Marianne Evans is a multi-published author of contemporary romance novels. Her professional career began when Kensington Publishing purchased her book, Friends & Lovers. Her second novel, Right Hand Man, followed shortly thereafter. Her third release from Kensington, Hannah’s Heart, won critical acclaim from reviewers and in the local media. Her fourth book is her inspirational romance debut at White Rose Publishing – an award winning novel entitled Hearts Crossing. Hearts Crossing led to the creation of a four-book Christian romance series: The Woodland Series. Book 2, Hearts Surrender, released in late 2010 with Books 3 and 4 – Hearts Communion and Hearts Key, released in 2011. Her final secular romance, With This Kiss, was released in late 2010 by The Wild Rose Press.
A lifelong resident of Michigan, Marianne is an active member of Romance Writers of America. She’s a long-time member of Greater Detroit RWA where she served the chapter in a number of capacities, but most notably for two terms as Chapter Treasurer and two terms as Chapter President. She also belongs to the Faith Hope and Love chapter of RWA, American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.
Marianne loves connecting with readers, so please touch base with her at:
Let's take a look at The Woodland Series.
Daveny Montgomery cares deeply about her relationship with God and the community of Woodland. But lately she's been in a rut, longing for something to reignite her spiritual enthusiasm.
A beautification project at Woodland seems the answer for them both. Daveny spearheads the effort and Collin assists—but only with the renovations, and only because he wants to know Daveny better.
Despite his deepening feelings for her, even stepping into the common areas of the church stirs tension and anger.
Can Daveny trust in Collin’s fledgling return to faith? And can Collin ever accept the fact that while he turned his back on God, God never turned his back on him?
Purchase Link for Hearts Crossing
Ken Lucerne is the charismatic young pastor of Woodland Church; he's adjusting to life as a widower and copes by keeping as busy as possible with his parish and missionary work.
A home-building mission in Pennsylvania brings them together, and forces them to look hard and deep at the relationship they share, and where God means for it to go. Already bound by mutual respect and caring, love dawns, a love that takes them to a life-point neither would have expected.
After all, can a chic, vivacious woman find fulfillment within the quiet, mission-centered life of a clergyman? Can they trust God's hand strongly enough to surrender their hearts to one another...forever?
Purchase Link for Hearts Surrender
Monica Kittelski spends her days at Sunny Horizons Daycare Center pouring her heart and faith into other people's children. But Monica harbors one impossible dream: Having children of her own someday.
JB and Monica seem the perfect match, but what will come of their electric, sassy relationship when Jeremy learns of Monica's infertility? Hopes and reality collide when they must confront the idea of finding God's plan and following His will when a dearest hope is destined to remain unfulfilled.
Can these two loving, passionate hearts survive a communion of dreams and reality?
Purchase Link for Hearts Communion
Don't forget, I'll be posting my review of Hearts Communion, tomorrow on my blog.
Why did you become a writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
Hmm… to be honest, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a writer. Even back in middle-school I wrote stories and gave them to friends to read. They seemed to enjoy them, so writing quickly eclipsed the rest of my actual school work! LOL!
That's neat...I can relate to that. What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?
The Woodland Series, which is my current offering from White Rose Publishing, was born from an instant when I watched people coming forward for communion at church. As they approached the altar, I began to consider the fact that they each had stories to share, lives that included successes, failures, joys and pains, love and loss. From there, the idea dawned of centering a series of books around a church home and exploring the lives and loves of the people who worship there. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see this series – my first ever – come to life in such a beautiful way!
What an awesome place to be inspired for a series. Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
Imagination. I might draw on the circumstances I observe, or I might ‘combine’ the traits of a number of people I know into the aspects of a character, but my characters generally come to life on their own and start knocking on my door until their story is told!
Where do you go to do your research?
Whenever possible, I really enjoy the process of diving into the settings/times of my stories. I’ll give you a case in point. I’m just finishing up Hearts Key, which is Book 4 of The Woodland Series. The bulk of this story takes place in Nashville, Tennessee. I had never been to Nashville, and while the Internet is a wonderful tool, it doesn’t ‘put’ you into a setting. So, my DH and I took a road trip to Tennessee and stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast in Franklin. It was, honestly, like stepping into the home and life of Tyler Brock, who is the hero of Hearts Key. We toured Nashville, we researched parks and waterfalls and paid them a visit, because that was something I wanted my characters to do – and we discovered there’s nothing like first-hand research to make a story come to life. I loved it!!
First hand research experience is the best and the most fun! Are you currently working on any new book projects?
For the time being, Hearts Key will conclude The Woodland Series (I’m hedging here because I think there’s one more story to be told – the exploration of a Christian marriage that rides through rocky times and a couple who need to re-find their loving commitment and the joyful spark of when they first fell in love…) but after Hearts Key is turned in to my editor, I’m going to be exploring the idea of materialism, goal-seeking and professional success versus peace of soul and joy of heart. The story is called Homeport, and it’s set in one of my favorite places on earth – Northern Michigan. I can’t wait to share it with everyone!!
Who is your favorite contemporary author? Are you currently reading any contemporary novels?
There isn’t even a contest. Karen Kingsbury. Karen is so skilled it blows my mind. I want to be her when I grow up! LOL! She brings faith, love and the overcoming of tribulations into beautiful focus and is an anointed story teller without being overly preachy. Her stories are tender, emotional, uplifting and top rate. I have yet to read a “klunker.”
I'm a big fan of hers too. Love everything she writes. For me as a reader and an author, she's such an inspiration. What’s your writing schedule like? When do you find time to write?
I write whenever (and I do mean WHENEVER!) I get a spare chance. I can read and write in the car, so long road trips thrill me because there’s nothing to interrupt or bother me, I can chat with the DH as he drives and work on my current project. I work full time, so after work, I discipline myself to spend at least an hour or so on my writing. It’s my treat to myself, and I love every second of it – except when the words don’t flow, of course! LOL!
How did you find your publisher? What was your journey to publication like?
After a long, horrible exercise in coming so close to a sale I could taste it, my agent kept fighting for me and broke me in at Kensington Publishing. With them I published three books. From there, real life took over for a number of years, and my writing took a back seat. Once my muse reemerged, I followed a dream I had always held of writing a Christian inspirational romance. It was then that I heard about White Rose Publishing and the “Hearts Crossing” contest. The challenge? Write a 25,000 word novella and the best entry would be published. I ended up winning! What a thrill!!! Here was my gamble, though. As I waited to hear the results of the contest, my series idea really took form! Secondary characters from Hearts Crossing came to life and their story literally flew from my fingertips. After earning publication, I told my editor I had a sequel, and she not only purchased it, she asked for the remaining two as well. From there, I am writing for White Rose on a ‘query/first few chapter’ basis of submission, so I’ve grown within their ranks, and I can’t tell you how fantastic this publisher is. They care about their authors, and the quality of their offerings are outstanding. They’re growing by leaps and bounds, so check them out – you won’t be disappointed!
That's wonderful...so happy for you and your success. How have your friends and family received your career as an author? Are they supportive?
In this particular area, I can only say I am abundantly blessed. Honestly. My entire family – from the DH and kids to the extended family near and far, get as excited as I do about new releases, new contracts, new book covers…etc., etc. I can’t imagine taking this sometimes wacky journey as a writer without their support, because it is VITAL – and I’m so deeply grateful!
That's awesome. Support is so important. Marianne, thanks again for guesting today. I enjoyed chatting with you and featuring The Woodland Series. I look forward to posting my review of Hearts Communion tomorrow.
Hope everyone can stay and chat with Marianne.