Let’s Chat! Author Elaine Manders

Welcome, Everyone!

Elaine Manders delights readers with her historical romances. This week Elaine tells us about her latest release, Revealed, Book 3 in her Intrigue Under Western Skies series. Be sure to check out her giveaway offer below

**Congratulations to Cheryl Baranski, winner of Elaine’s giveaway this past week—a $10 Amazon gift card!** 

Revealed by Author Elaine Manders

Elaine MandersI wrote Revealed to answer an unresolved mystery from Books 1 and 2. What happened to Rhyan Cason’s mother? And to give Colt Holliman (Rhyan’s friend) a love interest. The spiritual themes are judgment and forgiveness.

As with most of my stories, unseen enemies, physical and spiritual, hound the protagonists, but they aren’t revealed until the end.

The Story Begins

Elaine MandersThe story opens in Charleston, South Carolina, where Katherine Levinson has led the idealistic life of a post-civil war Southern belle until her father dies unexpectedly.

Katherine and her gravely ill mother lose their home, and, behind her mother’s back, she contacts the brother she’s never met, Rhyan Cason, the famous cattle baron.

The Story Unfolds

Elaine MandersWhen they move to Nebraska and Rhyan’s sprawling ranch, Sollano, questions arise over Katherine’s legal status as an heiress to the Cason estate. Old sins are uncovered, turning the townfolk against Katherine and her mother.

Elaine MandersNo one understands Katherine’s resentment and confusion except Colt. His modest horse ranch, the Double Bar H, appeals to her more than Sollano’s opulence.

Love and Faith Bloom

Elaine MandersTheir attraction grows, and Colt finds himself spiritually conflicted. He has promised to wait for another woman to finish her contract with the Wild West Show to announce their engagement. Following his heart would require him to break that commitment, but a sense of honor holds him back. In time, he realizes withholding his true feelings is a form of dishonesty that leads to dire consequences.

I can’t go any further into Revealed or I might give the plot away. I will say, Colt and Katherine are drawn together and face an unexpected danger that tests their love and their faith in God, and a prairie fire is a part of that danger.

Insights From Elaine Manders

One of the greatest joys of writing a new book is discovering a new spiritual truth—something that jumps out at me unexpectedly. This is the lesson I found in Revealed. Katherine is explaining to her friend, Maggie, why she won’t judge others, even those misjudging her. “We don’t have the ability to judge others, Maggie. When we do, we’re playing God, and that’s a dangerous thing to do.”

Elaine MandersThat was a real eye-opener for me. Yes, I’d always known it was wrong to judge others, even though we have to consider their fruit, but I never asked, “why?” It’s obvious, isn’t it? We can’t see into a person’s heart. We don’t know their background—and more important—we don’t know God’s purpose for them. In other words, we can’t play God. And it is dangerous, because the Bible says we’ll be judged by the same measure we use to judge others.

A Giveaway from Elaine Manders

Join our conversation below, and you’ll be entered in Elaine’s drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card. We’re looking forward to your comments!

How to Find Elaine Manders

Amazon
Facebook
Twitter  @ehmanders
Website

Elaine Manders
Book 1: Intrigue Under Western Skies series by Elaine Manders
Book 2: Intrigue Under Western Skies series by Elaine Manders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Father God, You are the Creator, the Sustainer, and the only wise Judge. We confess we often attempt to act as judge in Your place. For this we ask Your forgiveness. We’re thankful for Elaine’s novel, Revealed, which entertains, enlightens, and convicts. Please bless every single word she writes for You. 
~ For Jesus’ sake

15 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Elaine Manders

  1. Elaine Manders

    Thanks everyone for your comments. And thank you, Linda for sharing my thoughts and book. I really enjoyed it.

     
     
  2. Cheryl Baranski

    This is something that I need reminding of from time to time.

