Monday, May 16, 2011

A Face in the Clouds

Oh my! How has it already been 2 months?! Well, now that school is almost out for the summer, I'm going to attempt to put together a schedule . . . AND STICK WITH IT!!! Some of you have given me ideas of what you might want to read about on here, so that helps. Sometime the first part of June I'll update the blog with a schedule and let you all know how it will go. Cool???

One great thing, is The Heart's Lullaby is going great! Funny how the Lord works things out for us. I never intended it this way and heavens knows I'd trade this book in a heartbeat to have my Patty back, but it's really turning into a tribute to her and the wonderful mother that she was. I hope I make her proud with this project. But more on that later. This blog post I want to introduce you all to a new author friend, Marianne Evans.  

Welcome to From My Heart to Yours, Marianne! I'm so excited to talk about A Face in the Clouds, but first let's get to know you a little better.

Q. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

Back in middle-school, when I wrote stories, and handed them out to my friends a chapter at a time. They kept coming back for more, and I loved, loved, loved the process, so I kept at it!!

Q. What other books/short stories/articles/poems have you written, whether published or not? 

My writing career began with Kensington Publishing and their Precious Gem line of contemporary romances. For Kensington I published: Friends & Lovers, Right Hand Man, and Hannah’s Heart. My writing life took a several year hiatus, but the muse came back with a vengeance, and I contracted another contemporary romance with The Wild Rose Press titled With This Kiss.

That’s when tides turned in my writing life, and I began to write in the genre of my truest heart, Christian fiction and romance. I won a writing contest with White Rose Publishing that earned publication of my debut Christian inspy, Hearts Crossing. From there, a four book series was born and contracted. Hearts Crossing followed as book 2 in The Woodland Series, Hearts Communion will be out later this year, and Hearts Key will see publication in the spring of 2012. 

My work in progress is a mainstream Christian fiction title called Devotion. Devotion explores the issue of temptation and a marriage on the rocks. What happens when a picture-perfect Christian marriage begins to falter and crack, how do a loving and committed couple find their way back to one another?

Q. Do you have an all time favorite book? Which genre do you prefer to read and why?

I love Christian romance and Christian fiction – so I’m a fan of anything by Karen Kingsbury. She’s an amazing talent. Beyond Christian fiction, I also very highly recommend the book “Tell me no Lies” by Elizabeth Lowell – such a wonderful suspense/love story!!

Q. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

I don’t even bother to try.  LOL!!! Seriously, it’s a day-to-day thing, but I think the best thing I do is make sure to spend time in prayer, especially when I feel overwhelmed. When I rest, and go still for a few minutes, I find the tensions ease away and I receive a re-charge. Sure, stress issues still need to be dealt with, but I emerge with a fresher mind-set, and a calmer, open attitude.

Q. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

MY FAMILY. I absolutely love my kids, and my husband, and consider them my pride and joy!!!

Q. What was your greatest roadblock in writing this book and others, and how did you overcome it?  

I’d have to say the biggest frustration comes in the form of those moments when I have a block of time to sit down and write and the words just won’t come. Instances like that leave me gnashing my teeth, because it feels like such a waste. But then I remember, the words may not flow ‘on demand’ – but my mind is still working the plot, and the characters, and ultimately, once the percolation episode passes, the words start to pour out.

Q. What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Never, ever, ever give up. EVER. Don’t let rejection have the last say. Stack up the rejection letters/e-mails, toss a nice linen cloth over the top and use them as an end table. That’s what I did.

Q. Tell us about the featured book, A Face in the Clouds, - back cover blurb plus what this story means to you.

A Face in the Clouds is a bonus short story to my award winning Woodland Series. You meet the heroine, Sandy Pierson, in Hearts Crossing. She’s the hero’s ex-fiancĂ©e, and several readers asked me about her, wondering if she’d get a Woodland story of her own. This story is the answer to that call. This story is also a precious ode to my sister-in-law’s art ministry, which is a highlight of this book that I hope readers will explore even further! Here’s the blurb!

Reporter Paul Hutchins is all about finding facts and uncovering the truth. Verification, authenticity and quantification are the fuel of his spirit…Until he falls in love with producer Sandy Pierson.

Sandy sees Christ alive in every aspect of her life. No need for quantified facts. Faith is the fuel of her spirit. But her love for Paul puts her at odds with God's call toward faith and all of its mysteries.

