Let’s Chat! With Writer Linda Sawyer

Welcome, Everyone! And Welcome, Linda Sawyer!

 
Meet Linda Sawyer. It’s such a treat this week to introduce you to a writer and blogger at A Million Yarns whom I met at a writers conference about 10 years ago (but who’s counting?). Linda aims to see her name on the front cover of a novel. The right time hasn’t come around yet. But I want you to know her —and be looking for her first novel sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Who Is Linda Sawyer?


To begin with, a
s a child I loved exploring the woods, climbing trees and riding my bike much further from home than I was allowed in rural Clarksville, Tennessee.

I developed a vivid imagination and wrote plays. My brother and neighbors became my not-so-willing actors, my parents the captive audience.

On rainy days I crafted plots and developed characters for my cut out Sears and Roebuck paper dolls, designing lives for them with much drama as their families grew. 
 
Although I loved writing, I chose nursing as my college major. Through those preparatory years I helped a lot of folks and learned a lot about human nature.

Who Is Linda Sawyer, the Writer?

First, I write literary women’s fiction. I also enjoy writing short stories, essays, and I have a memoir in the works.

After a life-threatening accident in 1995, The Lord began calling me to write. (Click to Tweet That!) I continued my nursing career, but the novel inside me refused to go away.

 
Blessings Unexpected.
 
I wrote the entire piece over a period of fifteen years without studying a book on writing or attending a class. As you might guess, it lacked the polished quality of a publishable book.

Learning to Be a Writer

At my first writers conference, the instructors broke the news to us that it isn’t that easy to get published. They said one’s writing must be superb in every way. They had books to sell to teach me. I bought them.
 
Ugh! I learned how much my writing lacked. The story was still what God called me to write, but I needed help and lots of it. (Click to Tweet That!) I continued to study and attend writers conferences, something I enjoyed because writers understand one another. However being an introvert, it was painful to share.

A Break for Linda Sawyer

Then my first break came when a dear friend who worked at the United Methodist Publishing House read my book and passed it on to the department starting a new line of Christian novels.

M
y hands shook and my voice quivered the day I met the publisher. She liked the content and wanted to know about my platform. I’m a writer, not some social media bug, I thought. She quickly helped me understand I would get nowhere without a platform.
 

D
aunted, but determined, I continued to learn and write: three more novels, several short stories, some essays and the memoir I’m working on. I did well in contests and even got published on the Writer’s Digest Internet short short story contest.

A Platform for Linda

Still, at writing conferences publishers kept asking about my platform.

So, just over a year ago I opened a Facebook account and began making new friends and keeping in contact with those I met at conferences.

Then last fall I plowed into the world of Instagram and hired a professional to design a website/blog for me. After nine months with my readership growing, three acquisition editors at a conference wanted to see my synopsis and first three chapters. We’ll see how that goes.

Advice from Linda

My advice for fellow writers is to keep improving your craft, be faithful about writing and don’t let discouragement stop you from what God has called you to do. He has a plan for your work and my work. I truly believe it.

Where You Can Find Linda Sawyer


A Million Yarns is a blog collection of one woman’s stories of faith, adventure and the beauty in the everyday.

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Lord, You are the Word, the Everlasting Word. We praise and glorify Your Name above all the Earth. You’ve given Linda Sawyer words to uplift others with the beauty in the everyday—a million yarns. Will You bless her now with her dream of a published novel that lifts Your name through the beauty of words?
We pray You’ll bless her every word for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

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Let’s Chat! Author Belle Calhoune

Welcome, Everyone! Welcome, Belle Calhoune! 

This week we’re chatting with inspirational romance author, Belle Calhoune. Belle’s offeringprizes, so be sure to read to the bottom and put in your 2 cents worth. I’ll announce the winners next Tuesday, the 19th, here on the blog and on Facebook.

Who Is Belle Calhoune?

I grew up one of five children, the daughter of a Massachusetts physician and a biologist. A public library sat across the street from our house and influenced my future hugely. Entranced by the literary world, particularly romance and mystery novels, I developed a hunger for books.

I met my husband, Randy, at Syracuse University. I worked 13 years as a Federal Investigator with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Boston, Massachusetts. It was a wonderful job, and I was able to help a lot of people struggling with discrimination in employment. I worked from home a few days a week which was nice with a small daughter. After my second daughter arrived, we moved to Connecticut and I began to pursue my writing dreams.

