Author and genealogist, Angela Breidenbach

CAN President Angela Breidenbach

February greetings from Marti Pieper, who is grateful to have had both power and water throughout this chilly month! I’m also grateful to reintroduce a familiar face to our CAN readers today. It belongs to our multitalented president, Angela Breidenbach. I first met Angie when we were both teaching at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. I then had the privilege of working closely with her on the CAN newsletter for several years. I know you’ll enjoy learning more about her and her books.

Welcome, Angie! I’m so glad you’re with us today. Please tell us about your latest book.

The Mail-Order Standoff: Marriage plans put on hold in the Old West when four mail-order brides have second thoughts. How will their grooms win their trust?

This four-in-one book includes Right on Time by Angela Breidenbach. Could two people be less suited than an English gentleman and a Western gal who is used to giving the orders? From the wild Montana Territory to the refined Kentucky horse farms, can Timothy prove worthy of Tara’s heart?

Do you have an unfulfilled dream?

The Mail-Order Standoff

The Mail-Order Standoff by Angela Breidenbach and others

I do, but I’m constantly working toward them. Them—because as I achieve one, I move to the next on my list. Oh yes, I have a long list. Currently I’m close to graduating with my genealogical studies degree and specialty in English records. I’d like to add more specialties (halfway to Scottish records already) and take small professional tours on genealogical research visits to Scotland, England, and other countries. I’m also working toward having my screenplays produced on TV and big screen. I dream of writing movies that touch lives and of leaving a body of work. I’d also like to have an endless lap pool someday inside a heated sunroom. Why not, right? Who wants to walk out in the snow to swim? Some very big stretch dreams.

Especially when you live in Montana, as I know you do! What talents do you have aside from storytelling?

Music. I love singing and am learning the harp. I hope to use both of those talents in church and music therapy. I also really enjoy teaching/speaking on genealogy, writing, and historical topics.

You amaze me with all you fit into a day! Do you have a “day job” or a previous career? Does it influence what or how you write?

I’ve had a variety of jobs from airlines to radio to heating company co-owner (still am, but no longer in the day-to-day). Every job I’ve had informs my writing as I create characters. Once I’m finished with my last few genealogy classes, I’ll take genealogy projects for clients starting late summer/fall 2021.

Anyone who follows you on social media knows the answer to this one: Do you have pets, and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?

Muse, my fe-lion executive assistant, inspires a lot of humor. I share our Muse and Writer conversations on social media and my website. He also inspired An A-Muse-ing 2021 Calendar. We hope to work together more this year to produce A-Muse-ing Tales series in the genre of cat comedy.

Sounds purrfect! What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?

Themes are a little harder to define because they’re not as interesting as the story world that reveals the deeper meaning. But the themes I tend toward are unique life experiences that reveal our life purpose and overcoming. For instance, I’ve written nonfiction in story form that deal with one specific characteristic like becoming a confident woman in Gems of Wisdom: The Treasure of Experience, and I’ve taken that same thing and built it into a character’s sense of not being good enough in the historical romance Right On Time (Mail-Order Standoff).

What is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?

Writing is telling stories whether fiction, nonfiction, articles, screenwriting. The biggest thing to me is that as a writer, I don’t read one genre or write only one genre because I’m interested in so many different things. As much as the industry tries to box writers into brands, and we have to establish that for readers, but my writing interests are hugely varied.

I understand that well! What inspired you to write this book?

I love following obscure historical tidbits, then setting characters into those interesting events. This one is in 1883, the year my own grandfather was born. The time zones, as we know them today, did not exist. Train crashes killed thousands of people because clocks and watches were set to the sun at high noon at the nearest town. I was fascinated by how something so mundane and normal today changed the entire world my grandfather was born into. I wondered how something that seemed so small might actually have caused a huge shift in societal life. What would that be like? How would that affect families? Business? I was stunned how long it took for the time zones to be normalized, but how it immediately saved lives. Some of the smallest decisions have the biggest impact.

And what do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Change, though scary in the expectation, becomes an amazing opportunity. Change in hindsight becomes normal, and fear disappears as that change becomes normal life. Each time we conquer the fear of change, we gain confidence.

