Crystal: Grace Augustine has stopped by today and so graciously agreed to answered a few questions for us. She also brought us her beautiful new cover for Mystic Capers and a couple of excerpts. Oooooooo we are in for a treat.Welcome Grace, it is so nice to have you here today Grace. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Grace: Thank you so much, Crystal, for inviting me to be on your blog. I have been writing for a long time, since I was 9 yrs old, actually. 8 yrs ago I started what I tagged “therapeutic” writing to deal with the issues in my life at that time. I tossed it in a file in my desk and forgot about it until last year. Something urged me to get it out and finish it and Bittersweet was born. Besides writing I work as a floral designer, I design custom jewelry, raise African violets and love Celtic music.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Grace: My favorite scene has to be the very first chapter of Bittersweet when the door closes and the glass shatters. Somehow when you read those words you can actually hear what you are reading.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for Bittersweet?
Grace: Actually, Crystal, the idea for the whole Acorn Hills series is a culmination of my life. Each character is a facet of me…the towns that are mentioned are combinations of the towns I’ve lived in and worked in. But they also have a whole lot of imagination as well!
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Grace: Currently Book 2 of the Acorn Hills series, Mystic Capers, is ready to be released in late February. I am 17 chapters into Book 3, Sultry Sensations. There are two more books planned for this series, Richard’s Relics and Special Occasions. I am hoping they all release by the end of 2014. I have plans for a 2nd generation series and already naming characters and lining up models for my covers.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Grace: Oh gosh, Crystal, I wish I could say yes, but I really don’t. I work Thursdays and Fridays and I try NOT to write on those days. Any other day begins with coffee and Ezekiel bread raisin toast, an hour of journaling, centering, praying then sitting down to write. I set the goal of at least 3000 words a day. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t…yet other times I do more.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
Grace: Not much research for the first 3 books, but for Richard’s Relics there is a lot of research involved. Richard is a Vietnam vet. I grew up in that era, but because it was happening…it was the news, it wasn’t history, so it wasn’t taught in school. Last Memorial Day weekend, the History channel had a 12 hr program on Vietnam. I watched the entire 12 hours and took a lot of notes. I learned a lot about that war and those who fought it. I am hoping to talk to a couple local Vietnam vets for more information for background.
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Grace: My most favorite book of all time is “God on a Harley” by Joan Brady. I enjoyed the Blossom Street series by Debbie Macomber. Recently read Chasing Victory by Joanne Jaytanie and I cannot wait to read the next two books in the series. There are a lot of new to me authors…Jennifer Theriot, Travis Casey, Angela Ford, Gina Ardito….along with the classy ladies such as Karen Hawkins, Donna Kauffman, and Kristan Higgans.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
Grace: I’ve been approached by a couple people to write their stories, so maybe biographies or self help books.
Grace Augustine is a native of Northern Montana. She is the mother of 2 adult sons and a “Jill” of most trades. Her hobbies include creating unique beaded jewelry, knitting, crocheting, music, old movies and raising African violets. She currently resides in rural Iowa. Grace would love to hear from her readers. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Excerpt from Bittersweet:
The town of Acorn Hills nestled snugly at the base of the Cascade Mountain Range with the Klikatka River meandering through the middle of town. It was a community that was booming with businesses; top ranked schools and friendly, welcoming people. The economy was stable. Dairy and fruit farms dotted the land and the citizens, for the most part, took pride in what their town had to offer. The welcome sign at the entrance to the city summed it up well… “Acorn Hills, home of 35,000 amazing residents with a few nuts mixed in for good measure!”
Jake Evans had driven past that sign so many times in his life. Now that he was home again, he’d drive by it a couple times a day, at least. He smiled as he remembered more of why he was back in Acorn Hills.
Living on the East Coast opened Jake’s eyes to a lot of differences between the big city and his home town, but now he had to return to Acorn Hills. The death of his father brought him back. Because of that fact, he now not only owned a business but also ran a business; he a new life to live, new people to meet. And, this would allow him to check up on Jillian Halloran, the woman of his dreams.
You May find my review of Bittersweet here....
Excerpt from Mystic Capers, Book 2 of the Acorn Hills series:
Ginger was smiling so much her cheeks hurt. Jordan knew her so well…he always knew what she needed even before she knew! Their dance ended with a beautiful twirl and dip with Jordan bending over and kissing her before standing her back up. The crowd erupted with shouts of appreciation for the true art they’d just witnessed.
“Oh, Jordan,” Ginger began. “This is incredible. All of it!” She placed her hand on his cheek and looked lovingly into his eyes. “Thank you. Thank you for being the man in my life. Thank you for sharing all the bad stuff and the good stuff.” She threw her arms around his neck and just stood there swaying, hugging him. “I do love you so much,” she whispered in his ear.
Another familiar tune began but she was oblivious to what was going on. She was just in her own little moment. She was amazed at the accomplishments she had achieved. She had “come into her own” as the old adage said, and she was going to relish every moment of it.
Note from Crystal .... I can not wait to read this book! I hope you are all as excited for the release as I am.