Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Rosemary Cottage: Interview & Giveaway!

UPDATE Sunday 7/20/13 9:10 pm WINNER!

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Timestamp: 2013-07-22 02:08:07 UTC

Congrats to Andrea! Email me your address, Andrea, and I'll send the book your way.

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I'm always thrilled to feature a novel by Colleen Coble, and today is extra-special because I also get to share my interview with Colleen from ICRS. Colleen is such a sweetheart and I love spending time with her. She's an incredibly busy lady! She is a prolific author and churns books out faster than just about anyone I've ever known. Additionally, she is the CEO of ACFW and spends time giving to the writing community. And of course, she loves being with her husband and family, particularly her granddaughter! One of my most cherished memories occurred last fall when I got to help her do a bit of the research for an upcoming book. What fun it was to dig around into the history of Central Texas and introduce her to some iconic treasures such as Lammes Candies and The Driskill Hotel! You'll hear just a bit about that book in the interview but first, here is some info on her latest release! And be sure to read all the way to the end for the giveaway!

Rosemary Cottage
(The Hope Beach Series)
Colleen Coble
(Thomas Nelson)
ISBN: 978-1595547828
July 2013/336 pages/$15.99

Amy came to Rosemary Cottage to grieve, to heal, maybe even find love. But there's a deadly undertow of secrets around Hope Island . . .

The charming Rosemary Cottage on the beach offers Amy Lange respite she needs to mourn her brother, Ben. She's even thinking of moving her midwife practice to the Outer Banks community. It's always been a refuge for her and her family. She also wants to investigate Ben's disappearance at sea. Everyone blames a surfing accident, but Amy has reason to wonder.

Coast Guard officer Curtis Ireland has lost a sibling too. His sister, Gina, was run down by a boat, leaving him to raise her infant daughter. If anyone knew who little Raine's father was, Curtis could lose his beloved niece. Yet he can't help being drawn to Hope Beach's new midwife, Amy. He even agrees to help her investigate what happened to both Ben and Gina.

Can two grieving people with secrets find healing on beautiful Hope Island? Or will their quest for truth set them at odds with each other . . . and with those who will go to any length to keep hidden things hidden?


Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA's RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Learn more about Colleen at colleencoble.com and on her blog.


I loved Tidewater Inn (my review is here) so I was eager to return to the island and read the latest installment in this series. Coble has raised her own bar in this multi-layered novel. An intricately woven plot containing plenty of suspense and action kept me holding my breath and not certain who I could trust, and several twists caught me by surprise. Coble always creates characters that tug at the heart, and Amy's personal inner struggle added yet another element to the emotion pulsing within the novel. Rosemary Cottage can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel, although readers of Tidewater Inn will enjoy catching up with a few of those characters who appear from time to time, including Libby, who needs Amy's services as a midwife in the first few pages! I'm already eager to return to Hope Beach when the third novel Seagrass Pier is released!


[Note: We had so much fun talking and then it was time to scurry into the ACFW press conference. I forgot to take a picture! I took one after the Christy Awards but the lighting in the room wasn't the best.]

You are a busy lady! You have a couple of new releases coming out. Rosemary Cottage releases in July, and that is the follow-up to Tidewater Inn, which I loved! Tell me a little bit about Rosemary Cottage.

It was such fun to write and Ami [McConnell, Thomas Nelson Senior Acquisitions Editor] says it's my best book yet, so I'll be eager to see what you think! There's a young woman whose brother died, and she receives an email which indicates that it might not have been an accident. (This is backstory.) So she goes to Hope Beach to see what she can find out about her brother. The family has a summer house there called Rosemary Cottage. It's a place they've always gone together and really loved. When she gets there, she finds out a lot of things about her brother that she didn't know. She also runs into a handsome Coast Guard officer and finds out he is raising his little niece, and it appears that niece might be her brother's child and she didn't know it. Her brother was hiding all kinds of secrets, so she and Curtis are going to get to the bottom of it because the mystery involves both of their siblings. Of course, romance blooms, as always! But it has a lot of action and a lot of mystery in it and a lot of women's fiction issues because she loves children and she can't have children. She's dealing with that. She's also a midwife. I'm very interested in natural medicine so that was a fun thing for me to delve into a little bit. I always like to write things where I'm learning something, too, and that was the case with Rosemary Cottage. It was just a super fun project. I am so eager to see what readers think of it. It is just now hitting the stores.

