Meet author Linda W. Rooks

Linda W. Rooks is the award-winning author of Fighting for Your Marriage while Separated, Broken Heart on Hold, and The Bunny Side of Easter.  Over a hundred of Linda’s writings have appeared in publications across the U.S., including multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family, HomeLife, and Today’s Christian Woman.  She has appeared in numerous TV, radio, and podcast interviews across the North American continent. Find Linda at lindarooks.com.

Tell us about your newest book.

Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light is an exciting suspense thriller set in the future with a number of twists and turns, including a time travel sequence, an international crisis with weapons of mass destruction, a little bit of romance, and more. But in the midst of the story line, an underlying theme is woven through the pages of the book, based on Romans 8:28, wherein the pieces of dark come together with the pieces of light to create a beautiful picture of hope. It’s a book, I believe, that will resonate with our times. The book has been endorsed by three former U.S. congressmen, some military leaders, and others.

What inspired you to write Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light?

I think it was one of those questions that sometimes come into your mind. “What if . . . ?” Usually, it’s just a fleeting thought for most of us. But as a writer, if you dwell on it long enough, all kinds of crazy thoughts come to you as you imagine what if this could really happen. How would it happen? Who would it happen to? And as the craziness evolves in your mind and you play with it awhile, as a writer, you might see it turn into an actual story. This is what happened to me with Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light. It began as a kind of challenge to my imagination. I wanted to see if I could actually make it work. So, I began writing and researching. I didn’t even take it seriously for awhile . . . until other people told me it was really good.

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

In 2052, when a cache of weapons of mass destruction is discovered in Tajikistan, diplomat Janssen LaMarche is looked to as the one man who can avert a world crisis. Things go awry, however, when he’s faced with a personal battle of his own, requiring him to travel back in time where an unknown fate awaits him and family secrets on two continents come to light. As a world crisis moves the plot through thrilling and suspenseful twists and surprises, at the heart of the story vibrates the personal saga of a man on a mission and the women who fear for his life.

What genre do you focus on?

I call Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light a suspense thriller with heart. I didn’t actually set out to write a thriller, but that’s what it turned into. There’s also an important time travel sequence in the story so there’s some science fiction with worm holes and nanotechnology, etc. too. The characters and their relationships are very strong, and there’s some romance as well. I’ve always had a hard time fitting my writing into a box. I love the pace of a thriller and the adrenalin rush, but I also like to give the reader a chance to breathe now and then so I enjoy inserting some relationship scenes, descriptive passages, and a little romance or humor to lighten things up before jumping back into the action. One thing I love about a good suspense thriller is leaving subtle clues along the way and tying things up in the end so the reader has an “aha” moment and feels fully satisfied that everything fits together.

Why do you write?

What drives me to write is my love for writing. When God created me, He gave me a love for words and how they fit together. Even as a child, I huddled under a card table with my neighbor in her playhouse to make up newspapers for the neighborhood kids, (mainly featuring exposes about my older brother, of course.) There’s something comforting about writing. It’s where I find out who I am and what I think about things. Even as a young person, when life was challenging, I often found solace with a pen and paper in my hand, scratching out my thoughts and feelings until things made sense. And the more I poured myself into my words, the more the words took flight above my circumstances to a place of peace and joy. Gradually I fell in love with words and what a person could create with them. Now as I write professionally, working on a book or on my blog, I often see my thoughts evolve during the writing as I feel God opening my eyes to more of His truth.  What usually drives me to write a particular book, article, or blog post, however, is the theme. When I have something I want to say, I look for the best medium to express it.

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

My main character is Janssen Aryan LaMarche, an American diplomat, who has been chosen to negotiate with the leaders of Tajikistan to save the world from a world crisis. Genealogy is important in the development of this story so although Janssen has a magnetic personality and is a smooth negotiator on his own, his family ties to Tajikistan are an important part of the reason for his being chosen for this important mission. His mother was from Tajikistan and his uncle is Prime Minister of the country, so Janssen’s middle name of “Aryan” ties him to that heritage. His father, who has a French heritage, met his mother while he himself was serving as diplomat in Tajikistan. Thus, Janssen has the last name of LaMarche.

