Happy St. Valentines Day one and all!
Thank you so much for participating in 14 Days of Love this year. I hope you had as much fun as I did. Before I reveal the winners of the different activities, I’ve discovered that The Reluctant Earl by C.J. Chase is reluctant to go to anyone yet. Since I only posted the interview yesterday, I’ll leave the giveaway open for another week. That means you can still have a chance to win!
I’ve compiled the other entries from my Valentine’s Day themed Memoir and Prayer, Goodreads discusssion, Create-a-romance, Facebook, and Twitter to find a winner for my upcoming release A Texas-Made Match.
For Ellie O’Brien, finding the perfect partner is easy—as long as it’s for other people. Now the townsfolk of Peppin want to return the favor. But how could Lawson Williams be the right choice? The handsome ranch foreman was her childhood friend, but he’s the man Ellie deems least likely to court a tomboy with a guilty secret.
Lawson can’t help enjoying the town’s efforts to push him together with Ellie, though marriage isn’t in his plans. Yet Ellie’s become a warm, spirited woman who could chase away the clouds of his past. And with a whole town on their side, they could claim a love as big and bold as Texas itself….
And the winner is…
Congratulations to all the winners! You will be contacted soon.
The fun is drawing to a close but we have time for one more author to join the party. Let’s welcome C.J. Chase to 14 Days of Love! Check out her book and her interview then comment for a chance to win a copy of The Reluctant Earl. Here’s a quick peak at what it’s about.
Alone in a gentleman’s bedchamber, rummaging through his clothing—governess Leah Vance risks social ruin. Only by selling political information can she pay for her sister’s care. And the letter she found in Julian DeChambrelle’s coat could be valuable—if the ex-sea captain himself had not just walked in.
As a navy officer, Julian knew his purpose. As a new earl, he’s plagued by trivialities and marriage-obsessed females. Miss Vance’s independence is intriguing—and useful. In return for relaying false information, he will pay her handsomely. But trusting her, even caring for her? That would be pure folly. Yet when he sees the danger that surrounds her, it may be too late to stop himself….
1. How did you discover your love for writing?
Well, there are many days I’m not sure I do love writing! But I do love creating. I love inventing characters who have flaws (like me) and who are able to use their situations to grow and change into better people (like I want to do). I love making up my stories and creating difficult situations that those characters will just never be able to overcome—and then finding a way for them to get out of those situations. Fortunately, my ninth grade English teacher encouraged me to develop my writing, so I have a medium for telling those stories I love to create.
2. That’s a great distinction. Creating and writing can be two completely different things. Lucky for us you chose writing. Where do you find your inspiration to keep writing?
Fan mail is always encouraging. I have several close writing friends who are there when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I have two critique partners, one of whom has been my closest friend for the past 12 years. And I’m so blessed to have a supportive family.
3. I had no idea how impactful fan mail could be until I received my first email. It really can make an author’s day. Your first book was Redeeming the Rogue. Did you find the publishing process easier the second time around?
Easier…hmmm. I had a better idea what to expect in terms of the editing and cover design process. But at the same time, the main character had already appeared as a secondary character in my first book, so I had with work with limits on the character because of that. As far as writing the book, I don’t know that I’ve ever found an easy way yet. I like to say, “Words don’t flow from me. I drag them out one-by-one with a pair of tweezers!”
4. Series can be difficult in that way. Where did you get the idea for The Reluctant Earl?
I love to incorporate real events from history in my books, so my first stop was to research the major events of the time following my first book. Redeeming the Rogue was set in 1815, and it turns out 1816 was such a momentous year, it even has a name: “The Year Without a Summer.” A convergence of several rare events caused the summer to be especially cold and wet across much of the Northern Hemisphere. The winter of 1816-1817 (the setting for The Reluctant Earl) was the last widespread famine in the Western world. That hardship led to the social unrest my characters get caught up in.
5. That sounds like the makings of great fiction. How would you describe the chemistry between the hero and heroine?
Reluctant admiration. They are on opposite sides of the events happening around them, and they don’t necessarily approve of the other person’s actions, but they also see much to respect in each other.
