Welcome Tracy Wainwright as she shares about her wonderful novella,
Her Whole Self.
Tracy tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a wife and homeschooling mom of four. I never thought I’d be called to stay at home during my 7 years of college. However, I feel so blessed to be able to be home with my children. It also allows me the flexibility to write, something else I never thought I’d do. In addition to my family and writing, I’m also passionate about women, leading them to and helping them grow in Jesus and serving others. I’ve been honored to direct the Abundant Life Conference for Women (held each fall in Williamsburg, VA) for the last 6 years and to be a Stonecroft approved speaker for the last 4. In my free time (which I carve out, because it would never just happen!) I enjoy reading, spending time with my family on the river, and vegging out with Netflix.
Tell the readers about your novella.
Her Whole Self is the first novel that I published. It started out being published in installments in a local women’s magazine. It’s a story most women can relate to – when life seems to be falling apart. It follows Jen as she loses everything important in her life and in desperation turns to a former college classmate, who opens her eyes to faith in God.
What inspired you to write Her Whole Self?
This book is really not one I ever expected to write. I had a friend start a women’s magazine and asked me to do a fiction column for it. That’s how Her Whole Self got started. At 600 words a month for over 2 years, this story developed. When a book takes that long (including the time to do the heavy editing need to turn it into a book) it develops along with other things that come up in life. Some of the story is from my own experiences, although while similar, they have a different timeframe and setting. Other aspects of the story come from the lessons God has taught me.
What is the main thing you hope readers remember from this story?
The main thing I’d like readers to remember is that God is always present, always forgiving, and always working in our lives. That we can never get to far from Him that we can’t enter into a faith relationship with Him.
Secondary is the idea that becoming a Christian doesn’t make everything go the way we want. That God often uses difficulties for our good and His glory.
Tracy, you’re so right. God is always there for us and He helps us get though those difficult times. What is your favorite scene?
If I told my absolute favorite part, it would spoil it for the readers. J My second favorite parts are the discussions the main character, Jen, has with her new friends about God and discussing logically the possibility of His existence and who He is.
That does sound like wonderful conversation. Where can readers find you and your novels?
All of my books (with the exception of a praise journal I wrote) can be found on Amazon. I have two novels, two children’s books, and three Bible studies.
They are also on the Books page of my website – www.tracywainwright.com.
I also have a Facebook Page – Tracy Wainwright Author Page (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTracyWainwright), am on Twitter - @TracyWrites4Him (https://twitter.com/TracyWrites4Him) , Instagram – TracyLWainwright (https://instagram.com/tracylwainwright/) , and have a few blogs (that I’m not very good at keeping up on) – momsforgod.blogspot.com, surrenderedliving.blogspot.com, themommyanswer.blogspot.com, and beyond316.blogspot.com.
Abandoned by the two most important people in her life – her fiancé and best friend - Jen flounders as she picks up the pieces of her life. Desperation prompts her to reach out to an old classmate, who regrettably is a Christian. Is a night of free entertainment worth the cost of spending it with a group of hypocrites? The answer to that question surprises her almost as the next several upheavals in her life.
I'm delighted to have Deborah Piccurelli visiting Behind Every Story again. Loves
Comes Calling is a wonderful novel I wanted to share with everyone.
Deborah M. Piccurelli enjoys reading and writing romantic books. She is the author of two novels, a novella and several cause-related newspaper articles. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and an advocate for sanctity of life. Deborah lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.
LOVE COMES CALLING
The day new Christian, Derek Spencer, shows up on Charlie Parkes’s doorstep to make up for what he’d done, is the very day he falls in love with her. But Charlie’s sister mistakes him for a home improvement contractor, and he decides to play along until he finds a way to tell her who he really is.
Charlie is attracted to Derek, but knows the attention he pays her is only flattery. How could such a great-looking guy fall for someone with a face like hers? Nevertheless, the two form a relationship that brings a joy to Charlie that’s way beyond her wildest dreams.
But what will happen when Derek’s true identity is revealed?
A sneak preview from Love Comes Calling
Before leaving the kitchen, he asked, “May I take you out somewhere for lunch tomorrow?”
