Merrillee Whren Let’s Chat!

Welcome, Everyone!

Merillee Whren_ Merrillee Whren joins us this week. I’m super excited to introduce you.  Merrillee writes inspirational romances and won the 2003 RWA Golden Heart© Award and the RT Reviewers Choice Award. She wrote for several years for Love Inspired and now is an established and successful independent novelist.

Merrillee is offering an ebook of her latest, A Place to Call Home, to someone who joins our conversation here on the blog.

Now . . . Here’s Merillee . . . 

P.S. The winner of Merrillee’s drawing is Trudy Cordle!

Merrillee Whren Before Authorship

Merrillee Whren_
ve been an author from the time I learned to read and write. I’ve always loved to tell stories but not necessarily for publication. I grew up in South Dakota, Montana, and Washington State. I graduated from Dakota Bible College and Milligan College.

My husband and met and married in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I was an elementary school teacher. 40 years later we enjoy two grown daughters and two granddaughters.

Merrillee Whren’s Writing Journey

Merrillee Whren_ I first started to write with publication in mind, I often thought I wanted to write children’s books, but my heart was in romance. I love a good love story with a happy ending.

I wrote and submitted manuscripts for twenty years before I made my first sale to Steeple Hill Books, which is now known as Harlequin Love Inspired. The Heart’s Homecoming was released in August of 2005. I wrote 13 more books for Love Inspired before I started my indie publishing journey.

Merrillee Whren: What’s Up With You Now?

As I mentioned in the last question, I wrote 14 books for Love Inspired and have received the rights back to 10 of those books. I am republishing them with updates and new covers.

Merrillee Whren_
y Kellerville series, published by Love Inspired, has been reissued as the Kellersburg series. That was my original name for the fictional town, but it was changed because of an editorial snafu. The books in the series are Hometown Promise, Hometown Proposal, and Hometown Dad.

Merrillee Whren
m in the process of reissuing the Dalton Brothers series. Wade’s story is Four Little Blessings. Matt’s story is Country Blessings. Peter’s story is Homecoming Blessings, which is now up for preorder for 99 cents. Before starting my republishing, I wrote 5 books in my Front Porch Promises series. I intend to publish one more book in that series.

Merrillee Whren_

How to Find Merrillee Whren

You can find my books and purchase links on my website on my books page.


Twitter: @MerrilleeWhren 


A Merrillee Whren Giveaway

Merrillee Whren_
will give away an ebook copy of the first book in my Front Porch Promises series, A Place to Call Home. 

~ ~ ~

Lord, Your paths for us sometimes take curves, switchbacks, and u-turns. Sometimes we reach dead-ends. How glorious to know we can trust You to get us through mazes and back on the road You’ve laid out for us. Authors often find an apparent end to be an unexpected beginning. We pray You’ll bless Merrillee in her independent publishing endeavors. Please bless each word she writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

31 thoughts on “Merrillee Whren Let’s Chat!

  1. Mary Treadwell

    Are all your books self published or small press published? If so, what do you feel has been your biggest challenge? I love indie authors! Some of my best friends are indies.

  2. Trudy

    The book looks really good! All of them sound great! I just found another new-to-me author!

    1. Welcome, Trudy! Thanks for joining us. You’ve encouraged Merrillee and me both 🙂

  3. Faith Creech

    Thanks for the chat! Looks like a good book!

    1. Thanks, Faith. You’re welcome.

    2. Welcome, Faith! Great to see you in the circle!

  4. Gina Johnson

    Your writing touches my heart. I have been very happy with your books I have had the pleasure of reading. I already have A Place to Call Home.

    1. Welcome, Gina. Thanks for joining the chat. I know your comments encourage Merrillee.

      1. Thanks, Gina. I appreciate your kind words.

  5. Rose Blackard

    Great interview. Hope I get to read one of your books soon!

    1. Hi, Rose. Welcome to this week’s circle. You encourage us!

      1. Hi Rose,
        Thanks for stopping by. You can grab HOMECOMING BLESSINGS for just 99 cents.

  6. Joy Gibson

    Loved the chat!

    1. Welcome, Joy. It’s great to have you join us.

    2. Joy, thanks for stopping by. I glad you enjoyed what I had to say.

  7. Linda, thanks so much for hosting me.

    1. It’s my pleasure! I’m glad to highlight you and your work.

  8. Alicia

    Very nice interview, I enjoyed it and your books sound awesome, and the covers are super nice! Thank you for sharing this. God Bless you.

    1. You’re welcome, Alicia.

    2. Welcome, Alicia. Great to see you in the circle. You’re encouraged us by participating.

  9. Of all your characters is there one that has a special place in your heart? If so, why?

    1. Mary,
      It’s hard to say because it’s like saying you like one of your children better than the others. But if I have to choose, I would say Kelsey from A Baby to Call Ours. It’s a recent book, and maybe that’s why that character is fresh on my mind. When the story opens, she is very troubled. She has to work through a lot in the story. I recently learned that this book is a finalist in the Faith, Hope, and Love Reader’s Choice Award. I hope you’ll check it out.

