Friday, June 09, 2017

SAGUARO SUNSET - Debra E Marvin - One Free Book

Dear Readers, Debra was a new author to me when I read Saguaro Sunset. I loved her writing. She took me straight into the story and kept my attention, with me turning pages as fast as I could read them. I think you’ll like this novella, too.

Bio: Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, a judge for The Grace Awards, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She is published with WhiteFire Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, and contracted with Journey Fiction. Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends.

Welcome, Debra. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Lena, I can better explain that it’s difficult for me to create an extroverted character. They can’t all be hermits, so it takes extra effort to get inside the head of a character who actually looks forward to social events, mingling and meeting new people in person!

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I dare not poll my friends and family on this, but I recently had good fun at my eye surgeon’s expense. Before cornea surgery, he placed a sticker on my forehead to prove to all that he’d discussed the surgery with me and that I’d had all the pre-surgery eye drops I needed. The next time he saw me, my friend—at my request—had drawn a “third eye” on the sticker.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
It might have been all those books—writing and drawing, of course—I made as a child, or it might have been in English class when I would write three times the amount of words I needed for an essay, and then had to edit it down to size. Words on paper are so much easier than words out loud.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My favorite reads are mysteries and suspense, preferably historical. Next up would be historical romance. I tend to listen to audiobooks (concurrently one in my truck, a different story on my kindle) so I’m often limited to what I can find through my library system or good deals on Amazon. I prefer British settings overall, but lately I’ve read a few contemporary American romances that were delightful.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world? 
Lists. I make lists of lists and I do it obsessively to organize my mind. Every day, I feel like I have twenty things to do. They’re not the same tasks as when I was raising children or working two jobs. Our busy seasons just seem to change, not go away, don’t they? I feel like I’m juggling three full time jobs, so every once in a while, I just zone out with something on Netflix.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
For historical fiction, I often look at old online directories or census records. I’ve also picked names by mix and matching names in movie credits.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Holding it all together and never successfully running away from home as an adult! Every decade has had its share of big challenges. My favorite role is being a granny but that accomplishment was completely out of my hands!

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a species of Eagle for their eyesight and the ability to grab onto and carry off prey while looking completely awesome. (I am much less ruthless in person.)

What is your favorite food?
This is always the most difficult question to answer! So, I’ll go with the one I’m most known for and say it’s difficult for me to go a day without peanut butter (the fresh ground kind).

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Time. I generally write in layers, starting with a very ugly first draft consisting only of my plot events. Each layer adds details of setting and emotion as I dig deeper into my characters’ heads. It takes time and the first draft is so awful, it makes me want to stop. I’ve learned to move on from that by realizing that this is just how it’s going to be. Eventually, I like the story and enjoy polishing it! But going to the paycheck job each day severely limits my time!

Tell us about the featured book.
Saguaro Sunset is my first contemporary and takes place in Tucson during the Festival of Books. Like me, my heroine is trying to do too many things at once. She’s not quite sure how to take the help offered by a Mr. Nice Guy, but she doesn’t have much choice. I loved writing about Tucson, and I was quite surprised how the story came together in an emotional and spiritual way. And there’s lots of ice cream involved!

Please give us the first page of the book.
~A pleasant Friday evening in Tucson, Arizona~
Minty Chip—Our signature flavor. You’ve seen the truck.

Teresa Scott tapped the End call dot. Once her phone found safety on Lisa’s kitchen counter, Teresa’s hands shot into the air. Puggles spun in a barking fit at her hoots and hollering,
 She sunk down and lifted the old pug into her arms, careful not to squeeze him too tightly with the wishes and hopes of a ten-year dream. “It’s okay, little guy. I’m sorry, but I got the job.”

The Western National Parks Association, specifically the WNPA board, had asked her to be their new accountant.

“Puggles, do you know what this means?”

Apparently not, but he was happy to lick her chin, while she danced around the room.
Where was Lisa anyway? Bella should have been picked up from the sitter’s by now, and the bakery closed in forty-five minutes.

Teresa’s jaw ached from grinning. At least Lisa would understand what this opportunity meant. Advancement. Recognition. The chance to give back to the park system for all those summer jobs. And an amazing addition to her resume that could one day mean her pick of CPO positions across the country. “Give me five, Puggles.”

 She’d done it.

She grabbed her phone to check her calendar. What would she have to cancel at work to attend the big annual meeting of the National Parks Department next week in D.C.?

She dialed Lisa’s face again. Still no answer.

Teresa pulled a piece of cold pizza out of her sister’s fridge and gave it 15 seconds in the microwave. When she was done, she’d do the dishes. Lisa had washed the food truck inside and out, leaving her own kitchen in disarray.

Tomorrow promised to be perfect weather for the book festival.

