Meet suspense author Andrew Huff

Andrew Huff is an accomplished novelist and screenwriter who works in the church media and entertainment industry after spending 10 years as both a youth and creative leader in local church ministry. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University and a Master of Arts from Dallas Theological Seminary. He currently calls North Texas home where he and his wife Jae raise their two boys and rescue dog.

Tell us about your newest book.

A Cross to Kill was my debut novel back in October of 2019 and the first in a suspense series that continued with the release of my second novel, Cross Shadow, in May of 2020. A Cross to Kill is an action thriller featuring a former CIA assassin turned evangelical pastor named John Cross who is faced with questions of his past after a vengeful terrorist visits his church. Caught in the crossfire are the congregants of the small country church in Central Virginia that John serves as well as a foreign correspondent named Christine Lewis who is rescued from execution by John on his last mission with the CIA as the story begins.

I wrote A Cross to Kill to appeal to fans of novels, films, and TV series such as The Bourne Identity, Mission Impossible, and 24that feature non-stop action and suspenseful twists and turns. At the same time, I wanted the moments between the action to be rich in theology and Christian values. There’s violence in the book, but not of a gruesome nature. There’s romance, but without obscenity. Anger, but nothing profane.

What inspired you to write A Cross to Kill?

I was inspired to write the novel on one of the frequent visits I would make to local hospitals as a pastoral member of the staff of a church. I was already in the habit of dreaming up characters, situations, and storylines, and on one particular trip to a hospital I imagined what it would be like for a pastor’s secret, dark past to surface in the middle of him trying to care for his flock. One of my favorite scenes in the novel then came to life in my imagination, and from there I really wanted to see how this story would unfold.

I was also inspired by real life, high profile events such as the rescue of American diplomats by the CIA from Iran in 1979 (fictionalized in the movie Argo) as well as the abduction and execution of journalist James Foley by Syrian terrorists in 2012. While many elements of my story are “heightened reality” (the action often takes a sensationalized turn), I also wanted to ground the plot in situations that aren’t that far from what has or might generate news headlines.

What genre do you focus on?

I write suspense thrillers because those are the kinds of books that I love to read. My favorite authors include James Rollins, Clive Cussler, Matthew Reilly, Robert Ludlum, and even Dan Brown. As I consumed their stories, the problem I kept experiencing (especially when it came to Mr. Brown’s novels) was that while the stories were thrilling and adventurous, there were sometimes values and worldviews antithetical to my Christian beliefs. I decided I would try my hand at writing the kind of novel that I wanted to read, one high on thrills but also deep in theology.

I also focus on this genre because of my love for action and suspense blockbuster movies. I’m greatly inspired by the thrills of franchises such as Mission: Impossible, Jason Bourne, and James Bond. I want my novels to take the Bible and the Church seriously while offering the same kind of jaw-dropping action those novels and films excel at.

Why do you write?

I would also say I write because I love the work of storytelling. It’s so much fun to create a cast of characters, put them in life-threatening situations, and then see what happens as a result. While I’m always ultimately in charge of how the story plays out, I’ve been amazed at how often the characters take on a life of their own and surprise me with how they influence the direction of the plot.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

The main character in the Shepherd Suspense series is former CIA assassin turned evangelical pastor John Cross. In A Cross to Kill, we’re introduced to John early in his career in ministry when he’s still struggling with forgiving himself for his past deeds. Coming up with his name was a rather boring process. I wanted his first name to begin with the letter J and both his first and last names to be single syllables. I eventually arrived at John Cross by process of elimination!

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

As much as I would like it to be the case, I unfortunately do not make a living just as a fiction writer (I think that’s true for a lot of us!). So, I need to be disciplined in weaving my writing into my weekly schedule to make sure that there’s an appropriate balance between it, my full-time job, and my responsibility to my family and church. Every week I have nights designated specifically to writing and I try to keep all of my writing to those scheduled times.

When working on a specific book, I spend an unspecified amount of time researching and outlining a book before I ever write a chapter. I like knowing exactly how a chapter will play out before jumping in. That being said, I also leave plenty of flexibility to my stories and characters to change things up should I be struck by creativity in the middle of writing. Once I feel confident in the outline, it only takes me about six months to arrive at the draft I will submit to my editor.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

First off, I want to encourage your readers that if they aspire to write anything it is so important to remember that you always have something to learn. Keeping open eyes and ears to ways in which I can improve as a writer has served me well over the years, and I honestly cannot recommend conferences and workshops enough. Get around other writers, take classes, and practice, practice, practice!