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

I’m not particularly disciplined in terms of a schedule. But lists keep me on target. I’m the most creative in the morning. Even before getting out of bed, when my mind is clear of daily disruptions, I sometimes begin composing what I will write. When the words come alive, I jump up, run to my computer and begin writing. But I love lists. I like to make a list of what I want to accomplish for that day and maybe a couple of days ahead and then cross things off as I accomplish them.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

As an author, I think the hardest part of writing is the editing process with the publisher. We bring our “baby” to the table and have to relinquish it to the editor’s discretion about what to keep, what to take out, and what to change. It can be painful, but realizing publishers have their own priorities and goals is something for us to remember when we work in the publishing world. They’re the experts in knowing what works and what sells.

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

For me, the best part is the actual writing. I love words, and I love putting them together. I see writing as an art, similar to sculpting or composing. Instead of starting with a lump of clay, we as writers start with a blank sheet of paper and move words around, watching them take shape until they begin to sing a rhythm to our ears. Word by word, we mold phrases and sentences and paragraphs together until our imaginations spin them into an inspirational message, or a story leaping and dancing across the page. The joy of seeing something beautiful come out of this is very special.

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

I’m best known for my two books for those in marital crisis. My first book, Broken Heart on Hold, Surviving Separation, helps a person get stronger both emotionally and spiritually when they are traveling the lonesome and heartbreaking journey of a broken marriage, and my award-winning book, Fighting for Your Marriage while Separated, provides practical answers for those seeking to restore their marriage with an unwilling spouse. My children’s picture book, The Bunny Side of Easter, is an exciting adventure about how the heroism of a little rabbit made him the Easter bunny and the rabbit on the moon, using bits of allegory to point children to the true hero we celebrate at Easter.

What are you working on now?

As I continue with the promotion of Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light, I also plan to concentrate more on my Heart Talk blog, which has the tagline, “Finding Hope in Unexpected Places.” We live in a time that is difficult for people in so many ways. So in all of my writings, one of the things I continually want to offer to my readers is a large dose of hope because, truly, when we put our trust in the hands of God, we can find hope in unexpected places.

Website: http://lindarooks.com

Link to book: Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light on Amazon

Social media links: Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Parler

 

 

 

Number Nine is out!

It’s hard to believe that in just five years I have written, and published, nine historical fiction titles. In the beginning, I had only planned to write The Fabric of Hope, but then Susan’s story in Christmas Charity just had to be told. Next came Katelyn’s Choice, because I had to tell the George Pullman and President Grant story of how the Thousand Islands Gilded Age got started, right? After that, Katelyn’s friend, Sara, had a surprise, and Sara’s Surprise came to be.

Well, after a trip to Singer Castle, Devyn’s Dilemma just ached to be told, and her friend, Reagan also had a story, so Reagan’s Reward emerged. What fun I’ve had dreaming up these stories, and it isn’t over yet.

When I learned about the renovation and the amazing art history of Comfort Island, well, Colleen’s Confession jumped out of my head and onto the page. And I’ve always wanted to write about Calumet Island, so Peyton’s Promise was a fun and interesting story to write.

Today is the birthday of my nineth book baby, Rachel’s Reunion! It continues the story of Rachel Kelly and Mitch that I started to tell in Peyton’s Promise where Rachel is Peyton’s friend and roommate, and Mitch is Patrick’s friend and roommate. The two connected while serving the Emery’s in Calumet Castle on Calumet Island. Rachel served there for two years, but Mitch left after just one summer.

Unfortunately, Mitch bumbled their relationship by taking a job on a saltie (a ship that crosses the ocean)—to make enough money to be worthy of Rachel’s love—and he failed to tell her why. In doing so, he hurt her terribly. Rachel felt abandoned and forsaken.

After two summers on Calumet, Rachel was offered a wonderful position at the New Frontenac Hotel on Round Island in the St. Lawrence River. It’s one of the grandest hotel resorts in the area. New York City tycoon Charles G. Emery built it, and now she gets to stay and work in the hotel’s Annex where the most elite guests enjoy elegant suites and amazing activities.

Rachel is just sure she’ll never see the man who broke her heart. But surprise! He takes a position as captain of the hotel’s touring yacht, and the rest is history. Or is it? A handsome, famous photographer gets in the way, and so does her stubborn unforgiveness. You’ll have to read my newest, Rachel’s Reunion, to find out…the rest of the story.

And I’ll tell you a little secret…I have seven more planned!

About Rachel’s Reunion

Summer 1904

Rachel Kelly serves the most elite patrons at the famed New Frontenac Hotel on Round Island. She has wondered about her old beau, Mitch, for nearly two years, ever since he toyed with her affections while on Calumet Island, then left for the high seas and taken her heart with him. Now he’s back, opening the wound she thought was healed.

