Friday, July 20, 2012

Fabulous Author Friday ~ Lorraine Nelson


So pleased to welcome Lorraine Nelson to the blog today!


Without further ado.....


Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a Canadian author, born and raised in New Brunswick on the East coast. I’ve always enjoyed reading, and English was my favorite subject in school. I won a writing award in grade six and the Canadian Legion published a poem I wrote in grade nine. I always seemed to have a book and pencil in hand back then, jotting down poems that came to mind, or writing up short stories. In the early nineties, I wrote and published stories for children, but it wasn’t until 2009 that I began writing for adults.

Did you always want to be an author?

Oh, yes! Most definitely! But my life took a series of turns that meant putting it off.

What is your favorite part of being a writer/author?

Reader reviews and fan mail. I love hearing from readers and getting their take on what worked for them and what didn’t. It’s rewarding to know that I can craft believable stories of romance and romantic suspense that people actually enjoy reading. J

Tell us a little about your book.

Blessed Homecoming is a story that is close to my heart. My faith has seen me through plenty of troubling times over the years and I challenged myself to write a good, clean story. I’m proud to say that I accomplished just that. This is a book that mothers can share with their daughters and women everywhere can share with family and friends without worrying about content. My mother is already anxious to see it in print. J

Wendy Danforth and Jake Roberts have to work through a lot of emotional baggage and outrun a crazed ex in the process.

When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I wrote my first adult novel in the spring of 2009. It took seven weeks, start to finish, although it has been edited a few times since. Love on the Rocks is a sweet romance and it’s scheduled for release through Breathless Press on August 10th.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes it’s an unusual name, an idea, or a location. Every story seems to come about in a different way.

Do you plot and outline or do you just write?  Plotter or Pantser?

I’m very much a pantser. I do a general outline, or GMC sheet, which lists names of main characters, their goals, motivations and conflicts. Sometimes it even lists the plot, black moment, and resolution. Once I have the basics figured out, I write.

Can you tell us a little about the process of getting your first book published?

It was a long process. J I wrote Zakia and the Cowboy during NaNo 2009. I submitted to it different publishers during 2010-11 and the story was rejected seven times. Then I received two contracts within a week of each other. I signed with Evernight Publishing and haven’t looked back.

What book have you most recently released?

Blessed Homecoming is my ninth release. It’s an inspirational romantic suspense contracted through Breathless Press and I’m proud to say it’s the first release in their new Blessings line.

Blurb:
The hometown girl and the handyman both carry emotional baggage. Are they destined to remain friends or is there room in their hearts for more?

***

Wendy Danforth is preparing to be a single mom, her ex-husband in jail for spousal abuse.  She returns to her hometown, to renew her faith and to heal. Caught off guard by the handyman in residence, attraction hits, swift and piercing, but she quells her unruly emotions, in no hurry to get involved in another relationship. Besides, at almost nine months pregnant, she wasn’t exactly looking her best.

Jake Roberts, hired to renovate the Danforths’ house, took one look at his employer’s daughter and wanted to run far and fast. He hadn’t possessed an ounce of faith or been around a pregnant woman in three long years, not since his wife and unborn son died in an auto accident.  They become friends, and when her ex-husband escapes custody, he steps up to protect Wendy and her unborn child. Will the danger and close proximity test their friendship? Or will it lead to more? Can Jake regain his lost faith, or will it elude him forever?

Excerpt:

Jake found it hard to believe what he'd overheard, what that sweet, caring woman had endured at the hands of a man who had vowed to cherish and protect her. He'd been heading down to retrieve a package of wood screws when he heard Wendy crying and didn't want to interrupt. He didn't want to eavesdrop either, but her pain-wracked voice kept him an unwilling captive as she relayed events.

Broken bones, cracked ribs, dislocated shoulder and bruising over seventy-five per cent of her body. Then to heal and find out she was pregnant! Why would she be so happy about having that man's baby? Surely, she couldn't still love him after all that.

Hearing her speak of her faith in the midst of all that suffering struck a rusty chord inside his gut. Somehow, deep down, her quiet acceptance and determination spoke to him in ways that expensive therapy had not. She was a survivor, he'd give her that, but if her friend hadn't found her—no, he wouldn't go there. He couldn't. Divine intervention, she'd called it. He called it lucky. 

She'd come home to heal and build a new life for herself and the baby. Surrounded by family and friends, she'd never have to fear for her life again. Although he'd barely known her twenty-four hours and had a definite aversion to getting involved in her problems, he'd do what he could to help her adjust to living in a small town again. If the gossips wanted to pair them off, so be it. He'd been through worse—much worse.

He sat on the step with his head in his hands, undecided whether to let her know he'd overheard or pretend ignorance. How could he ignore the pain she'd suffered? More surprisingly, he realized he wanted to be there for her, to prove that not every man was prone to acts of violence. Although, like her father, he'd had some thoughts on what he'd like to do to her ex if he ever had the chance.
She took the matter out of his hands when she sat a couple steps below him and, placing a hand on his knee, asked, "How much did you hear?"

His head jerked up and he searched her eyes, expecting to see anger and disgust at his audacity, but there was none. "Pretty much all of it. I'm sorry, Wendy. I didn't intend to eavesdrop, but I didn't want to barge in on you either."

"Are you all right?"

