Let’s Chat! Pat Nichols

Welcome, everyone!


Meet Pat Nichols, our guest author this week. Pat describes her first novel, The Secret of Willow Inn, as “contemporary women’s fiction with a touch of cozy mystery.”

Oooooo. Intriguing.

Pat is offering a print copy of The Secret of Willow Inn to someone who joins our conversation below. So gather ’round. Let’s encourage one another. 

Pat Nichols Before Writing

My life began in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois with two wonderful parents and later a sister. When I was in third grade we moved to Orlando, Florida, where years later I married Tim, my high-school-sweetheart.

When our son and daughter were toddlers, I became an Avon Representative to supplement our income. In 1978, following seven years as an independent representative, I was hired as a district sales manager. Three years later Avon promoted me to division sales manager and moved our family to Atlanta, Georgia. I spent the next twenty-four years in seven different management positions working with hundreds of amazing women throughout the US.

Tim and I retired the same day in 2005. We finished decorating our home and ticked off every item on our travel bucket list. Our favorite destination, Venice, Italy. During the next few years, I engaged in volunteer work, served on three boards, and spent time with our three grandchildren.

Pat Nichols, the Writer


T
he tragic loss of our God-daughter compelled me to write a story about her life, but with a happy ending. The experience watered a seed planted years earlier and launched career number two. Now I’m proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams or fulfill God’s calling.

How Pat Nichols Began as an Author

I’d heard it takes an average of ten years for an author to land a first publishing contract. Having begun my writing journey after becoming eligible for social security, I needed to shave as much off that time as possible. For three years, my time split between studying the craft, attending conferences, connecting with authors, and writing a second novel. I pitched those first two books to seven agents and publishers and received seven rejections.

One benefit that comes with age is the ability to view rejection and disappointment as opportunity. I took the feedback from those agents and publishers to heart and fleshed out a new idea. A series about two women, strangers from different backgrounds, and a convicted felon returning to the scene of her crime.

How Pat Nichols Grew as an Author


I
visualized the characters, the way they looked, their personalities and their history. Next came a decision about the settings. A small town struggling to survive and a big, bustling metropolis. Because I live thirty miles from downtown Atlanta, I chose it as the city. Although I’m old enough to remember slide rules, I’m grateful modern technology allows me to conduct research from my living room. Not that I don’t like to get out and about. It’s simply a more efficient use of time.

When it came to the second setting, I wanted to create a community I could conform to the story. It began with century-old storefronts facing a lakeside park and a block-long section graced with seven southern-style, antebellum homes. An abandoned hotel and historical general store completed the scene. It was time to breathe life into Emily, Rachel, and Sadie.

A Debut for Pat Nichols


F
our years after first typing Chapter One, I signed a contract with Guiding Light, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas imprint. The Secret of Willow Inn—book one in the Willow Falls Series releases January 10, 2019. Book two releases January, 2020.

The discipline, goal setting, and multi-tasking I learned during my corporate life is serving me well in my writing career. The biggest learning curve has been marketing and social media. Thank goodness I have grandchildren to answer my technical questions.  

What’s Next for Pat Nichols?

My goal is to publish at least ten books before God takes me home. My current work-in-progress is Willow Falls Series book three. Emily, Rachel, and Sadie have become so much a part of my life I sometimes want to invite them to dinner.

What’s next? Willow Falls book four, a possible rewrite of my first novel, and a Christmas novella. I thank God for planting the seed and opening the door to this wonderful, world of writing. I pray my journey will encourage others to follow their dreams and view age as a precious gift.

How to Find Pat Nichols

~ ~ ~

Dear Lord, Pat’s life story illustrates how You give Your children dreams and callings and set their feet on paths to reach them. We can see Your hand in Pat’s life and in her journey to publication. How faithful You are. Thank You for Your faithfulness to every generation. We pray You’ll bless each word she writes to Your glory.
~ For Jesus’ sake

 

23 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Pat Nichols

  1. Debbey

    Isn’t God great. I so enjoyed your “chat” and learning of your writing journey. I am looking forward to reading the Willow Falls series…all 10 of them! I agree with you, age is God’s gift to us. It is just a number. We can definitely do all things through Christ. By the way, I am in the midst of my 40th year teaching!

     
     
    1. Hi Debby,
      Wow, 40th year teaching. That’s awesome. My mother and sister were teachers and one of my corporate positions was trainer. So we have a lot in common. And you’re right, age is just a number. I hope you enjoy The Secret of Willow Inn.

