No Place Like Home has been in the works for several years now. This is my story of "what might have been." Growing up a preacher's daughter wasn't always easy, and I could have let that turn me away from my faith. Instead, I chose to cling to my faith and hope in God.
That being said, I put a lot of the struggles I had over the years into my character Adrian. She doesn't want roots. Because every time she's put some down, she's had to pull them right back up again. So, she's very happy with her job that allows her to travel here and there without staying anywhere for long. Until she meets Gray.
Want to see the cover for this story?
Here it is!
I can't begin to explain how excited I am about this book, y'all.
But I'm going to try.
When Heather Greer first wrote this book, I was privileged to be one of the first readers. And I loved it so much I actually got back up out of bed and went to read a few more chapters--something I never do. Now that she's edited a few times, I can vouch for it being just as good, if not better. And I know. Because I've already read it again and loved it just as much.
So, what's the big deal?
I'm thrilled to have Candace West, one of my Scrivenings sisters, back on here today. Why am I having her back? Because her third book is about to release next month. And I'm very much looking forward to reading it because of how much I loved the character in the last book. :-) So, without further ado, read on to find out more.
Hey Candace, congrats on your third book. When you started writing this series with Lane Steen, did you know it was going to be a series?
Hi Amy, I’m excited to be here. Thank you for inviting me! Early on, I knew I wanted to make a series from Lane Steen. As I delved deeper into the lives of the different characters, I started planning which ones would eventually have their own stories. And a few of them took me by surprise.
This newest story follows one of the secondary characters from your second book. Will we be seeing any of the other characters come back this time, too?
Absolutely. You’ll see nearly all of them throughout the story in addition to a few new ones. Also, Lane’s best friend Tabitha, from book one, will be a part of this story. Some of you may remember that Tabitha wasn’t in book two, Valley of Shadows.
This month, I put my characters through the big D. And I do mean Dallas.
While I thought I had written my second roadtrip romance last November, my publisher didn't love the way I had gone about it. So, in order to get the contracts, I needed to rewrite it.
I don't know about you, but once I get my head wrapped around something one way, it's hard for me to picture it any other. Especially after pounding out about 60,000 words about it that way.
But, onward and upward. This month, I finally got to tackle it. And, I have to admit, I like this version better.
2020 took a lot of things away from us, but one thing it killed was the writers' retreat I love attending so much. So, when they announced we were for sure having it this June, I was excited. And when they announced we wouldn't even have to wear masks, I was thrilled.
It was wonderful to be back at Montgomery Bell State Park, to see friends and acquaintances I hadn't seen in two years, to meet even more, and to soak up the writing jokes and atmosphere that comes only when surrounded by other people who think a lot like you do.
One of the authors I've enjoyed getting to know via social media and zoom meetings with our mutual publishing company over the last few years is Pamela S Meyers. I've also enjoyed reading her series of books set in Lake Geneva, WI. Her fourth book just released and I'm super excited to see where she took the story (besides WWII). Read on to find out more about her and her beautiful series.
Pam, this is the fourth book in your series, and each is set in a different time period. Did you find you enjoyed researching one time period more than another? Why?
I didn't expect to like the time period of the first book as it was set in 1873 at the time of the Great Chicago Fire, because I'd never written a story set before phones were commonly used and people drove cars, not buggies. But as I got into the story I found I really enjoyed it and enjoyed the challenge of being careful to not use vocabulary that was not in the vernacular of the time. Each time period after that which is about 20 years or so after the previous book had certain challenges and I learned a lot about each one. My favorite, though is Book 4, set in 1942-43 homefront WWII. I loved the forties and the way the U.S. pulled together with a "can-do" spirit.
I don't think I would've even though about vocabulary! Great job on the details.
As you've followed this family through the years, have you included anything from your own family's history in your stories?
Not anything specific. My family didn't move to Lake Geneva until around 1946 so they weren't around even during the time period of the first one. But the unique thing is the town itself didn't change a whole lot from the 1930s going forward until the 1970s. I used the bowling alley for a good part of Rose Harbor. It was the same bowling alley I learned to bowl in and where my dad bowled in a bowling league for years. I pretty much described it as it was. I also bring in some of the real townspeople such as the family who owned the bowling alley back then. Grace, my heroine, although proficient at flying large bomber airplanes was a lousy bowler, as am I. Mac, the hero in the story, teaches her how to throw a hook and she vastly improves. Where was Mac when I needed him? LOL.
Ha! I'm not great at bowling, either.
What made you choose Lake Geneva as your main setting for these stories?
Lake Geneva is my hometown. I was born in Ohio but we moved to L.G. when I was two and I have no memory of ever living in Ohio. The town and area have a rich and interesting history, just ripe for story ideas :-).
If you haven't read one of Susan Page Davis's books, I highly recommend it. I've read several and enjoyed every one. And you have plenty to choose from, because she's published almost a 100! Today, I'm interviewing her and helping you get to know this author I've gotten to know over the last four years through KenTen Writers and now the Scrivenings publishing group. Read on because she has fun answers.
Susan, you've written over 90 books. So, I'm curious. Could you pick a favorite?
