Wednesday, July 07, 2021

WHITNEY'S VOW - Susan M Baganz - One Free Book

Welcome back, Susan. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write what I want to read. I’m my first audience. I started writing Regency romances because I loved that genre and a bit darker, more suspenseful than a typical Regency, but it was fun. I decided to try contemporary romance because I love those too, but never intended a series. God had other plans. I also love romantic suspense so dipped my toe in that pool and am now on my third book and coauthoring another series with a friend that focuses on army a military connection.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day I married Ben. We met in June of 2018 and married that December right before Christmas. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined a whirlwind romance and entering into our marriage with such joy and anticipation. I have no regrets. Two and a half years later and we are still on our honeymoon. I believe our past traumas make us appreciate what God has given us in each other.

How has being published changed your life? I started out writing as a hobby as I was as stay-at-home mom. It developed into a career when I became an editor. Now I see it more as a ministry. Writing is worship. I could have found other work that pays more, but this allows me to be home with my kids—and now my husband who is retired but keeps busy.

What are you reading right now? Red-Hot Monogamy by Bill and Pam Farrell. I have been personally blessed by their ministry at a writer’s conference and I’m reading it not because my marriage or sex life is lacking, but more because I want to be the best possible wife I can and if I can help our marriage continue to grow and keep the honeymoon going, then it is worth my time. And who knows? Maybe it will help my romance writing too!

What is your current work in progress? I’m working on the third book in this Homegrown Heroes series. Finnian’s Rescue is about a soldier who had been missing in action, presumed dead. He’d been captured in Afghanistan. His return to civilian life brings back ghosts from his past and he’s not sure who is out to kill him or why. Piper is a sweet young woman he meets who gets embroiled in his journey. After that I have a military romantic suspense to work on that I am co-authoring a dear friend, DeeDee Lake. A new series called Romance Corps. And the eighth book in my Orchard Hill Romance series, Deviled Eggs and Dead Ends, needs to be written! Too many stories, not enough time!

What would be your dream vacation? Almost anywhere with my husband would be great. I’d love to return to England. Having written Regency period romances, I would be seeing things through a different lens. Hawaii would be wonderful too.

How do you choose your settings for each book? My Orchard Hill series is set in the northwest suburbs of Milwaukee because I used to live in that area (that whole write what you know thing?). My Regencies take place in England and Scotland…areas chosen were more in line with what worked best for my storyline. My Hometown Heroes stories are a little more diverse. Whitney’s Vow takes place in Montana because the one time I was there was amazed at the beauty of the area. Madi’s Secret takes place in the northwest suburbs of Milwaukee because I knew the area and wanted to highlight the local dangers of human trafficking. Finnian’s Rescue is my work in progress and takes place in a small fictional town east of Fond du Lac, where I grew up, because heroes are all around us.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why? Oh, this is a difficult question! Every person has a unique story. Part of me would like to meet Melania Trump. She exudes such grace and after so much success I would love to know how she handled the vitriol she endured while her husband was president. Her journey would be fascinating to understand. The little bit of interviews I’ve heard, she is a highly intelligent woman and has as an inner strength I find inspiring.

I was saddened by the way the media treated her. I’d love to meet her, too, to let her know that not everyone believed the stories they told about her. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading? I spend time with my husband. I have also learned to drive a skid-loader and have moved a lot of dirt doing landscaping on our property. I’ve warned my husband he should be careful. I know how to dig holes and bury things. There were a lot of heavy chunks of concrete from past farm buildings that I needed to get rid of in just that way. I’ve planted tons of wildflowers on our property: sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias and more! I look forward to the beauty that will come later. During Covid I re-ignite my love of crewel embroidery and tried a new project with candlewicking. I’ve been making my own designs and enjoy making them for gifts or for our home. I also enjoy making cards with rubber stamps. Creativity marks my life from writing, embroidery, cards, and growing flowers.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it? I write by the seat of my pants and with every full-length novel there comes a point where I feel like I’ve written myself into a corner. I am bored with the story. I’ll think the book is horrible, no one will want to read it, and it’s the worst thing I’ve ever written. I’ve come to recognize that the real issue is fear and once I write myself past that I’m fine. It has happened with every novel but if you asked me where it was in any of the stories, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. With all that negativity it is surprising that I don’t delete anything before or after that point to take the story in a different direction. In the end, I love the stories God has given me to write, and I need to remind myself that I have an enemy who does not want the truth of God’s love and mercy to be read and understood in the pages of fiction… Persevering is trusting Him for the outcome.

What advice would you give to a beginning author? Write the story God has given you to write. Don’t worry about getting published, just write.

Don’t compare yourself with other writers. I sometimes still struggle with this. Your journey will be unique and your value as a child of God isn’t enhanced by how many books you write (or sell) or how many awards or best-selling statuses you get, or how much money you make. Stay faithful to Him and don’t worry about others.

Publishing is lovely, but don’t overlook the people you impact on your journey. Relationships are more important than publication and people are watching you to see if your life, your walk with Christ and your integrity, matches the values you write about.

Connect with other authors for encouragement and to learn, whether it is at a conference or a local writer’s group or just over coffee. Relationships are necessary and networking is valuable!

Keep reading. Keep learning and growing in your craft. Every book you write will be better than the one you just finished.

Don’t be afraid of the editing process. Yes, sometimes it is torturous, but in the end, it is worth it to have your story come out polished. Yes, you might find things after it is in print that could have been better, or errors everyone missed, but it happens and it’s not the end of the world. When I was producing our Sunday services, even with mistakes I would assure the team: “Nobody died, no one lost a limb. It’s OK.” Learn from your mistakes and move forward.

