Wednesday, February 01, 2012

CHERRY BLOSSOM CAPERS - Gina Conroy - Free Book

Gina Conroy used to think she knew where her life was headed; now she's leaning on the Lord to show her the way.  She is the founder of Writer...Interrupted  where she mentors busy writers and tries to keep things in perspective, knowing God's timing is perfect, even if she doesn't agree with it! ;) She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, and her first novella, Buried Deception, in the Cherry Blossom Capers Collection, releases from Barbour Publishing in January 2012. On her blog Defying Gravity and twitter she chronicles her triumphs and trials as she pursues her dreams while encouraging her family and others to chase after their own passions. Gina loves to connect with readers, and when she isn’t writing, teaching, or driving kids around, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Welcome, Gina. I've been looking forward to featuring you. How did your story  for the collection come about?
Several years ago when I was homeschooling, we took the kids on a cross-country trip up the east coast. I remember walking through Mount Vernon’s Mansion wondering if all the antiques were real and what would happen if one of them was a forgery? Samantha Steele, the mom character with her rambunctious kids came first, NOT that I would know anything about that sort of thing. Then came the snarky, but lovable, brooding security guard. Again, not that I would know anything about sarcasm... My fascination with archaeology, mysteries, and suspense rounded out the rest story and Buried Deception was born.

What are you reading right now?
I’m reading A Sound Among Trees by Susan Meissner and The Edge of Grace by Christa Allan. I’m an eclectic reader. I don’t just read in one genre. It’s a great story that captures my interest from historical romance to thrillers!

I’m like you. I love various genres of Christian fiction. What other books have you had published?
I have two nonfiction books published. Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms, and Reach for your Dreams, Graduate. The first one was easy to write because the prayers flowed from my own mothering heart. And the graduate book was inspiring to write as I researched real life success stories of people like Hans Christian Anderson, Walt Disney, and Sam Walton and told their story of overcoming tremendous hurdles beat the odds to follow their dreams.

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection?
Working with my novella partners wasn’t as hard as I was told it could be. We all shared ideas and input as to how our characters would interact, we set up an email group and chatted often about certain aspects of our stories and how our characters would play a part in other stories.

How did collaborating with this team impact you?
I got to work with a great bunch of women, Lynette Sowell, Cara Putman and Frances Devine. I already had an established friendship with Lynette and Cara, and got to know Frances through our email interaction. The biggest impact these ladies had on me was watching them write on contract and focus on the book they needed to be writing at the moment. I had the luxury of taking my time with the story, but watching them write with multiple contracts was inspiring and frightening knowing one day that’s going to be me.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I take their personalities into consideration and try to pick names that fit. Sometimes a name just comes to me and I KNOW that’s it. Other times I might have to search baby name data bases to find the right one with the right meaning. For Samantha Steele, I wanted a name that spoke of independence and strength, but was still feminine.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
I hope readers realize that the theme of my novella is “surrender.” The hero and heroine in the story have different reasons for fighting to stay in control of their lives, but when they try and do things on their own, their situation gets worse. If they don’t surrender to God who has their best interest in mind, their lives will never be complete. Surrender is something God has been teaching me about over the last several years, and I know it’s not easy, but it’s necessary for growth.

Tell us about the story.
Cherry Blossom Capers
Four townhouse neighbors encounter romance and mystery near our nation’s capital. In State Secrets, White House assistant chef Tara Whitley and FBI agent Jack Courtland stop a plot to sabotage a State dinner—and find love still hidden in their hearts. In Dying for Love, attorneys and opponents Ciara Turner and Daniel Evans uncover love while searching for justice. In Buried Deception, archaeologist Samantha Steele and security guard Nick Porter dig up love while uncovering a forged artifact.  In Coffee, Tea and Danger, amateur sleuths Susan Holland and Vince Martinelli find love while investigating a string of mysterious accidents

My Novella: Buried DeceptionMount Vernon archaeology intern and widow Samantha Steele wants to provide for her children without assistance from anyone. Security guard and ex-cop Nick Porter is haunted by his past and keeps his heart guarded. But when they discover an artifact at Mount Vernon is a fake, Nick and Samantha need to work together, set aside their stubbornness, and rely on each other or the results could be deadly. Will Samantha relinquish her control to a man she hardly knows? Can Nick learn to trust again? And will they both allow God to excavate their hearts so they can find new love?

