Saturday, April 21, 2012

THE QUAKERS OF NEW GARDEN - Claire Sanders, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Ann Shrock, Suzette Williams - Free Book

Today I'm featuring a new Barbour novella collection, The Quakers of New Garden. Two of the authors are visiting with us today.

Welcome, Claire. How did your story for the collection come about?
I was invited to submit a proposal for a novella collection after my story Equally Yoked appeared in A Quaker Christmas (Barbour, 2011). I had to do quite a bit of research about Quakers and that led to a plethora of story ideas. I’m hoping the Quaker series really takes off at Barbour Books because that would mean the readers enjoyed the subject matter and want to see more of the same.

What are you reading right now?
I’ve been immersed in young adult books lately. I’m currently reading Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer. A lot of the young adult books I’ve read have a supernatural bent to them and Wolfsbane is no different. I’d like to get into the young adult market, but I’d like to write something more uplifting than a story about werewolves.

What other books have you had published?
My first story, Fresh Start, is a romance about a school teacher who’s been left at the altar. She wants to get as far away as possible, so she takes a job teaching at a one-room school in Montana. Fresh Start is not a Christian romance and readers should take that into account before buying it.

Equally Yoked is featured in the book A Quaker Christmas from Barbour Books. It is a Christian fiction book. My story involves a young woman who helps a runaway slave.

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection?
Equally Yoked was my first novella and I thoroughly enjoyed the format. Typically, when I finish the first draft of a novel, I’m about 30,000 words short of my goal. So writing a story that had to stay under 25,000 words was a relief.

How did collaborating with this team impact you?
The best thing about collaborating with other authors was the many tips they gave me about marketing. I love writing and can easily lose myself in the story, but selling the book is a challenge. The other authors have more experience with the marketing end of the business and they’ve steered me in the right way.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
If it’s a sympathetic character, one I want the reader to like, I simply choose a name I like. I also keep a list of the names I’ve used in a story so I won’t reuse them in another story. Likewise, if it’s a character I don’t want the reader to like, then I choose a name I don’t like. Many times, especially if it’s a minor character, I simply pause and wait for a name to pop into my head.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
One theme I see in all of my stories is a girl who doesn’t know her true worth. In Fresh Start, the major character was rejected by her fiancĂ© and misunderstood by her mother. She doubted her worth and her attractiveness. The same is true of Leah in New Garden’s Inspiration. Leah has been told she’s unattractive and no matter how hard she tried to help her uncle’s family, he made it clear that he thought her a burden. Leah only discovers her worth when a new family shows her how they feel about her.

Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why?
I am not yet a member of ACFW but I hope to join soon. I am an active member of Romance Writers of America and serve as an officer in the West Houston chapter.

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
Persevere. That’s a good piece of advice for many ventures, but it’s especially true for those who wish to publish. Expect to receive rejections and remember that rejections and negative critiques are about your product, not about you.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Please visit my web site - and visit me on Facebook.

About the book:
Join four Quaker women on a journey through the trials of faith and love.

Ruth Payne's bridegroom has cold feet. . .for the second time. Will their third try be the charm?

Things get complicated for Underground Railroad worker Deborah Wall when she meets a bounty hunter head-on. Will love have them seeing eye-to-eye?

Leah hopes to turn a marriage of convenience into a marriage of love. But will letters be a firm enough foundation?

Christian Jaidon Taylor wants to win the heart of Quaker Catherine Wall. But will religion make them as incompatible as night and day?

Welcome, Jennifer Hudson Taylor. What other books have you had published?
Highland Blessings and Highland Sanctuary, as well as another novella collection entitled. Highland Crossings.

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection?
I found it to be refreshing and interesting. The only thing I worried about is if I could afford to take the time away from writing my full-length manuscripts, but in both cases of my novellas, all moved forward smoothly.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
My mother’s family was the Wall family of Guilford County, NC. We still hold our Wall family reunions at one of the Quaker churches, Marlborough Friends Meeting. As the first novella story, I chose this surname from my grandmother, Mary Vada Wall.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
That things are not always as they seem and with a little faith in what God can do with our loved ones, God can perform miracles.

Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why?
Yes, it’s been a wonderful organization and full of encouragement to me. I’m not sure I would be published right now if not for ACFW. This is how I met my agent.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Claire and Jennifer, for stopping by to introduce us to your new book.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Quakers of New Garden (Romancing America) - paperback
The Quakers of New Garden - 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. (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...


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book!

JoyAnne in TN

Katie said...

Sounds great! Please enter me. I'm from NC. Thanks!

Katie G.

Emma said...

Please enter me.The Quakers of New Garden sounds wonderful.Thanks!PA.

Lou Barba said...

One of my favorite authors was Hannah Hurnard, a Quaker woman who wrote Hinds' Feet in High Places and Mountains of Spices. I'd love to read a novel with a Quaker setting.

Lou Barba

scottsgal said...

I really enjoy this genre - thanks for the chance this sounds wonderful
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Wendy Newcomb said...

This is my kind of book, thank you for hosting this giveaway.

Wendy from FL


Buttercup said...

I'd really like to read this. Please include me. Thanks!l

Aizess said...

Please enter me! Thanks for the chance to win!

I live in New York

Judy Cooper said...

I would certainly enjoy this book, please enter my name. Thank you, Judy C. in Louisiana.

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Looks interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing!
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Sharon Richmond said...

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

Unknown said...

i love learning more about other groups' beliefs, and have often wondered about the Quakers. i used to live in a community for a few years that had one or two families that were Quakers, but never got close enough to them to ask. So thank you, again, Lena for the great giveaway and opportunity to win!

Marianne from Alberta

mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

Jo said...

I have never read any books about the Quakers and would love to.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Nancee said...

Another new good read! I'd love to win a copy. Thank you for your offer!
Nancee in Western Michigan

Claire Sanders said...

Would you like to read more books about Quakers? If so, do you prefer to read about their historic roles or how modern-day Quakers continue their faith?

Claire Sanders

Linda said...

I would love to learn about the Quakers. I have no immediate knowledge of them Please enter me.

Linda from MN.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Regina said...

I love all of your books. I hope someday we will be able to meet.

Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks interesting!
Enter me!
Blanch, N.C.

Nancye said...

This sounds like an interesting book! Thanks for the chance!

Nancye in Kentucky

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Judy said...

I love reading books about Quakers. This book sounds really interesting!

Judy from Indiana

Diana Gardner said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks! Portsmouth, VA

tweezle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tweezle said...

Hi Jennifer - loved the interview. I read "Highland Blessings" and "Highland Sanctuary" and LOVED them. Can't wait to read this one as well.

Thanks for the chance!
Theresa in PA