"You're asking me? After all you've suffered, I should be asking you that question."

"My suffering ended the day he was found guilty. All that's left now is the sentencing in two weeks' time and I don't need to be there for that."

"But you're expecting his child. How is that not suffering, considering what he put you through?"

"Every life is a gift from God. I don't always understand His methods, but at least I have one good thing resulting from a failed marriage."

"Did you love him that much?"

"At first, yes, very much. He was the man I'd always dreamed about, kind, caring and it didn't hurt that he was gorgeous to boot." She smiled at the memory, then sobered. "The love died a slow death when the abuse started. He always made me feel like it was my fault, until the day I ended up in the hospital with a broken arm and didn't go back. I realized then my dreams of a happy ever after were never going to happen."

"What did you do? Where did you go?"

"A social worker at the hospital made a couple of calls and arranged a bed in a shelter for abused women. My arm being broken meant I couldn't work for a couple weeks, but when I returned, I found out from my boss, Emma, that he'd been haunting the place, waiting for me to show up. She'd had to call the police on a couple of occasions.

She became my best friend. Emma encouraged me to lay charges and file a restraining order against him, which I did. I also filed for divorce. He didn't show up in court, didn't contest it, so the judge granted the petition based on the abuse."

"I would think so," he huffed in agreement.

"I saw Clyde around from time to time after that, and he never made any effort to approach me, for which I was thankful. But the night before the divorce became final, he showed up after I got home from work. The rest, as they say, is history."

"Can you really put it all behind you that easily?"

"Believe me, Jake, it hasn't been easy. Easy started yesterday when Mama met me at the bus stop with her arms wide open. Until then, I'd hoped, but wasn't at all certain of my welcome, circumstances being what they are."

He placed a hand over hers where it still rested on his knee. "For what it's worth, I'm glad you're here. You are one remarkably strong lady and I'm honored to be your friend."

"My faith is what's strong. I had to believe the Lord has a purpose for me in this life. That's when I decided it was time to come home. I'd been away too long." She gently disentangled her hand and rose to her feet, slightly wobbly at first, causing him to reach out and grab her upper arms to steady her. "Thank you."

***


What was your favorite part of the book?

I’m not sure I have a favorite part. From the time the idea popped into my head, Wendy and Jake’s story seemed to write itself. I guess the time they spent in the wilderness was pretty special though.

Rate your story in terms steaminess?

It’s an inspy, so it’s not steamy at all. I set out to write a satisfying, clean read of love and faith, and I accomplished just that.

Do you have another book in the works?

Always! J I’m currently working on Book 5 in my Thunder Creek Ranch series with Evernight Publishing. By the way, Monday, July 16th is my birthday and Evernight has agreed to list all four TCR books at $1.99 for the one day. My way of saying thank you to my readers. If you’ve started the series, or if you’ve been wanting to read them, Monday is a great time to pick up the rest of the books.

What advice would you give new authors?  What have you learned about the business?

Learn your craft. Writing is hard work. You write, rewrite, revise, edit, edit again, submit your work, suffer through multiple rejections and finally get published only to learn that you need to do a lot of promo as well. Build your following as you go. Learn to blog, build a website, tweet, and any other social media you can handle. Don’t give up on your dreams. Perseverance, patience, and dedication win out in the end.

Boxers or Briefs? Briefs!
Pizza or hamburger? Pizza
Beer, Wine, or mixed drink? Wine coolers

If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be?  Would you write or read there, or do something else?

I’d love to rent a cottage on a beach anywhere warm, but not too hot. I would walk the beach daily, and read and write to my heart’s content.


(Character Questions)
What were your first impressions of each other?

Wendy thought Jake, a drifter, was using her parents for a place to stay.
Jake took one look and Wendy and wanted to run fast and far.

What’s your favorite characteristic of each other?

Wendy likes the way Jake always does the heavy labor during renovations, taking it easy on her father’s weak heart condition.

Jake loves Wendy’s outlook on life, even though he doesn’t share in her faith.

What are your plans for the near future? 

Like all newlyweds, leaving to start their honeymoon.

Where to find you @
I so love hearing from my readers! It’s important to know what works and doesn’t work for them as I continue to craft stories of love and mystery. You can find me at:

http://www.lorrainenelson.weebly.com
http://www.lorrainenelson.wordpress.com
http://www.facebook.com/LorraineNelson.Author
http://twitter.com/#!/lornelca
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5254629.Lorraine_Nelson
http://www.amazon.com/Lorraine-Nelson/e/B005XMAYFQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Thank you for helping me celebrate this new release. Please follow along on my blog tour (schedule listed at: http://lorrainenelson.wordpress.com) and comment daily for several chances to win a free download of Blessed Homecoming. Remember to leave your email address so I can reach you. :) Winner to be announced on July 31st.


It was so good to get to know you today and hear all about BLESSED HOMECOMINGS. 

Thank you for having me here today, Krystal! It’s been fun.

My pleasure!

4 comments:

  1. Such a great interview, ladies. Blessed Homecoming sounds so very awesome. Congrats on the release, Lorraine! Wishing you continued success. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Melissa!

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    2. Thank you, Melissa! :)

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  2. And the winner of the free download (better late than never) is bn100 for leaving a comment at Leigh Savage's blogspot. Congratulations, BN!

    ReplyDelete