Guest Behind the Story: Spring
For almost a month now, I've been giving sneak peeks into MY story in the novella collection that released on the 27th. But today, I'm passing the torch and letting Regina Rudd Merrick post about her story and why spring is such an intrinsic part of it. Be sure to read to the end so you won't miss the next clue in our scavenger hunt!
Spring has sprung,
The grass is riz,
Wonder where the flowers is?
They are nowhere to be found,
‘Cause they’re underground.
I’ve always had an affinity for springtime in Kentucky, being born in March, so it was no stretch for me to write a story based on the season!
I could also say that, like my character Maia Pascal, I have a love/hate relationship with the season.
In the LOVE category are the feelings of refreshing, new birth, plus the colorful flowers and budding trees after a somber late winter! It brings hope every year.
On the flip side (I can’t use the word HATE, unlike Maia!), there are the following issues:
Guest Behind the Story: Winter
For almost a month now, I've been giving sneak peeks into MY story in the novella collection releasing TOMORROW! But today, I'm passing the torch and letting Heather Greer post about her story and why winter is such an intrinsic part of it. Be sure to read to the end so you won't miss the next clue in our scavenger hunt!
Spring is too wet and the ground is a big muddy mess. Summer is too hot and not even the draw of a great glass of lemonade can make it less so. Autumn is perfect. Always. Winter is often cold and dark.
Why, then, did I choose winter for my novella, Sugar and Spice? While the temperatures may leave something to be desired, I cannot deny the beauty of the season.
Despite the cold, there’s beauty in winter. When snow blankets the bare branches of trees and rests on the needles of evergreens set against a wintery blue sky, the result is breathtaking. When sunlight hits the snow-covered ground creating an ocean of sparkling diamonds out of the field behind my house, the two sights blend with the unique hush accompanying snow to evoke a sense of serenity.
The Love in Any Season Social Media Scavenger Hunt beings September 23rd! To celebrate the release of their new novella collection, Love in Any Season, the authors are hosting a fun social media scavenger hunt.
Here are the details: The Scavenger hunt opens September 23, 2022 and entries must be received by 11:59pm on October 4, 2022. One winner will be drawn from correct entries and announced on our social media pages on October 5, 2022. The winner will receive a $60 Amazon gift card. The contest is open to US only.
Many of our clues are found on social media sources that aren't our own. Each author will keep a post like this one where links to new clues will be updated each day. Here are the other places where you can connect with each of the authors:
Behind the Story: Quilt Shops
So let's talk shop today. And by shop, I mean quilt shops. Why? Because my story, The Missing Piece, is set in one. One based off a few others I've been to.
I don't know if you've ever been in a quilt shop or not, but if you haven't, let me tell you. They're a lot of fun. You walk in and automatically your eyes are drawn to multiple things. Because fabric is fun. Full of colors and patterns and ideas of projects yet to happen.
And as far as I can tell, women who work in quilt shops are fun, too. Because they have a passion for the art of sewing/quilting. And that's definitely something that speaks to my soul.
So, my story is set in a quilt shop called The Missing Piece. It's in an old house that was redone into a store, but still has the character of different rooms and areas for fabric to be. There's a classroom in the back corner of the house (the former master bedroom), a room set up for people who need a place to sew, cutting tables here and there, and, of course, shelves of fabric.
Did I model this after a real shop? Yes and no.
Behind the Story: Tommy
Tommy England moved away from Sassafras, Arkansas right after high school. When he landed a job straight out of college, he stayed in Memphis, growing in the web design business. But when his mom passed away in the Spring, his world turned over.
Now, he's back to help his dad go through things ... and work with Marsha and Beth at The Missing Piece, to see if they can get the books back in order. Because his mom's notes are confusing everyone and bills are falling through the cracks.
Of course, other perks to being back in town are seeing his lifetime best friend Beth again, too. But she doesn't seem as happy about it.
Behind the Story: Beth
You know I always love to introduce you to my characters before my story releases. Today, you get to know Beth a little bit.
Beth grew up with her best friend Tommy playing in their mothers' quilt shop, The Missing Piece. Now that she's all grown up, she's part-owner and still spends most of her time at the store. It's perfect except for one thing. Tommy moved away after high school and didn't come back ... until this summer. Now, she's struggling with years' of hurt and isn't sure how to handle him being back in town.
Behind the Story: Summer
Have you ever played in a Weeping Willow? Yes, it's a tree. No, they're not usually for climbing. But when my family lived in Mississippi, a friend had a big willow in her front yard and the branches hung all the way to the ground. We could brush them aside and crawl under there and it was like a great big green canopy all around us. Just perfect for imaginations.
I didn't see many willows when we lived in Texas, but back in middle Tennessee, there are quite a few in the area. And every time I pass one, I'm tempted to crawl under.
What does all this have to do with summer?
Author Interview: Toni Shiloh
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. One of the biggest blessings of being an author is getting to know other authors. For the last few years, I've been a part of the group Inspy Romance and been able to get to know quite a few of the other authors there, too. One of them is Toni Shiloh, and ... well, she's pretty amazing. So, today, I wanted to let you get to know her, too. Keep reading to find out more about Toni and her newest release (which I'm so excited about!). And make sure you read all the way to the bottom for a fun giveaway opportunity!
Congratulations on your book releasing next week. I'm very excited about it because I read the first one earlier this year and am looking forward to going back to Ọlọrọ Ilé. What was the hardest part of creating the island and all of its history and culture? What was your favorite part?
Thanks so much for having me! Creating Ọlọrọ Ilé was definitely fun for me. I think the hardest part of creating the history and culture was deciding what fit other colonized countries as well as fit the culture I was creating. I've never thought of myself as particularly political or even a history buff, so I felt a little out of depth in this area. But fortunately, there are so many books and articles on the topic. My favorite part was delving into part of Nigerian culture and what makes it it. 🙂
I know the heroine in this book is a fashionista. How did you pick her career? What was the most interesting thing you discovered in doing research for her?
I thought being in the arts and being creative fit Iris's personality the best. She's bubbly and joyful and I could just imagine her as a child playing dress up with dozens of dolls and creating her own fashion show. The most interesting thing I discovered was their sales process. When they're in winter season, they're already a couple of season ahead. It made sense and made me realize why you can buy swimsuits in the winter/springtime before the season has even hit.
Behind the Story: Watermelon
Want to know a secret?
I don't like watermelon.
Okay, so maybe it's not a secret, but it does come in to play in my new novella releasing September 27. Because my character Beth doesn't like it, either.
So, why set my story in a little town during Watermelon Festival time?
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)