       
       
  2. Tammy

    I totally enjoyed getting to know you. I live about 2 hours from Atlanta in North GA. This book sounds amazing. Thanks for the chance.

    Tighefan42atgmail dotcom

     
     
    1. Hi Tammy,
      I love north Georgia, which is why I created Willow Falls in that part of the state. I hope you enjoy the book. Perhaps our paths will cross one day.

       
       
  3. Sonnetta Jones

    I love how your goal is to write 10 books before God takes you home. I will be working on my vision board tomorrow and I am excited for what God will place on my heart and what the Holy Sprirt will prompt me to do tomorrow.

     
     
    1. Hi Sonnetta,
      Amazing things happen when we follow God’s nudging. He gives us strength we in our weaknesses.

       
       
  4. Lydia Rodruguez

    I am going to read your book sounds like I could also invite your characters for lunch . I especially like how I can feel your faith
    for God, keep writing and may God bless you .

     
     
    1. Hi Lydia,
      I’m delighted you plan to read The Secret of Willow Inn. Thank you for your encouragement and blessing, both mean a lot. I wish you well in all you do.

       
       
  5. Maryann

    It was wonderful getting to know Pat. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into both your writing and personal life. This sounds like a wonderful series with enjoyable characters. You brought back some memories as I remember how my late sister loved being an Avon lady too!

     
     
    1. Welcome, Maryann. Thanks for joining our circle.

       
       
    2. Hi Maryann,
      You’re welcome. I’ve enjoyed watching my characters develop through the first, second and now third book. I wonder if your sister’s path and mine crossed when she was an Avon lady? It’s possible, because I worked in 4 different divisions in 4 states during my career.

       
       
  6. Linda

    I bet I have met you in Atlanta at an Avon conference. I was in the Honor Society so I got to go to Atlanta several times! Looking forward to your books!

     
     
    1. What a neat connection, Linda. Great to welcome you to the circle.

       
       
    2. Oh my gosh, it’s quite possible we did meet. Honor Society, that’s awesome. I loved working with Avon representatives.

       
       
  7. Alison Boss

    Thank you, Pat, for sharing your writing journey with us! It is wonderful to see God work and see His plan unfold as we wait on Him. Though at times that waiting can be very hard, God proves Himself faithful time and time again! Your book, The Secret of Willow Inn, sounds very good!! I love a good mystery! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book!! 🙂

     
     
    1. My pleasure, Alison and thank you for your insightful comments.

       
       
    2. Welcome, Alison. Amen. God does, indeed, prove Himself faithful. Thank you for commenting.

       
       
  8. Great to learn more about Pat and her writing journey. Thank you for the encouragement.

     
     
    1. Thank you for commenting, Melissa. I wish you much success on your journey.

       
       
    2. Welcome, Melissa. I agree. Pat’s message encourages. Thank you for joining our circle.

       
       
  9. Belinda

    Amen! What a beautiful inspiration!

     
     
    1. Thank you for commenting, Belinda. Blessings as you pursue your dreams.

       
       
    2. Yes. Both beautiful and inspiration apply to Pat. Thanks much for joining us, Belinda.

       
       

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Let’s Chat! Author Martha Rogers

Welcome, everyone!

Martha Rogers, author of historical and contemporary romance novels, is joining our chat circle this week. Welcome, Martha! We’re delighted to have you.

Martha’s giving away to someone who joins the conversation below their choice of a print copy of Christmas at Stoney Creek, which is set in Texas in the 1890s, or an ebook of Thanksgiving in the Valley. So comment below, and you might be the blessed winner of one of these lovely stories.

Martha’s Roots

First, thank you, Linda, for inviting me to your blog.

Martha’s Growing Up Years: Dallas, Texas


I was born in Dallas, Texas 82 years ago and was my parents’ first child and the first grandchild on each side. I have a younger sister and brother who still live in the Ft. Worth-Dallas area. I attended Kindergarten through grade twelve in Dallas. In fact, my family never lived anywhere but in Dallas.

Martha’s Young Adult Years: Waco, Texas

After high school graduation, I attended Baylor University where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a minor in English. My days at Baylor were full of fun as I participated in as many activities as I could and still do my studies. I liked to talk, socialize, and play pranks.


M
any times I found myself on the borderline for being “Campused” which meant I could not leave the campus for the rest of the semester and restricted to the dorm with only my classes to attend. Never made that list because I knew the limit and never crossed it.

I had never lived outside of Dallas until going to Baylor, and when I graduated in 1957, I accepted a job in Houston and have lived here ever since.

