Friday, October 24, 2008
Say hello to guest blogger Claire Sanders
My thanks to Elaine for inviting me to join her at this beautiful web site. I’ve just published my first romance novel, “Fresh Start”, available from The Wild Rose Press. I hope you’ll go to www.thewildrosepress.com to check it out. You can also read excerpts and see a book trailer at my web site: www.clairesandersbooks.com
For my first romance novel, I chose a cowboy as the hero. I don’t know about you, but the cowboy has always embodied the ideal man for me. Masculine, strong, well-mannered, sincere and hard-working. Of course, being raised in Texas, the cowboy ideal was drummed into me from an early age. There are two images that always make my heart flutter just a bit: a cowboy atop a fine horse and a man wearing a tool belt. (I’m sure the carpenter or contractor will show up in a future novel.)
When I finished college, I saw an advertisement for teachers needed in Montana. My adventurous soul wanted to go, but my ties to my family made such a move impractical. But for all these years, I’ve wondered how my life would have been different if I had been bold enough to pack my car and go. That’s where the idea for “Fresh Start” came from.
I learned a lot from the process of writing my first novel. Of course, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I wrote two complete books and literally threw them in the trash because they were so bad. Then I wrote my first draft of “Fresh Start”. It took two more years to get that story to a point where it would be acceptable to an editor.
You can imagine my delight when the story was a finalist in the first contest I entered. The “Emily” award is sponsored by the West Houston Chapter of Romance Writers of America and my story garnered enough points to make the first cut. Confident of its merit, I happily sent it off to two agents who promptly rejected it.
All writers can tell horror stories about rejections so I took it in stride and kept sending it out. When The Wild Rose Press accepted it, I danced around my computer!
Currently, I’m putting the final touches on an Inspirational Romance titled “Shades of Grace”. The heroine, Judith, has made a successful life for herself as an illustrator, but she has a lot of hurdles to overcome. First, she’s notorious for her quick temper and stubborn disposition. Second, she’s haunted by her mother’s death. While being raised by her workaholic father, Judith tried to put her mother out of her mind, but her questions never ceased.
When she inherits four hundred acres of forested land from her mother’s father, Judith is astounded. Her father had told her that her grandparents were dead. Now she realizes that not only did her father lie to her, but she’d also missed the opportunity to know the last link to her mother. Despite her father’s misgivings, Judith packs her things and leaves the big city for rural east Texas.
But a few hours after her arrival, she’s asked to lend an abandoned church on her grandfather’s land to an African American congregation. Their church, along with several others, was the victim of arson. Judith knows that lending her grandfather’s church may lead to trouble, but she’s determined to do what she believes is right.
Local forester Jacob Fraser also wants to help the African American congregation. But he advises Judith to step back from her righteous anger and to fight hate with love. This is a concept that Judith can’t get her mind around.
Answer acts of hate with acts of love? Turn the other cheek? Pray for her enemies?
I hope you’ll check my website often to see when this story will be released. (Yes, I am employing positive thinking!) And please send me an email (Claire@clairesandersbooks.com) to let me know if you liked “Fresh Start”. I’d love to correspond with you!