One of the ways I’ve personally grown as a writer is recognizing my weaknesses as I write. In the beginning, I would make the same mistakes over and over again, but over time I’ve been able to catch the mistakes prior to editing. Passive writing is especially a weak spot for me (and it can be a big hurdle to get over), but fortunately I’ve gotten better at recognizing it when I fall into it and correcting course on the fly. That isn’t to say I don’t still have work to do to make sure my writing is the best it can be!

What is your favorite pastime?

Spending time with family is a priority, and we love a variety of shared activities such as taking walks, having NERF gun battles, competing in Mario Kart competitions, and playing board and card games. But my all-time favorite pastime is visiting as many of the local coffee shops in the area as many times as possible with my wife Jae. I’m also very into football in the fall, having even coached my sons’ flag football teams in the past.

I am also very involved in church. I teach an elementary age boys’ small group, lead teach for all age groups in the children’s ministry, and co-lead a home group of adults. Throw in the 9-5 job, and my week gets filled pretty quick!

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

I do! A Cross to Kill was the first in a trilogy of books called the Shepherd Suspense Series. The series follows the main characters of John Cross and Christine Lewis. The second book in the series, Cross Shadow, released in May of 2020. The story picks up one year following their initial meeting in A Cross to Kill. Christine is new to a relationship with Christ, and both she and John are new to the challenges of navigating a romantic relationship as professing Christians. Both are faced with embracing aspects of their former lives when Christine’s stepbrother is accused of murder in Texas and Christine gets herself involved in the mystery to John’s disapproval.

The third book is coming in March of this next year (2021). Titled Right Cross, it’s more of a global thriller as John Cross and Christine Lewis face their most difficult challenge yet. The novel opens with John appearing to have fallen away from his faith. A determined Christine seeks to answer why, only to find herself at the center of a cyberterrorist plot to alter the balance of power in the world. From the English coastline to the Rocky Mountains, it’s a race against the clock to stop the threat of nuclear war.

What are you working on now?

I’m really excited to share two big projects with you that I’m working on right now. First, I recently signed a contract with Kregel Publications to write a brand new three book series tentatively titled Task Force Phantom. This new set of stories is a spinoff of the Shepherd Suspense series and will follow both familiar and new characters on action-packed missions in a more global setting. You can visit my author website for a special sneak peek at the series and to get updates on when the books will release!

The second project I’m working on isn’t a novel but a web series that I’ve written and directed for a brand-new Christian streaming service called Igniter TV. Igniter TV is set to launch this fall and is committed to providing content that both equips and entertains. My series is called Dot Conner: Webtective and is uniquely designed for elementary age kids. Each episode follows amateur internet detective Dot Conner as she investigates questions and mysteries of the Bible alongside her two best friends. The first season is currently heading into production, but the pilot episode of the series is available to screen now at www.ignitertv.com.

Website: www.andrewhuffbooks.com

Link to book: www.andrewhuffbooks.com/cross-shadow

Social media links:

www.facebook.com/huffwrites

www.twitter.com/andrewjohnhuff

www.instagram.com/andyhuff

 

 

Meet author Julie Lessman & a giveaway

Julie Lessman writes Irish family sagas with great passion, both spiritually and romantically. Winner of American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year, Julie’s garnered twenty one Romance Writers of America as well as Family Fiction magazine’s #1 Romance Author in 2012, 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Best of 2014 and 2015, and “Essential Christian Romance Authors 2017-20,” Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction.

Tell us about your newest book.

A street orphan abused and abandoned by an alcoholic father at age five, Gabriella (Gabe) O’Connor has never let a man stand in her way yet. So, when a handsome flight officer thwarts her plans to become a Women Airforce Service Pilot, she’s determined to join the war effort anyway she can. Her chance comes when she “borrows” foreign correspondent credentials from the Boston Herald—where her father is the editor—to stow away on a medical ship to the front.