So true. So what was your greatest challenge in writing this book?

I’ve been in college for that genealogy degree. Writing while in college, while speaking at conferences, and while caring for my family was really an adventure in pushing myself and my capabilities.

And I know you did it with excellence. Please tell us about your next project.

Coming this summer, I’m excited to release my Queen of the Rockies series. It’s set in Helena, Montana, starting in 1889. Helena was a very modern and beautiful city in what was considered the wild west. I love this gorgeous series full of vivid characters and real history.

Muse and Writer will also release A-Muse-ing Tales, book 1, cat comedy for the whole family in time for Christmas.

Marti Pieper

Marti Pieper

To learn more about Angela Breidenbach, visit Angie’s website or Angie’s blog.

For His glory,

Marti Pieper

Marti’s website

Cheri Cowell
Marti Pieper

Marti Pieper

Greetings from Marti Pieper in Mount Dora, Florida, where we’ve had lots of rain every day this week. And we’re not complaining, since drought conditions have led to increased fire danger. The subject of today’s interview, Cheri Cowell, has also had extra rain in her area. Since she’s one of my fellow Orlando-area CAN authors, when my home has rain, hers usually does, too!

Welcome, Cheri! I’m so glad to share this time together. My first question is one every author loves: Would you please tell us about your latest book, One Story, One Mission, One God?

 

Cheri Cowell

Cheri Cowell

This workbook-style Bible study is an overview of the whole Bible in two six-week studies. The Old Testament and the New Testament studies help readers see how the Bible is one story about the same God with a single mission from the beginning to the end. Read More →

Marti Pieper

         Lori Wildenberg

Greetings from beautiful and moving-toward-summer Mount Dora, Florida! I’m newly returned from the beautiful state of Colorado and a time of service and teaching at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. And guess what? Lori Wildenberg, the lovely subject of today’s interview, also served on faculty there. I’m delighted to have this opportunity to share her work and wisdom with you.

Welcome, Lori! Please tell us about your most recent book.

Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home is for parents with a wayward child. My daughter and I, along with other parents and prodigals, share our stories. The book offers practical grace- and truth-filled ways of navigating life with a detoured child.

I love the title. And what inspired you to write this book?

This is a book I didn’t want to write. Having a child who has gone astray not only causes heartache, but it can be isolating and shaming. No one wants the hurt, the pain that a prodigal brings. But as only God can do, in my grief He tenderized me and moved me to reach out to bring comfort and encouragement to other families facing major struggles with their child. So I guess my inspiration is my daughter, our journey, and the hope that others will be encouraged.

How beautiful that God allowed you to use your pain as a vehicle to bless and encourage others. So what would you say is your book’s primary focus?

The primary focus of my book is to encourage the relationship between the prodigal, the parent, and God. I hope to provide some peace and direction to the parents who are wounded by the way in which their child is living. It’s tough to navigate life when belief and behavior collide. When one is the parent of a prodigal, living in the tension of grace and truth while holding fast to convictions is a challenging task.

I love your voice of experience. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

I pray that the moms and dads reading this book feel encouraged and less alone. My hope is that by reading the stories of others and implementing the suggestions presented, they will feel empowered to get through the day and to never give up.

Lori, I know you’ve been writing for a while. Would you tell us about your funniest moment with a reader?

One reader, a mom with little ones, mentioned to me she keeps my first book: EMPOWERED PARENTS: Putting Faith First in her bathroom, “So I can multitask.” One afternoon, her little one, who was being potty-trained, wanted to do a science experiment and tossed the book into the toilet and gave it a flush. Needless to say, I gave her a new book!

I guess you can say you have some very young readers in your audience! Now, please tell us about your most touching moment with a reader.

Messy Journey moves people, some to tears, and touches their hearts. These readers will often express this to me. I feel blessed because I know God is using my messy journey to help them through theirs. These individuals know they’re not alone. One mom told me I gave words to feelings she had never articulated. Now I was the one moved to tears.

Lori, let’s learn a bit more about you. What ministries are you involved in and why?

