Readers, let’s give our author a warm welcome today.
Liz, why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write stories of true love with happily-ever-afters because I want to reflect the greatest love story ever told—the story of God’s love for his children and the lengths he went to to redeem them and draw them to himself. I write stories that remind readers of God’s love and constant presence in our lives.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I’ve had a lot of happy days, but maybe the best was the day I got the call that my first book was being offered a contract. It was something I’d longed for and dreamed of for years, and it was the culmination of almost a year of hard work with my editor on that manuscript. My memories of that day are a sweet reminder of God’s good gifts and the Father’s love for his children.
How has being published changed your life?
I’m not sure that being published has changed my day-to-day life in big ways. I still have a day job. I’m still responsible for keeping my house clean, cooking my meals, and managing my calendar. I still spend as much time as I can with my family and friends. But there’s something about seeing a longtime dream fulfilled that reminds me every day to be grateful for the big and small gifts in life. I’m reminded that I can’t do this writing thing—or life—on my own. God is the one who gives me strength and carries me when I’m weak.
Amen to that. What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m reading Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen. I’ve been looking forward to this book for months. I’m also reading Mark Batterson’s If. I generally have a fiction and nonfiction book going at any given time.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on Where Two Hearts Meet, the second book in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series, which releases in October. When a bed-and-breakfast chef mistakes a guest for a visiting travel writer, the future of the inn she loves is on the line—so is her heart.
What would be your dream vacation?
After years of visiting
Prince Edward Island at every opportunity,
it’s hard to imagine dreaming of going anywhere else. But I’ve never been to Ireland or Scotland, and I think it would be
wonderful to explore the history there. And the pictures of the area are
gorgeous! I’d love to visit. Maybe the scenery would make me appear to be a
better photographer than I actually am.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I feel like the settings for my last several books have picked themselves. I’ve written a number of books about Navy SEALs, so the setting in
San Diego is a natural fit—near the naval base at Coronado where half the
SEAL teams are stationed. For my latest release, The Red Door Inn, the
entire story stemmed from the peace and tranquility I experienced on Prince Edward Island. I
wanted to write a story about someone longing for that kind of peace.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I think I’d enjoy spending an evening with Brene Brown. She’s an author and social scientist, who studies vulnerability, fear, and personal connection. Her works have been instrumental for me in understanding my relationships and how to best care for my friends and family. I’d love to hear anything she has to say. Plus, she just seems fun!
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I do love to read. And I used to love to do counted cross-stitch needlework. I would spend hours working on intricate designs. Now it’s a rare treat in a busy schedule, but I always enjoy it when I get a chance to.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I’m very easily distracted. Facebook. The internet. Random research bunny trails. I’m often looking up something entirely legitimate to my story, and then in four quick clicks, I can be watching a video of a cat that’s afraid of cucumbers. In order to overcome this, I often have to set aside internet-free time when I don’t allow myself to get online for any reason, even research. It helps if I’m at a restaurant or public place that doesn’t have wifi. Then I can’t even be tempted, except on my phone. Which is another distraction in its own right.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Finish your manuscript. There’s a lot of great advice out there about the craft of writing—structure and plotting and voice and character development. But I think the best thing beginning authors can do is write. An author friend of mine is fond of saying that the only thing you can’t fix is a blank page. Keep writing. Fill the pages. And then work on making them better with the help of beta readers, critique partners, and editors.
Tell us about the featured book.
In The Red Door Inn Marie Carrington is running from a host of bad memories. Broke and desperate, she’s hoping to find safety and sanctuary on
Island, where she reluctantly agrees to help decorate
a renovated bed-and-breakfast before it opens for prime tourist season.
Seth Sloane didn’t move three thousand miles to work on his uncle’s B and B so he could babysit a woman with a taste for expensive antiques and a bewildering habit of jumping every time he brushes past her. He came to help restore the old Victorian—and to forget about the fiancée who broke his heart.
The only thing Marie and Seth agree on is that getting the Red Door Inn ready to open in just two months will take everything they've got. They’ll have to find a way to work together, and in the process, they may find something sweeter than they ever imagined on this island of dreams.
Please give us the first page of the book.
The change in Marie Carrington’s pocket wouldn’t pay for a ferry ride across the Northumberland Strait to
Prince Edward Island, let alone a bus ticket
to anywhere else in the world. As she cupped the Canadian dollar coins in her
shaking hand, they clinked together, drawing the curious gaze of the man in the
seat next to her.
Marie shifted on the painful plastic chair, putting her shoulder between all the money she had access to in the world and the gaze shrouded by bushy, white eyebrows.
Two. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Seven twenty-five.
The sign on the café attached to the ferry terminal announced a fish sandwich lunch special for $6.99, but tax would be more than a quarter. Besides, that would completely wipe her out. And then she’d be penniless in a strange town.
“Which color do you like better?” The man with the eyebrows and more wrinkles than she’d ever seen on one face leaned forward, holding out four paint swatches.
Marie rotated farther away from him, shoving her coins back in her pocket, but he didn’t seem to notice.
“My wife liked the pale blue, but I think we need something brighter for the shutters of a bed-and-breakfast. Don’t you?”
She couldn’t fight the urge to survey the swatches, even if just out of the corner of her eye. With one finger she twisted the necklace at her throat, imagining each color on the front of a robust, two-story Maritime home.
He dipped his chin as though waiting for her answer. “Well? Don’t you think it’s too light?”
Finally she whispered, “Unless the house is a deep blue.” Keeping an eye on him, she scooted to the far edge of her seat, the armrest digging into her side as she bent to scoop her backpack into the safety of her lap.
“What?” His eyebrows nearly reached his hairline. Pulling his glasses from his front shirt pocket and planting them on his face, he held the color swatch in question to within an inch of his nose, mumbling her words over and over. “Deep blue. The house could be deep blue.”
After several seconds of peace, she decided he’d forgotten all about her until he flipped the same blue color swatch over her shoulder and pointed to the darkest hue on the row. “Is that dark enough?”
“Then what would be?”
Shoulder still in place, she pointed with her other hand to the blue of his pants. “Maybe with a hint of gray mixed in.”
Holding the color card against a handful of jean fabric, he nodded slowly. “That might work. But not too much gray.” He scratched his chin, his whiskers rasping beneath aged fingers. “What about the trim? Would you do the same color as the shutters?”
Interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website has all the latest information on my releases at www.LizJohnsonBooks.com, and I hang out at www.Facebook.com/LizJohnsonBooks and www.Twitter.com/LizJohnsonBooks. I hope you’ll visit me there soon.
Thank you, Liz, for sharing this new book with us. I'm eager to read it, and I'm sure my readers are as well.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.The Red Door Inn - Christianbook.com
The Red Door Inn: A Novel (Prince Edward Island Dreams) - Amazon
The Red Door Inn (Prince Edward Island Dreams Book #1): A Novel - Kindle
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