Dear Readers, Ane and I have been long-time online friends, and I always look forward to going to the American Christian Fiction Writers national conference, so I can see my online friends, especially Ane.
Welcome back, Ane. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I didn't grow up with sisters, but I have always had close girlfriends and loved them. As an adult, many wonderful, Godly women poured into me their strength, friendship, and accountability. I've seen girlfriends band together to help each other out of a pickle, and those are the stories I'm drawn to. Toss in my overgrown funny bone, a crazy family, and a bit of romance, and voila! You have my books.
Yes, your books have a wonderful voice including all those things. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
This is such a hard question,
but I'd have to pick the day I was found by my birth sisters, ten years after I
posted a query on an adoption board. It was God-ordained to be sure. If anyone
wants to read the whole story, they can find it on my website.
I can imagine how wonderful that can be. I love seeing the sibling reunions on TV. How has being published changed your life?
It gave be a second career after I retired. And surprisingly to me, it has drawn me closer to God as I invite Him to write with me each day. He's taken me on adventures I never dreamed of, and I've met people I never would have. Most important to me, though, are the lives my stories have impacted. That's priceless!
That makes it all worth it. What are you reading right now?
Right now, I'm reading Deborah Raney's latest in her Chicory Inn series, Another Road Home. I recently finished Summer at Hideaway Key, by Barbara Davis, and As Waters Gone By, by Cynthia Ruchti. I recommend all highly!
What is your current work in progress?
Right now, I'm working on the fourth book in the Chapel Springs series, Lost in Chapel Springs. Lacey
finally gets her story told. And it's quite a story!
What would be your dream vacation?
A house on the beach, where I could sit on the deck and listen to the waves. Or maybe a cottage on the moors of
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I love small towns. I grew up in a suburb of
When we moved to Los Angeles, California Georgia,
I felt like I'd come home. We live in a small town, where nearly everyone is
related to everyone else or knows them. Instead of remaining outsiders, we were
absorbed into life here. We live near a lake in north Georgia, and so
I chose to set my stories in an area like this. Chapel Springs is smaller than
Sugar Hill, where I live, and it's higher up in the north Georgia
mountains. My husband claims it's in . Hidden
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Sandie Bricker. I love her humor and she's a redhead. Need I say more? I do? Well, that's easy. Sandie also had a great impact on my prayer life by starting a prayer e-loop, when Diann Hunt was battling cancer. Di won her battle when God called her home, but the Accidental Warriors stayed together, praying each other through many difficulties and seasons. We live in different states, so I'd love to spend an evening with her.
I love Sandie, too. Of course, we redheads are always drawn to each other. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
My other passion is theatre. I'm president of a new community theatre in my town, so I direct, and raise money, and shop for costumes and props at flea markets and yard sales.
I don’t know if I ever told you, but my I have my BA and most of a Masters in Drama, and I’ve served as the Drama Director for two different churches as well as being active in community theater, but I’m not involved in drama right now. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I juggle being a seat-of-the-pants writer and a plotter. Rachel Hauck calls it being a "planster" and I guess it fits. I've got to have an outline. Just an idea for each scene. Then I can untie my SOTP self to have fun. However, if I don't have that plan, I stall.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Go to conferences and network. Read books on the craft and have two or three critique partners. And finally, circumstance doesn't' replace motivation. Know your character's motivation, and readers will follow them anywhere.
I read your first book in this series. Tell us about this one.
I love this story! Our adult son got himself a twenty-first century mail-order bride, and didn't tell us until a year after the fact. For leaving me out of it, I told him it was going into a book and it did.
Here's the back cover blurb:
Chapel Springs Survival
A mail-order bride, a town overrun with tourists, and illegal art.
Can Claire and Chapel Springs survive?
Claire Bennett's Operation Marriage Revival succeeded and life is good. That is until the mayor's brother blabs a secret: Claire's nineteen-year-old son has married a Brazilian mail-order bride. When Claire tries to welcome her, she's ridiculed, rebuffed, and rejected. Loving this girl is like hugging a prickly cactus.
Lydia Smith is happily living alone and running her spa—then the widow on the hill becomes a blushing bride. Then her groom's adult son moves in—on everything.
From the first sighting of a country music star in The Painted Loon, Chapel Springs is inundated with stargazers, causing residents to flee the area. When her best friends put their house on the market, Claire is forced to do something or lose the closest thing to a sister she’s got.
With her son's future at stake and the town's problems to solve, it's Claire's who needs a guardian angel.
Please give us the first page of the book.
I'd love to!
Like shot pinball, Claire Bennett pinged against, around and between hordes of straw hats, bikinis, and plaid shorts. All along
Sandy Shores Drive,
shoulder-to-shoulder throngs of people crowded the sidewalk and spilled into
the avenue. A party atmosphere—with noise level to match—permeated the quiet
morning and their once peaceful village.
What had they done? When she and her friends envisioned the revitalization of Chapel Springs, it was a nice, controlled rise in tourist trade—not this craziness.
One bruised elbow later, Claire reached the door of her art gallery, The Painted Loon, and turned her key in the lock. A heavy hand grasped her shoulder. Her heart skipped a beat. Was she about to be robbed?
Hold on. In broad daylight? With this crowd watching? She may not be the brightest color on the palette, but she did possess a little common sense. Her gaze traveled up the beefy arm to a scraggly-bearded face with beady eyes. A rolled red bandana wrapped around his forehead, held back salt-and-pepper hair. Beside him stood a bleached-blonde motorcycle mama, dressed in a halter-top and the skimpiest shorts Claire had ever seen. Strings hung from their ragged edges and drew attention to the lumpy cellulite dotting the back of her thighs. Who was this woman trying to kid? She was fifty if she was a day.
"You're the loon lady," Motor-mama said. "We want to see your pots." They tried to shoulder their way into the gallery, but Claire stood her ground.
"I'm sorry, we aren't open yet. Please come back at ten." She threw the deadbolt, pulled down the window shade, then leaned her back against the door and drew in air.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Ane, the pleasure is all mine. I know my readers will be interested in this new book.
Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Chapel Springs Survival
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