Bio: Teresa Ives Lilly is A Christian author of 15 novels and novellas, 200 unit studies, and many articles. She lives in
Welcome back, Teresa. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
He has opened the door for me to work with three different groups of lovely women writers who have helped and inspired me. I see filling the upcoming year with writing at least five more novellas.
Tell us a little about your family.
I am married and have three grown children. I have one grandson whom I watch every week and sometimes after nap he will play in the playpen and let me write for half an hour.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Yes, I used to love to read long historical Christian novels, but now I find I like to read other novellas, which is also what I write.
What are you working on right now?
A Harvey Girl Novella
I love Harvey Girl stories. What outside interests do you have?
I line dance and visit bed and breakfasts when I get a chance.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I tend to write about stories set in small towns that come from my own imagination.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I’d love to sit with Laura Ingals Wilder for a night and discuss life or with Grace Livingston Hill and discuss the Lord.
At one time, I read almost all Grace Livingston Hill’s novels. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
Not to be afraid to join a critique group. When I finally did this my writing improved.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
To trust Him in my writing and selling of books and to tithe even on book money.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Join a critique group, accept their ideas and don’t just sell a book to a publishing house unless God gives you a clear okay.
Tell us about the featured book.
Cup ’n Cake was written because I visited
Maine and wanted to capture the atmosphere. The
story is a light, fun Christmas romance and contemporary.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Bundled in her winter coat, gloves, and scarf, Penny Trent stood in the square of the Harbor Inn Courtyard and watched as soft flakes of snow drifted from the sky and gently landed on the already cleared sidewalks that ran around the square of quaint stores. She sighed with contentment. Morning was her favorite time of day.
The first day of December and all the specialty shops were already brightly decorated for Christmas. The town’s theme this year was Silver Bells, and each window display boasted a variety of bells, silver tinsel, and white icicle lights. She’d decorated her window with a three tiered wedding cake decked out with silver snowflakes.
Penny shielded her eyes with her hand and turned away from the shops to the open side of the square that over looked the ocean. She scanned the horizon. The coast of
was a beautiful sight on this lovely winter day with its many nooks, crannies,
and crags. She could see the Old Harbor Lighthouse in the distance.
There had been only one cold day since Thanksgiving and the water along the coast wasn’t frozen, but she imagined it was bitter cold. Only a few early morning combers walked along the beach just steps away from the courtyard. The sand was untouched, except by gulls that ran to-and-fro, searching for breakfast.
Penny inhaled the fresh, frigid air. To hear the gentle lapping ocean waves is the epitome of the good life.
Even though she’d suffered the past few weeks, she was still able to close her eyes and lift her face as her heart sang out, This is the most pleasant place on earth. I’m so blessed that my aunt left it to me as my inheritance.
“Excuse me, Miss?” A smooth masculine voice at her elbow broke into her thoughts. She turned, surprised to see a tall, muscular stranger standing behind. She took a step back.
The stranger smiled. As if struck by a ray of sunshine, the brilliance of his grin flashed at her.
She took in a gulp of air.
“Excuse me, I didn’t mean to disturb you. Are you Penny Trent?”
Penny studied the man in silence. Regardless of the ugly Christmas sweater he wore, this was the man of her dreams. He stood within touching distance. Tall, brown wavy hair, blue eyes the color of a summer sky, and all housed in a perfectly muscular body. She was tempted to reach out and poke him to see if he were real.
The man cleared his throat.
Penny’s gaze shot up, her cheeks flushed. She noted the crinkles next to his eyes. A sure sign he had read her thoughts and was laughing at her. She stood a bit more erect.
“Yes, I’m Penny Trent.”
To her surprise, the man reached out, grabbed her hand and pumped it up and down. “Great, great. I’m Kyle. Granny told me I would find you here.”
Penny tilted her head and stared at the man, wondering how it would feel to brush back the curls that fell across his cheek. “And just who is Granny?”
“Oh, that’s right. I’m the only one who calls her Granny. She doesn’t like anyone to know she’s a grandmother. Said it made her feel old, but secretly, she loves being my grandmother.”