The ministries I’m involved in revolve around faith, family, and mentoring. My heart is to help families build relationships that last a lifetime. You can find me mentoring at MOMS Together (www.facebook.com/momstogether), supporting and relating to parents over at 1Corinthians13Parenting.com,  and ministering to moms and dads via my blog loriwildenberg.blogpsot.com . I love speaking to various parent groups, women’s groups, and mom groups on the topics of parenting and mothering.

Fantastic. And what are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?

We live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Just out our back door are trails that stretch for miles. A perfect day in my world is time spent hiking with my husband, four kids (plus one daughter-in-love), and Murphy (the family labradoodle).

Anytime in or near the Rockies sounds wonderful to me, too. What can you tell us about your next project?

My upcoming project is in its infancy stage. I will be focusing on how to create a relationship between family members that lasts a lifetime.

That sounds like one that will meet a definite need. Thanks so much for taking time to share your life and your work with us, Lori. I know our readers will appreciate your thoughtful encouragement.

To learn more about Lori Wildenberg, please visit Lori’s website or her blog.

For His glory,

 

Marti

Marti’s website

 

Marti Pieper

Marti Pieper

Greetings from Marti Pieper in charming Mount Dora, Florida, where we haven’t quite decided if we’re ready for warm weather or not. I do, however, have a warm conversation to offer you today with delightful novelist Liz Tolsma. Welcome back, Liz, to our CAN blog. Let’s get started with the official interview.

How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?

I have six. My most recent are “World’s Greatest Love” in the Rails to Love novella collection, and “A Match Made in Heaven” in the Matchmaker Brides novella collection.

Liz Tolsma

Liz Tolsma

Congratulations! You were last featured on the CAN blog in 2013. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about the writing life since then?

Writing has its ups and downs, its busy seasons and its lean times. You don’t know when you’ll get your next contract, and sometimes, even having a contract is no guarantee your book will get published. But God is faithful, and He provides

That’s a great reminder for every writer—and every Christ-follower. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about promotion since then?

That I know very little about promotion. The landscape is always changing. There’s always something new out there, and it’s next to impossible to keep up with all the trends. I’m working on focusing on a couple of things and doing them well, and trying not to stress about all I don’t know. Read More →

Greetings from central Florida and the lovely town of Mount Dora. Although we’re not snowed in like some parts of the country, we’ve had colder nights this week than we have during much of the winter. (I don’t want to inspire coveting, so we won’t mention how “low” our temperatures have dropped).

I have the privilege today of introducing you to experienced author and journalist Ginny McCabe. Ginny has lots to share, so let’s get started.

Welcome, Ginny! How did you get into writing?

From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I have spent much of my professional career in full-time positions in news, marketing and media relations with news organizations, in radio and publishing. I earned a journalism degree from Cincinnati Christian University and had some tremendous mentors, but I learned early on the value of being a go-getter and a disciplined, well-rounded writer.

In becoming a best-selling author and an award-winning journalist, it comes down to my faith, God’s hand on my life, the unconditional love and support of my family and friends mixed with hard work, talent, dedication and perseverance.

How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?

I have authored five books and collaborated on four additional titles. Secrets Young Women Keep (Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins), a CBA bestseller and an ECPA Silver Medallion winner, and Rich Chick (Amazon) are a few of the latest titles.

How did your first book come about?

Some Kind of Journey: On the Road with Audio Adrenaline (Standard Publishing) was the first book project I had the privilege of being a part of. It was an MTV Real World kind of an experience from a Christian worldview. A group of us—an editor, myself as an author/journalist and several photographers/videographers—went on a road trip with Audio Adrenaline. We also took a handful of college students from across the country—Chad, David, John, Lisa, Rachel, Scotia and Vicki—and talked about real-life issues like the church, dating and more, which are covered in the book. We went from a golf course in Columbus to the inner-city streets of Chicago and onstage in Minneapolis—and experienced a week of what’s it’s like to be in a popular Christian band.

The editor, Dale Reeves, knew I had experience writing about the arts, entertainment and music, so he asked me to be a part of it. A lot of book projects have come about as a result of relationships as well as my talent and level of experience. Dale was also my youth minister when I was a teenager. He introduced me to Christian artists like Keith Green and Michael W. Smith. Christian music has been instrumental in my faith journey, so this book is deeply meaningful to me on many levels.   Read More →