Who will we see from Tidewater Inn in this story?

Libby is in there! In fact, in the very first scene with Amy, the protagonist, Libby is there, pregnant. Readers from Tidewater Inn are going to love that first scene. Amy ends up delivering the baby, which comes a little unexpectedly early. It was fun to revisit the characters from Tidewater Inn.

Does Bree come in at all?

No, Bree doesn't come into this one. I'm sure readers would have liked that but I can't work her into every story! (She laughs.)

You have another recent release, Rock Harbor Search and Rescue which you wrote with Robin Caroll. Tell me about that one. That's a new thing with middle school, right? Have you written for middle school readers before?

No, I haven't at all. Tommy Nelson asked me if I might be interested in it, and I love kids anyway. I love that particular age group. Kids are just beginning to form who they are then, and they are facing so much peer pressure to conform and not to make a stand, to be like everybody else. The fun thing is that the young girl in Without a Trace (who was lost in the woods with her brother in that very first Rock Harbor Book), Emily, is fourteen now and getting her own Search and Rescue puppy to train. It was fun to catch up with all of the Rock Harbor characters and see what's happening with Emily and how she is learning to stand for her faith. She is accused of stealing a valuable necklace that she didn't take, so she has to try to get to the bottom of what happened so she can prove that it wasn't her. Bree, of course, is very prominent in the book because she is helping Emily train that puppy. Robin Caroll and I wrote the book together because she knows almost as much about Rock Harbor as I do. She's been a fan of those books for a long time.

I wanted to ask about division of labor. How did you split up the writing?

We basically alternated chapters and then we each read the other chapter, and if anything didn't feel quite like my voice, we changed it. But Robin was really good. I've mentored her for a lot of years. It was pretty seamless, much more so than I ever would have dreamed. It was very, very easy. Robin's a very hard worker and really kept her nose to the grindstone and I did, too. There are two books, so there will be another one in September.

You are both such great suspense writers! I imagine it has some pretty amazing suspense scenes.

Yes, it has some suspense in it. (Laughing) In fact, I think our editor made us dial it down just a little bit in a couple of places because it is for younger readers! But we did not dumb the writing down at all. It's just taking a younger girl and the things that matter to her and writing about them. so there is no romance, although she has a crush.

Then in January you have another book coming out!

Yes, Butterfly Palace, which you helped me research! It's set in 1904 [instead of 1886, which was originally planned] . I love that time period! It's the same time period as The Lightkeeper's Ball. Some of the neater houses were built by then in Austin that I really wanted to use. That's one reason. The other is that I'm going to be writing a novella. I had read this interesting little article that in 1907, a ship called the Baltic had brought over beauties from Europe for mail-order marriages. So I'm going to do four little novellas about four different women who have come across on the Baltic. Those will be mail-order bride stories but of course, there will also be suspense in there, too. That was 1907, so if I moved Butterfly Palace forward, I'd be able to tie it in a little bit. There's a young woman and her little baby and her brother in Butterfly Palace, and I'm going to take up with her brother [in the novella]. I'm writing that right now.

Oh, that sounds great!

I just absolutely loved writing Butterfly Palace! It's a little more suspenseful. It has a little bit of a Gothic feel because there is this huge mansion called Butterfly Palace. It has a hidden passageway and there is a serial killer that has targeted Lily.

How did you come up with the name Butterfly Palace?

You know, it just came to me in a dream. I woke up and saw this big mansion and it had a stained glass window with a butterfly on it. In my head it was Butterfly Palace. I do not know where that came from! Someone told me that there is a Butterfly Palace in Missouri somewhere, not a mansion but something about butterflies. But it just came out of the blue. I was jokingly calling the book The Butterfly Palace. I'm terrible at titles, and I figured Thomas Nelson would come up with another title for it because it's so different from my other titles. When I initially started writing it, I planned to take a character from the first two books of my Under Texas Stars series and transport her to Austin. When I began telling Ami, Daisy [Hutton, VP & Publisher at Thomas Nelson] and the team about the story (and like I said, it's a bit darker and has the serial killer), Daisy said, "This is so totally different that it doesn't need to be tied to the other stories. You can just do what you want to with this one." That was like saying "sic 'em!" I changed the character's name and the time period and took off!

