Where has my brain been this month? See that picture above? That's about it. I've been in Gatlinburg, TN--at least in my imagination.
For the first time, I participated in Camp Nanowrimo instead of the regular version in November. What does that mean? It means I got to set my own word count goals (though I still set mine for 60,000 or more), and it means I could work on a project I'd already started.
I chose to work on a book I'm calling Maid in Love. I started it a few years back and had about 10,000 words done before this month. And how did I do?
It's July 4th. To me, that means summery foods, maybe a water gun fight and glow sticks, fire flies in the yard, hopefully a fresh tomato from my garden.
I love fireworks. Sure, it's usually hot and sticky and swarming with mosquitoes. But there's something amazing about watching the explosions in different colors and shapes and sizes, all orchestrated to make the biggest awe.
Maybe that's why fireworks scenes end up in my books every now and then.
One ended up in Faith and Hope, deep in the heart of Texas. Needless to say, it's got some heat to it, and if you want to check it out, I shared it here.
The one from today is from my book No Place Like Home. It's set at Tom Lee park, right on the Mississippi River in Memphis. My characters have been chatting about her past and he finally gets her to tell him the rest of the story. And, well, there might be more than one kind of firework going off before the end. Check it out.
Today, I'm chatting with a new-to-me author, Carol Underhill. But her stories sound so good, and her answers are fun. So, stick with me and we'll get to know her together!
Carol, I love your tagline, "Smalltown girl with big faith." Tell me, as I'm a small town girl who has learned to live in a suburb of a big city, do you ever like to get out in the big cities or do you prefer to stay in small towns? Do a lot of your stories feature small towns, too?
I lived in the city in my early twenties and loved it but settled in a small town when I got married. I like where I live but one of my favorite places to visit is Chicago. I’ve been there a few times and want to go back. I place my novellas in Chicago, but most of my stories are about small communities.
I notice you write both contemporary and historical romance. Do you have a preference? Why?
I like writing both. I’ve enjoyed the research for my historical series more than the contemporaries. The characters are what drive my stories. Some of them only fit in the historical timeline.
You mention having a playlist for every mood. Can you give us an example? What are a couple of your go-to songs for when you're happy? How about sad? And do you make playlists for writing, too?
I start almost every morning with “This is Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham and “Blessings” by Laura Story.
In the moments when I am feeling sad, “Oh My Soul” by Casting Crowns and the Hymn “He Giveth More Grace” give me strength and peace.
When I am writing my contemporary stories, I have a playlist of romantic ballads from the 1980s that I listen to.
Happy Christmas in July! Welcome to the 2022 Christmas in July Reader Blog Tour & Giveaway, which runs July 15-22, 2022 (contest closes at 8 p.m. Eastern on 7/22). At the bottom of each author’s blog post, you will find the name of a Christmas song. Write them all down and provide the provide all song titles (26 in total) on this Google form. Click here for a list of all participating authors and their links!
Note: You must grab all the song titles from every author in the 2022 Christmas in July Reader Blog Tour & Giveaway to be eligible to win the grand prize of a $520 Amazon gift card, plus a copy of each participating author's book OR first place prize of a copy of each participating author's book. At the end of this blog post is a link to the next blog, and so on, to the final blog post (26 authors in all).
July is a great month for talking beach Christmas, right? Because usually when you think of the beach, you think summer. Well, in my novella, Mistletoe Make-believe, (and in all the novellas in the collection), our characters are spending Christmas on the beach. In my story, it's St Simons Island, Georgia, just off the coast of Brunswick.
I've spent several weeks at St Simons. Once, on my honeymoon (perfect!) and once a few years ago when we took the kids. It's absolutely gorgeous, so when I was invited to write a story for this beachy Christmas collection, I knew it's where I wanted my characters to go.
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)