Paul considers Christianity to be well-meaning myth—hyperbole. To Sandy, it’s everything—and she can accept nothing less from the man she loves.

Can a miracle happen? Can the touch of God Himself keep their relationship from shattering?

(This is Jen talking now.) This mini-book (only about 50 pages) was a wonderful, touching read. Here is my review of A Face in the Clouds: 

"An Easter release for was perfect for 'A Face in the Clouds', though this is a story for every day of our lives.

I, personally, could relate with not being able to make sense of it all, something Paul struggled with. I can also understand desiring to know more about our loved ones' top priorities. God was Sandy's top priority, a priority Paul just could embrace because he didn't understand Christianity. To him, Christianity was not practical because it was not factual.

Through this story, so eloquently told by talented author, Marianne Evans, you see how the Lord uses people OTHER THAN SANDY to illustrate to Paul His love and His constant presence. His realness. Gradually, the clouds in front of Paul's eyes are lifted as he sees A Face in the Clouds.

This story was powerful to me because this is real life. People are touched by the Holy Spirit every day the way Paul was. Miracles like this really do occur. This story has the ability to give hope to the hopeless and strength to the weak. For Christians, reading this book will challenge them to look deeper, try harder to see God in everything around us. Thank you, Ms. Evans, for obeying the Holy Spirit's promptings and writing this quick, yet life-changing read. I will certainly do my best to look a little deeper in my own life to find . . . A Face in the Clouds."

Q. How can readers find the book and where can they find you on the Internet?

I love connecting with readers, so, please, don’t be shy!!  J

Bonus question: Tell us one interesting fact about you that your readers would find interesting, and maybe even surprising. 

I collect antique salt cellars. These are small, bowl-shaped pieces crafted of glass, porcelain, or metal and they come with small spoons. Back in the era before pourable salt, these were placed on the dinner table and you chipped off a bit of salt from a block that was placed in these bowls and you could then season your food. They’re beautiful, and I have fun shopping for them! 

That is very interesting! Thank you so much for sharing about you, your life, and your books. I know my readers will find your stories every bit as compelling as I do! To purchase your copy of A Face in the Clouds, Kindle Edition from for only $1, click on the title, grab a cup of coffee, and get ready to be inspired! And guess what! Marianne's going to give away a PDF copy of Hearts Crossing, mentioned above, the novella that started it all for her as an author of Christian fiction, and actually introduces the heroine of A Face in the Clouds, to one of our lucky readers! Yea! All you have to do is leave a comment here and I'll draw a name ON MY BIRTHDAY, May 26th! FBing this contest will give and extra entry and so will tweeting it. Also following Marianne's blog and subscribing to my blog will give you TWO extra entries! Don't miss out! Thank you again, Marianne, for stopping by my blog today and for helping to change hearts and lives with your wonderful stories!  


Marianne Evans said...

Good morning, Jen!! I'm so happy to be here, and your goodness--I'm overwhelmed!! Thank you so much! :-) God bless.

Donna B said...

Hi ladies! Lovely interview and great review! God bless!

Marianne Evans said...

Thanks for the visit, Donna!! So good to see you here! :-) Blessings!

Sherry Gloag said...

LOL, I was looking at the clouds about 20 minutes ago, and saw an 'angel with half of one wing missing'!!!!
Great interview, and your book sounds fascinating.

sherrygloag at gmail dot com

Mary Manners said...

Hi Marianne,

I loved this post, and I also loved A Face in the Clouds. I posted a review at Amazon, and will follow up at other sites as well...A Big 5 STARS!!!

Keep writing!

Jen Riffle said...

Hello, ladies! Sorry for being so tardy to welcome you. We are on our last week of school and it gets crazier and crazier! Thank you for stopping by From My Heart to Yours and taking the time to read this interview. I'll be drawing for Marianne's book, Heart's Crossing, on Thursday so stay tuned!

Marianne Evans said...

Hi, Sherry - and thanks so much for visiting today! Delighted to 'meet' ya! :-) Your comment about the clouds made me smile, and touched my heart. God bless!

Marianne Evans said...

Mary, cyber-hugs galore. :-) You're such a blessing to me! God bless, and continued success with your wonderful releases at White Rose!!!