Lieutenant Reece Kincaid pegs Gabe O’Connor as trouble the moment she steps foot on Avenger Field as a WASP cadet. As the eldest brother of a boy whose jaw Gabe broke in grade school, Reece is familiar with her reputation as both a charismatic ringleader and a headstrong hooligan who’s challenged every male and nun from grade school to college. As her WASP flight instructor, Reece eventually expels Gabe when she pulls a dangerous stunt. But when he is an evacuation pilot in France eight months later, their lives intertwine once again, exposing them to a danger as perilous as the German tanks roaming the Reichswald Forest: a love that neither expects.

What inspired you to write A Wing and a Prayer?

As an author of Irish family sagas and a lover of family in general, I longed to continue the story of the O’Connors, the close-knit Irish family I created in A Passion Most Pure, book 1 in the Daughters of Boston series. Through this first series and the subsequent Winds of Change series, I follow this passionate family through WWI beginning in 1916 all the way through The Great Depression in 1933. And now with A Wing and a Prayer, book 1 in The Cousins O’Connor series, the O’Connor’s family legacy continues with the first three O’Connor cousins during and after WW2.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

From WASP to war correspondent, a charismatic troublemaker flies high in the war effort of WWII until a no-nonsense flight officer clips both her wings and her heart.

What genre do you focus on and why?

You might say I’m a jack of all trades because although I began my writing career as a historical romance author with ten O’Connor books, I transitioned into contemporary romance with my award-winning Isle of Hope novel and series. This series is loosely based on my own dysfunctional relationship with my estranged father and how God taught me to heal it. Next, I tossed my hat into the historical Western romance ring with my Silver Lining Ranch Series, and now I just finished writing a contemporary romantic suspense, which I am really excited about.

Why do you write romance?

Well, as number twelve of thirteen children, I suppose you could say I was starved for love. I read Gone with the Wind as a little girl, and when Scarlett seared Rhett with a look on the winding staircase of Twelve Oaks, I was a goner. That novel so inspired me that I immediately embarked on my romance-writing career at the age of twelve, penning a 300-page manuscript that forty years later became the basis for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure, which I am blessed to say won American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year.

So you might say I do it for myself and for women like me who crave a great love story with lots of romantic tension, but without the gratuitous sex. According to the American Religious Identification Survey conducted by the Barna Group, “nine out of ten women nationwide consider themselves to be Christian,” and yet the majority of these women wouldn’t read an Inspy romance to save their souls, and neither would I at one time because there wasn’t enough romantic passion in them for me.

I happen to believe that passion is important. Not just to romance readers, but to everyone on the planet. We were created that way by a passionate God who analogizes His own depth of love for each of us in a very passionate love letter called “Song of Solomon.” And what happens? The world uses this beautiful, God-given gift to shove sin down peoples’ throats, and I, for one, am really sick of it. I want to use passion the way it was intended—to teach people God’s precepts and therein, His love. It’s the cry of my heart, and I hope and pray that for my readers, my stories of romantic passion translate into passion for God.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

The main character in A Wing and a Prayer is Gabriella (Gabe) O’Connor, and it’s a very interesting story how I chose her name. Way back before Amazon issued strict rules about reviews, I used to hold review-posting contests among my readers in which the one who posted the most reviews (all around the world on every site imaginable) would have a character named after them in my next book. Well, a reader friend by the name of Gabriella Dawn Smith actually won by posting over 300 reviews. But her nickname was Gabe, so I had to go with it. Turned out it worked pretty well because that tough and masculine name for a girl worked well for a tiny street orphan who was short on stature but big on brass. She was a rough-and-tumble tomboy who had been abused until she was five, when her father beat her and dumped her into a trash heap, leaving her for dead. Gabe ended up in an orphanage until the O’Connors adopted her, a young girl with a big heart for the underdog and an even bigger chip on her shoulder against men.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Oh, without question, promotion and research, in that order. As you know, most writers would rather write than promote, but unfortunately, promotion is a necessary evil for an author. But research was never my thing either, which doesn’t bode well for a historical author. In fact, it was the biggest hurdle I faced with A Wing and a Prayer because it’s a WW2 story where the heroine is both a WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) and a foreign war correspondent, and then the hero is an aeromedical evac pilot, making the story a real bear to write. I literally had to research on almost every page of this book, and sometimes every paragraph, no joke!

