Tour Schedule and Assignments
February 20--Wishful Endings (Review, Snippet)
February 21--Mel's Shelves (Spotlight)
February 22--Heidi Reads... (Review, Character Sketch)
February 24--cherylbbookblog (Spotlight) | Katie's Clean Book Collection (Review)
February 25--Reading Is My SuperPower (Review, Character Sketch)
February 27--Toni Shiloh Soulfully Romantic (Review, Snippet)
February 28--Zerina Blossom's Books (Author Interview (via SLB), Snippet)
March 1--Book Stalking PR (Review, Character Sketch, Snippet)
March 2--Bookworm Lisa (Spotlight, Character Sketch, Snippet)
March 3--Singing Librarian Books (Review, Author Interview (via SLB), Character Sketch, Snippet)
Helpful Tour Informatoin
1. The tour kit for The Triple Date Dare is now live.
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When he asks Laura out, David figures she will crash and burn as planned. He had no idea she would not only change the rules of his famous dating dare, but sneak her way into his heart.
I recently moved back to Oregon with my husband of 31 years, where we’ve built a house on 68 acres about 40 miles outside of Portland. After growing up in Oregon, we’ve lived in Utah, Arizona, and Hawaii. We have three children, two girls and a boy, all grown and all writers themselves. We also have a dog (Golden Retriever) and a cat (Black). I love to write inspirational romance and hope my readers will be both entertained and uplifted by my stories. When I’m not writing, I love to paint (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), sew, knit, crochet, and read (of course)! My second novel will be published in 2017.
(Insert interview here or include the interview via SLB Tours below.)
1. How did you get started as an author? What or whom inspired you?
I started writing in high school and always dreamed of being a freelance writer. After I was married, my writing was limited to yearly Christmas newsletters and business letters. I started writing the stories of our family adventures and vacations which led to writing fiction. I was inspired by authors of clean romance who sometimes added religious undertones to their writing; authors like Staci Stallings, Heather Horrocks, and Jacklyn Hawkes (check spelling on her first name). I wanted to write something that sent a message of spiritual hope, yet left no doubt about it being a romance.
2. What writing projects are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
In 2015, I wrote during National Novel Writer’s Month (NaNoWriMo) and completed my second novel. I am currently in editing mode for that book and hope to have it published this summer. It’s the story about a young pregnant widow who decides to hire a contractor to finish her late husband’s building project. Sparks fly as she helps on the house, the handsome contractor introduces her to goals beyond survival and she navigates her deceased husband’s hidden past. It’s called Building a Life. I’ve also started three other novels, all in various stages of completion, with a novella thrown in for good measure. The novella, The Spirit of Christmas is an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, twisted into a romance. I’m hoping to have it ready by the holidays this year.
3. When did you write your first novel?
I started writing my first novel about five years ago, in between reading a lot, working full time, painting, and running my household. Pieces and parts; scenes and events would come to my mind and I couldn’t rest until my thoughts were written down. I discovered LDStorymakers writers’ conference in 2014, but couldn’t attend as I was preparing to move from Hawaii back to the mainland at the time. But the classes offered that year introduced me to a wonderful writer’s computer program called Scrivner and with that program, I began to put together the scenes and events I had already started in an order that began looking like a real novel. For the next two years, I pecked away at that story plus two others. When my daughter Amy had the good fortune to meet Joan Sowards in December 2015, she introduced us via email and Joan was kind enough to read my rough draft and offer invaluable help to make it better. I took the first chapter to LDStorymakers in 2016 and received additional wonderful feedback. Finally, after multiple revisions, I self-published on Amazon via their self-publishing arm, Createspace.com. It was a wonderful experience and helped me bring my first story to fruition.
4. What do you want readers to take away from reading your novel?
For the most part, I want readers to have fun with my stories; laugh a little, cry a little. But I also want them to hear the spiritual message designed for that particular novel. I would love it if I can help improve the image of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and what we believe. I want my readers to smile at the end of the story and feel as though they were able to see inside the lives of people they didn’t know in the beginning of the book, but who feel like friends at the end. If my readers walk away from my book glad they took the time to read it and look forward to the next book, I will consider it a success.
5. What hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
I am also an artist, painting in oil, water-color, and acrylics. I paint close-focus flowers and children. I read a great deal, enjoying a wide variety of clean romance writers. I also enjoy sewing, knitting, and crocheting at times. I still have a part time ‘day’ job and I’m currently enrolled in college, so I don’t have any problems staying busy. Recently my husband and I purchased a project car: a 1966 Mustang which I will be helping to put back together. I have a feeling there’s a Mustang project in a novel of the future.
Laura Melemanu Nelson
Laura spent the first fourteen years of her life in Oregon, and then moved to Hawaii. Her parents always had a great affinity to Hawaii and gave each of their children Hawaiian middle names. While they lived in Oregon, they had a vacation home in Sunset Bay, on the Oregon coast, where they spent several weeks during the summer. Laura went to high school and college on the Big Island of Hawaii where she studied English with a Creative Writing emphasis. Her English professor introduced her to a publisher and she was able to publish her first novel. While in high school, Laura became rebellious of her moral and religious upbringing. She made numerous poor choices which lead her to living with her boyfriend and being involved with drug dealers. When she was caught by the police, she was tried and convicted as an accessory to drug trafficking and served one month in jail and five hundred hours of community service.
