Welcome back, Sally. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I most enjoy writing about the themes of forgiveness, grace, and the immensity of God’s love.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
Next up for me is a prequel to the Abundance series, a novella that will be available only to subscribers to my newsletter. This story is about the parents of Abby, the main character of Love and Roses and is set in 1980. I’m having a grand time doing research to fill in the blanks of what I remember of the time period, way back when I was in high school. After that, I’ll be starting the next book in the modern-day Abundance series, which will be about Kristin, Abby’s younger sister.
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Beth Moore. I have learned so much from her Bible studies, and she seems like such a delightful person.
I love Beth Moore, too. Did you know she’s written a novel? I featured it on my blog when it came out. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
Please sign me up for tea with Jane Austen! I want to hear all about how she wrote her books.
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
My advice would be that you should listen to any suggestions, address them as best you can, and keep trying. Even though receiving a rejection is painful, many times an editor is giving you solid gold in his or her comments. Keep in mind, though, that editors are only people, and that they may be focused on what will work best for their line. I wouldn’t rip a story completely apart without seeking another opinion.
I so agree with you. Fairly early in my writing career, I received what I considered a rejection. I cried, then put that story away. Two or three years later, I came across that letter and reread it. I realized I’d missed a good opportunity by not reading it more carefully and following the suggestions. Tell us about the featured book.
Love and Roses is a contemporary Christian romance novel. Here’s the description from the back cover:
Can new love bloom amid the roots of pain and loss?
Young widow Abby Kincaid treasures the past, both the antiques she sells in her shop and the tender memories of her late husband. When she learns that her hometown plans to sell historic Rose Park, a place central to her marriage, she vows to stop the sale.
Nate Redmond, a former
lawyer, is eager for a fresh start in small-town . With his extensive background,
arranging the sale of outdated Rose Park for retail development looks easy, the
perfect way to help the town fund the larger recreational space it needs. His
role in the deal might even impress Abby, the pretty new neighbor he feels so
drawn to. Missouri
But as Nate and Abby clash over the park, more serious obstacles threaten their relationship. Mistakes that Nate had hoped to forget continue to haunt him. Abby comes face to face with her failure to forgive. And how can Nate compete with the memory of a decorated war hero?
When the park battle brings on a crisis, can they each find the courage to believe in a God of second chances and a future where their love can grow?
Please give us the first page of the book.
Nate Redmond edged the big black mutt out of the way, set the bag from the veterinarian on the landing at the top of the stairs, and dug into his pocket for the key to his new apartment.
The landlady had said the place over the florist shop was adequate, but nothing top of the line. Not a problem. He didn’t need top of the line.
What he needed was a fresh start.
Hopefully he could find it here in the little town of
while working for Uncle Al at his law firm, Redmond and Associates. Missouri
Nate turned the key in the lock, and the dog nosed the door open and trotted inside.
“Making yourself right at home, aren’t you?” Nate brought in the bag from the vet.
A wall of hot air heavy with humidity and ripe with the smell of fresh paint and unwashed dog surrounded him.
The first step of moving in had to be to turn on the air conditioning.
Only there wasn’t air conditioning, not even a window unit, which the landlady had neglected to mention. All she’d talked about was how the place had just been painted.
Granted, the paint was new, the walls a creamy white. Everything else—from the ugly brown carpeting to the outdated plumbing—looked as if it had been around since the 1940s. Back when HVAC meant a radiator and an oscillating fan.
On the plus side, though, the lease had been fine with pets.
Nate took the bowls he’d bought at the vet out of the plastic bag and gave the dog some water and a small amount of food. “Don’t give him too much too fast,” the vet had said.
Nate tried to open one of the living room windows. Stuck. He tried the other one. Also stuck. He made sure the latch was completely open and tried again.
The window didn’t budge. The less-than-fragrant air in the apartment had to be a hundred and five degrees.
He ran a hand through his hair and studied the windows. Were both frames warped?
No. They were painted shut.
He strode toward the bedroom. If those two windows were sealed shut as well—
They slid up easily.
All right, this was manageable. He shoved the bedroom windows open as far as possible and headed back to the moving van for his laptop.
Halfway down the exterior metal stairs, he paused and looked up and down the street. A bird sang in a tree that grew in a circular opening in the sidewalk. A small cluster of men in ball caps stood near a diner, apparently the place to be on the first Saturday morning in June. Here and there, a shopper strolled down the sidewalk, and outside the antique shop past the tiny alley, a woman watered two large planters of pink flowers. There were no honking cabs, no diesel fumes from buses, and—although most of the street parking was full—no throngs of people on the sidewalk. Probably normal for here. But to him it was weird. Just weird.
Nate checked his parking from all sides to make sure he was within the lines and got his laptop from the front of the moving van.
The woman at the antique shop flashed a wide, pretty smile. Her light-brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and her eyes were kind and unguarded. She gave him a little wave and returned her attention to her flowers. In her pale green T-shirt, jean shorts, and those little white tennis shoes like women wore fifty years ago, she looked, in all the best sense of the phrase, like the girl next door.
But not the next door he was used to.
I’m liking the opening. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Website (where readers can sign up for my newsletter): www.sallybayless.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorsallybayless/
And the links for the book are:
Amazon Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946034053/
Thank you, Sally, for sharing this book with us. I’m eager to read it, and I’m sure my readers are, too.
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