Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Stephanie J. Grace, who has brought with her an e-copy of her sweet romance FELINES & FLOWERS to give to one lucky reader. (Keep reading to find out how you can win!) I absolutely adore the humor that comes through in Stephanie’s writing, and I bet you guys will, too. Let’s meet her, shall we?
**Giveaway Closed** Congrats to ronnkelly3 on the win!
Welcome, Stephanie, and congratulations on the release of FELINES & FLOWERS. Can you introduce our readers to the story?
Felines and Flowers is a sweet, inspirational story about two youth pastors finding each other at very different points in their lives. Wendy, just out of college is back in her hometown looking to make her start as a youth pastor and Warren who has been a youth pastor for years. They have so much in common, but Warren especially, has an issue with their age differences. When everything seems to be lining up, a one sided decision by Warren is enough to completely derail something really good. To get it back on track will take forgiveness, patience and help from friends.
This sounds like a beautifully heartfelt plot. In what way do you as the author most connect to this book?
I am very active in my church family, especially in the youth programs. The energy and faith levels of the people who work in churches are amazing. Personality wise, I think they are some of my favorite people. It felt very natural and sweet to put two people who shared such deep faith and joy together.
I’ve seen just a small part of what my older kids and their friends put the youth leaders through – you have my utmost respect, and I completely agree about the energy and faith required to serve the position well. *grin* What might readers be surprised to learn about the plot or characters of FELINES & FLOWERS?
The story is neither about felines nor flowers. Those two things pertain to the characters—Wendy who has a black thumb and Warren who has never met a cat who won’t try to bite or scratch him.
LOL! That’s hilarious, and what a *great* title under the circumstances! Okay, let’s have some fun. What’s the book’s first sentence?
“Is that a homeless person sleeping on the bench?”
An intriguing question, indeed, LOL. What’s your favorite line in the book?
“Okay, so maybe I’ve had a few cases of poison ivy,” she admitted, still not turning toward him. “And maybe while I was at the botanical gardens out East, a Venus flytrap tried to take a hunk out of me. But I refuse to believe that had anything to do with the unfortunate plants here in Minnesota.”
Something tells me this book is just full of LOL moments. I love your voice in these sentences. Let’s go one further—how about an excerpt. Three sentences?
Just the night before they’d enjoyed a picnic by the lake, talking and nibbling on stale crackers and cheese until long after the sun had set. He’d offered somewhere with better food and chairs, but as she’d pointed out, if they abandoned their picnic, they’d lose the ambiance. Stale crackers and dull cheddar had never tasted so good.
Awww. I love that! Which scene of FELINES & FLOWERS was most difficult for you to write? Why?
I had a hard time throwing in the real conflict. These characters may have mild personalities, but they aren’t boring or shallow feeling. They let people touch them and move them, but have immense patience. When it finally came down to someone letting go and someone being hurt and angry…I really didn’t want to do it.
That’s an interesting introspective on your characters, and I bet it’s a powerful scene when they do have that confrontation. Which scene would you most like to experience for yourself? From whose POV?
I loved the scene where Warren gets called over along with his boss to help out Wendy when she’s late for a meeting with a group of children at church. It’s playful and sweet and I’d like to be in Warren’s boss’ shoes because I feel like he got a first row seat to these two falling in love.
Wow, what an amazing response. I’m dying to read the scene now, LOL. Just for fun, what inspired the title of FELINES & FLOWERS?
Finding a title for this one was a bear because it was proving too easy to fall into predictable names. I could have gone with any number of springtime and sweetness references, but they didn’t seem right. Finally it came down to alliteration and the character interests.
In light of your earlier response, I have to say this title is absolutely *perfect*! Before we take a closer look at the book, can you tell us what you’re working on now?
Right now I’m working on a more historical story set around the Mormon faith. I’ve learned a lot and really look forward to getting it ready and in readers’ hands.
FELINES & FLOWERS | blurb
During high school, Warren was just Wendy’s youth pastor. All grown up and shepherding over her own flock of church kids, Wendy Miller turns to her old friend for help. Not that Warren is that old. In fact, the two have a lot more in common than Wendy would have ever thought.
After the death of his wife, Warren was sure he was finished with relationships. Wendy changes that forgone conclusion with her bright spirit and zest for life. Lining up their desires when they’re at very different points in their lives proves a challenge that might take a little divine intervention, or at least help from friends.
Stephanie J. Grace | about the author
Stephanie J Grace is the sweeter and more faith-based side of romance writer Stephanie Beck. With a genuine love for romance and building relationships, Stephanie found the sweeter side of her writing needed its own world to grow and that happens through Stephanie J Grace. With a growing family and growing writing career, Steph stays busy running around in real life and in her imagination, but between the sprints, she enjoys reading, knitting and crafting.
Stephanie has generously offered to give away one e-copy of FELINES & FLOWERS. To enter, comment with your email address AND tell us about an experience with felines or flowers. Or both. *grin*
I’d like to thank you all for joining me today. Stephanie, it’s been a pleasure–I’m super impressed with your humorous voice. Readers, I’m looking forward to your stories, so let’s have ’em, and you all have a fantastic day!