Let’s give a warm welcome to inspirational romance author Marianne Evans!
Marianne Evans is a multi-published author of contemporary romance novels. Her professional career began when Kensington Publishing purchased her book, Friends & Lovers. Her second offering, Right Hand Man, followed shortly thereafter. Her third release from Kensington, Hannah’s Heart, won critical acclaim from reviewers and in the local media.
Her fourth book is her inspirational romance debut at White Rose Publishing – an award-winning novel entitled Hearts Crossing. Hearts Crossing led to the creation of a four-book Christian romance series: The Woodland Series. Book 2, Hearts Surrender, released in late 2010 with Books 3 and 4 – Hearts Communion and Hearts Key, slated for late 2011 and early 2012 release. A Woodland Series Bonus Story, A Face in the Clouds, is an Easter-themed short story, also from White Rose Publishing.
A lifelong resident of Michigan, Marianne is an active member of Romance Writers of America and the Greater Detroit RWA where she served the chapter in a number of capacities, but most notably for two terms as Chapter Treasurer and two terms as Chapter President. She also belongs to the Faith Hope and Love chapter of RWA, American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.
Marianne has graciously agreed to an interview. Here’s what she had to say:
E.A.: Welcome to The West Corner! Please tell us a little about yourself.
Marianne: I’m a Michigan native who calls suburban Detroit home. I’m married to the most wonderful man in the world, and I’ve got two completely awesome kids (and a beloved daughter-in-law!) who make my life rich and full. Beyond that, I’ve been in love with the process of writing stories for as long as I can remember. I feel like writing is my gift from God, and returning it back to Him by sharing stories that illustrate not just a great romance, but the truth of His grace, mercy and redemption is the best thing going!
E.A.: What a wonderful mission for your writing! I hear you recently had a short story published. Can you tell us about A Face in the Clouds?
Marianne: A Face in the Clouds tells the story of a pragmatic ‘show-me’ kind of reporter who falls in love with a woman of faith who needs no quantifications in order to hold firm to her Christian belief system. Through the miracle of an artist’s inspired work, their hearts are transformed forever.
E.A.: This sounds like a great story. I can’t wait to read it! Since A Face in the Clouds is bonus story in your recent series, please tell us about the Woodland Series.
Marianne: The Woodland Series was born, aptly enough, in church one Sunday! For almost two years I had felt the call to write a Christian romance. I tried to come up with ideas, and never found one that grabbed me by the soul and demanded to be told. Also, I think there was a large part of me that just didn’t feel ‘worthy’ of writing a Christian romance. God had other plans, I guess! I was sitting next to the hubby at church one Sunday and I watched people coming forward for communion. As they did so, I had a true, God-touched epiphany. I studied their faces, and realized, these were all beautiful children of God. Each of them had a story, a journey of faith and love. The idea I had been searching for finally emerged.
E.A.: Wow, that must have been an amazing moment! Where can readers purchase copies of your books so they can enjoy the results of that inspiration?
E.A.: What made you want to be a writer?
Marianne: I have to say, it was a calling on my heart, and it came to me at a very young age, too. Writing is something I’ve loved for as long as I can remember. Seriously, back in grade school, I’d write and produce stories a chapter at a time and hand them out to my friends to read. They kept coming back for more, and I loved answering the call!
E.A.: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Marianne: NEVER give up. EVER. Writing is subjective. Don’t let rejections have the last word. If you love it, don’t step away – keep fighting!
E.A.: Great advice! Where can readers learn more about you and your books?
Marianne: My web address is: www.marianneevans.com and I blog at www.marianneevans.blogspot.com. I also have a Facebook Readers Page at:
E.A.: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Marianne: I’d like to just thank you, EA , for the chance to visit and spend time with you! I’ve been a fan of your blog for ages, and am thrilled you opened the doors and have been such a terrific hostess! I love to hear from readers, so don’t hesitate to connect! God bless!
E.A.: You’re very welcome, Marianne, and thank you stopping by. It’s always a treat to get to know my fellow authors a little better!
Now that we’ve heard from the author, here’s a sneak peek at A Face in the Clouds.
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?
“I know how deeply you feel things, Paul. You have a wonderful heart. That’s part of why I love you so much. I’m torn in two about my feelings for you.” Sandy’s declaration would have filled him were it not chipped and cracked by the impact of her doubts.
“Your reporter’s instinct toward authenticity and revealing the truth is a big part of what I admire about you. There’s nothing wrong with facing the world honestly, but you need to make room for a few other truths.”
“Yes, and the fact that life holds as much mystery, and as many intangibles, as it does realistic things you can hold tight with both hands.”
She wanted him to change. Right down to the soul. Paul continued to study her. She was hurt enough that she had almost stepped away from attending tonight’s event—out of a frustrated sense of love. Yet here they were—together—out of a frustrated sense of love.
And if he wasn’t mindful of her beliefs, she’d step away from him.
Paul navigated the rapidly-filling parking lot of Woodland Church. Once they stopped, he killed the car engine and used a restraining hand to keep Sandy in place. He closed the space between them and gave her a kiss that lingered and thoroughly tasted. He felt the gesture ease a bit of the tightness in her shoulders and back. “I’ll keep an open mind, OK?”
She touched his face, and there was yearning in her eyes. “Keep an open heart. That’s much more important.”