Marianne Evans loves to tell a good story. In fact, she’s been enthusiastic about writing ever since she could string sentences together. Kensington Publishing purchased her first book, Friends & Lovers, a contemporary romance. Her second release, Right Hand Man, followed shortly thereafter. Her third offering from Kensington, Hannah’s Heart, won critical acclaim from readers, and The Oakland Press.
Her fourth book is her inspirational romance debut at White Rose Publishing – the contest winning novella Hearts Crossing. Hearts Crossing led to the creation of the ‘Woodland Series.’ This series of books centers around Woodland Church and characters who are first introduced in Hearts Crossing. Book two is titled Hearts Surrender. Hearts Communion and Hearts Key will follow as books three and four. The series is offered in both print and electronic formats via White Rose Publishing (http://www.whiterosepublsihing.com/) and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/).
A lifelong resident of Michigan, she calls suburban Detroit home. She’s happily married, with a son, a daughter, and cats who wrap her around their paws. An active part of Romance Writers of America, she’s a long-time member of the Greater Detroit chapter where she served the chapter most notably as Treasurer and two terms as President. She also belongs to the Faith Hope and Love chapter of RWA, American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.
Connect with her at: http://www.marianneevans.com/ or via her fan page at facebook.com: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Marianne-Evans/308711716744?ref=ts
Blurb – Hearts Surrender
Kiara Jordan is a sophisticated modernista, but beneath an engaging personality and super-model looks, her heart hungers, and she longs for deeper meaning in her life.
Ken Lucerne is the charismatic young pastor of Woodland Church ; he's adjusting to life on his own following the death of his wife and copes by keeping as busy with parish life and mission work as he can.
A home-building mission in Pennsylvania brings them together, and forces them to look hard and deep at the relationship they share, and where God means for it to go. Already bound by mutual respect and caring, love dawns, a love that takes them to a life-point neither would have expected.
After all, can a chic, vivacious woman find fulfillment within the quiet, mission-centered life of a clergyman? Can they trust God's hand strongly enough to surrender their hearts to one another…forever?
Excerpt – Hearts Surrender
“I’ve been the wallflower who bloomed. But I’ve never believed in myself enough to give up the fancy trappings. I've clung to vanity-centered ideals for too long, I suppose. I’ve worked hard to fit in, and finally I succeeded. Problem is, that kind of success is a double-edged sword. That pathway, once you start to follow it, is hard to leave.”
In an unexpected, graceful motion, Ken caught her swing by the chains. He held her in place, suspended backward, with nothing but a cushion of air between them. All at once Kiara went dizzy, tempted once more by that full, supple mouth, and the satiny-looking fall of his thick brown hair. He was close enough to touch. In this moment, she wanted nothing more than to do just that.
“Some time – at some point – I’d like to hear more about that, Kiara. I’d like know how you became the woman you are.”
“I’d bore you to tears. It’s nothing extraordinary.”
“All present evidence to the contrary.” He set her gliding once again and Kiara’s stomach performed a sparkling fall-away. She delighted in his words but forced herself to brush them aside before they could take root and sway her into believing he saw richness to her spirit. After all, it was part of Ken’s persona to be gracious and encouraging.
He continued, “You're moving forward in directions that are not only admirable, but eye-opening – not just for you, most likely, but to everyone who's part of your life. Don't hold to what other people see, or expect of you, Kiara. Be who you are. And while you're at it, create the best version of yourself you can imagine. After all, the only question, with the only relevance that matters, is this: Who are you now?"
When she sailed back his way, he caught the chains of her swing once again and whispered in her ear, "I believe in you."
With that, he released her on a push, sending Kiara on another dizzying spin of sensation. He walked away, retracing his steps up the path to the cabins and mess hall. She swung to a stop then sat in silence for long moments after he left, absorbing, shivering in a way that had nothing at all to do with the cool of the encroaching night.
Purchase Link for Hearts Surrender
Available in Print and Electronic Formats - $4.99 Digital / $11.99 Trade-Size Paperback
The Story Behind the Story
Talk about a risk…
There I was…well, no. I take that back. There they were, my characters I mean, Ken and Kiara, all but leaving me sleepless as they fed me their story. I tried to silence them. Had to silence them. Really. After all, I couldn’t tell their story unless Collin Edwards and Daveny Montgomery had their shot first!
Let me fill in the blanks for you. I was writing furiously on a submission to White Rose Publishing for their Hearts Crossing contest. Collin and Daveny simply filled up the pages and I fell in love with them completely – but hey, this was a contest. Chances of winning were slim to none when you consider how many talented authors would be participating. Still, I had to try. So, I finished off this heart-warming novella and sent it in.
That’s when the weirdest thing happened. Two of the secondary characters from Hearts Crossing stepped to center stage and threw me into the midst of a story that stole my entire focus. It centered around the modernista versus the clergyman. The gorgeous, vivacious woman versus the quiet, yet completely charismatic missionary. When I wrote this story, the scenes, the dialogue, the characterization, poured out of me like water.
One small problem, though. What about the prequel? What about Daveny and Collin’s story? Ken and Kiara stand just great on their own, but how would I be able to convince White Rose to contract Hearts Surrender if Hearts Crossing didn’t win their interest? Ordinarily that would have stopped my writing angel like a freight train. Not this time, though. The story needed to be told.
I knew I was setting myself up for a letdown, but I had to try, and I figured if I didn’t win the contest, I might still be able to work out details and logistics at a later point. So on I went…or in this case, wrote.
How good is God’s providence and provision? I ended up winning the Hearts Crossing contest! Furthermore, when I told my editor I had a sequel about ready for review, she seemed eager to see it! The rest, as they say, is history. I ended up contracting Hearts Surrender to White Rose Publishing, and beyond that, I have been contracted to create an series of books based around Woodland Church, home of the characters you met in Hearts Crossing, and continue to meet in Hearts Surrender…in fact, Ken Lucerne, the hero of Hearts Surrender, is its pastor. Books 3 and 4 of the series are Hearts Communion and Hearts Key, and they’ll be coming soon from White Rose Publishing!
Thanks for letting me share my story, and excitement about the release of Hearts Surrender! I hope you enjoy it!
Thanks for stopping by Marianne. This book is gaining rave reviews. And I loved it... Just wish it came with the hanky too :)
Don't forget she's on tour - see this post for where she is and when... http://telscha.blogspot.com/2010/09/blog-tour-announcement.html
At the end of her blog tour, Marianne is giving away three special prizes:
1. A $10 gift certificate to White Rose Publishing
2. A $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com
3. An autographed, print edition of her new release, Hearts Surrender
Entering is simple: Leave a comment – or several comments as you track her progress on the tour (Marianne and her blog hosts will get the word out and let you know where she’ll be!). Each comment gives you a chance to win!
On September 30th, she’ll randomly select three comments from visitors at any of the blogs she’s visited, and award them the prizes!