Mitch O’Keefe returns to claim his bride but finds it more difficult than he thought. Returning to work at the very place he hated, he becomes captain of a New Frontenac Hotel touring yacht, just to be near Rachel. But his attempts to win her back are thwarted, especially when a wealthy patron seeks her attention. Who will Rachel choose?

 

Meet author Heather Greer

Heather Greer and her husband are adjusting to their empty nest in southern Illinois. Writing and being a pastor’s wife help her keep busy in her now quiet home. Heather’s greatest blessings are the writing ministry God’s given her, her husband, her four grown children, and her grandchildren (though not necessarily in that order). When she’s not writing or reading, Heather enjoys cheesy romance movies and spending time with family and friends.

Tell us about your newest book.

Sugar and Spice is the winter novella in the Love in Any Season novella collection. New Kuchenbrünn, Missouri looks like it was plucked from the pages of a German fairy tale, and Emmie Becker loves it. Owning her family’s bakery, Sugar and Spice, adds to her fairy tale come true, except during the annual Gingerbread Festival. The problem? Emmie hates gingerbread. And this year gingerbread isn’t her only problem. Ryker Lehmann is returning home to photograph the festival. He’s witness to her biggest humiliation, her secret teenage crush, and the man who broke her heart when he left town. With gingerbread and Ryker together, can Emmie make it through the festival with her mind and heart intact?

What inspired you to write Sugar and Spice?

When my friend Amy Anguish and I began discussing a novella collection based on the seasons and small-town festivals, my Hallmark movie loving imagination went into over-drive. I love Christmas, but while Christmas does factor into the story, I didn’t want my festival to focus on the holiday. I wanted something a little different.

I’ve always loved quaint little towns, especially those with architecture that looks like it came from a fairy tale. The town directed my choice of festivals. I mean, can you have a German-inspired town and Christmas without gingerbread? They just go together. Besides, I love baking. Having a festival focused on one of my favorite hobbies was a bonus.

What genre do you focus on?

I tend to write contemporary romance. While I enjoy historical, contemporary, and fantasy stories, I’m always drawn to those that include an element of romance. There is something about watching two people fall in love, with all the ups and downs, that leaves readers with a smile. I like that feeling when I read, and I want others to experience it too. Plus, there’s a lot of opportunity for a character’s soul searching and learning about themselves and their faith when they’re navigating romance. It’s a great way to spur on character growth.

Why do you write?

I love stories. I always have. To create places that readers want to be part of and characters they’d love to have as best friends is such a special opportunity. To encourage someone through the stories I share in the same way God has used stories I’ve read to strengthen my faith and touch my heart is an amazing blessing. God gives us all gifts and talents intended to grow, strengthen, and encourage others in their faith. He planted a passion for reading and writing in me, and I want to use what He’s given to glorify Him. Writing stories that show character’s living their faith, even when they don’t get it right sometimes, is how I do that.

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

Emeline Becker is the heroine of Sugar and Spice. I started with the town. Since it has very strong Germanic roots, I wanted that to be the character’s heritage as well. I searched German names until I found Emeline, and I knew I would call her Emmie. A search of Germanic surnames gave me Becker which means baker. Could a name be more perfect for a family of bakers?

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

Ha! I wish I had a schedule. I try. I really do. But I’m a fairly laid-back person with a terrible tendency to procrastinate. Not always a great pairing. I try to write every day, even if it’s only a couple hundred words. I don’t always succeed at that though.

If I’m under a deadline, I’ll use a word tracking program to help me divide up my task into daily goals. I determine what days I want to be lighter word counts and which ones I want to hit hard. The program uses that information along with the overall word count and deadline to tell me exactly how many words I need each day. Sometimes, I still fail, but it adjusts for that. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve logged in, seen that I’m a little short, and then gone back to add a few more words just so that tracker shows I made the goal.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

The part I find most difficult has nothing to do with writing. It’s the marketing after the book is complete. I’m an introvert. Approaching strangers or talking to people about what I’ve done isn’t an easy task for me. Just the idea of calling a bookstore to set up a signing or speaking with a radio station about a possible interview makes me nervous. I know all they can do is say no, but it doesn’t ease the tension I feel when I think about doing those things.

