Sunday, February 16, 2014

Arizona Author Merrillee Whren

Welcome to the Book Loft, Merrillee! Is there a story behind your book A Place To Call Home?

The idea for the story came on a cold winter day in Massachusetts when I was looking at a giant icicle and noticing what a weapon it could be. From that thought came the idea of how someone would deal with being falsely accused of killing someone. The story evolved from there.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?

The hero, Kurt Jansen, most interested me because he had a lot to forgive.

What started you on your writing journey?

I loved to read romance novels and decided I could write one of my own.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?

Anything and everything. My family believes I have a touch of ADD.

Let's have some fun. If you were a style of music, what style would you be?

Rock and Roll

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Kissed the Blarney Stone.

That's not quirky! That's brave. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get back up if I bent so far back to kiss it. What is your strangest habit?

When I make pie dough, I like to eat the leftover dough.

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?

My granddaughters.

What is your favorite season of the year? 

For most of my life it has been summer. We’ve recently moved to the Arizona desert, and now I’m not so sure summer will be my favorite, but I do love hot weather.

What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?

Mild winters here in Arizona.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?

I love to travel, so I’ve been a lot of places. It’s hard to choose just one. We used to live on Amelia Island in Florida. When we lived there, I used to say we never had to leave because we lived in a vacation paradise—the beach, golf and tennis just a walk away.

Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?

We’ve taken a number of cruises, and one of my older Love Inspired book, Hometown Proposal has a hero and heroine who met while they worked on a cruise ship.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?

My kids often ask me to make my homemade pizza. Here is the recipe for the dough that makes two 16-inch pizzas.

Pizza Dough
1 cup warm water
1 package yeast
2 tsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 T vegetable oil
1 egg
3 ½ to 3 ¾ cups flour
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Put in 1 ½ cups of the flour and mix until smooth. Add egg and vegetable and mix until glossy. Add enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to knead. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes on a floured surface until it forms a ball. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a cloth. Let rise in a warm place for an hour. Roll out on pizza pans and put on your favorite toppings. 

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about? 
Forgiveness. The majority of my books deal with it.

Could you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you?
Isaiah 40:30-31
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.
This scripture reminds me that even when things aren’t going so well if we put our hope in the Lord we can overcome our frailties.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

I haven’t been given a publication date for my next Love Inspired book. Its working title is Hope for Annie. It features a heroine who is a recovering substance abuser. I’m not sure when I will have my next indie book available. My next indie book, Family Forever, which is a follow-up to my Love Inspired book, Montana Match, I hope to have out sometime in 2014. Family Forever features a hero who is dealing with cancer.

Thanks for sharing with us today!

Connect with Merrillee Whren at:

Her Website

Merrillee Whren is giving away a copy of A Place To Call Home. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.



cjajsmommy said...

Thank you for letting us get to know you, Merrillee. I also live in an area where other people vacation. But I'm in the Pennsylvania mountains, surrounded by state forest, state parks, the Appalachian Trail, and lots of Civil War history. So for vacations, we go to the beach. :) One question -- What is an "indie"? I look forward to reading "A Place to Call Home." Please enter my name in the giveaway. cjajsmommy (at) gmail (dot) com

Linda Kish said...

I doubt you will like Arizona's summers compared to wherever you were before. You can always join the rest of the "Zonies" and come out to California where it's a bit cooler. Your book sounds wonderful.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Cindi A said...

Enjoyable interview. I hope I'm the winner of a copy of A Place to Call Home.
cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com from PA

Jackie McNutt said...

Such a fun interview! Merrillee has such a happy perspective in shines through your post. Her book looks terrific. Thank You

PriviesAndPrims said...

Forgiveness-one of the most challenging things in life.

priviesandprims [at] yahoo [dot] com

Emma said...

A Place To Call Home sounds wonderful. Please enter me in contest. Thank you for the opportunity to win.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Have a wonderful week.

Merrillee said...

Cjajsmommy, you asked about "indie" books. I guess that is author speak for those of us who have published a book ourselves. A PLACE TO CALL HOME is my first "indie" book. I hired a cover artist, an editor and someone to format the book for all the different e-book version and also a print version which I am giving away here. Many authors these days are writing not only for a traditional publisher, but they are also writing books and publishing books themselves with places like Amazon,Smashwords,barnesandnoble.comor KOBO. The advance of e-readers has changed the publishing world and opened up venues where authors can publish their books. I chose to "indie" publish A PLACE TO CALL HOME because it was too long for the Love Inspired line who has published my other books. I hope that answers your questions.

Merrillee said...

Linda, we did go to the San Diego area last June for a week with our daughter and her family. We enjoyed getting out of the heat, but overall, I didn't mind it last summer. But I know how I began to dislike summer when we lived in Dallas.

sm said...

I like how you found your inspiration from sitting on your front porch and now the cover of your book is a rocker on a front porch. True inspiration! sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

squiresj said...

This is an author who's books I love. They are inspired. We are friends now. I love reading and reviewing her books. Count me in.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com
God Bless

Anonymous said...

This is another new author for me, but Merrillee ,I love the cover picture. I would so love to have a pretty porch like that with a rocking chair. your story sounds good and I like longer books. Thanks for a chance to win it. Thanks Karen for having Merrillee.
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Anonymous said...

sounds wonderful! Can't wait til it comes out!


JackieW said...

The thing to do to get thru an Arizona summer is to move there in the winter and gradually get accustomed to the heat....I grew up there and went to ASU....I know from experience. Enjoy the weather there could be back East in the snow!

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