What fun! I can't wait to read it! (And it's now available for pre-order!) Now can I get you to put on your ACFW CEO hat for just a minute?


Can you comment on the industry and all the big changes happening? Of course, the biggest one recently is the B&H Publishing announcement in the spring that they were realigning their fiction division and would only be producing novels that tie in to other products, such as novelizations of movies.

That really impacted a lot of our ACFW members and was quite a shock.

Where do you see the industry going? There's the whole debate about traditional publishing vs. indie/self-publishing.

Yes, there has been a lot of talk about self-publishing, and I have brought out my old out-of-print books as digital and they are doing quite well. But I don't believe they would be doing as well as they are if I weren't with a very active publisher, Thomas Nelson, who does lots of promos. There has just been some good synergy together.

I personally would not go that route myself fully because I can't imagine myself writing without good editing and the entire team that comes together to make the book happen. I wouldn't even want to do the process without that [team effort]. It's exciting and fun, and I don't have the time to do it all! If you are going to go the indie route, you have to do it all. You have to put on the marketing hat. You have to get the cover done. All of that stuff has to be on your shoulders. For someone like me who writes a lot, I just don't have time for that. I really and truly don't believe those out-of-print books would be as successful if it weren't for Nelson's efforts getting my name out there.

There's a lot of talk among ACFW members about self-publishing. If someone wants to go that route, fine, but I do not advise it unless they have been writing and submitting to publishers and have a critique partner for at least three years. I see way too many who think that they have a great story and they just can't understand why the publishers won't buy it. But we are never great judges of our own work. Even after forty-five books, I need a good editor. I'm not talking about line-editing, periods, misspellings, or sentence structure. I'm talking about a substantive editor, like Ami or Julee Schwarzburg. Both of them read my books and come back with comments on making the story stronger. I don't think a writer ever "arrives." We can always do better and make a stronger story - up the conflict, deepen the characterization - and it takes somebody else looking at it. What's in our head doesn't always make it to the page.

Any last words for readers?

I'm eager to hear what they think about Rosemary Cottage. Email me! I love to hear from readers, as always!

Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with me! It's always such fun to see you!


I received a second copy of this book which I'm going to give to one of you! To enter, leave a comment on this post by 8:00 pm CDT this Sunday (7/21/13) and I will randomly choose a winner. US mailing addresses only, please. You must include an email address. Winner will have 48 hours to respond after being notified or a new winner will be chosen.

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Water can be calming and healing, but it can also be dangerous, as Amy Lange and Curtis Ireland both found out. Both lost their siblings to the sea, and they hope to find healing on Hope Island. But will they find it, or will their quest to find answers set them at odds with each other and with those who have secrets that need to stay hidden?

Find out in Colleen Coble’s latest book, Rosemary Cottage, which released July 9. To celebrate, Colleen is hosting a 12-day Nautical Summer Giveaway. From July 16-27, Colleen will be giving away a new nautical prize every day. She’ll announce the winners on July 29 on her website, so mark your calendars for that date to see if you were picked as a lucky winner!

Not on Facebook? Enter here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and Litfuse Publicity as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


View blog reactions


karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel, linda

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Pat S. said...

Sounds great!

Pat S.

patsch1 at att dot net

Merry said...

Fun interview, it was great to hear what Colleen has coming next. Please add me to the drawing. Thanks!
Worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Mary-andering Creatively said...

Wow, this book sounds like a real tear jerker. I want a copy. LOL I will be a fan forever. :)

My email is marykatbpcsc45@gmail.com

Barbara Thompson said...

Great interview!! I love Colleen's books. Would love to win. Looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for entering me in the giveaway.
Barbara Thompson

Mary Lou said...

Sounds like a great book. Great interview.

Mary Lou Lowrance

Anonymous said...

Great interview. The characters sound interesting. Would love to read this book.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Amy C said...

I am loving this series! Can't wait to read the new installment.
Great interview!
Campbellamyd at Gmail dot com

Andrea said...

I've read many books by Colleen Coble and enjoyed every one! ;) Please enter me.


Cheri Swalwell said...

This books sounds like one I would love. Thank you for this opportunity.


in Him,

Cheri :)

Andrea said...

Thanks Linda!

Can't wait to read this. I love her books!