Return to Love is a fun read! I loved the penguins in it, especially their names. And the youth group involvement brought back so many fond memories for me. The main characters, Gracie and Carter, were well developed and I could connect with and understand each of their reservations and concerns. Betsy St. Amant offers some wonderful one liners in this novel too. She had me chortling more than once at her unique characters.
I'm really looking forward to her next story, A Valentine's Wish, being released February 2010 by Steeple Hill LI as well.
Betsy was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. So here they are:
1) Your writing is so fresh, fun, and telling, Betsy. And I've just got to know where a couple lines came from. Lines like: "You're making a bird's nest out of French fries." and "Carter shifted in the dark theater, wishing he were sitting beside Gracie instead of Andy, who smacked popcorn like a six-year-old." Did these come from life experiences, or is this solely your creative mind at work?
Well thank you! I guess it was just my creativity coming through, because those lines weren't premeditated. That's when writing is so fun to me, in those moments where something funny or completely random pops out of your fingers onto the keyboard and you laugh at yourself. =)
2) I know you have another book contracted for Steeple Hill LI to come out in 2010, so can you tell us now that you're on the publishing treadmill, how long does it take you from start to submission to write an LI novel? And just for comparison, how long did it take you to write and prepare Return to Love before you submitted it?
I have two books scheduled for 2010 so far. The first is the sequel to Return to Love, titled A Valentine's Wish, which picks up with Lori's story at a chocolate boutique in the French quarter. It releases February 2010. My third Steeple Hill novel will release April 2010 and its a separate story, set on a dude ranch in Texas, titled Rodeo Sweetheart.
Now that I'm selling on proposal to Steeple Hill, I have to have my story plotted out, obviously, to make the sell. I have deadlines to work with now too, so obviously I am more motivated! On average, from proposal submission to turning in the final manuscript is about 4 months. Then of course the rest of the process varies over the next several months, back and forth with my editor--revisions, line edits, final galleys, etc.
Return to Love took me much longer to write compared to my second two SH novels because of the circumstances. I wrote the story and my agent submitted it. Then a few weeks later, SH sent me a revision letter, saying they were interested but would need to see major changes before saying anything about a contract. I made the revisions, resubmitted, and then was contracted. Upon contracting there were a few more plot tweaks, then line edits, etc. And WHEW, we finally had a book. =)
3) And lastly, what compels you to write short (55k to 60k word) category romances? You do it so well, that I'm assuming your compelled.
Well thanks!! I don't feel that way! haha!! I guess I do what I have to. Some stories it's easier to write "short", but other times its a struggle and I go over my word count and then have to cut. One day I do hope to publish my full length stories, I have several--but that's in God's timing! =)
And here's Return to Love's Back cover blurb: "I'm not the man I used to be!" - if only Gracie Broussard could believe that. Years ago, Cater Alexander broke her heart and betrayed her. Now, just when she needs him most, he's back--asking her to believe he's changed. But this time, it's not just Gracie who'll be hurt if he disappears. A penguin keeper, Gracie urgently needs to find a new home for her beloved birds. Carter is the only one who can help. He promises that she can trust him, that he's not the rebel he once was. And that he needs Gracie as much as her birds do.
Now, to order a copy of Return to Love, click here for the Amazon.com link. You can also try and win a copy through my blog by letting me know you want your name put in the drawing in the comment section. I'll draw the winner next Tuesday evening and post their name on Wednesday.
Good Luck Everyone!!
Surrendering to Him,