Interview with Author Christina Lorenzen

I have enjoyed the Summer Spotlight Series so far. I hope you have too. Today’s guest is Christina Lorenzen.

Christina started writing as a young teen, jotting stories in wire ring composition Christina Lorenzen Headshot Imagenotebooks. Her first typewriter made it faster to get all those stories out of her head and down on paper. Her love of writing has sustained her through a myriad of jobs that included hairdresser, legal secretary, waitress, and door-­to-‑door saleswoman.

Luckily for her, writing proved to be successful and a lot less walking than going door to door. Rapunzel’s Lighthouse is Christina’s sixth book. She is also the author of A Husband for Danna, its sequel, A Wife for Humphrey, Snow Globe Reunion, Harvest Blessings and Healing Seas. She is busy working on a sweet romance that is set in the small town of Marion, Massachusetts, a town she spent all of her childhood summers in at the home of her maternal grandparents. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found walking her dog, talking to her herd of cats, and spending time with her family.

Her most recent release, Rapunzel’s Lighthouse, is available on Amazon now.

Georgie Daniels rarely leaves the cottage attached to the Salt Cliffs lighthouse, except when necessary for a trip into town for food. For the last two years, since the lighthouse was declared a historic landmark, she’s lived in the cottage out of sight and, she hopes, Rapunzel's Lighthouse Cover Imageout of the minds of the town. With the defunct lighthouse in arrears and in disrepair, she knows it’s only a matter of time before the lighthouse will be on the auction block of the town hall’s steps. With long hair that no one has seen before, except in the fabled fairy tale Rapunzel, things were going well until new neighbor Colby Ford shows up on her doorstep.

Colby Ford didn’t intend to retire from the Navy, at least not right now. When he finds himself with an injury that pushes him into an early retirement, the possibility of opening a sailing school in the coastal town of Salt Cliffs is his only hope. Renting the Moore cottage, he needs to find the right location for his school and a place to store the boats. While in town, a conversation with a store keeper makes his curiosity about the lighthouse burn even stronger – what kind of woman lives alone in a defunct lighthouse? In need of paint for the cottage porch, he pays Georgie a visit. Feeling like he’s seen her before, that’s when it hits him – Georgie Daniels is a real life Rapunzel. And this Rapunzel wants nothing to do with being neighborly. Until she’s forced to save him during a storm.

Georgie and Colby have both had their share of disappointments and heartache. Just as Georgie is beginning to open up to him, a letter she finds threatens to shut her down again. Can their shared desperate need for a home bring them together?

Your newest book is Rapunzel’s Lighthouse. What about the classic Rapunzel story attracted you the most? Honestly, what compelled me to write Rapunzel’s Lighthouse was not only my love for the story, but the fact that it was my bedtime story as a child. My grandmother lived with us and on the nights she babysat she would tell me that story every time. She’d always offer a ‘new’ story, but Rapunzel was my choice. I must have heard her tell it a hundred times lol.

If you could say you learned one thing from one of your characters, what would it be? If I were to choose a lesson from a character, it would be Georgie, my heroine. Georgie suffered a few losses that made her give up on people and shut out the world. I’d say she taught me that there are always good people in the world. Don’t shut everyone out. Take the time to heal and then give people a chance.

What is your life like outside of writing? Well, I have much more free time now that I’m not homeschooling my children anymore. My daughter has graduated college, and my son is married and lives in the city. Writing is my job, and so most of the hours of the day are devoted to writing and administrative tasks. I do love animals. I have three cats and a dog and take care of a stray cat in my yard. I teach writing classes at the library and adult education center. And I love reading and spending time outside with my family.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? If so, what is it? Yes. It’s the first verse that spoke to me years ago when I was going through a personal crisis after the loss of a young family member. Matthew 6:26-27. Though it’s an ongoing process, I have learned to worry less and trust God more.

To find out about Christina’s upcoming releases, visit her website at http://christinalorenzen.com/.

Subscribe to Christina’s newsletter and be entered automatically each month to win a $5 Amazon gift card at http://christinalorenzen.com/connect-with-christina

Thank you so much for appearing on my blog, Christina! I wish you the best of success in your writing career! If you have questions for Christina, feel free to leave a comment below. See you all next week with Author Carol McClain.

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Interview with Author Alexis Goring

For this week’s Summer Spotlight, I have Alexis Goring. Welcome!

Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Alexis A. Goring Spring 2017Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.

Her novel, A Second Chance, released in January.
Book cover

Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life. 

Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness are of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death.

Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.
Alexis answered a few questions for me. If you have any questions, too, feel free to comment below! 

What has been your favorite character to create? And why?

My favorite character to create in this story, A Second Chance, was Carla because she’s feisty, beautiful, brilliant, and she’s a true friend to my story’s heroine Traci.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration from life. Stories on the news, storylines in my favorite movies, music (my main muse), and conversations (whether overheard or participated in) inspire me with ideas for fictional stories. God blessed me with the talent of writing so He definitely gets the ultimate credit. He helps my creativity to flow!