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

Telling stories that allow me to share faith while entertaining readers. I love coming away from my favorite stories feeling like I’ve visited with friends. The idea that someone might feel the same after reading what I’ve written makes me smile. God has used stories to help me through my darkest times, to grow me in my understanding of Him, and to encourage me in my faith. Knowing that my stories may do that for others is humbling and amazing.

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

All my children are grown, but I still keep a collection of children’s books that I add to regularly. I love children’s books. And I don’t stop with the books. Whenever I go to Kohl’s, I check out their Kohl’s Cares shelves for children’s book character stuffed animals. My newest addition is Llama from the Llama Llama book series.

What is your favorite pastime?

Is there an author who doesn’t say reading? Reading is one of my favorites, but I do have others. I love to bake, especially at Christmas. I also like to craft. I’m open to any craft, but I especially like card making and designing buttons.

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

Yes, I do. My first three books make up the Faith, Hope, and Love series. Faith’s Journey, Grasping Hope, and Relentless Love are all categorized as contemporary romance, but the series leans heavily toward women’s fiction. That’s especially true of Grasping Hope, which was a Selah award finalist.

Cake That! received third place in the Selah awards for 2022, and it is also a contemporary romance. It’s all about a televised baking competition and the fun, drama, and romance the main character faces as she takes part in the show.

Love in the Squared Circle is my newest full-length release, also a contemporary romance. It’s the story of a single mother of a precocious eight-year-old boy and a professional wrestler. I know. Not your typical Christian fiction hero. But he’s perfect for a story about seeing others as God sees them. And you don’t have to be a fan of professional wrestling to enjoy it.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on edits for my first historical romance, Window of Opportunity, which releases in January 2023. It’s a standalone story set in the 1920s, but it’s also the first in a series of full-length novels by four different authors that are tied together through one family and a stained-glass window. There is one set in the 1970s, a contemporary story, and a book set in a dystopian future to finish out the series. I’m really excited about my own story and the series. It’s something a bit different that I haven’t seen done before.

Website: https://heathergreer.com

Link to book: https://scrivenings.link/loveinanyseason

Social media links:

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorheathergreer/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHeatherGreer

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Heather_Greer1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/1heather.greer

 

 

Meet author Janet Grunst

Janet is a wife, mother of two sons, and grandmother of eight. She lives in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) with her husband. Brought up in a Navy family, she’s lived throughout the United States and in Spain. A lifelong student of history, her love of writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that communicate the truths of the Christian faith, as well as entertain, inspire, and encourage readers.

Tell us about your books.

This is a three-book series. A Heart Set Free published in 2016, A Heart for Freedom published in 2018, Setting Two Hearts Free published in 2020.

How would you describe your books?

A Heart Set Free

In 1770, Heather Douglas is desperate to escape a brewing scandal in her native Scotland. Penniless and hoping for a fresh start far away, she signs a seven-year indenture and boards a British merchant vessel headed to Virginia.

Widowed planter Matthew Stewart needs someone to help raise his two young children. The tall blonde standing on the Alexandria quay doesn’t look like much after her harrowing sea voyage, but there’s a refinement about her that her filthy clothing cannot hide. Could God be leading him to take this unknown indentured servant as his wife?

When Matthew purchases Heather’s indenture, he marries her, and takes her to his farm, she is faced with new and constant challenges. And Matthew wonders if they can ever bridge their differences and make a life together.

It is in the Virginia countryside that Heather begins her greatest journey, one of self-discovery and maturing faith. Here, she discovers that her emotional and spiritual scars bind her far more than her indenture . . . and love will finally set her heart free.

A Heart for Freedom

By 1775, the conflict has escalated between Loyalists and Patriots throughout the colonies. The Stewarts’ ordinaryand the surrounding Virginia countryside are not immune from the strife, pitting friends, neighbors, and families against each other.

Matthew Stewart has avoided taking sides and wants only to farm, manage Stewarts’ Green, and raise his family. But political tensions are heating up and circumstances and connections convince him that he should answer a call to aid the Patriot cause … with conditions.

Heather Stewart, born and raised in Scotland, has witnessed the devastation and political consequences of opposing England. Threatened by the prospect of war, she wants only to avoid it, and protect the family and peace she sought and finally found in Virginia.

The journey the Stewarts take is not an easy one and will involve sacrifice, and questioned loyalties. Lives and relationships will be changed forever. Ultimately the knowledge that God is faithful will equip them with courage to face the future … with a heart for freedom.

