Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Monday, April 27, 2015

Angela Ruth Strong - False Security

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, Angela Ruth Strong visits Lagniappe and discusses her latest release, False Security which she published with the other members of Team Love on the Run.

Welcome, Angela! 

Tell us a little about Team Love on the Run.

Team Love on the Run is a group of four writers who love romantic suspense. We are going to be putting out a book set of novellas twice a year. Our first one just came out, and it’s so much fun. I’m honored to get to work with such great Love Inspired Suspense authors. My story is titled False Security and was based on the idea of a character like Danny Ocean from Ocean’s Eleven getting saved in jail. Of course, nobody is going to believe he’s a changed man. Especially the woman who arrested him.

If you could be any character, from any book who would you be? Why? 
Lady Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel. I read this book in 8th grade, and I believe it’s where my love of hidden identities started. I mean, her husband was practically the world’s first super hero, and she didn’t even know it. How intriguing is that?

What's on your writing playlist these days? 
Train. Their song Mermaid would be the perfect opening song to my manuscript Romancing the Throne (currently being shopped by my agent), and Save Me San Francisco fits my next novella for Team Love on the Run. But I’m probably partial to the band because my husband proposed to me in a movie theater to a slideshow of our lives with the song Marry Me.

What Bible verse speaks to you the most? 
Right now it’s I Samuel 16:7. “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” This verse fits with the whole idea of hidden identities and also inspired False Security.

Give readers your brand/tagline and share how you came up with it. 
“Light-hearted and life-changing.” I may write suspense, but it has to have some humor in it and it has to make the reader think deep thoughts, otherwise I don’t feel like I’ve done my job.

What led you to choose the genre in which you write? I’ve always loved romance. That is until my ex-husband left me right after I sold my first novel Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho. Then I had to write the thing while my own love life was falling apart, and I decided to never write romance again. That is until I met Mr. Strong. *swoon* Love changes lives, people. There’s nothing else I’d rather write about. The suspense part just kinda happened when FBI agents started showing up in my stories and stuff.

What author's books do you enjoy reading? 
Besides the other authors on Team Love on the Run—Heather Woodhaven, Lisa Phillips, and Becky Avella—I also enjoy reading books by Deeanne Gist (also light-hearted and life-changing), Tracey Bateman (she makes me laugh and cry my eyes out), Rachel Hauck (do you see a theme here?), and Denise Hunter (she’s just amazing).

What is your hope for the readers of your books? 
HOPE. I love that word. It’s my life mission. So I HOPE to inspire, create, and encourage HOPE in myself and others through my writing.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad? 
Heck yeah, I read reviews. I write for those people after all. If they love the book, I want to know. If they didn’t get it, I want to know. I appreciate feedback and try to learn from it. I can always grow.

What is the most awkward situation you've ever put your character(s) into? 
Whoa, baby. I am so mean to my characters. In False Security, Laney pulls a gun on the man who loves her. And that’s just the beginning of my cruelty.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before and is it a place you'd set a story? Everywhere. And yes.

Give us the description of the ideal person you wish would read your book. 

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing come from? 
My parents. Dad tells stories. (Seriously. When playing “The Dating Game” my mom was asked what was one thing she would change about her husband and she said, “He wouldn’t tell so many stories.”) And Mom writes. (When I was little she sold an article about me to Woman’s World. They printed it along with a picture of me and my 8-year-old mullet haircut.)

What's the worst job you've had and how has it helped your writing? 
Last fall I took a seasonal job at what I thought was going to be a gift shop like Harry and David’s. Good hours. Good pay. But … I also had to help out with butchering dead animals. For eight hours a day. Wearing an XXL butcher jacket in a freezing warehouse. My mom came to get a gift box and laughed her head off at me. Joe, the Mexican butcher, liked to lecture me about how I should have a real job and not just write at home. And the owner liked to make fun of how I always wore pretty shoes even though they got bloody. I hated it at first. HATED. But then I changed my attitude. And ended up changing the whole attitude of the place. Plus I realized how vanilla most of my characters are compared to real people who work at butcher shops. I will fondly remember the experience as “the Christmas of bloody pig butts.”

