Interview: Barbara Brutt

When you walk into a bookstore, you make a beeline for what section?

Ooooh, I love to peruse the clearance section and see if I can find any gems before I move to the fiction and then self-help.

Favorite place to write:

Near a window. Right now, my writing happens on the dining room table, but I daydream about having an L-shaped desk.

Go-to writing snack or drink:

Generally, a cup of tea. I prefer black tea with milk, but I’ll switch to non-fruit herbals when I’m drinking the tea to warm my hands.

What does your writing nook look like?

Right now? It looks like an over-grown jungle because we brought in the herbs and have a random assortment of plants sharing the dining room table.

Something you must do or have to write:

Music helps. And I’ll generally go through a few quick housekeeping items, such as checking my email, Facebook, and Pinterest. Then, I’ll settle in for writing.

Favorite (doesn’t that word just make you cringe?) writer resource:

I really love Steven James’ resources on writing. Earlier this year, I attended the Novel Writing Intensive that he and Robert Dugoni put on annually. Great resource!

What book is currently on your nightstand?

My copy of Teal Paisley Tights, some lotion, and Spike, my succulent.

Hard copy, e-reader, audio book:

All three. I prefer hard copy, but my e-reader is great for night time reading. And I love audio books for all the driving I do. Yes, that means I’m often reading three different books at a time!

What was the inspiration behind Teal Paisley Tights?

Oof. Jadyn? I think in some ways it was Jadyn, the main character, but then also, I know so many people who struggle with people pleasing, saying yes to everything, and then just being maxed out.

Favorite part of writing Teal Paisley Tights:

Exploring the story, and then rereading and laughing at the funny. Is it bad that I’ll laugh at my own story—forgetting that I wrote it?

Hardest part of writing Teal Paisley Tights:

The process was long so I think it was challenging to keep at it sometimes, especially when there are a lot of other good things vying for my time.

Image credit: Pinterest

If Teal Paisley Tights was turned into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Ah, this is tricky. So I’m not a huge movie watcher. But I think Sanaa Lathan has the right look for Jadyn. And for Ethan, hmmm, I’ve chosen a few male actors, but I think Chris Evans would be a good one.

Image credit: Pinterest

What is next?

Well, I do have a rough draft (and boy, it’s rough) of book 2. At this point, we still follow Jadyn. And I’m about halfway through writing a Christmas novella, which I’d love to release Christmas 2019. Or you know, Christmas in July?

What else would you like readers to know?  (If there is anything else you think readers might enjoy knowing…random tidbit about you, the story, your writing process, etc. feel free to add it here.)

I’m addicted to circus. My two great loves are writing and the aerial arts. If you scroll through my @cordiallybarbara Instagram account, you’ll see a few aerial funs.

About the Story:

After graduation, Jadyn Simon expected to launch her art career. Instead, this Pittsburgh native finds herself locked into a low-paying marketing position with an impossible boss.

Evicted from her apartment because of a small spending problem, she is forced to move in with her know-it-all sister. While everyone else plans a neat, buttoned-up life for her, Jadyn longs to paint professionally. Stretched like canvas between responsibility and dreams, she must choose.

Will practicality always win?

Connect with Barbara through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Starstruck Release Day!

About the Story:

Novelist Christine Lind has achieved her lifelong dream—a string of best-selling books and a cable-TV adaptation about to go into production. But on her way to London FanFest for the cast reveal, disaster strikes: their leading man is injured in a motorcycle accident… and his replacement is the one person she hoped she’d never seen again.

Nick Cleary has clawed his way to recognition as a Hollywood actor, but it’s long past time he get the chance to show he’s more than a pretty face and a chiseled set of abs. His big break comes in the form of a juicy lead role in a new steampunk fantasy series. There’s just one catch—casting has to be approved by the author… a woman he once devastated through his own youthful stupidity.

Christine is the last person to be starstruck by the handsome heartthrob, but as the clock ticks down to the cast announcement and Nick races to show that he’s really changed, she begins to wonder if there’s more to her ex than his Hollywood persona. Except now the consequences of being wrong no longer apply only to her career… but also to her carefully guarded heart.

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Spotlight: When You Look at Me by Pepper Basham

About the Story:

When Julia Jenkins’ great aunt dies and leaves her a Victorian mansion with decades of secrets, Julia never expects to unearth a World War 2 espionage mystery. Struggling with her own past since an assault left her pregnant, her future as a solo parent leaves her dreams uncertain. The inheritance from her great aunt gives Julia the ability to take a step back into her future, but also sends her into the discovery of a love story she’d never anticipated. As she goes through her aunt’s treasured possessions, Julia uncovers some oddly written piano music with a musical code she can’t decipher on her own. Not to worry, introverted Englishman and composer, Henry Wright, is thrust on the scene by a pair of homespun matchmakers who know the ‘right’ man for Julia’s wounded heart.