I’m not only talkin’ medical terms, military terms, WASP terms, pilot/airplane/Jeep terms and parts, 1940s terminology/hairstyles/fashion/etc., I also had to have my history down cold. As a result, I am happy to say that I now know more about WWII than I ever dreamed possible. Which, I have to admit, was pretty cool given the fact that I released the book in the same year as the 75th Anniversary of V-Day and VE-Day.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

Oh, hands-down, the reader friends I’ve made, some of which have become dear friends. And then, of course, writing dramatic, breathless and compelling love stories is certainly no snoozer.

What’s one thing your readers should know about you?

I call myself a CDQ (caffeinated drama queen) because I love, Love, love drama and angst in my books with lots of laughter, tears, and drama, which in the end is a good thing because it sure saves wear and tear on my marriage.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love to watch old movies, read Christian romance, and host elaborate dinner parties a la Martha Stewart. I often joke I suffer from MSD (Martha Stewart syndrome) because I’ve been known to pipe guest’s initials into their twice-baked potatoes, cut napkin rings out of real lemons to hold lemon green beans, and sketch a layout for how the food would be placed on the plate. Which … was fine when I was younger and had the energy to do it, but these days, sitting at my computer with a candle burning and a cup of hazelnut cinnamon coffee is my pastime of choice. Although I do enjoy trail-bike riding with my hubby, chatting with friends and family around the fire pit on our lower deck, playing Mexican train dominoes, or just dinner out with people I love.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Oh, you bet! In fact I just finished writing my very first romantic mystery/suspense, which is book # 26! If anyone is interested in checking them out (along with some very cool trailer/videos), here’s the link: https://julielessman.com/books/

What are you working on now?

As mentioned above, I just finished my very first romantic suspense, which was actually a lot more fun (and challenging) to write than I expected. It’s called The Secret of Emerald Cottage.

Thank you, Susan, for this wonderful opportunity to speak with your readers. If anyone is interested in downloading a free prequel teaser novella for my award-winning book Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love, they can find it here: A Glimmer of Hope.

Website: https://julielessman.com/

Link to book:  https://amzn.to/2RR0Cud

Social media links: https://julielessman.com/about/

GIVEAWAY! Thank you, Susan, for this wonderful opportunity to speak with your readers—it’s been fun! And to thank your readers for coming by, I am giving away winner’s choice of any one of my indie e-books to three different winners, so just leave a comment below, and you’re in the draw.

Also, I have the following freebies/sale currently going on:

l  99-CENT SALE (90% discount) on my 5-star novel, A Wing and a Prayer for a limited time only HERE.

FREE E-COPY of my award-winning novel, Isle of Hope (listed on Family Fiction magazine’s Top 15 Novels of 2015), and other giveaways at Mysti’s Book Nook Facebook Book Club. Details can be found on my Journal Jots blog.

 FREE DOWNLOAD of the prequel novella to Isle of Hope, which is called A Glimmer of Hope, so take advantage of this free e-book HERE!

 

 

Meet health author Susan Neal

Susan U. Neal lives her life with a passion to help others improve their health. She’s a RN, MBA, MHS, Certified Health and Wellness Coach and author of seven healthy living books. Her award-winning number one Amazon best seller is 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates.

Ten years ago, Susan lost her heath with ten medical diagnoses and two surgeries. It took years to recover. Now she writes books and blogs to help others reclaim their health and optimal weight.

Tell us about your newest book.

Healthy Living Series: 3 Books in 1 includes 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates and its sequel Christian Study Guide for 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates and the third book in the series, Healthy Living Journal. This series helps you to determine the root causes and solutions for your ill health or excessive weight so you can experience a more abundant life and feel good again. With this book, you get three books for the price of two.

What inspired you to write 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates?

My sister inspired me to write this book. If anyone was addicted to sugar, it was her. She loved sweets. Doughnuts in the morning, soft drinks throughout the day, bread, pasta, chocolate, and candy—you get the picture. She has been overweight since she was a child. She suffered from joint pain and irritable bowel syndrome. When my sister was forty-nine, she asked me to help her get off sugar and carbohydrates. From my experience, this is difficult to do, so I created a seven-step plan for her to follow.