How Belle Calhoune Became a Writer

I wrote for many years, but I didn’t pitch to publishers. Long before I sold my first book, I wrote a romance novel during my maternity leave from my EEOC job. I received a letter back stating the premise was interesting, but it wasn’t right for this particular publisher.

Returning to work, I halted my writing dreams, but I continued to write in my rare downtime. Besides full-time employment, I was rearing a toddler, and my husband was studying in law school. I suspect a part of me feared rejection. In retrospect, my fear held me back because every time a writer submits a manuscript he or she learns from the process. You progress. Take chances. You have to be in the game to succeed. No one will publish you if you keep everything under wraps. (Click to Tweet!)

Fast forward to 2012. I discovered Harlequin forums online and looked at the various pitch opportunities. How amazing that authors aspiring to write for Harlequin could have this wonderful opportunity to pitch to editors.

I saw the Love Inspired opportunity and jumped on it. As a fan of the line, I thought my writing would fit them, particularly since I love to write about small towns and cowboys. I was asked by a Love Inspired editor, Emily Rodmell, to submit a full manuscript. Happily, after a few weeks, I was offered a contract for my first book: Reunited with the Sheriff.

Belle’s Debut Experience

The Reunited with the Sheriff  experience was amazing. I had always wanted to be published with Harlequin, so it was a dream come true. Harlequin allows authors to have a say in the cover process. We provide examples of what cover we think would be a great fit. Ultimately, the art department decides which vision they wish to pursue, but it is lovely to have a say in the outcome.

Writer Life for Belle Calhoune

Since my debut, I have published roughly 30 books and novellas. I traditionally publish with Harlequin Love Inspired, but I also self-publish additional books. I enjoy writing series that feature interconnected characters. I am currently finishing up my Alaskan Grooms series for Harlequin Love Inspired.

I self-published the very popular Seven Brides, Seven Brothers series, as well as the Secrets of Savannah series. I am currently working on Seven Brides, Seven Brothers, Pelican Bay series, a spin-off of the original Seven Brides series.

I feel incredibly blessed to be able to work in my chosen profession. I love writing inspirational romance. And I truly have the most wonderful readers in the world.

Belle’s Upcoming Releases

On August 22, 2017, His Secret Alaskan Heiress, my fifth book in the Alaskan Grooms series came out in the Harlequin Love Inspired line.

In September of 2017, my Indie published boo, All This Love, will release. (Book 3 in Seven Brides, Seven Brothers Pelican Bay series)

Also in September of 2017, my sixth book in the Alaskan Grooms series, An Alaskan Christmas, comes out in the Harlequin Love Inspired line.

In March of 2018, my seventh and final book in the Alaskan Grooms Series hits shelves. It is titled Her Alaskan Cowboy.

It’s my pleasure to give away a print copy of His Secret Alaskan Heiress and An Alaskan Christmas to two readers who comment.

Where Readers Can Find Belle Calhoune

I can be found on social media in many forums such as my Author Belle Calhoune Facebook page, on twitter @BelleCalhoune, my website  and on my Belle Calhoune Bookbub page. My books can all be found on Amazon where I have a Belle Calhoune author page.

Just a Few of Belle’s Fabulous Romance Novels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lord, what a delight it has been to meet this prolific author who inspires and encourages and gives You the credit for her success. Will you hear us now as we ask Your blessing on Belle’s every word? Bless us as readers and writers, that we may see You and share You throughout this dark world. ~ For Jesus’ sake

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33 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Belle Calhoune

  1. Marilyn R

    I enjoy reading Love Inspired books. The Alaskan Groom series sounds like wonderful stories I’ll have to add to my TBR list.

     
     
    1. Hi, Marilyn. I love seeing your name among the commenters. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. You’re entered in the drawing. 🙂

       
       
    2. Belle

      Hi Marilyn. Thanks for stopping by. I had a great time writing this series. I hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to read them. Blessings.

       
       
  2. Lucy Reynolds

    I enjoy Belle’s books very much. Thank you for the review.

     
     
    1. Hi, Lucy! Great to see you joining our chat. You’re entered in the drawing. 🙂

       
       
    2. Belle

      Hi, Lucy. Thanks so much for stopping in and commenting. I so appreciate your readership. Thanks so much for your kind words.

       
       
  3. Deanne Patterson asked me to post this for her:

    I love Love Inspired books, good quality,fun books. Belle Calhoune is a great author. I would love to read these.

