Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Interview with Sara Brunsvold

 I’m so excited to interview Christy Award Winning author Sara Brunsvold today! Her debut novel “The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip” touched the hearts of all who read it and her new novel (which she shares about today) “The Divine Proverb of Streusel” is another unique and heartwarming story. Without further ado, here’s Sara!

Sara Brunsvold is a Christy and Carol Award-winning author who creates stories that speak hope and life. Influenced by humble women of God who find His fingerprints in the everyday, she does the same in her life and her storytelling. She lives with her family in the Kansas City, Mo., area. 




First let’s learn a little bit about you. Can you share a few things about yourself that have nothing to do with writing?

My husband and I have two teen daughters and one middle-aged dog who is currently laying at my feet. We live in the Kansas City area, and at one time, we had four barbecue restaurants within two miles of our house, all of which had been featured on the Food Network. My go-to barbecue dish is a KC signature, burnt ends.

That sounds amazing! What drew you to write?

My middle school language arts teacher was the first person to encourage me to pursue creative writing. She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. I started writing “novels” in spiral bound notebooks and fell in love immediately. From that point forward, it’s all I have ever truly wanted to do.

It sure seems that your teacher was right. What’s your writing process?

I’m still figuring out what works best for me. In general though, I start with a gist of story then focus on developing the characters. By understanding my characters and their goals and challenges, I discover the plot. Once I know my characters well and have at least a loosely formed plot, I write a sloppy first draft. When I hit the 85,000-87,000 word mark, I go back through and refine. I’m a much stronger editor than I am a first drafter, and I give myself permission to be messy the first go-round.

As an author myself, I can definitely relate to figuring out what works for a process. How do you come up with your story ideas?

From real life. Authors tend to be keen observers and note-takers of the world around them, and I include myself in that generalization. All of the stories I have written and plan to write were sparked by something I experienced, saw, heard or read.

Now, we’ve all been waiting. Tell us about your new release.

The Divine Proverb of Streusel follows Nikki Werner as she seeks solace from a family crisis by cooking through her great-grandmother’s German recipes. The story was inspired in part by my own family story and heritage.

Are there certain themes explored in the story?

The key theme is forgiveness after father wounds. This is something I personally wrestled with, and I hope to encourage others who may have similar familial hurt.

I’ve read and enjoyed The Divine Proverb of Streusel and definitely have some characters that will stick with me. Do you have any favorite characters in your books?

In The Divine Proverb of Streusel, one of the two point of view characters is Nikki’s uncle, Wes. Wes represents the first time I have written from a male point of view, and the process to understand the world through his eyes was richer than I expected. We all experience and navigate emotional hurt in different ways, and I found myself drawn to how Wes processed things. In the end, he became as much of a comfort to me as he was to Nikki. For that reason, he has a special place in my heart.

What are you working on now?

I am working on book #3, about a mom and her two grown daughters on a bookish road trip around the Heartland. Lots of layers to explore in the mother-daughter dynamic.

When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?

My family and I love to travel Middle America, from the Midwest to the Great Plains to the south central regions. “Flyover country” has a lot to offer, and we try to see as much of it as possible together and eat the local favorites. I’m also a fan of cooking shows. Great British Baking Show is one of my all-time favorites.



You can find information on how to order “The Divine Proverb of Streusel” and connect with Sara here:

Website: www.sarabrunsvold.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sarabrunsvoldauthor

Instagram: www.instagram.com/sara_brunsvold

Newsletter: https://subscribepage.io/streuselrecipe


Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Interview and GIVEAWAY with Author Marguerite Martin Gray!

Hi, guys! V. Joy Palmer here! Since we are all friends here, you guys can call me Joy. ;-) And one of my favorite things to do is talk with my friends at coffee shops then head to the bookstores. Yes, plural. After all, books and yummy drinks are the perfect combination! So consider this our virtual coffee shop. I'll wait a second for you to get your warm drink and a fuzzy blanket before we chat with today's guest. <3

Today we are going to pry into the private life of CHAT with Author Marguerite Martin Gray!

Marguerite Martin Gray is the author of Hold Me Close, Surround Me, Bring Me Near, Draw Me to Your Side, and Wait for Me-- Revolutionary Faith Series Books 1-5, Promise Me Christmas, novella, Labor of Love and Promise of Purity, and Whispers of Wisdom, Gardens in Time Series Books 1, 2, and 3, and Room for Love, Suamalie Islands Year One. Besides researching her novels, she enjoys studying history and writing fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and Spanish online. She currently lives in North Louisiana with her husband and rescue pets. Her two adult children and two grandsons keep her up to date and young. 