One week after getting off sugars and refined carbohydrates, my sister’s energy and rosacea skin condition improved. By the second week, her joints no longer ached, and the craving for sugar subsided. Two months later, she’d lost ten pounds and felt energized. After that, she lost five pounds per month until she got to her ideal weight and her rosacea disappeared completely. Since the seven-step plan worked so well for my sister, I thought I would write a book about it to help others wean themselves off these addictive foods.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

If you choose to embark on this seven-step plan, you will radically improve your health and energy by merely removing sugars and refined carbohydrates. You will lose weight naturally without going on a fad diet or buying prepared meals and supplements.

What genre do you focus on?

Nonfiction, healthy living genre because I am a registered nurse with a masters in health science, so I have a medical background. In addition, due to my illness, I understand the devastating effects of losing one’s health. So now I am passionate about helping others.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

When I hear that my readers are succeeding in improving their health and weight. This week, a reader in my Facebook group wrote, “I completed six weeks of Susan’s program on Monday. I’m down 10 pounds, and I feel tons better. My sleep and acne are improving. I feel this is a lifestyle I can realistically keep up.”

This reader’s feedback made me happy because my words through my book showed her how to eliminate nagging symptoms and successfully improve her lifestyle.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I am a country girl. I live on five acres, raise chickens for fresh eggs, and grow a prolific fruit orchard. I’m not afraid of bugs, spiders, or snakes.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love to swim, walk, and do Christian yoga. I’m a Christian yoga teacher, and you can find my products at ChristianYoga.com.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Yes, Solving the Gluten Puzzle helps readers discover if they are gluten sensitive and how to embrace the gluten-free lifestyle. If you think you might have an issue with gluten, take my quiz at GlutenIntoleranceQuiz.com.

What are you working on now?

I just finished four eBook cookbooks:

  • Breakfast Cookbook
  • All About Salads Cookbook
  • Soup and Bread Cookbook
  • Main Dishes Cookbook

You can find them on my website.

Website: SusanUNeal.com.

Link to the Healthy Living Series book: https://amzn.to/3biNjdZ

Social media links: You can follow Susan on:

https://www.facebook.com/SusanUllrichNeal

https://twitter.com/SusanNealYoga

https://www.pinterest.com/SusanNealYoga/

If you would like to improve your health and weight, please join Susan’s Facebook group, 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar, Carbs, and Gluten at https://www.facebook.com/groups/184355458927013

 

 

Meet author Becky Harling

Becky Harling is a best-selling author and popular speaker at conferences, retreats and other events. Her books include, Rewriting your Emotional Script, Freedom From Performing, The 30 Day Praise Challenge, The 30 Day Praise Challenge for Parents, How To Listen So People Will Talk, Who Do You Say That I Am, Listen Well, Lead Better, and Psalms for the Anxious Heart and How to Listen so Your Kids Will Talk.

Tell us about your newest book.

Parents are more stressed out than ever. Pulled in a million different directions, parents are often too distracted or frazzled to really listen to their kids. As a result, they end up having discipline problems and kids feeling disconnected. How to Listen so Your Kids will Talk is a practical book for parents, encouraging them to prioritize building deeper connection with their child. Becky teaches parents to give their child a voice, rather than silencing them. Seek to understand rather than correcting feelings. Focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. And negotiate with grace rather than punishing with the gavel. How parents listen when their kids are young will determine how much their kids talk to them when they’re older.

What inspired you to write this?

I was inspired to write How to Listen so Your Kids will Talk by my third daughter, Stefanie. Stef seemed to come out of the womb arguing, and honestly, I thought I would lose my mind. I remember praying and weeping before the Lord asking Him for wisdom. The answer I heard was quite shocking. The Lord whispered to my spirit, “Give her a voice”. I realized in that moment, I needed to change. I needed to learn to listen to cultivate Stef’s voice rather than listening to control her. My journey was life changing. Now Stef is an adult and we enjoy a close relationship built on deep connection.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

If you want a close relationship with your child, put some effort into your listening skills. Only children who feel heard feel loved and that is the foundation for deep connection.

What genre do you focus on?

I write non-fiction books because it’s a way to teach biblical life principles through the power of story. It is also one of the best ways to disciple people in their walk with Christ.

Why do you write?