What do you see in your future writing career?

I’d love to write captivating, life-changing fictional stories that are so good that they win the following awards for my fiction writing: Carol Award, Golden Heart Award and the RITA Award.

I’d also love to write riveting nonfiction news and feature stories that win The Pulitzer Prize and help people improve their lives.

My goal is to win these awards at least once but ideally several times!

But more important than winning these highly regarded awards for my writing, I want to glorify God and write the stories that He inspires me to write in the way that He wants me to write it. I want my stories to help people heal, make them smile, warm their heart and fill their mind with the kind of treasure that you cannot buy—the hope of life eternal offered through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

You wear a variety of “writing hats.” Which genre is your favorite to write and why?

My favorite genre of writing is inspirational. I like to write inspirational romance for the Christian fiction book market and I like to write feature stories about real people who are doing remarkable things in life.

The reason why I love writing inspirational stories is because in a world infiltrated by the devastating side effects of sin, we need the kind of hope that only God can give. It is my goal to show my readers glimpses of that hope eternal and usher them into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. And for my readers who already know God and follow Jesus Christ, I’d like my writing to encourage them to keep on keeping on in their faith journey with God.

Alexis, I love your outlook, purpose, and especially those goals! I hope they come true for you!

We are almost halfway through our Summer Spotlights. Still to come–Christina Lorenzen, Carol McClain, Kristen Terette, Patrick Craig, Julie Arduini, Christina Rich, Gail Kittleson, and Victoria Kimble. I will also have three guest bloggers over on my devotional page too–Sherri Wilson-Johnson, June Foster, and Cynthia Roemer. I’m sure their devotionals will inspire us, so please check them out soon.

If you aren’t a member of my newsletter group yet, I’d love to have you. Sign up before the Summer Spotlight Series is over so you can receive all the extra bonus material! This week’s bonus is a special excerpt from Alexis’ A Second Chance! You can sign up here! See you next week.

Interview with Author Michelle Griep

I’d like to welcome Michelle Griep to my Summer Spotlight Series this week.

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. Michelle Griep HeadshotShe is the author of historical romances: The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, Undercurrent and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

9781683222637Her latest release, Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection, is available on Amazon now!

Journey along in nine historical romances with those whose lives are transformed by the opulence, growth, and great changes taking place in America’s Gilded Age. Nine couples meet during these exhilarating times and work to build a future together through fighting for social reform, celebrating new opportunities for leisure activities, taking advantage of economic growth and new inventions, and more.

 

Where do you find ideas for your novels and novellas?

Everywhere. No, really. Anything or anyone can send my now-there’s-a-story alarm into scream mode. A snippet of a news story. An overheard comment. A picture on Pinterest. Something funny a five-year-old says. Seriously, life is story, so stories can be found anywhere in your life.

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I started writing when I first discovered Crayolas and blank wall space, so I must’ve been about 3 years old at the time. I went through a short phase as a teenager, however, when I thought I wanted to be an astronaut. But, since I discovered I’d have to actually know how to do math and study science, I ditched that plan and went with my first love of writing.

Will there be more Romance Collections? If so, when can we expect them?

There will always be more romance collections to come. In fact my next one releases in November (The Regency Brides Collection).

Who is your favorite fictional character? And Why?

Mr. Rochester in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Yeah, he’s kind of a jerk at first, but I adore his character arc. By the end of the story his anger has fizzled and he’s a far humbler man.

I hope you’ll take time to connect with Michelle and check out her books! They look so enticing!

Interview with Author Jennifer Dornbush

For my Summer Spotlight Series this week I have Author Jennifer Dornbush.

Jennifer is a writer, speaker and forensic specialist creating a diverse range of stories that shed light on the dark places of the human experience.

Jennifer Dornbush Headshot

Her story creation is bred from a very unsheltered childhood as the daughter of a medical examiner whose office was in her home. She investigated her first fatality, an airplane crash, when she was 8 years-old and from there gathered a decade of on-sight experience in death investigation and 360 hours of forensic training through the Forensic Science Academy.

The stories she creates stem from the unique range of human experiences.  Because of her background, she does not shy away from telling stories about tough circumstances and how characters choose to deal with them. Jennifer’s characters encounter light in their darkness… redemption where none seems possible… and bits of levity to sweeten the journey.

Her feature film, God Bless the Broken Road is slated for release in 2017 in conjunction with the novel released on June 6th by the same title published by Simon & Schuster.

Jennifer has several crime drama series being developed for television and a bi-lingual kid’s show, Team Abuelita, in production with Baby First TV.

Wanting to share her love of forensics with other storytellers, she scribed non-fiction work, Forensic Speak: How To Write Realistic Crime Dramas, published by Michael Wiese Productions, hailed as a north star to creating authentic crime dramas.