     
     
    1. Deanne, you’ve been patient in your persistence in getting a comment on this blog. I’m sorry about whatever’s keeping you from posting here. You’re entered in the drawing. 🙂

       
       
    2. Belle

      Awww, Deanne. What thoughtful, kind words. I so appreciate them. Keep reading! Blessings.

       
       
  4. Lanetta Goff

    I have read every book that Belle Calhoune has had published and have enjoyed every one of them. If you haven’t read her books, you really need to start. She is one of my favorite authors. I have already won one of the Alaskan Grooms novels, so I don’t think it would be fair for me to win another one in this series. I just wanted to give Belle a shout out.

     
     
    1. Hi, Lanetta. Welcome to our circle this week. Thank you so much for the shout-out to Belle. You’ve encouraged her and me both. And thank you for your generous attitude about the drawing.

       
       
    2. Belle

      Hi, Lanetta. I’m so thrilled to see you commenting. You are such a supportive reader. It’s readers like yourself who keep me going during the tough writing times. Bless you!

       
       
  5. Evangeline

    Belle is a new author to me and her books sound delightful! I would love to win one! She lived across from a library? O my, that must have been heaven on earth.:( Blessings on you as you continue to write.

     
     
    1. Hi, Evangeline. It’s just great to see you in our chat circle this week. I ditto all your comments to Belle! You’re entered in the drawing. 🙂

       
       
    2. Belle

      Hi, Evangeline. I think that was one of the best presents my parents could ever have given me. A treasure trove of books located right across the street. It was heavenly and it changed my life. Thank you for your kind words.

       
       
  6. Nancy M

    I really enjoy her books! If you haven’t read any yet, you really should! I need her latest!

     
     
    1. Hi, Nancy. Welcome to our chat circle. So glad you’ve enjoyed Belle’s books and are looking forward to her latest. You’re entered in the drawing. 🙂

       
       
    2. Belle

      Hi, Nancy. Great to see you over here. You’re such a wonderful supporter of authors. That means a lot! Blessings!

       
       
  7. Paula

    I love that you grew up across from a library! That must have been so much fun! You seem like a person that quietly won’t let go of an idea! Perseverance! Continued success! I would live to win a copy of your book! Thanks!

     
     
    1. Welcome, Paula. Thanks so much for joining the chat and leaving a comment. You’ve encouraged Belle and me both. You’re entered in the drawing. P.S. I ditto your comments to Belle.

       
       
    2. Belle

      Hi, Paula. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It was a very cool thing indeed to grow up across the street from a public library. It really fueled my writing dreams. I don’t believe things happen by accident in our lives. It was meant to be. Blessings!

       
       
  8. Patricia Bennett Barber

    New to me but would love to read them all!!

     
     
    1. Hi, Patricia. I love that you’ve stopped by and joined our chat. Thank you. I, too, am eager to read Belle’s books. You’re entered in the drawing. 🙂

       
       
    2. Belle

      Hi, Patricia. Thanks for stopping in and commenting. Good luck on the drawing. Blessings.

       
       
  9. Ann Ellison

    New to me author. Her books look like ones I would enjoy.

     
     
    1. Hi, Ann. So good to have you stop by. I agree with you—I’m eager to read Belle! You’re entered in the drawing. 🙂

       
       
    2. Belle

      Hi, Ann. Welcome! Thanks for popping in and leaving a comment. I really hope you get a chance to read the series. There’s a lot of romance in Love, Alaska. Blessings.

       
       
  10. Susan Snodgrass

    I’ve never read her books, but would love a chance to win one.

     
     
    1. Great to see you in our circle, Susan. Thanks for taking the time to participate. You’re entered in the drawing!

       
       
    2. Belle

      Hi, Susan. Thanks for stopping in. Good luck on the drawing. If you happen to win, I truly hope you enjoy the journey to Love, Alaska. Blessings.

       
       
  11. Becky Smith

    Please don’t include me in the giveaway because I already have and have read these books! I found Belle Calhoune when I started reading her Seven Brides, Seven Brothers series, and I could hardly wait for the next one to come out! I hope you have many comments and new readers find you. They will be blessed!!

     
     
    1. What a terrific endorsement, Becky. So glad you joined the chat. Love seeing you here.

       
       
    2. Belle

      Hi, Becky. Thanks for stopping by. Becky! You’re the absolute best. A dream of a reader. Your support and kind words mean the world to me. Blessings.

       
       

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