What can we expect from you in the future?

Falling Hard will be book 2 from Team Love on the Run, releasing this fall.
I’m entering a contest with Love Inspired Suspense, so I hope to be writing for them soon.
My agent is shopping a full-length romantic suspense titled Romancing the Throne. Fingers crossed…ahem…I mean, God’s will be done.
I also write for kids. My Fun4Hire series will delight reluctant readers ages 8-12. The third book, The Food Fight Professional, released last month. 

Check it out at

These are sooo hard.
Plotter, Pantser, or Planser?
eReader or Paper book?
Biscuits or Dinner Roll?
Nora Roberts or Diana Gabaldon?
Birthday Card: Email or Snail Mail?

Angela sold her first story to a national magazine while still in high school and went on to study journalism at the University 
of Oregon. Her debut novel Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho released in 2010. She started IDAhope Writers to inspire other authors, and she has currently won the Idaho Top Author Award two years in a row. Find out more than you ever wanted to know about her at


Angela, thanks so much for sharing!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.

Angela's question to you:

What is your life mission?

Leave a comment to tell us YOUR answer! 

I pray you find 
"a little something extra" 
in each of your days.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Katie Clark - Vanquished

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, Katie Clark visits Lagniappe to discuss her latest release, Vanquished.

Welcome, Katie!

Tell us a little about Vanquished…

When Hana’s mom is diagnosed with the mutation, she confesses to Hana she doesn’t know what will happen if she dies. Fischer, a medic at the hospital, implies there is Someone who can help–but religion’s been outlawed. 

Hana embarks on a dangerous journey, seeking the answers Fischer insists are available. But when the truth is uncovered, will Hana stick to what she's been taught? Or will she join the rebellion and take a stand against an oppressive society?

If you could be any character, from any book who would you be? Why?
Wow, that’s a tough one! I think I’d like to be some type of fairy tale character. Maybe Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I love Belle, how she’s patient and kind, and willing to look beyond the “norm.”

What's on your writing playlist these days? 
No writing playlist for me. I need quiet to focus!

What Bible verse speaks to you the most? 
Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing but everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.”

What is the best non-writing advice you ever received? Most things really aren’t as big of a deal as we tend to think. No one’s dying? Then it will work itself out.

If you weren't a writer, what would be another dream job? 
Well, being a travelling…anything…would be awesome. But I adore working with kids, and being a teacher is who I am, so I guess I’d have to say working with the children!

What led you to choose the genre in which you write? Now, this one’s a little different for me. I write in multiple genres: children’s books for the general market, speculative fiction novels for the Christian YA market, and romances for the adult inspirational market. I READ multiple genres, so it just makes sense to me to write whatever I’m feeling (but I’m also conscientious that this takes work; each time I switch genres I have to go back to the drawing board and study up on the nuances of that particular genre).

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? Hobbies, etc? 
Gardening, travelling, reading

What's the worst job you've had and how has it helped your writing? 
I was once a cook at a Dairy Queen. I hated every moment of that job! Ha! I’m not sure it helped my writing…maybe I should draw from that experience in the future.

Where do you write? Can you describe your favorite writing place? 
Usually, I write on my laptop while sitting on the couch. Not all that glamourous, I know!

What can we expect from you in the future? 
Right now I’m working on my newest YA series. Book 1 is titled Shadowed Eden, and it’s going to be awesome! It releases this fall from Pelican Book Group, and you can watch the book trailer here:

Connect with Katie: 

Plotter, Pantser, or Planser? PLOTTER ALL THE WAY!
Coffee or Tea? TEA
eReader or Paper book? EREADER
Superman or Batman? BATMAN!!!
For Thanksgiving: Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Pie? PUMPKIN=YUMMY

KATIE CLARK writes young adult speculative fiction, including her dystopian Enslaved Series, made up of Vanquished, Deliverance, and Redeemer. You can connect with her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Katie, thanks for sharing!

