Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Marian P. Merritt {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Marian...

Marian Pellegrin Merritt writes stories that blend her love of the mountains with her deep Southern roots. Her tagline, Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains, blends both loves. Her Christmas romances with Louisiana and Colorado connections include: Southern Fried Christmas, A Cajun Christmas Miracle, and Deep Freeze Christmas.

This Louisiana native writes from the Northwest Colorado home she shares with her husband and a very spoiled Labradoodle. To receive updates and behind the scenes info, join her group on Facebook: Marian P. Merritt's Readers Group

How to connect with Marian...

Purchase: The Vigil

Author Interview | Marian P. Merritt

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I’ve been writing since 2003. My first book was published in 2012. I’d like to say that’s because I’m a patient person, but I don’t think so. I was determined not to stop. And I trusted what God had promised.
What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...The hardest thing for me is the waiting to hear if your story has been accepted, if so, then waiting for the edits, then waiting for a publication date, then waiting for the date…

...The easiest: Trusting the publisher with the particulars. 

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book and what you’re working on currently. 
...The Vigil is a story of forgiveness. It deals with long-held family secrets and resentments. When truth comes to light, the heroine must deal with letting go of the past and moving forward.

...I’m currently writing two books:

The first is a novella set in Cavazzale, Italy. I recently visited there and just knew I had to set a story in the quaint Italian town!

The second is a Women’s Fiction set in Mandeville, Louisiana and Tuscany, Italy. Lots of drama in this one.


Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...Characters usually come to me as a raw person not based on anyone. I can see them. I do a character interview and it’s then the plot emerges and the character’s personality comes through.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...The basic foundation for writers is to write well. Learn as much as possible about the craft. Write as much as possible. Don’t stop after the first novel. Keep writing. Yes, try to sell your book, but continue to learn and write another novel. Don’t get sucked into the publishing/marketing arena before you have a quality product to sell.

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to?
...Funny, when I’m in the writing zone, I can write while the TV is blaring! But when I’m working and it's hard to focus, I need silence. When I do listen to music, it’s instrumental. I like the groups 2 Cellos” and “Escala.” Those are my new favorites for writing.

What is your favorite season and why?
...I live near the Rocky Mountains so fall is my absolute favorite. the changing Aspens are beautiful and always inspire me to write.

What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it?
...I love Women’s Fiction. I like following characters through adversity and seeing how they handle the issues they’re faced with.

...Emilie, Thanks so much for having me here at Thinking Thoughts!
You're very welcome, Marian! Happy to have you here :)  It sounds like your upcoming writing will be transporting you back to that Italian trip! Of course now I'm thinking about my trip to Italy and wanting to go back haha.


Had Valerie Comer on the blog last week and she graciously offered a giveaway of her novel Dandelions for Dinner

The winner of this lovely novel is...

Linda Rainey

Congrats Linda! Contact me so we can get you your copy :)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Melissa Tagg & Catherine West Giveaway Winners

We've got winners! 
I was so excited to host these two amazing ladies on the blog last week - if you missed it, check out their post HERE. And the fact that they were both so gracious to offer a giveaway was equally amazing :) We had a lot of entries (so awesome to see some new commenters here!) and I wish I could just give you all copies....but unfortunately that isn't possible.
Make sure you come back soon - I look forward to seeing you here again!

Winner: Debra Hancock

P.S. You may not have won, but Melissa does have a fun little eBook short out that's currently FREE on Amazon Kindle: Three Little Words (Walker Family): A Novella

Winner: Beth Gillihan

 If you didn't win this time, make sure you stop by regularly because I offer a lot of fun giveaways. Speaking of, there's still the chance to enter to win a copy of Dandelions for Dinner. Leave a comment on Valerie Comer's interview HERE. Winner chosen Wednesday April 22nd.


Pepper Basham + GIVEAWAY | New Novel News

The Thorn Bearer
by Pepper D. Basham

Published May 7th (hard copy) but available now in ebook form
Vinspire Publishing
Purchase:The Thornbearer (Penned in Time Book 1)
A wounded woman with a past to hide and an unpredictable future to salvage struggles to keep bitterness from stealing the hope of a romance with her best friend while nursing the wounded of WWI.

In short, it is about the beautiful power of forgiveness.

Get to know Pepper...

If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?
Fying! I’ve always wanted to be able to fly! What an amazing experience that would be…and it would really cut down on travel time :)

What actor/actress would play you if your life was a movie?
A rom com person for sure. Maybe Meg Ryan, Sandra Bullock or Amy Adams (I’d hope for Amy Adams….I just love her)

Favorite place you’ve traveled to?
Derbyshire England! BEST! I can’t wait to go back to the UK some day. It felt like home.