Connect with Marguerite on her Website/Blog, Newsletter, BookBub, Goodreads, Instagram, and her Facebook Reader Group!

Interview ~

This may be the most important question I ask -- no pressure or anything, LOL! 

*drum roll*

What are you drinking in our virtual coffee house? Coffee? Tea? Hot chocolate? Something else altogether?

Tea, please. English Breakfast if you have it.

Tea is always a lovely choice! If you could order anything in the world to eat (we can dream, can't we?), what would it be?

Steak and potato.

Always a favorite! Where is your favorite place to write, and why is that your favorite place?

My old square table in front of a big window with a lamp and candle.

Sounds lovely! Do you have an odd habit that is only explained by your bookish, writer tendencies? Safe space. ;-)

I want to learn something from every book that I read. I write down things I’ve learned or want to research.

That sounds fun to me! What inspired you to write Whispers of Wisdom

This series takes beautiful European gardens and sets the story there. I knew I had to include Chenonceau Chateau since it is my favorite place on earth and has awesome gardens that are highly functional even today.

Love this premise! What led you to write in this genre? 

I love history. My father is an architect. As a family we lived in England for two years during my preteens. We saw every cemetery, church, garden, manor house, and castle in our travels all over Britain and Europe. I’ve been hooked on travel and history since then. I started reading historical fiction by Lori Wick, James Michener, and Jean Plaidy as a teenager and never quit. 

How fun! What message do you hope to convey to your readers? 

In this world we will face man’s wisdom and God’s wisdom. We need to know and explore the difference. If we learn to lean not on our own understanding but on God’s, we’ll be OK.

Great message! Can you tell us a little about your next project(s)? 

I just turned in a Christmas novella to my publisher, Remember Me at Christmas. This is a companion to the Revolutionary Faith series set in 1785 Charleston, S.C. This month I am writing Dreams Revived, Year Three of the Suamalie Island Series.  This is a contemporary island theme of a community built on dreams.

Those books sound so good! Do you have a favorite Bible verse or story that inspires you on a soul level? 

“I have calmed and quieted myself…I am content.” Psalm 131:2 I am learning about contentment and joy as the way to live my life.

Awesome verse! What are you currently reading? Inquiring minds -- mine! -- want to know. ;-)

Worthy of Legend by Roseanna White and The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley.

Great reads! Thanks for answering all of my prying questions, Marguerite!

Scroll to check out Marguerite's upcoming release, Conversation Hearts, and the giveaway for her new release, Whispers of Wisdom!

July 30, 2024

Will she be able to save her father from the island’s magic before she falls victim to it herself?

Giveaway ~

Marguerite has generously offered one print copy of her new release, Whispers of Wisdom, to a US winner!


Nicole wanders the ancient halls of Ch√Ęteau Chenonceau, stirring up whispers from the secrets of a queen.

Craving the wisdom of the philosophers of the day, Nicole straddles the line between servant and high society. Will acting as one of higher status bring her closer to her dreams? Perhaps not, but a treasure hunt with the knight in the tower might fulfill her longing for a while.

Pierre would avoid the senseless salons full of manmade wisdom, throwing every pamphlet aside. Yet, he journeys to Chenonceau to glean knowledge from the estate manager. His goal reaches beyond the glittery, false, societal affairs to the fields of wheat, vineyards, and orchards. No fairy tales or treasure hunts for him. Not until his encounters with Nicole invade his practical world.

Whispers and secrets conjure a treasure hunt, involving the heart as well as the mind.

Rules, Info, and Such ~

The author is giving away 1 print copy of Whispers of Wisdom!

This giveaway is open to the US only!

This giveaway will close on 2/24/24 at 12:00 A.M. for all the night owls.

A winner will be drawn within four days of close of giveaway. The winner must respond to our e-mails within one week of notification, or their prize will be forfeit. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Enter via the handy Rafflecopter link below. May the odds be ever in your favor. ;-)


See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer loves to write romantic and comedic stories that proclaim God’s deep love for us. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and an avid blogger. In her spare time, Joy loves to sing (especially Disney songs), drink large quantities of coffee, and take flowery photos for Bookstagram. When Joy isn’t fighting with fictional people, she’s hanging out with her husband and their adorable daughters. Connect with Joy via www.vjoypalmer.com!