      1. Mary Treadwell

        Congratulations! I will check it out. Sometimes a character has a way of speaking in ways you never imagined. Best wishes on your nomination.

        1. Thanks, Mary.

    2. Hi, Mary. Welcome to the chat. Great question for Merrillee.

      1. Mary treadwell


      2. Mary treadwell

        Thanks! I love to know tidbits.

        1. Welcome, Mary! Love having you in our circle.

  10. Great chat, Linda! Merrillee, it’s so nice to meet you. Your books sound amazing. 😊

    1. Hi Gail,
      I hope you’ll look for my books. My book, HOMECOMING BLESSINGS, is up for preorder at the bargain price of 99 cents.

    2. Hi, Gail. Great to have you in our circle!


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Join Our Author Chat with Dawn Kinzer

Welcome, Readers!

dawnkinzerheadshotYou’re in for a treat today. Dawn Kinzer, freelance editor and author of Sarah’s Smile and soon-to-be-released Hope’s Design, is part of a group of writers who publish the lovely blog for Christian writers, Seriously Write.

Dawn Kinzer writes fiction because she believes in the power of story to comfort, challenge, and inspire. (Tweet That!) Her work has been published in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Backyard Friends, The One Year Life Verse Devotional, A Joyful Heart: Experiencing the Light of His Love, and has been featured on the radio ministry, The Heartbeat of the Home. A mother and grandmother, Dawn lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things include dark chocolate, cinnamon, popcorn, strong coffee, good wine, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre. Readers can find her at

*** NOTE: Everyone who joined our chat with a comment or question below was eligible for a give-away of Dawn’s beautiful historical romance, Sarah’s Smile. Drum roll, please!

*** Dum-da-da-dum!

The winner of the drawing for Sarah’s Smile is Tanya Hanson.

PS. We’ll be chatting with another great author tomorrow after 12 noon. Join the chat, and you’re entered to win.

See ya’.

~ ~ ~

Dawn Kinzer’s Beginnings

img_5024It only took three words for me to fall in love with the written word. See Spot run.

You may be old enough to remember the Dick and Jane books from first grade. Somehow I knew even at six years old that learning to read would open up another world for me. (Tweet That!)


I grew up in a small rural town in Wisconsin called Prairie Farm—and significantitemsinsarah%27ssmile I mean small. The population was and remains around five hundred people. I’m third generation—my parents and both sets of grandparents grew up there and lived in town or on farms.

High School and Beyond

Although Prairie Farm was a great place to experience childhood, by the time I graduated from high school, I couldn’t wait to leave for college. I majored in biology and minored in chemistry and graduated with a BS. Although I loved literature and writing and did well in those college courses, I didn’t believe I had enough talent to be a writer.

An Unexpected Development

books-1031699_1280But while co-leading a church drama group, a friend and I were challenged to write a full-length play. We ended up writing three. I realized that writing filled a creative need like nothing else. (Tweet That!) I devoted years to studying my craft, blogging, attending writers conferences, networking with others in the industry, creating a platform, and learning all I could about publishing. Although my requested manuscripts garnered some interest from agents and publishers, they never made it all the way to a contract offer.

Changes of Direction

direction-sign_directory-1161965_1280In the meantime, I grew weary of working for companies who valued profits over  customers or employees. Along the way, I realized that I had a knack for editing—and I enjoyed it. So, I spent a year learning important business practices, taking classes on editing and honing my skills, and gleaning what other freelance editors had experienced before leaving the corporate world seven years ago and launching my own business, Faithfully Write Editing.

How did Dawn Kinzer get here?

sarah%27ssmilecoverThere was a time when I thought I would never self-publish. You know the saying. Never say never. Yes, I’ve gone down the indie path. Sarah’s Smile, the first book in The Daughters of Riverton series, was released in October, and Book 2 in the series, Hope’s Design, releases November 11.

A respected agent lost my first manuscript and asked me to send it again—twice—over the course of a year. Then she dropped communication which discouraged me. I’m a “doer,” and I’m also kind of a control freak, so the thought of leaving my publication hopes in the hands of other people felt unsettling. At the same time, indie publishing was becoming a reputable avenue.

dawnandsonnySo, three years ago, my husband and I discussed self-publishing. What would that look like? What would it take to become an indie author? I was already freelance editing, so I had experience in running a small business. But to pay people to edit, proofread, and design covers? Spend money with no guarantee that we’d break even?

Then I knew without a doubt it was the path I was to take after my husband and I prayed about the decision and he felt complete peace about moving forward. At first I was shocked. He’s always so careful about budgets and making sure money is well-spent. But his confidence gave me what I needed to jump in. We agreed we had to view indie-publishing as something more than possible income—we had to embrace it as a ministry—a calling.

Debut Novel – Sarah’s Smile

dawnkinzer-novelarrivesWould you believe my hometown and the people who lived there in 1902 inspired the setting and some of the characters in Sarah’s Smile?