Setting Two Hearts Free                                                                                                             Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons, battling the British while enduring deprivation and hardship on every side. The war has changed him, and now the battle is internal. Returning home to Virginia is in sight where a new life and his Mary wait for him.

Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts’ Green, helping them operate their ordinary. Daily, she prays for Donald’s safe return, eagerly waiting for him … until that day the evil side of war touches her.

Two hearts changed by a war that dragged on for six years. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew. Is there a path for them to rekindle what was lost, Setting Two Hearts Free?

What inspired you to write these stories?

I love history and am fascinated by the inspirational origin of our country. Prayer and seeking God’s will were foundational to the Continental Congress. It was our first civil war, and with no established army and navy, we took on the world’s strongest military force—and founded a nation.

Why do you write?

I journaled but didn’t begin writing for publication until my thirties when I left full-time employment to have a family. I had regular columns in two small local newspapers but decided I wanted to tell stories about critical moments in history that communicate the truths of the Christian faith, as well as entertain, inspire, and encourage readers.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer rather than a plotter—not by choice. I’ve tried to be a plotter because I’m a structured person who likes lists. Being a “panster” goes against my nature but perhaps it’s one of God’s ways of keeping me dependent on Him as He guides me through creating a story.

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

I continue to learn so much about the writing craft—and it fosters discipline and humility. I’ve also met and gotten to know some phenomenal friends and fellow writers.

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

The Year Without Summer is one of four novellas in The Highlanders: A Smitten Historical Romance Collection

Shoved off his family’s land in Scotland in 1816, Grant Cummings looks for work in Ulster Ireland. He needs money and a home to raise his young brother. Molly MacGregor loses her father and his income but she has no time to grieve as she sews and spins to earn enough to keep her and her young brother alive. Renting out her hut on their land might be the answer, but only if she can overcome her prejudice against the handsome Highlander who moves in. Her heart might soften to him, but not when he plans to set sail for America.

What are you working on now?

A manuscript that takes place during the Irish potato famine—dear to my heart as some of my ancestors came to the States from Northern Ireland during that period.

Website: ​https://JanetGrunst.com

Link to book:

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Set-Free-Janet-Grunst-ebook/dp/B01MQK0SXR/ref         https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Freedom-Janet-S-Grunst-ebook/dp/B07FB5J172/ref https://www.amazon.com/Setting-Hearts-Free-Janet-Grunst/dp/1645262804/refhttps://www.amazon.com/Highlanders-Smitten-Historical-Romance-Collection/dp/1645260631/ref

Social media links:

https://colonialquills.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Janet-Grunst-Author-385405948228216

https://www.pinterest.com/janetgrunst/

https://twitter.com/janetgrunst

https://www.instagram.com/janetgrunst/

 

 

Meet author Gina Holder

Gina Holder is an indie author and stay-at-home mom. She’s had an infatuation with books for as long as she can remember. She loves introducing readers to new and new-to-them authors on her blog. Gina enjoys playing the piano, cooking, reading, watching Hallmark mysteries, and solving “escape room” puzzles. She published her debut novel in 2017. Gina lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter.

Tell us about your newest book.

She’s a modern-day damsel. He’s her self-appointed knight. Who will rescue whom?
Kylie just wants to run her café without people thinking she’s a damsel-in-distress. That proves difficult when a man claiming to be her half-brother reveals buried family trauma and forces Kylie to face the scars of her childhood. Peter doesn’t mean to be a knight in shining armor, but as her proverbial big brother, he decides to uncover the truth about Kylie’s semi-sibling, while trying to make peace with his own mistakes. Unearthing the past leads to a danger greater than either ever expected. In the end, who will rescue whom?

What inspired you to write Grace Immeasurable?

This is the final book in the Shadows Over Whitman Series. Kylie is an important character in the first two books, and it was finally time to tell her story.

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

Emotionally scarred girl goes from Damsel-in-Distress to Warrior Princess.

What genre do you focus on?

Women’s Suspense Fiction. I enjoy writing a novel with a love story and all the twists and turns of a suspense. However, I also like to dive into the emotional inner journey of the female character. I feel this genre best allows me to tell the stories I want to share.

Why do you write?

I’ve been telling stories for as long as I can remember. I love being able to share the truths of God’s word through fiction.

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

The main character is Kylie Phillips. I don’t know why.