Please leave a question you’d like readers to answer.

Salty or Sweet?
Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe. What is your answer to our author's question?

I pray you find 
"a little something extra" 
in each of your days.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Sharon Srock - The Women of Valley View - Samantha

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, Sharon Srock visits Lagniappe to discuss 
her latest release, The Women of Valley View - Samantha.

Welcome, Sharon!

Tell us a little about: 

Orphaned and innocent, Samantha Evans was easy prey for con man Louis Cantrell. He left her broke and pregnant, but she persevered. Four years later, surrounded by a loving family, Samantha’s life seems to be headed in the right direction as she cares for her young daughter, pursues her dream of becoming a child welfare worker, and dreams of marrying Patrick Wheeler, the young law student she ran over in the sonic parking lot. The only thing standing in the way of those plans is Patrick’s refusal to accept Christ in his life, but they’re working on that. At least they were until Louis Cantrell walked back into her life.

A God that made the universe, absolutely. A God that hears and answers prayers, not so much. Patrick Wheeler loves Samantha—and her little girl—but he’s done with Christ. Two Christian fathers dead, a Christian mother who suffered through those heart breaks despite her faith. And as faithful as Samantha is, God is allowing Louis to mess with her life a second time. Driven by love and desperation, Patrick proposes marriage and Samantha refuses. How can she choose a con man over him? Louis is welcome to her.

A tragedy followed by a surprising confrontation with God drives Patrick back to Samantha’s side. Can he reconcile with God before Samantha and Bobbie are lost to him forever?

What's on your publishing horizon?

I have two more releases this year. 
BEGGING FOR MERCIE, book two in my novella series comes out in June. 
THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: KATE, book 5 in the Valley View series comes out in November. 
I am hard at work on book 6 (the final book in Valley View), THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: KARLA. That’s a 2016 release

What Bible verse speaks to you the most?

Proverbs 13:12.  Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. 

I love this verse. We all have dreams that we chase, and delays can cause us so much pain, but we have to keep the goal in sight, because everyday that we strive for the goal is more water on that tree of life!
What do you prefer on your Christmas tree, white lights or colored lights?

I go back and forth. This year white. If I ever find purple that will be my forever choice.
Give readers your brand/tagline and share how you came up with it.

Ordinary women, extraordinary faith. I think Ordinary women do extraordinary things every day. I want women to know that they are loved, forgiven, stronger than they think, cherished by their friends and family, and overcomers. Those are the stories I tell.

If you weren't a writer, what would be another dream job?

Travel Agent.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? Hobbies, etc?

I love to travel, read, and try new recipes.  I don’t get to do enough of any of those things.

What was one of the most surprising things you've learned while writing your books?

That I could really do this?  (SMILE) That people enjoyed my stories and would pay money for them. REALLY!?!

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

WAITING!!  Now that I’m indie publishing that’s less of an issue, but I am not a patient person.

Plotter, Pantser, or Planser? PANTSER
Nora Roberts or Diana Gabaldon? NORA ROBERTS
Superman or Batman? SPIDERMAN!!
Vacation: Beach or Mountains?  BEACH


Author Sharon Srock went from science fiction to Christian fiction at slightly less than warp speed. Twenty five years ago, she cut her writer's teeth on Star Trek fiction. Today, she writes inspirational stories that focus on ordinary women using their faith to accomplish extraordinary things. Sharon lives in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma with her husband and three very large dogs. When she isn’t working or writing, she loves to read and travel.

Her books include: The Women of Valley View: Callie and The Women of Valley View: Terri, both of which are currently available. The Women of Valley View: Pam released 11 April 2014.

Connect with her at
Please visit her AMAZON page to find current info on her books:


Sharon, thanks so much for sharing!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.

I pray you find 
"a little something extra" 
in each of your days.