Stunned, she almost dropped the plate she had been drying. “Ou-out?”
“Yeah, you know, a restaurant? Where someone else will be serving the food?”
“I-I… Okay. Sure.” Are you crazy, Charlie girl? Everyone will see you and stare at you. Then poor Derek will be embarrassed.
“Good.” He turned to walk away.
He stopped and waited.
“On second thought, maybe I’d better not.”
In a nanosecond, he closed the space that separated them. “Why?”
His closeness made her claustrophobic. She half-turned her face away. “Oh, Derek, you don’t want to be seen in public with me.”
“Excuse me, but I think that’s my decision.”
“Please.” She moved away from him to replace a bowl into the cabinet and to put a more comfortable distance between them. “I don’t want to embarrass you.” He’d trailed her steps, and his breath ruffled a wisp of her hair. She turned and backed up, only to bump against the counter.
“What makes you think you’ll embarrass me?”
“Oh, c’mon, you’re not blind. People will stare and wonder what a good-looking guy like you is doing with someone who . . . looks like me.”
She dodged to escape his nearness, but he was too quick and trapped her between his arms as each of his hands grasped the edge of the counter. His height required him to lean slightly in order to accomplish this, putting them nose-to-nose.
“No. You’re not going to run away. Listen to me. You’re beautiful.” She turned her face, and he pulled her chin up so that she had no choice but to look into his eyes. “You
are beautiful. I don’t care what anyone thinks. I like spending time with you, and I’m not ashamed of that or of you.”
One readers review:
Dear Deborah Piccurelli,
I’ve been DYING to read “Love Comes Calling,” and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Your book was a delightfully fun, clean romance, and best of all—it made me smile. Your characters were so engaging that I fell in love with them. In fact, I became so involved that I actually forgot I was reading and simply became lost in the story. I like to highlight my books as I go, but I’m afraid there are some chapters in yours that are color-free—not because there weren’t highlight-worthy sentences, but because I was too busy reading to bother to review. ((grin)). I guess that could be the highest praise of all. I really appreciated your beautiful message about trusting God, and I love how you skillfully wove it into your story. The way you spoke about Charlie overcoming her fear of driving spoke to me deeply—probably because I’ve been there myself. When I first became ill, I became too confused to drive. My brain would tell me to stop at a red light, but my foot would press the accelerator. I knew I had to stop driving before I hurt someone, so I gave up my keys. Giving up my freedom was very difficult, but reclaiming it again was even harder. After so many years of being unable to drive, getting behind the wheel again was frightening. Like Charlie, I had to ease into driving and learn how to trust myself. Charlie was such a remarkable character. I really admired her. I also admired how you were able to freeze-snap certain moments of time. For instance, “He stood there. The click of the door closing echoed loudly into the quiet of the room.” With your words, I could feel Derek’s utter isolation and despair. You have a wonderful way of painting striking images. “Her already fragile world broke into a million little pieces.” “She could almost taste his concern.” “She was a vision to behold. A butterfly broken free of its cocoon and frolicking in the sun.” “Her cheeks hurt from all the smiling. Their verbal volleyball amused her. Conversing had never been this much fun.” I really enjoyed your story, Deborah. There are some books that I reach for whenever I want to unwind—books that I’ve read literally dozens of times—and I can tell that “Love Comes Calling” is destined to be one of them. Thanks for the excellent read. I’ve left reviews for you on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Amazon Purchase link: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Comes-Calling-Deborah-Piccurelli-ebook/dp/B00U3Y1ZC0/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442537388&sr=1-2&keywords=Love+comes+calling
Barnes Noble : http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-comes-calling-deborah-m-piccurelli/1121488890?ean=2940151636124
My grandson announced the other day that Christmas is in three months. I mentally counted up the weeks. Yes, fall is only days away and soon the holidays. With that in mind let's celebrate a Christmas novel. Cooking Up Christmas, by Teresa Lilly promises to be wonderful book.
This is volume six in her Christmas mail-order Angels series.