Tell us about the featured book.


Whitney Anderson is stunned by the news that her dashing husband is dead. She doesn't understand what's happened except that their ranch in the hills of Montana is at risk. On the verge of a marriage of convenience to save their home—Whitney's world tilts on its axis. 

Blake Anderson returns home from service to his country to find his wife about to wed another. Uncovering the layers of lies and deceit that brought them to this place reveals a conspiracy to gain access to their land under which a vast reserve of oil is untapped.

Blake's not selling, and his return comes at a cost for them all as they fight family, former friends, and foreign enemies. Blake's out to save his land, his wife, and his marriage.

Whitney was once content to remain in the dark when it came to the running of the ranch and Blake's military operations, but now she's vowed and determined to discover the truth and prove her devotion to her husband...Or die trying.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Brides often entertained second thoughts on their wedding day, didn’t they?

Whitney Anderson’s sleeveless gown stuck to her back from the perspiration dribbling down. She was certain her deodorant had stopped working. The machine of a wedding day had taken over and she was a cog in its well-oiled gears. The backyard of her parents’ home basked in the sunshine as the temperature was a comfortable seventy-two degrees. So why was her body on fire?

Her fingertips tingled and the small bouquet of daisies and roses pricked her palms. The aura of a migraine hovered around the recesses of her vision. She’d forgone her contacts and refused to wear glasses at her wedding. If she could only get through this day without passing out…Lord, please rescue me.

She longed for a different face standing under the arbor of flowers than that of her fiancĂ©. The blond, blue-eyed man stood in a blur of pre-migraine and near-sightedness. He did not make her heart sing. It was a prudent match, and at this point her parents were all about avoiding scandal. In other words, they’d bought Peter for her, and he was eager to not only be her husband but to accept the nice paycheck her dad promised for working in the new division of the company. She was no longer a treasured possession, but chattel.

No one cared what Whitney thought about it all. Her hair was escaping the pins meant to secure it in place as if the tresses were holding their own unintentional protest against this day. Imaginary wasps buzzed in her chest, and her stomach growled as Pachelbel’s Canon was skillfully executed by the four-piece orchestra. Execution was what she personally desired as her head pounded when the sunlight pierced her brain. How soon could this torturous day end?

How can readers find you on the Internet?


Instagram: silygooswriter

MeWe: Susan Lodwick

Thank you, Susan, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book. - 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, 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: Http://


Susan said...

Thank you for having me here, Lena! Great questions!

CRYSTAL said...

Love book cover and excerpt. Would love to read and review your books in print format.
I loved and enjoyed reading more about you.
So you were married before Christmas. Interesting. What's the Date? My birthday is a week before Christmas. The book cover is quite intriguing and mysterious maybe even romantic.
Your advice about writing is dead on(pun intended) LOL. I've written 5 1/2 books but haven't tried to be published. I really not an author because I write for fun.
I want to see how Whitney deals with her problems and solves them and can I use her solutions in real life?
Hope I Win
Crystal Stewart from Bruin, PA in the USA

Susan said...

Hi Crystal! Thanks for commenting! We married on the 22nd of December - it was great because I didn't need to decorate the church! (I'm practical!) I h ope you win too. Keep writing. Even if you don't publish - you are a writer! Good for you!

traveler said...

Whitney's Vow sounds captivating and unforgettable. Loved your interview which was entertaining and informative. Anne from NM.

petite said...

What an exceptional and impressive novel. Such an interesting and lovely introduction to your life, and writing etc. Pearl-NM.

Lourdes said...

Totally enjoyed the the interview and am wanting to read Whitney's Vow.

from Long Island New York

Wendy Newcomb said...

WOW, just WOW! I'm looking forward to reading this, thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Wendy in Nebraska

wfnren at aol dot com

Susan said...

Traveler, Petite, Lourdes and Wendy - thank you for stopping by! I hope you all get a chance to read this story even if you don't win. It was a fun one to write!

Lynn Brown said...

Love the blurb. It sounds like a good story with plenty of drama involved. Very pretty cover. Thanks for the chance.

East Texas

Susan said...

Thanks for chiming in Lynn! Glad to have you stop for a visit!

Lucy Reynolds said...

Wonderful interview. Thank you for sharing. Blessings from WV.

Susan said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lucy! My daughter's middle name is Lucille after my great-grandmother! Love that name! Have a blessed day!

CRYSTAL said...

Thanks I will keep writing.
My birthday is Dec 19
My middle name is Diann named after my Mother

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

This sounds very intriguing! Thanks for sharing.
Connie from KY

Susan said...

Welcome Crystal and Connie! Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn Neyhard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn Neyhard said...

I'm looking forward to reading this. Sounds like my kind of book! Has all the elements I enjoy. Thank you for the chance to win a copy!
8:10 AM

Susan said...

HI Lynn! Thanks for stopping by!

Alison Boss said...

Thanks for the fun interview, Susan and Lena! I always enjoy getting to know more about an author. Whitney's Vow sounds very intriguing! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book!

Alison from MI

ElisabethC said...

Cant wait to read this book! You are an inspiring and honest writer with great advice!
Elisabeth from Wisconsin.

rubynreba said...

This sounds like a great book and one I would enjoy and not want to put down! I enjoyed the interview and review of the book.
Beth from IA

Sunnymay said...

Wow! The excerpt sounds like it has a lot to it with a husband presumed dead. I guess that shows never to assume anything. A marriage without love would be tough to bear.

Susan said...

Thanks for stopping by Alison, Elisabeth, Beth, and Sunny!