Her little big sister had sunk everything into that mint green monstrosity taking up most of the driveway. As long as people liked special flavors of ice cream and monster-sized cookies, she’d do well.

Unless she kept messing up like this. Where was she?

Teresa hit redial. “Come on Lisa. Pick up.”


Even so, things were going better than they had for years. “Yesss!” This time Puggles shot across the room, doggie nails scratching to gain traction on the tiles. He disappeared around the corner. “Sorry, old man.” This might call for dinner out on the way back from the bakery. Did the new Indian restaurant have mac and cheese or a kiddie menu?

Come on Lisa. Where are you?

Teresa went outside and looked down the street, wishing she’d picked the cookies up on the way home. Would her car accommodate that many boxes?

The phone rang.

“Where have you been?”


“No, it’s Snow White. What’s going on? Do you want me to go? Maybe we should meet there.”

“No,” replied Lisa. “You’ve got to help me out, first.”

Teresa’s insides went on full alert. “What happened?”

“I’m okay, but I was in an accident. I’m at the hospital.”

“I’ll be right there. Which one?”

“Banner UMC. But, go pick up Bella first. We’ll worry about the cookies later. I can’t…” Lisa’s shaky voice broke. “I won’t be able to work tomorrow, Treese. I broke my arm.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Group Blog- Inkwell Inspirations:

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Saguaro Sunset - Paperback
Saguaro Sunset (American State Flower novella Book 32) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Debra E. Marvin said...

Thank you so much for hosting me, Lena, and for your kind words. This was a lovely boost to my efforts today, just when I needed it!

DeAnna Julie Dodson said...

This sounds like such a fun story. Congratulations, Deb! You hide your introvertness well. :D

Lourdes said...

Would love to win great interview.

Lourdes Long Island, NY

Debra E. Marvin said...

Thank you for stopping in DEANNA! I appreciate it and haha... yes. I must be an extroverted introvert. Rather it's my obsessive nature to shows through. I admit that even being online and interacting with people wears me out. Too bad, huh?

LOURDES! Thank you for commenting. I appreciate it. I know it takes that extra step to do so. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and stay cool, now that our cold week is gone and the 90s are on their way.

Susanne Dietze said...

What a fantastic interview! "Deb the Eagle."

I loved Saguaro Sunset--it's such a fun story. Congratulations to Deb!

Debra E. Marvin said...

Hey Susie! Thank you so much. Your encouragement as my first beta reader really helped with this story.

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a good one!

Melanie Backus, TX

Debra E. Marvin said...

Hi Melanie! It's nice to see you (uh... your name...) here and I appreciate the comment. It was quite a switch for me in genre yet the story came to me so strongly. I really enjoyed writing it (Which doesn't always happen. Sometimes the story won't let go but won't make it easy, either!)

Connie said...

Debra, I also have been challenged in each decade of my life ;-) I enjoyed reading this interview with Lena.
Connie from KY

Debra E. Marvin said...

Thanks Connie! I recognize that email! (and Melanie's!) and I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. It means a lot. Have a wonderful week! This next decade for me will be so incredible to watch my grandchildren grow from babies and elementary school to tweens and young adults!

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Sabrina Templin said...

I love ice! :)
Sabrina in Utah

Debra E. Marvin said...

Sharon you are in! Thanks for commenting!

Sabrina - Making up the flavors was so much fun!

Lori said...

I live in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois
this really sounds like a fantastic book.
I love that there is ice cream involved. lol

Debra E. Marvin said...

Thank you for commenting, Lori! I appreciate it. I'd love to do a survey of my ice cream flavors to see what the top choice is...

Raechel said...

(Not sure this giveaway is even still open but either way I DO NOT need to be entered, because I already have a copy of this great book!)
Great interview, and loved reading it! Also loved reading this book. :)

Debra E. Marvin said...

Thank you Raechel! That's very sweet of you to say, and to take the time to comment! I appreciate it!

rubynreba said...

I enjoyed the interview and review! Looking forward to reading this.
Beth from IA

Debra E. Marvin said...

Thank you Beth! I enjoyed Lena's questions.
Best wishes on the drawing!

Pam Graber said...

Ha, Debra E. Marvin! I, too, am in the "my favorite role is being a granny" stage of life. Isn't it amazing how those little people can grab your heart and just hang on for all they're worth? Your book sounds fun! Thanks for the opportunity to win it!

Pam in OH

Debra E. Marvin said...

Hi Pam! Thanks for stopping in. Yes, it's an incredible blessing. I always wanted grandchildren someday and they did not disappoint! I love how they are all so different and I get to watch them (yet not be 100% responsible!)

PS I'm in Upstate NY.

Debra E. Marvin said...

Congratulations, Melanie! You've won the drawing! Contact Lena (using the contact me link in the blog to confirm!

thank you to all who commented. I enjoyed the visit!