Teresa Lilly is the author of 16 novels and novellas. She writes Christian Romance and dabbles in chapter books for children. She has written over 200 unit studies that are used in schools all over the world. Several of her books have been in the top ten best sellers on amazon. She lives in Texas with her husband and adores her three grown children and one grandson. You can read about all her books at: https://teresalilly.wordpress.com/
Here is Teresa's awesome book cover and just a smidgen from chapter one of Cooking up Christmas. It makes me want to read more. :)
COOKING UP CHRISTMAS
BY TERESA IVES LILLY
Henrietta Myrick set a small valise on the porch. With a sigh, she closed the front door of the large, old boardinghouse, and then looked at the envelope clasped in her hand.
It’s the only thing I can think of to do, Lord. Please help me to find a good life in Wyoming.
“Yoo-Hoo, Henrietta, are you ready to go?”
She looked up and smiled. Alice Canton, her best friend, was sitting in the driver’s seat of a small surrey.
“Your train will leave without you if we don’t hurry.”
Henrietta made her way down the pathway. When she reached the picket fence’s gate, she turned to gaze at the house one last time. It will only be a memory now. She couldn’t help but allow another heavy sigh to escape.
The letter in her hand made a crinkling noise as a gentle breeze blew over it, and pulled her thoughts back to the task at hand. Get to the station, board the train, switch to a wagon, get to Angel Vale, meet Benjamin Capell, get married.
It all sounded simple, but the reality of going through with the whole thing was terrifying. Ever since her pastor’s daughter, Becky had given her the pamphlet about the men in Angel Vale, Wyoming looking for mail order brides, her life had been turned upside down.
There’s no going back. I have nothing left here.
Henrietta turned, pushed open the gate and moved toward the surrey. She handed her valise up to Alice and clambered into the front beside her friend, glad she had sent her trunk ahead to the station. She settled onto the hard seat and took a gulp of air to press down the fear and sorrow that gripped her heart. After squeezing her eyes shut for several seconds, she looked up and met her friend’s sympathetic eyes.
“You don’t have to go, Henrietta. If we put our minds together, we can come up with a different answer.” Alice reached out and patted Henrietta’s hand. “Jon assured me last night. You are welcome to stay with us.”
“You’re newlyweds. You don’t need an old maid like me in the house.”
Her friend frowned. “You’re not an old maid. You have never given yourself a chance, never mingled with the young people, never attended church socials. You just kept yourself locked up in the kitchen of the boardinghouse. There was never an opportunity for you to meet anyone.”
“I loved the boardinghouse. Grandmother was kind enough to take me in when I was nine years old. She taught me to cook. I love cooking and I loved the boarders. I have no regrets.”
“Except, now you’re twenty-nine years old, your grandmother is gone, the boardinghouse is closed up and you have no husband.”
The words sounded harsh, but Henrietta knew her friend meant well. Hadn’t she told herself the same things over the last several weeks?
“But, you don’t have to go all the way to Wyoming. If you stay with us, Jon and I can introduce you to several eligible bachelors.”
Henrietta shook her head, straightened and laughed. “I have already committed to marrying Benjamin Capell. Besides, we both know the mail order bride pamphlet was a Godsend for me. I’m just feeling nostalgic. It’s hard to say goodbye to a house. It’s not like a person who you can write letters to, or see in heaven someday. A house is just…well, it’s just a house. But I have so many wonderful memories here…” Her voice faded.
Kindle link: E-book
Meet Author Jan Elder. Pelican Book Group/White Rose recently published her first novella, Manila Marriage App, one of many in their successful Passport to Romance series. Jan is a Christian romance writer with a zeal for telling stories other women can relate to—the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story.
Jan, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since I crafted a poem about kittens in elementary school. When I hit fifty (five years ago), I figured if I was ever going to get serious about writing an actual book, I’d better start. Now, I don’t think I could stop writing if I tried.
The Philippines is an unusual setting for a book. Why did you choose that particular country?