I feel called to help people on their spiritual journeys to grow in their relationship with Christ and others.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I try to write every day, taking small breaks to be with people in between. I’m an extrovert, so I know I need to connect with people in order to write with passion and purpose.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

I think the hardest part of being an author is knowing when a piece or book is finally good enough. It’s easy to keep correcting and correcting and never finish.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

The best part about being an author is the freedom I have to set my own schedule. I am often involved with my grandkids and because I don’t have a 9-5 job, I can pick them up from school or take them for little dates, etc.

What is your favorite pastime?

Hiking with my hubby, playing with grandkids, or drinking strong coffee with friends.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Yes. Rewriting Your Emotional Script, Freedom From Performing, The 30 Day Praise Challenge, The 30 Day Praise Challenge for Parents, How to Listen so People Will Talk, Listen well, Lead Better, Who Do You Say That I Am, Psalms for the Anxious Heart and The Extraordinary Power of Praise (Releases June 2021).

What are you working on now?

I’ve just submitted another proposal for a Bible Study. I am spending much time coaching: Communication, Leadership coaching and Parent coaching.

Website: www.beckyharling.com   www.harlingleadership.com

Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Listen-Your-Kids-Will-Talk/dp/0764237217/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3DH0ZT07CJ7O5&keywords=how+to+listen+so+your+kids+will+talk+becky+harling&qid=1605033377&sprefix=how+to+listen+so+your+kids+will+talk+Becky+%2Caps%2C185&sr=8-1

Social media links: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/beckyharlingministries  Instagram Beckyharling   Twitter, @beckyharling

 

Meet author Molly Jebber

Molly Jebber’s Amish Historical Romance award-winning books have made Publisher’s Weekly Best Ten List, offered live interviews on news sites, received near excellent ratings from RT, and been featured in USA HEA. She’s a national speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, and guest lecturer at Ohio State University, libraries & conferences on writing, publishing, and marketing. She loves God, her family, and friends. She says yes to cupcakes, and no to coconut!

Tell us about your newest book.

Maryann fell in love and left her Amish life and a controlling mother. She’s ready to return to Charm, Ohio, when her dishonest and gambling husband is murdered. She has her baby girl, is accepted by her Amish family, and works in the Amish Charm Bakery where she makes new friends. Andrew Wittmer asks to court her. They fall in love, and she’s ready to marry him. But her mother is ill and needs her. His uncle lives in another town and needs him. They aren’t sure what to do. Andrew has a secret, and when it’s revealed, Maryann’s heart is shattered. Will God intervene and make what looks impossible possible for Maryann and Andrew?

What genre do you focus on?

Amish Historical Romance – I have visited Amish communities for years. I don’t agree with everything they do, but I love their devotion, belief, and trust in God. I wear makeup, cute shoes, and have to blow dry my hair with an electric blow dryer! They would not approve. But they have been kind and helped me with research, and some like reading my books. I like writing Amish stories, because I can share how we have problems and make mistakes, but God doesn’t leave us or forsake us.

Why do you write?

My hobby became a job when I acquired an agent and New York Publisher, and they drive me to meet their deadlines. Really, it’s fun to create stories and share them with readers.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

Maryann. She feels guilty for leaving her mother and marrying a non-Amish man. She’s strong to take care of herself and her daughter and humble enough to return to Amish life. She has difficult decisions to make. You sympathize with her, root for her, and wonder how she’ll ever have a life with Andrew.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I have a word count to achieve each month, and I have marketing goals to achieve to keep my books known to readers. I live in two places. When I’m in Florida, I love to be outdoors and my husband and friends keep me busy with lots of fun. This means I get up early and stay up late to keep on schedule!

What is the hardest part of being an author?

COVID makes it hard being an author. I want to speak in person instead of on Zoom. I want to hug my readers.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

The readers. I had no idea how many wonderful people I would meet at speaking events. The gifts, cards, and emails from readers saying they like my books mean so much to me. They encourage and inspire me to keep writing when I get discouraged. Readers’ posts and comments on social media help us get to know each other better. They encourage and inspire me. Also the authors I’ve met who have become good friends.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I lost my hearing in my left ear completely in 2014. After a heavy dose of steroids, it came back seven days later. This past year, the same thing happened in my right ear. This time, my hearing didn’t come back until two weeks later. It’s a humbling experience, and I appreciate my hearing more than ever now.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

Lots of people told me I would never get an agent or big publisher. They said it’s too hard. God says all things are possible through Him. I believed if it was His will for my life, it would happen. It wasn’t easy, but I love my agent and my editor-in-chief. They are both so good to me, and I give God all the glory for all He’s done in my life. He’s helped me to grow as a writer.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love to swim in the pool and ocean.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Keepsake Pocket Quilt Series, Amish Brides, and Amish Charm Bakery series

What are you working on now?