Hmm, that’s hard, Amy. Usually I would say “Whichever one I’m working on.” But the one I’m working on now is giving me some hiccups, so I won’t pick that. I do love my newest book, Blue Plate Special. It’s the first one I’ve set in western Kentucky, where I’ve lived now for eleven years.
What started you on your path to being an author?
I’ve always loved reading, and I wrote tons of stories as a kid, but I never really though I could become an author. Then, as an adult, I watched a TV program that greatly disappointed me in its ending. I kept thinking about it and how it SHOULD have ended. Then it became, “If I had written that, I’d have done THIS.” After a while, I realized that in my mind I’d plotted out a complete, complicated story of my own. I told my husband, and he said, “Write it down!” Three months later, I was shocked to see that I had a 100,000-word novel, and it actually made sense.
Remember the Roadtrip Romances I've been talking about for almost two years now?
Last week, I signed a contract for all three of my Roadtrip Romances. The first, Destination: Fun (Romance) will release June 2022. Roadtrip for One (Two) will release December 2022. And Operation: Find a Job (Guy) will release June 2023. I'm so excited to share these stories of the various trips Katie, Bree, and Skye take and how they don't turn out quite like expected. Tons of fun locations, friendships, and of course, romance, is on its way.
But that's not all!
I also got a contract for another novella. This will release in a collection called Love in Any Season. My story will be called The Missing Piece, about Beth and Tommy and a quilt shop their moms run. It's going to be a fun collection with authors Regina Merrick, Sarah Crouch, and Heather Greer, and I know you're going to love them all. Look for that collection to come out September 2022.
In case you don't know what this all means, it means I better get busy and quit letting my muse take a vacation! Ha! I have some rewrites and first writes to do as well as polishing a few other things, but I'm thrilled to continue releasing stories to share with you.
And now I want to know. Are you as excited as I am? Which story intrigues you most?
I don't think I realized how burnt out I was getting. I mean, I wasn't completely frazzled, but I was close. From getting edits for my October release last year through the release of my January book this year and finishing a few other things, I hadn't stopped. Seriously. I'd written and/or edited something almost every day through all of that.
And that's good. Because it means forward momentum.
But it's also bad. Because it means I was tired.
Hello! This month, I'm interviewing a fellow Scrivenings Press author, and very interesting guy, C. Kevin Thompson. I've gotten to know Kevin a bit over the last year, despite not living anywhere near each other, and I'm thrilled to help you get to know him, too. So, without further ado, read on to find out more about him and his amazing story, The Letters, which I just read recently and enjoyed.
Kevin, your bio says your love of writing grew in middle school (mine, too). Is there a book or two you can think of that really stuck with you and made you want to write something like that? Or was it more the teacher?
I liked the creative aspect of writing, I guess, like many other kids in elementary and middle school. As I grew up, I was always thinking of scenarios and coming up with spoofs of stories or situations that I always thought would make great commercials. That’s why I appreciate so much the GEICO commercials. They are so creative. The Pinocchio as a motivational speaker one is my favorite. “You have potential! And you have potential. And you have—oh boy…” So good.
Although I liked the creative aspect of writing, I was not much a reader until I hit the age of 13 (So, there is hope out there, all you Moms with boys.) The book that got me interested in reading was Jaws. I wanted to be a marine biologist growing up, until I realized spending months at sea was part of the job description. I get deathly seasick, and when I attempted to take up scuba diving, I knew that was not something that would work for me. However, marine biology was what got me interested in Jaws. That book got me interested in reading. Reading got me interested in so many other things. Now look at me. Award-winning author. Two Masters Degrees. Former ELA teacher and now an administrator. You see? It can happen.
Congratulations on being a Finalist for the 2021 Selah awards. Can you tell us a little about The Letters and what inspired you to write it?
Thank you (He says with a smile). The Letters came from a heart and desire to deal with an issue that I didn’t feel was handled very much, if at all, and when it was, not very well (abortion). I also was working on a personal study at the time wherein passages like Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8, where it talks about a day to the Lord is like a thousand years, and vice versa. This coupled with a conversation about abortion and what happens to all the aborted children caused me to seek a Biblical perspective on how God views time and redemption. Other passages like, Jeremiah 1:5, made me realize that time to us and time to God are two entirely different things. We are tied to clocks and calendars. He isn’t. He can stand over time and see the past and into the future simultaneously. How else could he see Jeremiah in his mother’s womb and know he’s going to be a prophet? How else could He know to put two angels on the Ark of the Covenant, creating the Mercy Seat, and then hundreds of years later, recreate that same concept at the Resurrection when the two angels sat at the head and foot of the place where Jesus was laid (and no doubt sat when He rose from the dead), thus recreating the Mercy Seat all over again (cf. John 20:12)?
This study came on the heels of when The Shack came out and took the Church by storm. I personally had trouble with the theology of that book, and wanted to make sure I dealt Biblically with the theology of The Letters.
It also is written with a tinge of allegory sprinkled in for good measure, but instead of giving everything away, I’ll let the reader determine who plays the role of Satan and who plays the role of Jesus.
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
Authors I Love to Read (in no particular order)