     
     
    1. So true for all of us, Cheryl. Thanks for joining our gathering. Please come back.

       
       
  3. Perrianne Askew

    It’s a good reminder to ourselves about judgement. It’s best that we not judge his creation…no matter where they stand and whatever their circumstances. If we thought about it that way maybe we would be more careful about judging….especially since we’re not mind readers either.

     
     
    1. Ditto, Perianne. Thanks so much for visiting with us.

       
       
  4. Lucy Reynolds

    I always say walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you judge them as we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.

     
     
    1. Amen, Lucy. (Walk a mile in their house slippers 🙂

       
       
  5. Love this quote. “One of the greatest joys of writing a new book is discovering a new spiritual truth—something that jumps out at me unexpectedly.”
    It’s an amazing moment!
    Great interview, ladies!

     
     
    1. Amen, Gail.

       
       
  6. Marilyn R

    Hello Linda and Elaine, I have read Elaine’s books and look forward to reading Revealed. Readers will enjoy the research she does prior to writing and the spiritual lessons that can be obtained. Blessings to you both for an amazing week. God bless.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Marilyn.

       
       
  7. Elaine Manders

    Thanks for hosting me, Linda. I love your blog posts.

     
     
    1. It’s my honor and privilege, Elaine.

       
       
  8. Faith Creech

    I agree. I always remember the Bible verses in James that tell us not to judge others. That is a hard one for me for I find myself judging others in my heart. I always have to confess that sin!
    Your books look very interesting! Thanks for a chance to win!

     
     
    1. Amen, Faith. I do too.

       
       

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Let’s Chat! Crystal Joy

Welcome, Readers!

Crystal JoyI‘m very happy to re-introduce you to author Crystal Joy, who labels her contemporary sweet romances as deep-rooted romance.

Crystal is guest blogging this week about her new release, Shackled Heart

**Crystal is offering an ebook copy of Shackled Heart to someone who comments below!**

**Congratulations to Susan Snodgrass & Ann Ellison, winners of Shackled Heart drawing!**

Take It Away, Author Crystal Joy!

I’m so excited to talk about my latest release, Shackled Heart! It’s a contemporary romance novel that took me seven years to write and publish. Sharing this novel with readers is a dream come true! (Click to Tweet!)

Crystal Joy’s “What Ifs…” That Birthed Shackled Heart 

Charlie Grimm was in my head for a long time before I wrote the first draft of Shackled Heart. At first, I wanted him to be a man who had to go back to his small Iowa town, but didn’t want to. I wondered, what would make him not want to go home? Here was my thought process: Maybe he’s haunted by the past mistakes he made when he’d last lived in Maple Valley. What if he committed a crime there? If he committed a crime, then he would’ve gone to prison. If he went to prison, what kind of crime did he commit

Shackled Heart and Author Crystal Joy

The novel begins when Charlie is still in prison, waiting for his parole meeting. It took a lot of initial research to develop Charlie’s perspective. I’ve always been a rule-follower, or in other words a goody-too-shoes. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to commit a crime and live in prison for several years. (Click to Tweet!)

Shackled Heart Gets Personal for Crystal Joy


T
hen life intervened. After I wrote the second draft, someone I love went to prison. Suddenly, I had a close-hand look at what a person goes through while incarcerated. As a result, I put Shackled Heart away for a while. I couldn’t separate my life from Charlie’s story and it hurt too much to write the book. (Click to Tweet!)

Eventually, as the shock and pain lessened, Charlie’s story still tugged at my heart, and I knew it was a book I wanted to publish. (Click to Tweet!)

The Story Takes Shape

Enter Mackenna Christensen (nicknamed Mac). She’s the heroine of the novel and Charlie’s parole officer. Thankfully, the research for her character was much easier because my dad was a parole officer. I could call him at any time and ask him questions. Fun story—I was talking to him on the phone and asking him a question about parole when I went into labor with my son. I’ll never forget that moment!