I’ve turned in book five for this series, and I’m working on book six. You’ll have to wait and be surprised at these stories!

Website: http://www.mollyjebber.com

Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087YTQV8L/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i8

Social media links:

http://www.facebook.com/mollyjebber

http://www.twitter.com/mollymjebber

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/molly-jebber

https://www.pinterest.com/mollyjebber/_created/

 

 

 

Meet author Susan Anne Mason

Susan Anne Mason’s debut historical novel, Irish Meadows, won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA. She is the author of the Courage to Dream Series and the Canadian Crossings series. Also a member of ACFW, Susan lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two adult children. She loves red wine and chocolate, is not partial to snow even though she’s Canadian. Learn more about Susan and her books at www.susanannemason.net.

Tell us about your newest book.

My book is called “A Haven for Her Heart” and it’s about a young Italian girl who is disowned by her parents when she ends up pregnant. She is taken in by an elderly widow with a similar past, and the two decide to open a maternity home for unwed mothers. Along the way, a handsome Greek businessman tries to thwart their efforts but ends up being charmed by Olivia and her altruistic endeavor.

What inspired you to write A Haven for Her Heart?

An article I read in the Toronto Star about a woman who had been arrested in the 1930s for being pregnant and unwed. She was sent to the Mercer Reformatory for women where she endured unspeakable conditions. I used this as the backstory for my heroine and paired it with the idea I’d had to write a book about a maternity home.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

A disgraced young woman tries to redeem herself and overcome her shame by opening a home for unwed mothers and in the process falls for the man who is trying to stop her.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I write Christian historical romance. I never thought I’d want to write historicals but after I started researching my family history with Ancestry.com, I became fascinated with my relatives and their stories. The story of my great-great grandfather, a stable boy, and his romance with the kitchen maid actually inspired my Victorian historical “A Most Noble Heir”.

Why do you write?

I’m not sure exactly. My love of reading inspired my first attempts at writing. Once I paired it with my faith, I began to love inspiring others with messages of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

My main character is Olivia Rosetti. She is a young woman of Italian descent. I chose the name Olivia because I love the name, and Rosetti because it fit well with her heritage.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I work part-time weekday mornings for a local church. Afternoons are spent at least in part working on my writing. When it gets close to a deadline, I often work again after dinner until around 8:00 pm when my brain stops working. LOL.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Juggling multiple books at once! Often I’m starting a new book and just as I get the momentum going, I have to stop to do major revisions on the previous book, while promoting the release of a third book. For me it’s really hard to stop work on a project to go back to another set of characters. But you do what you have to do!

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

I would say it’s holding a new book in your hand – when all your hard work has come to fruition and your ‘baby’ is going out into the world! That and creating new characters and stories!

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I have a university degree in French and once considered becoming a French teacher.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I have learned a lot over the last 10 years. The main improvement in my writing is how to evoke emotion through my characters. It’s something I still work hard to get right.

What is your favorite pastime?

Reading!!! Does that surprise anyone?? I love reading all types of Christian romance.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

I have over 12 books. My first foray into publishing was with White Rose Publishing, a 3 book contemporary series set in the fictional small town of Rainbow Falls, ND. I have one Love Inspired romance called Healing the Widowers Heart. And I have two series with Bethany House: The Courage to Dream series and the Canadian Crossing series. Plus a standalone Victorian romance. For all my books, please visit my website: susanannemason.net.

What are you working on now?

I’m doing edits for Book 2 of the Redemption’s Light series called “To Find Her Place” and working on writing Book 3. Juggling again!

Website:  susanannemason.net

Link to book:

Amazon:  https://tinyurl.com/yynbmyrj

Bethany House / Baker Publishing:  https://tinyurl.com/y4lybd4q

Christianbook.com:   https://tinyurl.com/y2p24cgb

Barnes & Noble:   https://tinyurl.com/y5zacram

Social media links: https://twitter.com/samason,  @samason,

https://www.facebook.com/susan.anne.mason.333

https://www.instagram.com/sbmason123/