Welcome Cindy Huff, author of historical & contemporary romance novels. Her latest book, New Duet, available now!
A VISIT WITH CINDY HUFF
Tell us about your latest book.
New Duet will debut May 2018. It’s a contemporary romance set in Aurora, Illinois. The main characters are both wounded individuals. Widow Isabella Wilson is trying to find her way back to herself after living in an abusive marriage. Dan Sweeney is a wounded warrior working hard to appear normal minus a leg. She is gun-shy about relationships after five years in a toxic one. But excited about regaining her artist muse. Dan struggles to remake his life. No longer in the army and ten years older than most of his college classmates, he wonders what his future holds.
What sparked this story?
I was serving on the worship team in my previous church and wondered what if the song leader dropped dead during worship. I held the leader in high regard, so it was nothing personal. Just my writer’s imagination going crazy. What if in my story his wife was on the worship team, too? What if he had a brain tumor and didn’t tell her? What if she had to start over in a new place? That is how Isabella was born. Dan came along later. My son served several years in the Army and due to medical conditions related to his service, he left the military and went back to college. I thought, what if the new man in Isabella’s life had physical scars from his own trauma in the military? Two hurting people finding healing and purpose. And no, Dan is not modeled after my son.
Did anything unusual happen while writing this book?
My son posted on FB a video of a wounded warrior and his service dog. The dog was reacting to the veteran’s anxiety. The dog kept him grounded. Brutus became Dan’s service dog in the story.
What’s the one thing you haven’t yet written, but hope to one day?
My first novel , Secrets & Charades, is a Historical romance, and I will be writing more in that genre. One idea I’m in love with is a town run by women. Publisher and philantrophist, Horace Greely, designed what he considered a perfect town in the 1800s. He interviewed potential settlers and set them up in Greeley, Kansas. He never lived there himself, and it had its problems.
My writer’s mind is taking that same idea and letting it perculate. However, my heroine, an architect, is willing to live in the town she will design and gets a few friends to help her do it. Women were unappreciated for their intelligence in times past. Even wealthy women in many states could not inherit what she shared with her husband when he was living, often leaving them at the mercy of male relatives. We will see if the series I have in mind ever sees the light of day. I am writing sequels to my historical romance, Secrets & Charades while I ruminate the Women’s Town idea. I just wrote a scene for a novella I’m calling Marryin’ Off The Sheriff. We will see if I get inspired beyond the first scene.
My mind is always swirling with stories that never leave my brain. So, I’ll be as interested as everyone else to see what becomes a finished manuscript.
What genre do you enjoy reading the most?
I love a good story, period. I read a lot. I’ve been known to read a hundred books a year. I love anything with unexpected twists. Romance, mysteries, dystopic are my first choices. I love historicals, because they take me to a different time. But traveling to places I’ve never been in a contemporary novel is fun, too. Reading is my addiction. I have to be careful or nothing else gets done.
What are you reading now?
I just finished Mary Connealy’s series Wilde Hearts. I love her humorous westerns. I’ve been reading portions of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers before I go back to my to-read pile of fiction.
Where is your favorite place and time of day to write?
I’m a morning person. I love my desk, but my office is no longer my own because my son’s family is living with us. So, the kitchen table, the couch, any quiet place with my laptop works. I have a portable desk I can use while I sit in bed. I have been known to go to the library for quiet with my house full of family.
Share three things our readers may not know about you.I never went to college
I’ve been married to my soulmate 44 years.
I’m an introverted extravert. I love people but don’t mind spending extended periods of time alone.
If you could live on earth as one of God’s creations, other than a human, what would you be and why?
I wouldn’t want to. Humans are God’s special creation, and I am so blessed to be what he created me to be. I can’t imagine being anything else. Probably why I don’t write children’s books where the characters are animals.
What is your next writing project?
I’m working on sequels to Secrets & Charades. I’m editing the second and rough drafting the third. Not sure if they’ll get picked up but I need to complete them. The characters insist.
What have you learned from your writing journey? What advice would you like to share with a beginning writer?
Patience is the key. Never give up. When I finished Secrets & Charades over ten years ago I thought publishers would snatch it up. Over 20 rejections and myriads of rewrites later, it found a home at LPC. New writers often get impatient and run to self-publishing without learning the craft. Rejection is part of an author’s MO. Keep writing, rewriting and submitting while attending conferences and learning the craft. Over time your book will get published. Even if you do determine self-publishing is the right avenue for your book, what you’ve learned will be worth the wait. Your book will be better, and you’ll have acquired the right tools and network to successfully sell your work.
Please give us the first page of your book.
Isabella Melinda Marklin scurried ahead of her husband Ron. She reached the driver’s side door of the red Dodge Durango first. Ron closed the gap between. His breath brushed across the top of her head, “I’m driving.” She faced him feeling for the handle and pulling the door open.
