appearance helps me form a point of reference and move forward. If I get stuck—and there have been moments like that—I like to review popular and current baby names on-line.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My family and kids aren’t an “accomplishment”—but they are the foundation upon which God rests my heart, and I’m so very proud of them, one and all. From a professional standpoint, finding out Devotion won the prestigious Booksellers Best Award at RWA in 2013 for Best Inspirational Novel was monumental—as was the moment Finding Home earned a Selah for Best Novella. These awards are two industry standards and I was honored to even final, let alone emerge with a win.

I know. I’ve won one Selah and finaled for a Selah with another book. They are awesome moments. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I always joke with my hubby that I’d want to be a kitty. I watch our three feline family members stretching, yawning, playing, sleeping, and prowling while I scurry off to work, etc., and I think, “Man, you guys have it made!”

What is your favorite food?
Hands down it’s stove-top popcorn, freshly made, with the perfect balance of drizzled butter and salt. Y-U-M!!!!!!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I won’t call it a problem, but I’ll call it a frustration. It bugs me to bits when I sit down to write, and I have a scene in my head, but the words just won’t flow. I combat that circumstance by keeping my fingers on the keyboard and pushing through. Writing, for me, is a discipline. I don’t walk away. If I give up, there’s nothing to work with. If I write, even if it’s garbage initially, I can refine it and mold the words into what I want them to be.

That is so true. Tell us about the featured book.
Aileen’s Song is book 1 of the Sisters in Spirit series. Sisters in Spirit follows the lives and loves of four friends as God leads them into a world of music performance. I’m thrilled that Pelican Book Group is introducing this series as a prelude to their brand new imprint, Pure Amore! Sisters in Spirit and Pure Amore focus on modern, relatable couples who embrace the idea of abstinence without surrendering any of the thrill (and challenge!) of falling in love. Such a wonderful concept! Here’s a glimpse into Aileen’s story:

Aileen, Siobhan, Kassidy, and Maeve—long ago they made a purity pledge to God and a friendship vow to one another. Now this quartet is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime...

All her life, Aileen Brewer has dreamed of singing on stage and winning the heart of Liam Douglas. When she sings, she exudes confidence and charm. Away from the spotlight, she's the shy, curvaceous woman who has always tried to maintain a sweet, Godly spirit despite her radical upbringing and a sense that she's not quite good enough.

During a music festival at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Aileen takes the stage with her three best friends, and Sisters in Spirit is born. 

Liam, a Christian record producer, is captivated by the wallflower of his youth who has blossomed into a magnetic performer. He champions a record deal, and a quest for Aileen's heart begins, but can she find confidence enough to take command of the group ... and accept Liam's love? Can Liam help her see the beauty of the woman she has become? 

Dreams just might come true in ways only God could orchestrate ...

Please give us the first page of the book.

Six Years Ago
“Guys, you’re not going to believe what my parents did! I’m serious—you’re not going to believe it!”

Aileen Brewer couldn’t slam her bedroom door closed fast enough. No one would yell at her for the silence-shattering gesture; her parents were long gone for the weekend, and her three best friends had preceded her to the inner sanctum. Kassidy Cartwright flopped onto the king-sized sleigh bed of mahogany with its down comforter of pale green.

Siobhan Douglas, meanwhile, spun toward Aileen in a typical display of her natural, fluid grace. She pointed at the small plastic drug store bag which presently bumped against Aileen’s hip.

“What’s that?”

“This is what my parents gave me just before they left to go to the city for the weekend. I’m telling you, it freaked me out!”

Rounding out the quartet, Maeve Callahan tucked close to Aileen’s side, her fiery hair a tumble around a heart-shaped face. “Come on, then! Don’t keep us in suspense!”

Sucking in a breath, Aileen turned the bag upside down and shook it until the contents tumbled free and bounced across the bed, landing next to Kassidy’s long, slim thigh. It was a box of condoms.

A unified gasp filled the air.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Here are my connections, and I love to touch base with reader friends!

Thank you, Marianne, for sharing this new book with us. I know my readers want to read what happens next.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Aileen's Song -
Aileen's Song (Sisters in Spirit Book 1) - Kindle

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Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for introducing Marianne Evans and Aileen's Song to us.

Melanie Backus, TX

Granny's Attic said...

OK, this book has me intrigued. I can understand discussing and/or purchasing "protection" for a teen who has expressed an interest or desire to experiment. but to purchase said items and deliver them to a child who who has expressed no desire, or in this case, a child who has made a purity pledge, seems callous and cruel. I know I have to read this book just to find out what motivates these parents.
lisajcowell(at)cs(dot)com Ohio

Deanna Stevens said...

What a neat story about the garlic. this book has an interesting story line, I'd love to win a copy :)
dstevensn from Nebr.

Mary Preston said...

This sounds like it's going to be a fabulous series.

Mary P


Deanna Stevens said...

Sisters in Spirit, what a great name!
dkstevens S.E. NE

kec200 said...

Loved the interview! Book sounds interesting and I will add it to my TBR pile.

Kathy Church from Wendell, NC

Jackie Tessnair said...

Looking forward to reading this book.It sounds great.Jackie Tessnair,N.C.

Patty said...

Sounds like a good start to an interesting series!

Patty in SC