Sunday, December 30, 2012

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Karey White

Karey White is the author of two novels. Her book, Gifted, was a 2011 Whitney Award Finalist. Besides writing, she enjoys baking, reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends. Before she started writing, she owned a wedding cake shop and designed and sold clothing. Her greatest joy comes from being a wife and mother. She has a wonderful husband and four fantastic children. Her favorite quote and the motto she tries to apply to her life is “faith and fear cannot co-exist.” Karey White is an author, a wife and a mother of four.

Welcome back to my blog, Karey. Please tell us about your new book, For What It's Worth.

It’s the story of 24-year-old Abby Benson. An inheritance from her aunt gives her the ability to make her dream of owning a wedding cake bakery a reality. She hires (and falls for) Dane, a handsome contractor who helps her renovate the bakery. Unsure what to charge for her cakes, Abby has a crazy idea to let the customer decide what they think their cake is worth. This plan has its ups and downs, but the novelty of the idea makes her a local celebrity. When she is interviewed on television about the unusual idea, business booms and Abby has cake adventures she never dreamed possible. But as her fame grows, Abby is swept up in a whirlwind that threatens everything she values. With the challenges that face her, will she be able to determine what is worth the most?

Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

I owned my own wedding cake business for about a dozen years. When I delivered an especially interesting cake to a wedding, the mother told me she was surprised what a bargain it was. I started wondering what she’d have been willing to pay for the cake if it had been up to her. Pretty soon I had ideas for the book that I couldn’t wait to write.

Owning your own wedding cake shop must have been a fun experience. What kind of research did you do for this book?

There’s always the little things like researching restaurants and details about location, but for most of the story, my research had been done during the years I’d made wedding cakes.

I love it when authors add real life situations to their stories, such as your Wedding Cake Shop. Do you put real experiences in your books, too?

All the time. I don’t know how authors don’t. People who know me well will see little things about me in my writing. In For What It’s Worth, the setting is Seattle, Washington, a place I lived for awhile. A couple of the experiences Abby has with her cakes are things that really happened as I did cakes and I used a few of my favorite cakes as ideas for the cakes she makes. I never did the self-pricing idea, although I think it would have been fun to try. I was never that brave.

Thank you for this awesome interview, Karey. It was fun getting to know you. Everyone enjoys learning more about an author’s life and the inspiration behind the story. I know I do.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Interview With Sweet Romance Author Michele Ashman Bell

Michele’s fourth grade teacher wrote on her report card, “Michele has a tendency to daydream and would probably do well at creative writing.” How true those words were. After 10 years of writing and getting rejected Michele finally had her first book published in 1998. She is the author of 22 books and several Christmas booklets. She is married to her college sweetheart, has four children and two grandchildren. Aside from staying busy with her family, church work and writing, Michele is also a Zumba instructor and teaches about 10 classes a week.

Christmas In Bliss is a sweet story full of humor and touching moments. It can be a very tense situation when several people are stranded at a rest stop on Christmas Eve, but the author adds bits of humor to lighten the mood.” –Linda Weaver Clarke, Author

Welcome back to my blog, Michele. This Christmas story is a short one, about 24 pages. I love Christmas stories. Please tell us about Christmas In Bliss.

This book is the story of Nikki Michaels, a young woman who is driving home for Christmas from Oregon to Salt Lake City. A horrible blizzard forces her off the freeway near the town of Bliss, Idaho. There, in a rest stop with a group of strangers, she unexpectedly experiences the miracles and magic of Christmas.

You usually write sweet romances. Is this a romance, also?

You know me too well, Linda. It doesn’t matter what genre I write, I tend to always have an element of romance woven into the story. While the romance element isn’t always the focus of the story, it somehow seems to always be a part of the story and characters I create. This little booklet is no exception. The romance is definitely secondary to the main theme of the story, but it’s there, and I have to say, I find myself wanting to write… the rest of the story to see where the romance in Christmas in Bliss ends up.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

I happened to be looking at a map of Idaho one day, I seriously cannot remember why, when I came across the name of the town Bliss. I was thoroughly tickled with the name of this town and knew that it had some fun possibilities. Immediately I began thinking of a way to play on the name of the town set against anything but “blissful” circumstances. Since snow and driving in snow are my least favorite things in the world, I decided to infuse a lot of my feelings onto my character and the way she feels about getting caught in a horrible snowstorm in Bliss, Idaho.

As the story began to take shape I knew it had all the makings of a Christmas story and realized, again from personal feelings, that it is so easy during the hustle and bustle of the holidays, to forget about the true meaning. I wanted that to be the theme of the book and remind readers that we need to force ourselves to stop and focus on what is really important during this great Christmas season.

This book sounds wonderful. By the way, I’m an Idahoan at heart. I was raised in Whitney, Idaho near Preston. So yes, I do know what snow is up in the Rocky Mountains. Haha. I love it when authors add real life situations to their stories. Do you ever put real experiences in your books?

Real life is what inspires me. I always say to people, be careful what you tell me, it may end up in a story. Truth is stranger than fiction, so I always have my radar on. I find inspiration every day for a story, I just don’t have enough time to write all my story ideas!

Real life! That’s what inspires most authors. We just take an idea from the news, or watch our children and neighbors, and before we know it we’ve got a story. Some authors even have dreams and that eventually develops into an awesome story. Thanks, Michele, for this wonderful interview. I really appreciate it. To enter another contest for another Christmas book, visit my other blog at Thoughts About Writing. 

Enter another Christmas book giveaway at

Monday, December 10, 2012

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Donna Hatch

Whether you like immersing yourself in the Regency Romance era or escaping to a totally new fantasy world, Donna’s historical romance and fantasy romance novels will sweep you away into a magical new world.

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Winter Collection is a compilation of six sweet historical romance novellas, set in varying eras, written by six different authors, with one thing in common: Romance.

Welcome back to my blog, Donna. This book has six short stories by six different authors. Please tell us what your specific story is about.

On the First Day of Christmas, Clarissa’s coach breaks down in front of forbidding Wyckburg Castle, a place where generations of earls have murdered their young brides. An adventurer at heart, Clarissa is as fascinated as she is horrified. When she meets the young widower, Christopher de Champs, Earl of Wyckburg, she’s torn between fleeing for her life or uncovering the handsome earl’s terrible secret, a secret that may land her in the middle of a dark and deadly curse.

Where did you get your inspiration for this short story?

When fellow sweet Regency author Sarah Eden invited me to be a contributing author for this anthology of award-winning authors, I was as honored as I was humbled. I accepted, hoping an idea would come to me. When nothing happened right away, I went to a critique partner and we started brainstorming. I can’t even remember when the curse came into the plot, but suddenly, everything came to light as if my muse had been waiting for me to start asking the right questions. Originally, the heroine was comically paranoid of the mysterious castle and the murdering earl, but then I decided the heroine would be more fun if she were an adventurer at heart seeking a delicious gothic story come to life, complete with a gothic hero. That’s when the story really took shape.

What kind of research did you do?

Since I am already a shameless Regency nerd, I didn’t need to do any research regarding the era, but I did need to double check my facts regarding Christmas traditions observed in the Regency, which were a bit different than the Victorian customs one often thinks of when they think of an old-fashioned Christmas.

That’s interesting. What intrigues you most about writing romances?

It’s split between the development of the relationship and the coveted happily ever after. Both of those are not only fun and satisfying, but crucial to a romance.

Sooooo true!!! Thanks, Donna, for a great interview. And good luck with this new Winter Collection. To enter another contest for another Christmas book, visit my other blog at Thoughts About Writing.

Enter another Christmas book giveaway at