Anger flashed in his dark brown eyes. Melinda stood her ground.
“You have one of your migraines. I’ll drive.” She climbed in before he could grab her arm.
“Fine.” Ron moved to the passenger’s side, slammed the door, and leaned back on the gray leather headrest. “It’s so bright.” His forearm covered his face.
“Here’s your sunglasses.” Melinda took them from the visor before gazing into the rearview mirror. The gravel driveway flowed beneath the tires. Her chest tightened and her hand shook as the gears shifted into drive.
Ron adjusted the sunglasses. “Can you drive a little faster?”
“No.” A tremble escaped her lips. White knuckles gripped the steering wheel. Fear wrestled her confident tone. “We’ve got time.”
“You’d better be right.” Ron massaged his temples with his index fingers. “If we’re late, it’s all on you.”
Everything always seemed on her lately. Always her fault, always her problem. Blame had been the morning focus.
“What’d you do with my socks?”
“Why haven’t you folded the laundry?”
Where can it be purchased?
Here is Secret & Charade link https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Charades-Cindy-Ervin-Huff
If there is no link to New Duet I’ll send it later. New Duet will release May 2018.
Share your bio and your social media links with us.
Cindy Ervin Huff is an award-winning, multi-published author. Her debut Historical Romance Secrets & Charades, published through LPC received the Editor’s Choice and 3rd place in the Maxwell Awards for fiction. Her second novel, a contemporary romance, New Duet is slotted to release May 2018 through Clean Reads Publishing.
Cindy’s media and buy links
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-charades-cindy-ervin-huff/1126086057?ean=9781946016140
social media sites
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/author.huff11/about/?ref=page_internal and www.facebook.com/cindyehuff,
Amazon Author Page:
Agnes Hopper Bets on Murder: Back Cover Copy
When Agnes Hopper travels to Beulah Cemetery to inform her late husband, Charlie, of the dire financial pickle she’s in, she discovers the shoeless and quite dead body of Charlie’s best friend laid out on a concrete bench.
Despite the indifference of the local sheriff, Agnes’ nose for trouble smells something foul and she vows she won’t rest her aching knees until Josiah Goforth can rest in peace.
But as she and her sometimes-love-interest, Smiley Abenda, uncover a growing list of suspects and illegal activities in their small town, they must also rally the fellow residents of Sweetbriar Manor to help prevent the sale of their home to a halfway house for female inmates. The antics these senior citizens pull would surely make Charlie roll over in his grave!
Can Agnes curtail her spending and stop the sale while looking for a murderer?
Or will the murderer stop her first?
One of the biggest problems in marriages occurs when each spouse tries to change or fix the other. This was certainly true early on in my marriage.
My husband Charlie is wise, full of common sense, self-confident, laid-back, and capable of doing whatever he sets his mind to do. His calm manner, optimistic outlook, and independent spirit are admirable qualities.
I, on the other hand, struggled most of my life with low self-esteem. I constantly doubted myself and my abilities while trying to measure up to the standards that others set. I grew up being a glass-half-empty girl.
Charlie and I are, in most ways, complete opposites. And while it might be true opposites attract, it’s also true they spend most of their time trying to make the other person into a mirror image of themselves. If this behavior continues throughout the life of a relationship, it can chip away, break down, and cause an otherwise stable marriage to disintegrate.
The key lies in recognizing and embracing the differences. Let me illustrate by having you try an exercise I observed many years ago. Hold your hands in front of you, palms facing, fingers pointed up. Imagine your fingers are your strengths and the spaces between them, your weaknesses. One hand represents the husband and the other, the wife. Place your fingertips together and push. This is what happens when each spouse tries to be the strong one and won’t allow the other person to use his or her strengths. Nothing is accomplished. Instead, the marriage partners find themselves continually butting heads.
Move your fingers enough to fill in the gaps, and clasp your hands. Now you have a strong and stable foundation. This is a good example of allowing the strengths of your spouse to fill in where you’re weak and vice versa. Instead of butting heads and trying to change each other, you can now work as a team, each spouse drawing strength from the other.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 tells us two are better than one (NIV). The Message puts it this way:
It's better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps. But if there's no one to help, tough!
The truth is we can’t fix or change anyone; only God can. But we can create and foster an environment where change can occur, no matter how long it takes. When we take a good, hard look at ourselves and deal with our own issues, our spouse will be more prone to deal with his or her issues. My former pastor once said, “There are no marriage problems, only people problems. Fix the people and you fix the marriage.”
Work on yourself and let God change your spouse.
Marriage—a good marriage—is a process, not an event. **
** Excerpt taken from Marriage: Make It or Break It by Andrea Merrell published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Used by permission.
Andrea Merrell is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a professional freelance editor and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC. She teaches workshops at writers’ conferences and has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards.
She is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It.
For more information visit www.AndreaMerrell.com or www.TheWriteEditing.com.
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