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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Spotlight on Betsy St. Amant and Return to Love

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BETSY ST. AMANT lives in Louisiana and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. Betsy has been published in Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, 'Kickboxing or Chocolate', appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. Betsy has a BA in Christian Communications and regularly contributes articles to Crosswalk.com. She is a wife, author, new mother and an avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God's grace through her stories. Return to Love is Betsy's first novel for Steeple Hill. The sequel, A Valentine's Wish, is contracted for a February 2010 release. Look also for Rodeo Sweetheart in April 2010.

Visit her web site and blog here: www.betsystamant.com & www.betsy-ann.blogspot.com.

RETURN TO LOVE
by Betsy St. Amant
Published by Steeple Hill/Love Inspired

ABOUT THE BOOK

"I'm Not The Man I Used To Be!"

If only Gracie Broussard could believe that! Years ago, Carter Alexander broke her heart and betrayed her. Now, just when she needs him most, he's back—asking her to believe he's changed. But this time, it's not just Gracie who'll be hurt if he disappears. A penguin keeper, Gracie urgently needs to find a new home for her beloved birds. Carter is the only one who can help. He promises that she can trust him, that he's not the rebel he once was. And that he needs Gracie as much as her birds do.

Steeple Hill Love Inspired, July 2009

Buy Your Copy of Return to Love today!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

I knew I wanted to write a love story between two childhood friends who were torn apart and then returned to love. The details just fell into place after I figured out that much. I think friendship-turned-to-love stories are so special to me because that is my love story with my husband.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

I love penguins, just like Gracie, so it seemed fitting she'd work at the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. Also, like Gracie, I have trouble letting go of long-held grudges from people who have deeply hurt me. The hero in this story, Carter, dealt with a sinful, rebellious past, which is not something I can personally relate to. That struggle was his alone and he actually taught me a lot from it!

3. If one of your characters were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Fun question! Let's see. Gracie would be strawberry, because she's mostly sweet, with a little tang - especially as a red-head! =) Carter would be Rocky Road, becase, well - he's had enough bumps over his lifetime, and he seems the type to like a mixture of tastes!

4. Are there any themes in Return to Love that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the stories progressed?

I hope the reader sees the importance of forgiveness in this novel. It's truly the strongest element throughout, as well as the power of love between friends. History runs deep! I don't believe this story has any overt themes that sneaked past me. But my characters always seem to surprise me somehow along the way! =)

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

One of my favorite scenes to write in this story was the walking tour of New Orleans. I loved incorporating the flavor and historical, cajun elements into the scene, coupled with the tension between the characters. The hardest part to write was probably the ending. It's so hard for me to wrap up stories, because I hate to see my characters "finished"!!!

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

I'm so glad you asked! My next novel with Steeple Hill Love Inspired releases February 2010 and is the sequel to RETURN TO LOVE. It's titled, A VALENTINE'S WISH and picks up with Lori, Gracie's best friend. Lori leaves the aquarium gift shop to work in a chocolate boutique in the french quarter as a favor to a friend, and ends up discovering she has a secret admirer. It will be a fun Valentine's read!

* * * * *

Thank you, Betsy, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Return to Love.

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname dot.com/net). You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

12 comments:

Jo said...

This sounds like a really good book to read. Please enter me in drawing.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Carmen7351 said...

I would love to read Betsy's book. Please enter me. A Happy Birthday to Audrey!!!
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Debra Ullrick said...

Hi Tiffy, I had to stop by and read your interview too. Don't add my name to the drawing, I've already read it and it's fabulous!

Debra Ullrick, author of The Bride Wore Coveralls

Betsy St. Amant said...

Thanks for having me, Tiff! And good luck everyone, hope you win! =) Thanks for reading!!!

mez said...

Return to Love is getting rave reviews, I would love a chance to win it! Thanks.

worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

~Ley said...

I love just about any book that takes place in New Orleans, so please enter me in the drawing! :)

ashley.vanburen[at]gmail[dot]com

Carolynn W. said...

The book sounds wonderful, I would love to read it, thanks!
carolynnwald[at]hotmail[dot]com

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, this books sounds great. Please enter me!!! Thanks.
jackie(dot)smith(at)dishmail(dot)net

Emma said...

This book sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Cherie J said...

Sounds like a wonderful story. I love books set in New Orleans. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:

CHERIE

Congratulations! I have sent your mailing information to Betsy so she can send out your book.

As always, thanks to everyone for your continued support.

Cherie J said...

Awesome! Thanks Tiff! I am looking forward to reading Betsy's book. I think it sounds great!