Annnddd... Make sure to check back later today because I'll be posting the winners of Melissa Tagg and Catherine West's books! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Inn at Ocean's Edge by Colleen Coble | RE:View

An extravagant hotel high up on cliffs overlooking the ocean. Secrets surrounding a missing year in Claire Dellamarie's life. The mysterious disappearance of Luke Rocco's mother. What is behind the intrigue surrounding Claire and her family? What will become of the memories that are starting to surface? Will Luke finally be able to discover what happen to his mother?

The Inn at Ocean's Edge by Colleen Coble had me wrapped up in curiosity from start to finish. The introduction to Claire's life is at once intriguing and frustrating. Why won't people tell Claire the truth? What is the truth? Why does the Hotel Tourmaline hold a special place in Claire's memory?

In addition to these questions, I was also interested in finding out Luke's story. What happened to his mother? Did it have something to do with Claire's disappearance?

I enjoyed Claire and Luke's characters. Claire is a very strong woman who is forced into situations where that strength is tested. Luke is also strong, but in a different, steady way. I enjoyed their connection in the book and the zing of romance sparked between them.

The only thing I would note is that I felt some of the scenes were a little too abrupt. I enjoyed the read, but at times I felt as if there was some awkwardness or quick closure where I wanted to know more. Such is the nature of a mystery/suspense though.

I definitely recommend this to fans of romantic suspense and mystery novels. Colleen will keep you guessing! In the back of my mind I drew parallels to Murder, She Wrote (probably because I just love that show) due to the location and mysterious nature of the plot, but of course it was missing Jessica Fletcher ;)

Rating: 4*
Purchase:  The Inn at Ocean's Edge (Sunset Cove Novel)

Inn Ocean's Edge Colleen Coble

Also, check out this awesome Kindle Fire Giveaway hosted by LitFuse for The Inn at Ocean's Edge!

To enter, click HERE.

Book Description
Claire's visit to a luxury hotel in Maine awakens repressed memories, threatening all she holds dear.

In 1989, Claire Dellamare disappeared from her own fourth birthday party at the Hotel Tourmaline on the island of Folly Shoals, Maine. She showed up a year later at the same hotel, with a note pinned to her dress but no explanation. Nobody knows where Claire spent that year---and until now, Claire didn't even know she had ever been missing.

But when Claire returns to the Hotel Tourmaline for a business meeting with her CEO father, disturbing memories begin to surface . . . despite her parents' best efforts to keep them forgotten.

Luke Rocco lost his mother under equally mysterious circumstances---at the same time Claire disappeared. After a chance encounter reveals the unlikely link between them, Claire and Luke set out together to uncover the truth about what happened that fateful year.

With flashbacks swimming just beneath her consciousness and a murderer threatening her safety, Claire's very life depends on unscrambling her past . . . even if her family refuses to acknowledge it. Someone-maybe everyone-is hiding something from Claire Dellamare, and it will cost her everything to drag the truth out into the light.
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Belated Final Favorites | March 2015

Oops! So, I missed the last day of March (*grins*) but to be fair I had one of my best friends and her husband visiting and they are more important than me being silly and talking about books ;) Plus, they were headed back overseas and when you only get to see people once every year and a half, you put everything else to the side! Then I had another friend visit and...well yes, it is D.C. in the Spring so of course people want to come and see the lovely cherry blossoms (and me too I guess).

Anyway, on to my Final Favorites for March. I found this month that I was overrun with stuff...on top of a too-ambitious posting schedule. There is so much to be said about Marketing and Social Media! I'll probably be posting more about this in the future, but I hope that what was posted was helpful!

On to the favorites...



Giving away some AWESOME books on the blog this week. Stop by the post (click on the titles below), leave a comment, and you'll be entered to win!

From the Start by Melissa Tagg

Dandelions for Dinner by Valeire Comer

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Valerie Comer {Writer Wednesday} +GIVEAWAY

A little bit about Valarie...

Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Valerie writes Farm Lit where food meets faith, injecting experience laced with humor into her award-winning Farm Fresh Romance stories.

How to connect with Valarie...

Purchase: Dandelions for Dinner (A Farm Fresh Romance Book 4)

Getting to know you again...Valarie Comer

  You and Writing

Who is one of your favorite authors and why?
...Wow, I don't think I can narrow down my favorites to just one! I've gotten to know and read so many fabulous contemporary romances through my friends at and the box sets I'm in, that I don't dare to start naming names.