Henry arrives in Pleasant Gap with the task of composing the soundtrack for his best mate’s newest film. The Jenkins’ family’s southern welcome and gregarious personalities set his reticent nature on edge, but he’s inexplicably drawn to his gentle and music-loving hostess, Julia. Uncertain how to build a friendship with the wounded woman, and rather hopeless in communicating well through words, the bond of music becomes a bridge between her uncertainty and his awkwardness.

But her broken past and his families’ expectations build a wall much greater than the cultures that separate them. As they work together to solve a musical mystery from the grave, will an unlikely romance from the past inspire their hearts to trust in a God who’s written the perfect melody for their lives?

About the Author:

 

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels with grace, humor, and culture clashes. She’s a Blue Ridge Mountain native and an anglophile who enjoys combining her two loves to create memorable stories of hope. You can connect with Pepper through her website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Cover Reveal: Starstruck by Carla Laureano

About the Story:

Novelist Christine Lind has achieved her lifelong dream—a string of best-selling books and a cable-TV adaptation about to go into production. But on her way to London FanFest for the cast reveal, disaster strikes: their leading man is injured in a motorcycle accident… and his replacement is the one person she hoped she’d never seen again.

Nick Cleary has clawed his way to recognition as a Hollywood actor, but it’s long past time he get the chance to show he’s more than a pretty face and a chiseled set of abs. His big break comes in the form of a juicy lead role in a new steampunk fantasy series. There’s just one catch—casting has to be approved by the author… a woman he once devastated through his own youthful stupidity.

Christine is the last person to be starstruck by the handsome heartthrob, but as the clock ticks down to the cast announcement and Nick races to show that he’s really changed, she begins to wonder if there’s more to her ex than his Hollywood persona. Except now the consequences of being wrong no longer apply only to her career… but also to her carefully guarded heart.

Don’t you just love the cover?! Saying I can’t wait to read this novella would be an understatement.

About the Author:

Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

Connect with Carla through her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.
Get the first Discovered by Love novella for free here.

Interview: Liz Johnson

When you walk into a bookstore, you make a beeline for what section?

Oh, man! This is tough! I guess it depends on the day. I love the Christian fiction section, and I always make it there. But I also love to check out what’s new in YA and general literature. I usually do a stroll through the whole store if I can.

Favorite place to write: Usually at a coffee shop or restaurant. I like to write while I’m getting dinner or during my lunch break at work.

Go-to writing snack or drink: Diet Dr. Pepper is ALWAYS my drink of choice. 🙂

What does your writing nook look like?  I have a comfy writing chair in my library, but it’s recently been overrun by moose. But when I clear it out, it’s the perfect writing nook.

Something you must do or have to write: The right keyboard. I’m very particular about the keyboard on my computer, so if I have the wrong one, I just can’t seem to get words down and have to handwrite them.

Favorite (doesn’t that word just make you cringe?) writer resource: The Emotion Thesaurus by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman.

What book is currently on your nightstand? Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischoff and The Story of With by Allen Arnold and Story by Robert McKee (along with about 40 others).

Hard copy, e-reader, audio book: All of the above, and usually at the same time. I do love a good audio book for a road trip. And my general impatience makes getting books on my e-reader as soon as they release a delight.

What was the inspiration behind A Sparkle of Silver? My dad and I visited Hearst Castle in California, and I was fascinated by the opulence of the estate. I mean, who needs gold-plated swimming pool tiles? But Hearst had them. They also didn’t seem to make him very happy. And I started thinking about what it would look like for an outsider to that kind of wealth staying in a home like that.

Favorite part of writing A Sparkle of Silver: Discovering the ending! I had a loose idea of how it would end, but right up until I wrote it, I didn’t know who Millie’s great-grandfather was. She searches the whole book for her true family, and I didn’t know until I wrote the words who it was going to be. It was a fun moment of discovery.

Hardest part of writing A Sparkle of Silver: Finding the right language for a journal from 1929. I was constantly checking words and researching contractions to see if they were commonly used during that time period.

If A Sparkle of Silver was turned into a movie, who would you cast as the leads? I always envisioned Ben—the history professor—as Tom Hiddleston and Millie—the weary waitress/actress—as Elizabeth Olsen.

What is next? I’m working on revisions for the follow up book, A Glitter of Gold, which should release next summer. I’m also working on what I affectionately call my “super-secret project,” which I hope to release soon too.

About the Story:

Ninety years ago, Millie Sullivan’s great-grandmother was a guest at banker Howard Dawkins’ palatial estate on the shore of St. Simons Island, Georgia. Now, Millie plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of the same manor. But when her grandmother suggests that there is a lost diary containing the location of a hidden treasure on the estate, along with the true identity of Millie’s great-grandfather, Millie sets out to find the truth of her heritage–and the fortune that might be hers. When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate’s private library, he threatens to have her fired. But her story seems almost too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up . . .

Connect with Liz through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.