Welcome, Everyone! Welcome, Belle Calhoune!
This week we’re chatting with inspirational romance author, Belle Calhoune. Belle’s offering 2 prizes, 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.
Congratulations to Deanne Patterson and Patricia Bennett Barber, winner’s of last week’s drawing for two of Belle Calhoune’s books: His Secret Alaskan Heiress and An Alaskan Christmas!
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
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