What is one book or resource you would recommend to other writers? Why?
...As above, I can't stop with one. ;) If you're considering going indie, you might want to check out David Gaughran's Let's Get Digital. If you're wondering how to lay out an indie career, I recommend Write. Publish. Repeat. by Johnny B Truant and Sean Platt (beware of language). (By the way, I heartily endorse the indie route.)

Share a writing-related milestone with us?
...Raspberries and Vinegar, the first book in my Farm Fresh Romance series, has achieved many milestones for me. It was my first published novel, the first to win an award (Canada's The Word Guild Award for best contemporary romance of 2013), the first to go in a multi-author box set, the first to be narrated as an audiobook, and the first to become permanently free as an e-book.

How do you balance your time between writing and other actives? Any helpful tips, tricks, or suggestions?
...Writing, publishing, and marketing is now my full-time job. I have no kids living at home, so my situation isn't the same as many of your readers, but I'm as capable as anyone else of frittering away my time and having little to show for it at the end of the day.

...My best writing time is in the morning, but if I check email, Facebook, or stats before opening my current manuscript, I can easily lose an hour or two. Self-discipline is hard! But without it, I'm spinning my wheels and will soon have nothing to publish or market. Writing comes first.

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your current book, Dandelions for Dinner.
She hates him. He loves her not.

Men are weeds. Allison Hart doesn’t need them in her carefully tended life, though her friends at Green Acres seem happy with their guys. Why can’t Allison open her heart to anyone but her young nephew? Then again, he’ll be a man one day, too. If only the irritating contractor in charge of building her home and farm school wasn’t the boy’s favorite person.
Fireworks with Brent Callahan’s newest client shift from antagonism to the rocky possibility of a relationship. When he comes face to face with a history he’d much rather forget, he realizes hiding his failures isn’t the best option for finding forgiveness, let alone love.
Can a little boy help weed out the past before it chokes their future together?
Who is your favorite character and why?
...I protest! This is not a fair question. It's like choosing my favorite granddaughter.

...Allison Hart may be the least like of me of any character I've ever written. I didn't know the depths of her personal issues until I was well into writing the first draft. I knew she hated and mistrusted men, but the why eluded me. It was a privilege to draw her through the rough times and into a place of healing and hope. I know, I know. That makes it sound like she's a real person. Honestly, for the months she lived in my head, she was real, and now she's been set free. Have I mentioned lately that I love writing?

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...No matter what cards your life has dealt you—or perhaps that you've dealt yourself—there is always hope. There is always forgiveness. There is always love… and God's love is enough.


Book you’re reading right now: I'm in the midst of Heart's Design, a contemporary romance by JoAnn Durgin.

If you could go anywhere in the world for one month (for free) where would it be and why?
...Someday my husband and I would enjoy touring the United Kingdom. I'd love to experience the depth of history found there in comparison to the relative newness of the North American west. We'd ride the rails and travel by riverboat. We'd tour some castles, catch a glimpse or two of royalty, visit friends, and enjoy the local-food culture of the various regions.

...Hmm. Are you offering? We can pack our bags and be ready to head out in no time!

Leave a comment and you could win an eBook copy of Valerie's latest novel! 
It's so great to have you back on the blog Valarie!  So diplomatic of you not to choose a favorite author ;) But I do understand, it's hard to pick! I also agree with you 100% about getting suck into FB for waaay to long if it's the first thing I open on my computer. Ah, the lessons of self-control, eh? And I wish I could offer you and all my readers a free month long vacation! Wouldn't that be great? :) 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Winners All Around

Excited that we have so many winners on the blog today! I decided to just do one big ole post.

And the winner of Heart's Design...

Katrina Epperson

Congratulations Katrina!! 

And the winner of The Tomb by Stephanie Landsem is...

Virginia Winfield

I'm sure you'll enjoy this Virginia!

Excited to announce the winner of Erin Healy's Motherless and the $10 Starbucks gift card...

Emily Smith

(props on having an excellent name Emily hehe)

Thanks for everyone who participated! I'll be contacting you Emily and we'll arrange to get your your coffee card and book.

Winners of the above books...

by Dana R. Lynn

Melissa Oldaker

with Jennifer Ulharick

Joy Avery Melville

by Dana Mentink

Susan P

You may not have won today, but check out my giveaway from this week from author Melissa Tagg and Catherine West!