After being beat up by her boyfriend when he was released from jail, Laura went back to her parents for help. Sitting in a stake conference, she discovered a desire to return to church and put herself back on the straight and narrow. She’s run away to the Oregon coast to finish her second novel and get away from her recent past.
Laura is a slender 5’7”, with short cropped, bleached blond hair. She has a sweet, pretty face with crystal blue eyes. She’s quick witted and feisty, and is trying very hard to made positive choices in her life and hear the whispers of the Holy Ghost. She’s pretty game for any activity and sees through deception easily. She loves her family, is closest to her father, but struggles with her relationship with her older sister, Suzanne. She is not a deep thinker nor terribly far sighted, focusing on the here and now to get her life on track, but she wants to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ better. She’s humble and honest about her emotions, but doesn’t share her feelings and life story easily.
David Ezekiel Harrington
David grew up in Portland with his parents and his older sister, Margaret. Their life was fairly ordinary until his father became involved in illegal activities. His mother turned to alcohol to hide from his father’s choices. When Margaret moved out at eighteen, David was left alone with his mother and father, where he witnessed his mom’s alcoholic binges and never knew what his dad was up to. When he was in high school, he became friends with the wrong crowd and participated in an armed robbery of a convenience store. He was arrested and served a five-year sentence. He finished high school in jail where he also met a member of the church who reached out and taught him the gospel. When he was released from jail, he was baptized and vowed to turn his life around. He worked with his uncle, a policeman in Sunset Bay, to have his father arrested for second degree murder and decided to become a police officer. After attending the police academy, he was hired by the Sunset Police Department, where his uncle still worked.
David is tall, well built, with short brown hair and deep blue eyes. He has a strong jaw and captivating smile. He loves to be outdoors, hanging out with his friends, and has a knack for turning driftwood into artistic sculptures. He loves the church and works in the nursery where he has a devoted following of four two-year olds. He was recently able to buy a house near the beach from a ward member who was moving into a retirement home. He is close to his sister, who is married and works as a para-legal. Although ashamed of his mother, who is often arrested for drunken and disorderly behavior, David always bails her out, and frequently tries to help her find a way out of her alcoholic pit, thus far without success. He is extremely embarrassed by his parents’ behavior and can’t imagine any good LDS girl wanting to be associated with such a family. He’s fun and spunky, but reserved with his emotions. He’s kind to rookie officers and respectful of all authority figures.
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Talking to God as though He was just sitting right next to her or walking alongside her was the kind of prayer that worked for her. She never had been good at the formal prayer stuff, the kneeling and organized prayers of thanking, offering, and asking. She didn’t even always end her prayers the way she had been taught, “in Jesus’s name,” but she knew her heart was in the right place, and she was working on being closer to the Lord.
He could hear her voice. The stories she had told him about her childhood and the blunders she’d made when she was too fuzzy minded to know what she was doing where funny, and he caught himself laughing out loud, usually when it wasn’t a good time. As when he and Ramirez were investigating a domestic dispute and his mind simply wandered. The woman holding the frying pan probably wanted to hit him with it when he laughed after her endless dissertation about her husband’s drinking and rane when he got home that night. It wasn’t a funny situation, and David was normally a very compassionate and understanding officer. He was certainly mindful of the seriousness of abuse, but something the woman had said had sent him down a path to one of Laura’s stories, and he was lost.
Then, at the grocery store, he was certain he saw her in the produce aisle, looking over boxes of fresh strawberries. She had lifted a plastic box in the air, turning it this way and that. He was going to sneak up behind her and whisper in her ear. But when he was within reach and leaning into her hair, she turned, and suddenly she wasn’t Laura. The woman shrieked, backing up into the produce stand of strawberries, and boxes of berries tumbled onto the floor. It would have been funny if she hadn’t started accusing him of attacking her. After apologizing for what seemed like hours and picking all the berry boxes up off the floor, he told her he was a police officer and certainly wasn’t going to attack her. She finally calmed down, grabbed her berries, and left muttering about the nerve of some people. What nerves? Surely David had spent his last one.
At home he burned his dinner twice. And he didn’t even cook that much. He paced through the house, took long walks on the beach, and paced some more. Something had to be done. He didn’t want to be thinking about a strange woman who was here for a short time to write a novel. He didn’t want to be distracted. And he certainly didn’t want a relationship. That path lead to nothing but hurt and annoyance. Hadn’t his parents’ lives taught him well enough? The only relationships worth his time were with his sister and the Lord. That was enough for him. Oh, it was ok for other people to fall in love. They could have their happy lives with their happy families and their happy happiness. It was all a smoke screen in front of real life.
But her image wouldn’t be erased so easily. Every time he closed his eyes, her face, the feel of her lips on his, and the way she fit him so well permeated his dreams. Was this love? Was this the way it felt when you were in love? Movies demonstrated it; books expounded it; songs romanticized it. But somewhere in all of that it was real, right? And yet it was the feeling of peace that gave him confidence, the feeling that the world was exactly where it was supposed to be, with everything in perfect order. When it’s right, it’s right.
(Insert your review here.)
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February 20--Wishful Endings
February 21--Mel's Shelves
February 22--Heidi Reads...
February 24--cherylbbookblog | Katie's Clean Book Collection
February 25--Reading Is My SuperPower
February 27--Toni Shiloh Soulfully Romantic
February 28--Zerina Blossom's Books
March 1--Book Stalking PR
March 2--Bookworm Lisa
March 3--Singing Librarian Books
SLB Tour Kits will be posted here by the Friday before the tour begins.