My brother has lived in a suburb of Manila in the Philippines for over thirty years. He’s a missionary, seminary professor, and church planter and I was privileged to visit him a few years ago. He’s always talked about how difficult it is for a busy missionary man to find a good woman. It would be a great deal easier to just send out an application and choose a mate without all that fuss, muss, and emotion. He was kidding of course, but hey, what if he wasn’t? What if there was a man out there who would have the audacity to advertise for a wife in this day and age? What started out as a joke made for a good book premise.
What does your writing process look like?
I write on my laptop while sitting on the couch in my living room, feet crossed up under me, a cat or two plastered to my side. My husband is generally watching TV while playing on his computer, and we often converse back and forth concerning the show or an article he is reading. In between all of that noise, I come up with plot, characters, and dialogue (he’s great at helping me with male dialogue). I’ve tried writing when it’s quiet, but it doesn’t work as well. Weird, huh?
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
I'm an introvert and a homebody. When I write, I sit cross-legged on my living room couch with my laptop in my lap, a cup of hot tea on the coffee table, and a warm cat on either side of me. On a typical night, my dear husband is close by lounging in his easy chair watching Maryland Terps Basketball. When I need a little help with word choice, grammar, or male dialogue, he's my go to guy. How much better can it get?
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Find a good writers group that is both encouraging and honest. Your mother can tell you you're already a wonderful writer. You want your writers group to challenge you and help you stretch and grow. Conferences are also a great way to learn an amazing amount about the craft in a short period of time. Also, join a group such as the national organization, American Christian Fiction Writers. They have been a tremendous inspiration to me in many ways and I give back by serving as the Maryland Regional Coordinator.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
When I get stuck on a plot point, I brainstorm with my local writers group. Listening to ideas flying around gets my creative juices flowing. I’ve also found that it’s good to stop writing in the middle of a chapter and sometimes even in the middle of a sentence. That way my subconscious work all night on how to finish the thought. Some of my best ideas are formed deep in the dark of night.
What it’s really like being an author?
A lot of work, but fun work…most of the time.
Manila Marriage App
It all began as a lark. Shay Callahan’s life was just fine, thank you, but when the seemingly misogynistic missionary, Timothy Flynn, places an advertisement for a wife in a Christian magazine, she decides to give it a whirl and sends in the five-page application. Why not? After all, she’s not currently seeing anyone, and this man truly needs to be taught a lesson.
Here’s an excerpt from Manila Marriage App
With ten minutes to kill before my flight boarded, I reached into my purse for the letter from Dr. Timothy Flynn. Smoothing the creased page, I read the words e-mailed a few weeks before:
The marriage application you submitted has been approved. You will be happy to know you passed scrutiny on all five sections with commendable marks. I am particularly pleased with the informative answers you furnished on the essay questions (section four), and the fact that you have read numerous books in the past year—even if most of them were fiction—has unquestionably placed you ahead of the rest of the applicants.
Your PhD in computer science indicates that you are likely intelligent and gifted in several fields of study. I have urgent need of such a partner, one who possesses a keen mind, and a rational outlook on life. I will not put up with shallow, brainless women.
By return e-mail, please inform me of when you are available to come to Pacific Rim Theological Seminary, where I am the church history professor and academic dean. Sometime in May would be best for me, but June or July will also be suitable as I am on sabbatical until the end of the summer. I feel a period of two weeks would be a good length of time for us to evaluate each other.
I look forward to meeting you at your earliest convenience to discuss the next step in finding a mutually beneficial arrangement for the two of us. A round-trip, first-class airline ticket will be forthcoming when you have made your plans.
Blessings in Christ Jesus,
Dr. Timothy Flynn
P.S. The photograph you attached of yourself is satisfactory, although as per the application instructions, I will also require a picture of your mother. If you would be so kind as to bring one with you, it would be appreciated.
Phew. The letter had me shaking my head to think men like that still existed, but most of his letter made me squirm—which brought up the question what was I thinking? I pulled Dr. Flynn’s picture out of the side pocket of my purse and angled it so the light fell full on his face. OK, so maybe his leading man good looks softened the bite of his words—a little. He was one of the finest specimens of manhood I’d ever had the privilege to behold. Nonetheless…Timmy-boy was a first-rate, sexist jerk. Stealing one last look at the photo, I stuffed it back in my purse.
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