When you open the pages to Sarah’s Smile, you’ll find romance, heartbreak, secrets, scandal, and second chances.

Our heroine, Sarah McCall, is waiting to leave for the mission field when the man she once loved steps back into her life. Abandoned as a child by her mother and gambler father, she strives to overcome a tarnished history she didn’t create and a heartbreak she can’t forget.

church-pews-1190461_1280Peter Caswell returns to his Wisconsin hometown a pastor, dedicated to his four-year-old daughter and new congregation. But no matter how hard he tries to move on with his life, he can’t forgive himself for his wife’s death.

When Sarah learns that Peter is returning to Riverton, the letter giving her departure date for Africa can’t come soon enough for her. They were best friends—she loved him and supported his dreams—but he married another and broke her heart. Although ten years have passed since he left Riverton, Peter hopes Sarah still cares enough to give him a second chance. But a charming newcomer pursues her affections—and Sarah’s childhood nemesis manipulates her way into Peter’s life.

And of course the question is . . . will Sarah and Peter find their way to forgiveness and each other, or will past mistakes make a life together impossible?
cross-sun-background_god-1772560_1280I started out writing a romance about a young woman who couldn’t wait to leave her small town and make a difference in the world. But I ended writing a story about forgiveness—the grace to forgive, the willingness to accept forgiveness from others, and the ability to forgive ourselves. 

Advice for Writers From Dawn Kinzer

Some may choose traditional publishing. Some may choose indie-publishing. Others may want to live in both worlds as a hybrid. Regardless, there are decisions to make in terms of platform, marketing, website formats, blogs, social media, etc. etc. etc. So, whatever you choose . . . do what feels right for you.

Just as important . . . don’t forget to enjoy the journey. The friendships I’ve made with other writers have been and continue to be priceless.

~ ~ ~

Thank you for stopping by to chat, Dawn. Your journey, complete with unexpected curves and uncertainties, encourages us to keep pressing on.

Readers, here’s where you can find Dawn Kinzer and her books:

Author Website
Amazon Author Page
Blog: Inspiration/Book Reviews
Seriously Write: Blog for Christian Writers


~ ~ ~

Lord, how marvelous are Your ways. They are beyond our understanding. We thank and praise You for never turning Your back on us and for molding our paths for Your purposes. Bless Dawn’s efforts for You. Thank you for Your faithfulness through all the seasons of our lives. ~ For Jesus’ sake


22 thoughts on “Join Our Author Chat with Dawn Kinzer

  1. A great article about your writing career, Dawn! I’m so excited about your books! God bless you, dear writing friend!

    1. Thanks, Melinda! You’re an inspiration to me! 😀

  2. Susan Hursh

    Well just wet (sp) my appetite Dawn! I’m looking forward to reading “Sarah Smiles”. Thank you Linda for sending this email. I love you sweet sister-in-law.

    1. Great to see you joined the chat, Susan. You’re entered, girl!

    2. Dawn Kinzer

      Nice to meet you, Susan! I hope you enjoy Sarah’s story. 😀

  3. Hi Dawn, what wonderful backstory to your personal story! I so enjoyed learning more about your writing journey and this lovely book. May God bless you… and Sarah and Hope! xo

    1. Thanks for joining the chat, Tanya. You’re entered!

    2. Dawn Kinzer

      Hi, Tanya! I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. Linda asked some questions and then cut me lose to respond. Thanks for the blessings! 😀

  4. Teresa Brooks

    Dawn ~ Thank you for sharing the back story of your writing. I am amazed at their perseverance and dedication it takes to get the words in your heart printed for the enjoyment and edification of those who read them! Well done!

    1. Thank you for joining our chat, Teresa. You’re entered 😊

    2. Thanks for your encouragement, Teresa! Yes, I don’t think most people understand what’s involved in getting a book written and published. But that’s okay! I don’t understand all that a mechanic does, but I sure appreciate having a car that runs well. 😉

  5. Pat Davis

    Thank you, Dawn, for sharing your background and your journey to publication and also for the advice you give to other writers seeking publication. I love your covers. May God bless your ministry.

    1. Thanks for joining the chat, Pat. You’re entered in the drawing 🙂

    2. Pat, I appreciate you taking the time to read the interview and comment. Thanks for the compliment on the cover – and for the blessing!

  6. robin Neill

    Great interview, I feel like I know Dawn now. Cant wait to read Sarah’s Smile.

    1. Thanks for joining the chat, Robin! You’re entered into the drawing 🙂

    2. Robin, thanks for spending a little time in my world. I hope you enjoy Sarah’s story!

  7. So happy for Dawn! Love learning about the story behind the story. The cover is just beautiful and I know the content is, too! Thanks, Linda:)

    1. It’s my honor to honor Dawn, Laura.

    2. Dawn Kinzer

      Thank you, Laura! I love the cover, and sometimes I can hardly believe it’s mine. My designer blessed me big time!

  8. Dawn Kinzer

    Linda, thanks so much for the opportunity to share my writing journey with you and your readers. ~ Dawn

    1. My pleasure and honor, Dawn.


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