Penny continued to stare at him, trying to make sense from his words. Ugh, too good to be true. There goes the man of my dreams. It’s a shame he’s slightly touched in the head and can’t seem to answer a simple question.
“Excuse me, Kyle? You did say your name is Kyle?”
The man nodded.
“I still have no idea who Granny is. I’m sorry. I don’t know who you are, and I really do have to open my shop.” Penny took a step back then turned to go.
The man moved in front of her and blocked her path. “No, wait. Granny told me I’d probably fudge my introduction. I usually do.” He gave a rueful grin. “But give me a chance, I get better and I happen to know you don’t open Cake Time for another half hour. You usually get a cup of coffee first.”
Penny shook her head. She was surprised the man knew her morning routine, but it was also obvious he wasn’t going to make any sense. Slightly nervous and irritated, her eyes scanned the area. Where are the local rent-a-cops who usually worked this area or even another shop owner? It was still too early for any of them to be about. Unlike Penny, who lived above her cake shop, the owners of the closest shops; Just a Cup, Blue Willow Antiques, Turn the Page Book Shop and By the Sea Gifts, commuted from the city.
Penny began to back up. Grandson or not, this man didn’t seem stable. She quickly turned and hurried toward her shop, hoping the man would take the hint. She was not interested in speaking to him.
The stranger fell into step beside her.
“Yup, I messed up. I’ve gone and gotten you all confused, so let me start again. My grandmother is known to all of you shop owners as Helen.”
Penny’s head shot around. She stopped in her tracks and turned to face him. Helen was the owner of the coffee shop called Just a Cup, well known for great coffee and Helen’s famous recipe for lemon coffee cake. Kyle had Penny’s full attention.
“Ah, now I’m doing better. You see, my grandmother, err… I mean Helen, is in the hospital…”
“What? I just saw her the day before Thanksgiving. What happened? Is she hurt, sick? What hospital?”
Kyle held up a hand. “Whoa! Wait a minute. I don’t want to get everything all turned around again.”
Penny held her breath, waiting impatiently.
“Granny fell down the stairs in her house on Thanksgiving day. She is in the city hospital and is doing alright. She broke her hip and they did surgery, but she also broke a rib and has a slight concussion.”
“Oh, no!” Penny gasped. “She told me she was going to take off the week between Thanksgiving and December, so I never even thought to worry about her. I’m so sorry this has happened. I’ll visit her later today if you think they will allow me to see her.”
He shook his head. “Probably not. I was only allowed to speak to her for a few minutes. Perhaps a couple days from now, we can drive into the city together. I have a great old truck, with spare chains in the back, just in case we get stuck in a blizzard.”
The image of snuggling up beside the handsome, dark haired man in a truck flashed through Penny’s mind, but she quickly pushed it away. This was not the time to daydream about a total stranger; especially one who seemed to live in a constant state of confusion.
Penny shook her head sympathetically and gave the man a quick appraisal. There was a small resemblance to Helen. “Please keep me posted. I want to see her as soon as possible. She’s been such a good friend.”
“Yes, she told me.”
Penny frowned. “What about her shop? Will it stay closed while she is in the hospital? It’s a pity, with the Christmas rush almost here. There are more and more tourists every day, and by December tenth, the square will be packed during business hours. Evenings too. Can she afford to lose that much income?”
Kyle slapped his chest. “That’s why I’m here. I promised Granny I would run things for a few days.” He raked a hand through his hair and mumbled, “Haven’t worked in the shop since I was sixteen.”
“You worked in the coffee shop?”
“Yep. I used to spend the summers with Granny. I grew up in
California, but I loved being here in Maine with Granny.”
“She never mentioned you.” It was strange that she had known Helen for nearly three years and her friend never mentioned a grandson.
Kyle smiled mischievously. “I don’t doubt it. When I turned seventeen, I told my parents I was too old to be sent off to
Maine for the summer. Granny wasn’t happy
about it and she told me she was striking my name off the Good Grind List.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?www.teresalilly.com is my blog, Teresa Ives Lilly Author is my Facebook page.
Thank you, Teresa, for sharing this book with us.
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