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

I’m a stay-at-home Mom. I usually start writing after cleaning up the kitchen from the previous night’s dinner, then break for lunch, then write again until dinner.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

The writing part? LOL! Crafting a complete story is difficult for me. I’m great with ideas and my characters come to life on the page but creating a novel from start to finish takes time and a lot of banging my head on my desk.

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

The readers! There is nothing quite like hearing that someone loved your book or that it touched their heart.

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

I’ve written four other books—three novels and one novella. Information about each of them can be found on my website at storiesbygina.wordpress.com. My debut novel is a historical missionary romance, but the others have been contemporary romantic suspense.

What are you working on now?

After finishing Grace Immeasurable, my next project is The Escape Game, a prequel novel to my next series, The Game Master series. I’m excited to move (figuratively) from the Pacific Northwest to New England and introduce my readers to a whole new set of characters, as well as share my love of puzzles and escape rooms.

Website: http://storiesbygina.wordpress.com

Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Immeasurable-Shadows-Over-Whitman-ebook/dp/B09HP8MVHV

Social media links: Blog: http://storiesbygina.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/storiesbygina

Instagram: http://instagram.com/storiesbygina

Twitter: http://twitter.com/storiesbygina

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Gina-Holder/e/B074HC9SHX

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/gina-holder

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17074375.Gina_Holder

Meet author Donna Schlachter

A hybrid author, Donna Schlachter writes squeaky clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published more than fifty times in books; is a member of several writers groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both, and is an avid oil painter.

Tell us about your newest book.

Middle-aged widow Edith Cooper walks away from the cemetery along the Green River near Simpson’s Hollow, Utah Territory. Away from the husband buried there this morning. Away from their plans and dreams for their future. Along the way, two men offer their hand in marriage. For her protection, one says. For his children’s sake, says the second. Were any of these reasons enough to marry? She must choose one. But which?

Albert Whitt, stationmaster of the Pony Express Station, loves his independent life. Twice stood up by women, he takes the only course that ensures no more rejection: stay clear of them. But when he learns that the stoic Widow Cooper is considering two proposals from men not worthy of lacing her boots, he must do something. But what? Can Edith and Albert find a new beginning in the midst of tragedy, or will they choose the most convenient path—alone?

What inspired you to write Hollow Hearts?

I published the first book in this series as a novella in a historical romance collection, and when the rights reverted back to me, I wanted to release that first book, subsequently titled Hollenberg Hearts, as part of a series. I did that last year. For this book, I did some research, and learned of a place in Utah along the Oregon Trail, where wagon trains would stop to bury their dead. And I also read that widows in the 1860 and even later would often get a proposal for marriage as they left the cemetery. I couldn’t resist.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I love historical fiction, because I love learning and researching. I like to read historical fiction for the same reason.

Why do you write?

The stories are in there, and they have to come out. I write because I see it as a calling from God on my life, one where I can hear His voice as He transcribes the story, and where I get the privilege of sharing that with others.

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

Edith Cooper is my heroine. I actually asked my newsletter subscribers to suggest old fashioned names for a strong female lead, and I liked this one the best. At least for now.

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

I schedule a two-hour block each weekday to write, and I write a chapter. If I get done early, good. I have a little time to do something else. If I don’t get that chapter done—well, that puts pressure on me for the next day.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Sitting down and facing the blank screen. For me, starting the story is the hardest. It’s like I have to learn to hear from God all over again. I argue with myself about where to start the story. Which is why an outline or synopsis is my best friend.

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

When my characters say or do something I didn’t expect. I love it, because now I know for sure God is in the midst of the story.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love to binge watch British cozy mysteries, such as “Midsomer Murders”, or “Father Brown”, or “Pie in the Sky”. You get the idea.

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

I have published more than fifty other books. You can check them out at my Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m writing a Contemporary Christmas Romance about two people who aren’t looking for romance, and a little boy who wants a new mommy. It’s called A Mommy by Christmas, and will release November 8th.

Thank you, Susan, for allowing me to interact with your readers. Hope to “see” you online soon!

Website: www.donnaschlachter.com

Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Hollow-Hearts-Book-Pony-Express-ebook/dp/B0B5B7H4XG

Social media links:

www.DonnaSchlachter.com/blog

Check out previous blog posts at www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com and www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/donna-schlachter

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=donna+schlachter

Etsy online shop of original artwork: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dare2DreamUS