Still, spring is so special. It’s a time of new life and renewal—the mix, I think, helps a couple, just starting out or long together—feel the excitement of what is to come. Spring brings impromptu bouquets of dandelions and Johnny jump ups and the permission to be a little silly and young. Love needs silly and fresh moments, and springtime is nature’s invitation to live again.
In the dead of winter in Minnesota, I wrote Felines and Flowers for a springtime call. I think there were two feet of fresh snow on the ground and gingerbread men in my oven when I sat down to write it. Being so entrenched in one season and writing another was a challenge, but I’m glad I did it.
Thinking of spring gave me a lot of ideas on paths to take with my characters, but after much thought about what spring brings in my life, I found myself right in the Easter-time mindset. When has there ever been as strong of love in the world as the week of Easter when Christ did so much? I personally have huge emotions this time of year and find myself choked up often—in the very best ways. In the dead of winter, channeling those feelings kick started Felines and Flowers, sending characters to fall in love with. Building a sweet, gentle love story featuring flowers and new life gave my winter (when I actually wrote the story) an amazing burst of light and warmth.
My characters, Wendy and Warren, both youth pastors embrace the spring with faith and open hearts. They also have a chance to look to each other with those same feelings. I set the story in Minnesota, where springtime is soooo treasured. After months of cold, spring means we get out in yards, we see our neighbors again, we take walks by the local lakes and go to the zoo. Having so many wonderful bonding and dating options for Wendy and Warren gave a natural feel to their budding closeness. As they fell in love on paper, I felt like I was watching two of my best friends find each other.
There’s nothing like falling in love in the spring. Just ask my husband of nearly a decade. We were tumbling in April when I gave him his birthday gift—a tool box full of first aid supplies and his favorite candy. We met in January, fell in love in the spring, spent the summer making decisions and in the fall we married. The seasons have played their parts in my life and I embrace and enjoy them.
Spring is my favorite time of year. My birthday is in April, I love Easter and enjoy the new blooms and nice weather. Thanks for sharing.
1. I like Nutella mixed with peanut butter.
2. I live in Minnesota and have a completely justifiable dislike for Iowa and Canada.
3. Cats are creepy and if I never have one, that will be a-okay with me.
4. I have three kids—two girls and a boy.
5. Stephanie J Grace is only one of my pennames. I also write under Stephanie Beck.
Do you have a fond memory of interaction with a reader?
I love being with my readers. My very favorite memory is from my first book signing. My eighty-year-old grandmother had one of my aunts drive her the fifty miles to the store and then proceeded to be the queen bee of the book signing. She bought a dozen of my books so she could send them to every aunt who couldn’t make it and she had me sign each one. It was an amazing day and the pride she shared every time someone walked in and she announced, “This is a book signing. The author is my granddaughter. You should buy one.” still makes me smile.
What an awesome memory! So great to have support from family. What was the happiest moment in your childhood?
My happiest moment happened at the very end of my childhood. As a middle child and oldest daughter in a family of 4, I was dependable and self sufficient—my parents expected it and it was in my nature, so I didn’t mind. The summer before I graduated, I asked my parents for a special day. I think they were both surprised, but they agreed. One day they took just me to the mall. We went to the big aquarium, road rides together, did a little shopping, and went to dinner—the whole nine yards. We’d never, ever done anything like it and it was a fantastic day and a memory I treasure.
Sounds like a great memory...what a special day!
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.
Going on my TBR list! Where can readers find Felines & Flowers online?
Purchase Link for Felines and Flowers
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Stephanie, thank you so much for guesting today. I enjoyed chatting and hearing your thoughts on springtime.
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