Martha Meets Her Man

I met my husband at First Baptist Church in Houston in 1959, and we married that year. We remain members of that church even today. I attended the University of Houston and earned my Master’s of Education and went on to teach at the college level for eight years.

Martha Rears a Family

We have three sons and daughters-in-law. The oldest lives in Waco, Texas, the middle one is here in Houston, and the youngest lives with his family in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They have given us nine grandchildren. The youngest grandson is a sophomore in high school. Our two oldest granddaughters are married and have given us five great-grandchildren.

Last fall, our third oldest grandson married and our family grew. Here we all are at the wedding in San Antonio, Texas, the bride’s home town. Our fifth great-grandchild joined the family in July of this year. Her name is Hailey Kate and we think she’s adorable.

Then last December, we had a snowfall that actually stayed around, a rarity in Houston. Here is our house with the snow. The trees kept the ground from being fully covered. We’ve lived in this house for forty-three years now.

Martha Rogers, the Writer

I began writing and telling stories as a young child and wrote my first novel at age seventeen while at Baylor. I wrote short stories and filed them away, but never did anything with them. While teaching a creative writing class for high school students, I decided to write the book I’d been making notes on for several years. I wrote mainly in the summers because English teachers have very little time after grading papers for 150 or so students.

Naomi Musch

I signed with an agent in the early 1990’s, but got nothing but rejections. We parted ways after three years. I continued writing and attended many writing conferences including Mount Hermann and the American Christian Romance Writers then later when it became ACFW. At an ACRW conference in 2001, I met and signed with my present agent, Tamela Hancock Murray.

Martha Rogers, the Author

My critique partners, DiAnn Mills, Kathleen Y’Barbo, and Janice Thompson, decided we needed a collection of stories to submit for a collection. In 2007, Barbour published Sugar and Grits. This was one of the most fun books I’ve ever written.

I had nothing else accepted, but Tamela Hancock Murray, my agent, continued to send out my manuscripts. DiAnn, Janice, and Kathleen helped me come up with the title for a series I wanted to write and the title of the first book.

Martha Rogers Celebrates

Finally, in 2009, on my seventy-third birthday, Tamela called with the news the first manuscript, Becoming Lucy had been accepted. After the first manuscript, they sent a contract for the rest of the series that ended up being six books. The series, Winds Across the Prairie, is still available today. Lucy became a CPA best seller as did the sixth in the series, Christmas at Holly Hill.

After that first series, I contracted for two more of four books each. Now I have published fifty novels and novellas and have contracts for more in 2019. My newest releases are for two historical Thanksgiving and Christmas books, and two other contemporary ones.

I am now working on a cozy mystery for a series titled Spring Hill Sleuths. It’s set in a retirement community and my main character is in her 70’s and is much like Miss Marple or Jessica Fletcher. Her cohorts include a retired lawyer and a retired police detective. It’s a lot of fun to write with a number of quirky characters.

Martha’s Plans for the Future

I’m planning on writing as long as the Lord allows and gives me ideas. God is my Master Creator and fills my head with ideas. He has walked with me though my own cancer and my husband’s heart attack and his battle with melanoma. Without my Lord, I am as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

Martha’s Give-Away

This is the print book I’m giving away. Christmas at Stoney Creek is set in Texas in the 1890’s. Although entirely fiction, the hero is named for my grandfather who was a newspaperman.

Blurb: News reporter Tom Whiteman befriends a homeless man, Joe, and brings him home to Stoney Creek. Tom’s journalistic instincts suggest there’s more to the old man than appearances tell. A carpenter by trade, Joe works at odd jobs around town and makes many new friends including Faith Delmont, a girl who grew up with Tom. Contradictions in the man’s manners and way of speaking whet Tom’s nose for news and raises even more questions. As he and Faith seek the truth, they learn that God’s love can turn tragedy and loss to triumph and true love comes to those who seek it.    

If you prefer an E-book, then I have Thanksgiving in the Valley for you.

Blurb: Travis fell in love with Violet when she was fourteen. Now, ten years later, he returns to Ridgewood Valley as a lawman and still loves her. Violet has always loved Travis and when he returns from serving in the U.S. Cavalry, her love grows. Because she’s a preacher’s daughter, and he has less than stellar reputation while in the cavalry, he doesn’t feel worthy of Violet’s love and tries to avoid her. A few days before Thanksgiving, while he is away on a man hunt, Violet is shot during an attempted robbery of the church’s offerings. When Travis returns to town learns of Violet’s injuries, he realizes he can’t live without her. Will this Thanksgiving Day be one of great blessings for these two hearts? 