The stories sound like a fun read. Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why?
Yes, I wouldn’t be published today without the help of friends and the connections I made at ACFW. It is a wonderful community of people with a common goal…to be published, but everyone is so eager to help each other succeed. Where else in this world can you find that?

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
Best advice is to allow myself to write BAD! I have a problem with over editing my first draft. I get hung up on the words instead of letting the story come out. Needless to say, this method of writing takes me a long time, so I’m giving myself permission to write awful to get to the end.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
On my blog,  Defying Gravity  I encourage others to pursue their dreams and share my writing insecurities and celebrations. But I also share fun stuff about my family like when my kids got a Disney audition call back!  For posts related to all types of writing, I blog ever Friday at Writer...Interrupted, the site I founded when I was trying to figure out how to balance raising my family with pursuing my writing career. 

You can follow me on my Facebook Author Page ,Twitter and my Facebook Page just for Writer...Interrupted.

Thank you so much, Gina, for the interesting interview.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using them when you order, you help support this blog.
Cherry Blossom Capers (Romancing America) - paperback
Cherry Blossom Capers - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (US residents only.) (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good book. I would be blessed to win.
angela from KY

Unknown said...

Sounds like a novel my Mom would love (well, me too). Thanks for the opportunity to win.

Marianne from Arizona


Katie said...

Please enter me! Sounds great.

Im from NC.

Katie G.

BTW, I have a book giveaway going on on my blog ( if anyone would like to enter! :)

Angie Adair said...

Sounds like a great book and am looking forward to reading..Angie in Illinois

Gina Conroy said...

Nice to meet you, ladies! Thanks for taking the time to get to know me and my book better!

Rebecca said...

This sounds like a great book. I would love to read this. Thanks for the chance to win.

I am from Oklahoma

Judy said...

Loved the interview. I would love to win a copy of "Cherry Blossom Capers".

Judy from Indiana

Darlene Franklin said...

Congrats, Gina! I'm so glad you have that FIRST BOOK! I also love your confidence that "that will be me someday."

Darlene Franklin said...

Oh, I'm from OKC. :)

Gina Conroy said...

Thanks, Darlene! My first had been fun!

Darlene Franklin said...

-Oops, that's right, not your first, but your first fiction.

Aizess said...

Please enter me in this giveaway! Thank you for the chance to win!

I live in New York

Merry said...

Cherry Blossom Capers sounds like a fun read, I enjoy mysteries with some romance mixed in.
Merry in TX

Bethany said...

This book is on my to-read list! I'd love to be entered-- I'm in Ohio

Jo said...

This book is on my wish list as one that I have really been wanting to read. Please enter me!


Abigail Mitchell said...

I love collecting these books. I don't have this 1 yet, so Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
God Bless!
Blanch, N.C.

Joanna Richmond said...

looks and sounds very interesting. I would love to read it. enter me.
Joanna Richmond,
Blanch NC

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Please enter me in the drawing!
God Bless,

Pam K. said...

"Cherry Blossom Capers" is just the kind of book I like to read: a blend of mystery and romance. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.


Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book it sounds like a great story! Thanks and God bless.
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Aizess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

Sounds like a great book! I'd love to win it!
Rebecca from NC

rubynreba said...

Please enter me. Thanks!
Beth from Iowa

Bakersdozen said...

I love how Gina came up with the idea for this book. I would love to read it. I live in S. CA.

Coolestmommy said...

Would love to win and read. Thanks for the chance.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

apple blossom said...

would love to win
thanks for the chance to win
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Nancee said...

I'd love to win a copy of this book, mystery in a Christian setting. Love it!
Grand Rapids, Michigna

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book.Thanks...Jackie from