6. What is your favorite part of the book?
Haha. I think my editor’s favorite part is when the heroine searches the hero’s bedroom for government secrets. I was worried that might be a problem for Love Inspired, but my editor made me move that scene from chapter two to chapter one, and she even used it as the hook on the back cover blurb. But I think my favorite part is when the hero and heroine form an unwilling alliance and discover much to respect in the other person.
“I wasn’t always an earl, you know. I once worked for my sustenance the same as you.”
“In a considerably more lucrative profession.”
“And more dangerous.”
She tilted her head and considered him. A few wisps of her hair caught on the breeze and whispered against her face. “Yes, you are correct. And undoubtedly, you began your labors even younger than I.” Soft respect smoothed the sharp edges off her voice and tugged his mind back to her assertion a French shell had ended her hopes and dreams. How often had he feared the same would happen to him?
“I was thirteen. And while life on a ship is more dangerous, it isn’t necessarily more difficult. My family connections, my education, and my sex offered me options unavailable to you. While I don’t approve of your treasonous behavior, I do admire your independence.”
Surprise and suspicion flickered in her eyes. “Thank you.”
7. Wow! How did you go about constructing the setting for the story?
I wish I could say I jetted over to Britain to make certain I got every detail right. Um, no. Since that’s not possible, Google and Bing are two of my closest friends. For most of this book, I was able to place my characters in a fictional manor house near a fictional town. However, I still ended up drawing maps of my fictional world so I could remember where the places are in relation to one another. And scenes in London are always the most challenging because I’m dealing with real streets and buildings.
8. Maps are so helpful! I have one of the fictional town where my stories take place. It definitely helps it become a reality in my mind. What is your favorite romantic book (excluding the ones you’ve written)?
Oh, dear. One? Just one??? Just listing some of my favorite authors could take all day. I love the old Regencies, such as those by Clare Darcy and later by Anita Mills. Dinah Dean wrote some wonderfully romantic sweet novels set in Napoleonic Russia. And for more recent fare, I love Carla Capshaw’s Roman Empire-set LIHs and Sharon Mignerey’s LISs.
9. What advice can you give about keeping romance alive in a real life relationship?
Keep a sense of humor. And always find something to admire about the other person.
10. Great advice! Here’s your chance, C.J. Ask and answer your own question.
What are some other settings and topics you’d like to incorporate into future stories?
I once started a story set during Bacon’s Rebellion (1676 Virginia)–before I was told “colonial doesn’t sell in the Christian market.” I’d love to go back to it. And eventually, I’d really like to do some things outside the Anglosphere (US/Canada/Britain/Australia), like maybe a story set around the Tulipmania of 17th century Netherlands or with characters who are French Huguenots or something set during the Thirty Years War. Traditionally, it’s been hard to sell romances set outside North America in the Christian fiction market. One thing I appreciate about Love Inspired Historicals is that they are open to such a wide variety of places and time periods.
Thank you for a great interview, C.J! I love reading unique stories set in unique places or time periods. I hope we get to read some of your works like that in the future. Meanwhile, if you folks would like to check out a longer excerpt of C.J. chase most recent recent release go to….
Or just comment below for your chance to win a free copy!
Who can truly comprehend the all-encompassing power of God’s love? Just as in any relationship, we can become so accustomed to having God in our lives that we forget how incredibly special it is to be loved, to be chosen, to be wanted. This Valentines Day may we all choose to fall deeper in love with our Savior. That may mean something different to each of us like listening more attentively to His voice, giving Him more time in our day, appreciating his presence in our lives, or sharing His love through our actions and/or words.
This is my prayer. Feel free to pray along with me or in your own words…
There is nothing I can do to make You love me more or less. You love me because Love is who You are. Lord, I cease to resist Your love. May it fill me with Your Spirit, Your gentleness, Your boldness, and Your peace.
“And I pray that, being rooted and established in love, I may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”