How to Find Martha Rogers & Her Books

Martha Rogers Author Facebook page

Website 

Twitter: @martharogers2 

Amazon for all of my books 

~ ~ ~

Lord, You are the eternal time setter. You know the times, the seasons, the hours, and the days, and you have from the beginning. How inspiring Martha’s story of Your giving her a family to rear and then placing a pen in her hand to write stories about Your amazing love and grace. Please bless each word Martha writes for you.
~ For Jesus’ sake

24 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Martha Rogers

  1. I’ve been an avid Martha Rogers fan since Sugar and Grits. Spring Hill Sleuths promises to be another great read, too.

     
     
    1. Thanks, Linda. It’s fun writing about older characters and adding a few quirks and fun for them. Book 2, The Case of the Missing Pearls should be out in January.

       
       
  2. Thanks for stopping by, Alison. It was fun chatting with you on Facebook last night.

     
     
  3. Alison Boss

    Martha, I so enjoyed reading about your life and your writing journey! The Lord has truly gifted you and blessed you! I was just perusing through all your books that you have listed on Amazon…7 pages worth!! That is awesome! So many delightful reads!! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of your book, Christmas at Stoney Creek! I love Christmas stories and this sounds sooo good!

     
     
  4. Marilyn R

    A beautiful and full life for you, Martha. What a blessing with all your family being together and another special great granddaughter to love. I look forward to reading your books. They sound like ones I’ll enjoy. Christian Historical Fiction is a favorite.
    Linda and Martha, have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving with loved ones. God is good all the time.

     
     
    1. Thank you Marilyn. May your Thanksgiving be blessed as well.

       
       
  5. Susanne

    All of these books sound like great reads!

     
     
  6. Shelia Hall

    both books sound great. Love to win Christmas at Stoney Creek.

     
     
  7. SARAH TAYLOR

    Hi Martha Thank You for sharing You are new to me Would Love to read Your book Christmas At Stoney Creek! Your Great Granddaughter is Adorable! Happy Thanksgiving!

     
     
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sarah. This Christmas book was fun to write using my grandfather as the model for the hero. May you have a Happy Thanksgiving as well.

       
       
    2. I forgot to add, Sarah that was my great-grandmother’s name. They called her Sallie for some reason even though her name was Sarah Louise. She’s the mother of the hero in Stoney Creek.

       
       
      1. I have never understood why, by Sally/Sallie has always been the nickname for Sarah. I’ve known others. It’s cute.

         
         
  8. Faith Creech

    I also went to Baylor and absolutely loved my time there. Still follow the Baylor the Bears!! Thanks for the chance to win!

     
     
    1. Yay! Another Baylor Bear! I wrote my first full length novel as a freshman living on the 4th floor of Alexander Hall. I graduated in 1957, so I’m a Heritage Club member now. 🙂

       
       
  9. Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds

    Thank you for sharing. Enjoyed reading. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

     
     
    1. You too, Lucy. I love this time of year. Thanks for stopping by.

       
       
  10. Seems like it took forever, Perrianne, but it was all in God’s timing. He knew when I’d be ready.

     
     
  11. Patty, the first book of the series, Mulch Ado About Murder is available on Amazon for Kindle or as a paperback. https://amzn.to/2zUNcDf

     
     
  12. Paula, I hope your daughter likes Dallas. That’s where my youngest daughter-in-law lived. She and our youngest son are now in Tulsa. I love that town. Thanks for stopping by.

     
     
  13. Paula Shreckhise

    My daughter and her family are moving to Dallas soon. She lives near Tulsa, Oklahoma presently.
    These books sound great! I like your biography. I’m glad you found an agent that worked for you. She seems like a nice fit. I see her name credited by some of my favorite authors. Happy Thanksgiving! paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

     
     
  14. Perrianne Askew

    Thank you for filling us in on how you got your start writing. You are an extremely patient woman! But the story goes that Texas women are tough. I wasn’t born in Texas but got here as fast as I could. My hubby and two sons are native Texans.

     
     
  15. Patricia Bennett Barber

    Hi, your new to me but this book sounds great..i want to read it!!

     
     
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Patricia. I always love it when new readers come on board.

       
       
  16. Patty

    Spring Hill Sleuths sounds like a fun upcoming series. I haven’t read many cozy mysteries, but that sounds like a cute setting/premise.
    Christmas at Stoney Creek sounds more like my typical read, I would love to win a copy.

     
     

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