As a forensic specialist she has consulted with TV writers on network and cable TV shows.  She regularly leads seminars and webinars on forensics and crime fiction and has taught screenwriting on the high school and university level and mentored new writers.

Sign up for her newsletter and YouTube channel at: www.jenniferdornbush.com

Jennifer’s first novel God Bless the Broken Road released on June 6, 2017.

God Bless the Broken Road cover image

God Bless the Broken Road is a heartwarming story about a grieving army widow who finds her way back to her daughter, her faith, and a new love. Amber Hill never imagined she would find herself a war widow and single mom. She feels robbed and is angry at God, and she doesn’t know how to help her nine-year-old daughter Bree through her grief. Where, Amber wonders, are the Sunday dinners, the picnics, the bike rides, the time together they should be enjoying as a family? Instead, Amber is left with a folded flag and an empty heart.

Cody Jackson has a death wish. Or at least that is what his manager thinks, as Cody pushes his race car and his luck in every race. Is he hiding something, or just daring God and other racers to end the path of destruction he finds himself on as he rounds the last turn? When Cody encourages Bree to join in a Derby car race for local youth, she finds a way to channel her grief into something good—and she likes that her mom and Cody are starting to become friends—or maybe something more.

Cody invites Amber and Bree to see him race, but as they watch Cody narrowly escape a devastating crash, she realizes she can’t lose another person in her life. It’s better to be alone than feel that type of grief again. But when Amber hits rock-bottom, she cries out to God and asks for help. With her faith, her life, her family, and her heart hanging in the balance, Amber is forced to decide between the broken road she knows so well and trusting that God will provide a new path.  Based on the Rascal Flatts song, God Bless the Broken Road is a moving, heart-stirring story about the power of faith to change a life. The movie version is coming 2018.

I was instantly fascinated by the process of writing both a novel and a movie based on the same story line, so I asked her some questions, which she was gracious enough to answer.

Most of us only dream about our books becoming a movie, but you say you wrote the movie first and then the book? Can you tell us a little bit about that process?

GBBR actually began as a script three years ago. My friend and director, Harold Cronk, who is best known for the God’s Not Dead movies, called me one fine summer evening. He pitched me the seed of the idea and asked what I thought? I said I thought it sounded like a solid story. And then he asked if I wanted to write it with him. Of course, I said yes.

We finished the first draft of the script on Christmas Eve, 2014. Over the course of the next year we refined it while the producers rallied the funds. In the spring of 2016 Harold shot God Bless the Broken Road.

A few months earlier, as we finished the script version, I talked with the producers about penning a novel version. They thought it would be a great idea. So my agent, Julie Gwinn, put a pitch together and while we were filming I quickly wrote the first three chapters. Within two weeks Julie had procured a couple contracts. We happily chose Simon & Schuster. I spent last summer scribing the novel and here it is a year later. The film is also “in the can” as we say and will be releasing next year.

How exciting it must be to see your ‘babies’ in screen and book formats! What was your reaction when you got the good news?

I was in Michigan during the filming of the movie when we got the offers. I was giddy. I remember I was alone in the house where I was staying and I did a little dance. Then I called my husband, who was in Los Angeles. After that I immediately told the film producers. We were all pretty excited! After the excitement settled down, reality set in. I quickly phoned my good friend, Travis, who is a college friend and seasoned novelist and said, “Travis, help me. How do you write a novel?”

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? If so, what is it?

“For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 I have clung to this promise since high school. It’s such an encouragement when life sets you on detours.

 Do you have special plans to celebrate the movie and/or book release?

I held a book release party on June 9th in Hollywood. Over 75 of my amazing friends and family attended. The film’s director and one of the producers were there. I was able to have four of the key film actors come and participate in the book reading. My dear friends did the catering, photography, and book selling. As a first time novelist, I felt so blessed to have so many people supporting me and the story!

There will be a big premiere and party when the movie releases next year. Those are always fun to attend because you get to see the audience reactions to your film.

Author Info:

Author Website: www.jenniferdornbush.com

Facebook: Jennifer Graeser Dornbush

https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.graeserdornbush

Instagram: Jennifer Dornbush

https://www.instagram.com/jenniferdornbush/

Pintrest:

https://www.pinterest.com/jenidornbush/

Twitter: @JGDornbush

https://twitter.com/JGDornbush

GBBR Book link:

https://www.amazon.com/God-Bless-Broken-Road-Novel/dp/1501159593/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497487120&sr=8-1&keywords=god+bless+the+broken+road+jennifer+dornbush

GBBR Audiobook link:

https://www.audiobooksnow.com/author/jennifer%20dornbush/

GBBR Movie Trailer link:

https://vimeo.com/191227455

Thank you so much for taking time to appear on my blog, Jennifer! I pray you the best of luck. I hope you readers will check out her book on Amazon now and excitedly await the movie release. I know I will!

Next week I will have Author Michelle Griep on my blog. I hope you’ll return to learn more about her!