Sunday, December 30, 2007

5th MOST ENTERTAINING BOOK of 2007 is...


Reading "Loving Liza Jane" is like taking a breath of fresh air as you read. Shar MacLaren is one of the rare authors that creates characters that are so real you want to call them on the phone to chat, settings so real you want to hop in your car and drive there for a visit and situations that are so believable that you laugh and cry along with the characters. "Loving Liza Jane" is a fantastic book that takes us back to a simpler time where Liza Jane is a school teacher in a one room schoolhouse in Kentucky. Romance abounds and situations are delightful - if you like historical romance - you will love this book! And remember to take a deep breath while you are reading - Shar will share some fresh air with you while you read. Now let's meet Shar MacLaren...

  1. Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"
Oh, please believe me when I say authors are real people. In fact, I’ve been a real person for almost 60 years now. Can you believe it? Wow, I’m old. Okay, onto your question...DESSERT? Hmm, I cannot resist anything CHOCOLATE! Give me a hot fudge sundae with extra hot fudge, please. OR—a big thick piece of chocolate cake with creamy, chocolate frosting. And maybe a scoop of chocolate ice cream on the side. Is there anything better?

2) Shar, I describe your writing as a breath of fresh air in today's marketplace. Your characters are so real I just feel like I could sit and visit with them. How do you develop characters like that - do they become that real to you too?

You know, I don’t know if there’s a secret formula for how I do that other than to say I always aim to write what I love to read, and I love to read novels that touch my emotions, reach deep into my soul, tug at my heart. I think I am constantly asking myself--as I write--am I achieving my goal as a writer? Am I developing characters that will stick with my readers, even after they’ve finished the book? It’s a process.

3) Did "Loving Liza Jane" start out as a trilogy or build into that?

It was always going to be a trilogy. Up until “Liza” I had always written contemporary stories and had several completed manuscripts, but they weren’t really going anywhere. Since I love to read historical romance I started thinking about writing it. The three “Little Hickman Creek” stories came to me in bits and pieces. As I wrote one book, I began thinking about the next in the series and how it would play out. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, and I often don’t know myself what’s going to happen from page to page. I just sit here and read as I write, and think, oh, isn’t this interesting!

I’ll admit, though, when I first decided to try my hand at writing period romance, I was scared to death. I mean, what if I royally screwed up history? Haha. That’s why when you read my books you won’t read a lot about wars, politics, and historical events.

4) Now that both Liza Jane and Sarah have been released and Emma will quickly be joining us - what can you tell us about the new trilogy you are working on?

At present, I’m working on a three-book series titled The Daughters of Jacob Kane. The first in the series is called Hannah Grace. The series will focus on each of three sisters who live with their father, Jacob, and their grandmother, Helena, in the cozy (fictional) coastal town of Sandy Shores, Michigan where they all help run the family’s general store, Kane’s Whatnot. The year is 1903, and at the story’s opening, Hannah, the oldest at 21, is practically engaged to the town’s only physician, Ralston VanHuff, a rather stuffy fellow in Abbie Ann’s eyes (Hannah’s youngest sister). But he’s eligible—and already in her 20s, Hannah thinks her options are limited. Never mind that Ralston is boring and predictable, not to mention weak in his Christian faith and showing little interest in growing it.

Enter Gabriel Devlin, Sandy Shores’ newly appointed sheriff--tough, determined, outspoken, and terribly handsome, and to top matters, a fine Christian man.

Of course, sparks will fly and tempers rise, as both individuals work to ignore their growing attraction. Gabe is DONE with women, especially the money-hungry kind that have little use for God, much less understand the meaning of a personal relationship with Him. And Hannah, well, she’s nearly betrothed to Ralston, so what business does she have looking at the new sheriff?

Having just ended a relationship gone sour mere weeks before accepting his new job post, Gabriel is determined to keep his focus this time. No more women, he tells himself. But the skinny, pasty-skinned redhead with wild curls has caught his eye, and he’s having a hard time ignoring her, especially once she agrees to help him with the youngster who crawled under a blanket at the back of his wagon, unbeknownst to him, and rode into Sandy Shores. Starting a new job is one thing, but starting it with somebody’s runaway kid in tow is altogether different. Complicating matters is the boy’s selective mutism, a result of abuse or some traumatic event that terrified him speechless. Who is he, where does he come from, and why won’t he talk? Moreover, what can be done to earn his trust? Besides learning the ropes of his new job, Gabe must also investigate the story behind the scrawny little vagabond.

In the process, many secrets about the child’s sordid past begin to unfold, all of which involve personal loss, robbery, and murder. Add to that the thickening bond between the threesome, Hannah, Gabe, and the noiseless wayfarer, and you have a tale rife with mystery, tension, and layers of rich emotion.

I love visitors, so feel free to come “see” me any time. My Web sites and Blog addresses are as follows:

My books are currently available at Barnes & Noble or your local Christian bookstore. If you can’t locate them on shelves, feel free to order through a clerk or any online bookstore—such as,, Books-a-Million, etc.

*****Available titles are Through Every Storm, Loving Liza Jane, Sarah, My Beloved, and coming in April ‘08, Courting Emma. Hannah Grace is scheduled for a January ‘09 release.

Shar has agreed to give away a copy of "Loving Liza Jane" so be sure to leave a comment if you would like to be entered. This was a short interview because she is under such heavy deadlines right now, but she has agreed to come back for a longer interview after Courting Emma is released so be sure to come learn more about her then too!


hippmom said...

I really enjoy reading your interviews. What a fun thing you are doing here.

angelahipp (at) charter (dot) net

Lora Lease said...

These books sound sooooo good, and I will definitely be looking into them in the near future! Hoping I win a copy of "Loving Liza Jane"! :)

Anonymous said...

I'd love to read this book...please enter my name in the contest!


Pamela J said...

Well, Shar asks if there is anything better: One additional thing I add is chocolate syrup to the top of all she mentioned, given the chance.
I agree also with Shar, emotion is very important in a good book: I consider it a great book if I cry at least one good cry while reading. Please enter me in the drawing, I'd love sitting down to a fabulous dessert as Shar mentioned, reading her book. Thanks.
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Hannah said...

i'd love to win a copy of this book! hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com

mary said...

Sounds like a good book. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

mjkeltch at hotmail dot com

Rel said...

Hi Janna,

Don't enter me pls as I have a copy of this lovely book! I have enjoyed reading you favourite books and the interviews. I agree with you on many of them :) Have a great New Year - we have hit 2008 already in Australia - LOL!!

Vader's Mom said...

I've really enjoyed reading your picks and I'd love to be entered for a copy of this one. Thanks so much!!

Stacey said...

the book sounds great. please enter my name in the drawing.


Christina said...

Thank you for taking the time to give a review of the books. Please enter me into this drawing also.

Anonymous said...

This is fun, I'm finding some new authors to look into by visiting. Thanks!
Pioneerheart from PBS

Anonymous said...

I want this book!! Please enter me in the drawing!!


swimtchr said...

mmmmmm........ I love historical romance! Please enter my name too. Thanks