Even though the research was easier, Mac’s character was initially hard for me to relate to. She grew up with two alcoholic parents who didn’t love her. Her idea of love is very jaded and she believes love can’t possibly exist; otherwise, why wouldn’t her parents love her? In her mind, to believe in love would mean that she is unlovable. (Click to Tweet!)

Author Crystal Joy’s Journey to Understanding Her Characters

Mac is very different from me, but when the person I love went to prison, I grew to understand her character arc—experiencing her anger, compassion, and love for Charlie (not that she views it as love, at first). Once I understood both characters, I wrote two more drafts and went through multiple revisions and edits.

Like I said earlier, sharing Shackled Heart with readers is a dream come true. Charlie and Mac’s story is very dear to my heart because of the personal experiences I’ve had over the last few years. This may sound odd, but writing those initial drafts truly prepared me for real-world experiences. (Click to Tweet!)

From the very beginning, Charlie’s story was meant to be about loving someone despite their past mistakes. I hope that readers can see and feel this as they read the novel. All too often, society quickly labels someone once they’ve made mistakes. They are a prisoner, criminal, liar, thief, murderer, or a “bad guy.” But they are so much more. They are a person, they are human, and just because mistakes landed them in prison doesn’t mean they are unworthy of our love and compassion.

I hope Charlie and Mac’s story shows the stilting power of guilt, the necessity of forgiveness, and the beauty of falling in love. (Click to Tweet!)

A Synopsis of Shackled Heart

 After losing his wife in a horrific car accident, Charlie Grimm believes that he deserves to pay for the life he stole. Haunted by his irreversible mistakes, Charlie vows he’ll never fall in love again, and who could see past his criminal conviction anyway?

MacKenna Christensen strives to support all of her parolees. But when she discovers Charlie is her client, she refuses to help him. She can never erase the gruesome images of his wife’s death. Yet when she sees Charlie’s anguish, she realizes he’s not the reckless monster she imagined.

As the disdain between Charlie and Mac turns to desire, guilt tears them apart. Is Mac willing to take a chance on a client at the risk of losing her job? Can Charlie forgive himself and open his heart to Mac, or will she become one more regret?

About Author Crystal Joy

Crystal Joy lives in Iowa with her family. She has two young children, who love playing with dolls, building blocks, and riding bikes. When she has a free moment with her husband, they love to dance awkwardly, watch reality TV, and visit real locations from their favorite books.

You can learn more about Crystal Joy at her website www.crystaljoybooks.com. If you want to sign up for her newsletter, “From My Heart to Yours,” you’ll receive exclusive giveaways, opportunities to enter contests, and noteworthy news. Click on this link to sign up: http://eepurl.com/cHgfZ9

You can also connect with her at:

Crystal@Crystaljoybooks.com

facebook.com/profile.php?id=14817699

twitter.com/CrystalJoyBooks

pinterest.com/crystaljoybooks

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Lord, how marvelous are Your ways in all of Earth. You promise to straighten our crooked paths and remove the rocks along our way. Crystal Joy serves as a beautiful example of a young woman who has held to Your promises. We pray You will expand her territory and bless every single word she writes for You. 

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8 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Crystal Joy

  1. Ann Ellison

    A new to me author and her book sounds like a good one.

     
     
    1. Yes! Her personal connection to the “shackled” concept makes it very special. Thanks for stopping by, Ann. 🙂

       
       
    2. Thanks, Ann! I hope you enjoy reading my books!

       
       
  2. Susan Snodgrass

    Sounds good!

     
     
    1. Yes! Thanks for joining us, Susan!

       
       
    2. Thanks, Susan! I hope you enjoy reading Shackled Heart!

       
       
  3. Crystal, may I live with you? You are so lovely, inside and out. I just want to be around you 😊 Maybe some of you will rub off on me—like angel dust. Can’t wait to read Shackled Heart!

     
     
    1. Yes, of course, Linda! Please join me in Iowa. Thank you for your kind words. I’m excited for you to read Shackled Heart! Thank you again for hosting me on your amazing website.

       
       

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