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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Welcome, Carol Ann Erhardt

Joshua's Hope


Welcome to From the Pages! I'm so glad you could stop by and visit with us today. I've got lots of questions to ask, so if you don't mind I'll get started.

When you're not writing, what do you like to do?

Since I have a full-time job and weekend chores, I don't have a lot of spare time. What I really like to do is watch sappy movies and read whenever I can squeeze in the time. In the warm weather, I schedule vacation days around long weekends so hubby and I can take our camper to local state parks. There's nothing more inspiring that walking on a warm sunny day and then sitting in the shade with a good book. I love camping. There are no phone calls, no internet, no nagging responsibilities…nothing but relaxing and enjoying nature. And most times, hubby does the cooking! It doesn't get better than that.

It sure sounds like you're a busy woman! And I agree with you; anytime hubby cooks is all right with me.

Can you tell us anything about what you're working on now?

My current manuscript deals with the sensitive issue of life support and forgiveness. It's a story about a man and woman who are driven apart by guilt and blame until God brings them together through another tragedy. Forced to work together, they learn the true meaning of unconditional love before finding their happily ever after.

Tell us a little bit about your book, please.

The book I'm promoting today is JOSHUA'S HOPE. Having known how hard some people have fought to gain custody of their own children, I wondered what would happen if two people divorced and the one who wasn't the biological parent wanted custody. I created the heroine, Hope, who loves her stepson with all her heart and soul and only divorces her husband to save her life. But, she can't turn her back on her stepson, Joshua. She begins a battle to remove him from his father, a dangerous criminal, but can find no attorney who will help her. In desperation, she kidnaps Joshua to save him and finds herself a prime suspect when her ex-husband is killed. She turns to the only person she knows who can help her, a small-town sheriff who is dealing with issues of forgiveness in his wife's death. This is the story of an incredible journey of hope in the midst of darkness, and how God's love can work miracles when we let Him into our lives.

Joshua's Hope sounds wonderful! Where did you get the idea for this story?

My daughter went through a horrible year of legal battles to regain custody of her daughter after her ex-husband stole her. We lived through the pain, the fear and the anger. Another daughter had two legal battles against her ex-husband to keep custody of their son. I wanted to show the pain that is involved in losing a child and how hope can be lost and faith challenged. And I wanted to show the journey to faith involved when we have nothing left but to turn it over to God. From the reviews I've received on this story, I believe I met my goal.

If you had the choice of being stranded on a desert island or lost in a huge city, which would you prefer and why?

Oh, I hate big cities! They frighten me. I was raised in a very small, rural community. I love the peace of being in a less populated area. Being stranded on a desert island would be full of adventure and quiet solitude. Hmmm. But I would want to be rescued by a handsome hero with a heart of gold.

The question most readers want to know but never get the chance to ask, do you ever write in your pajamas?

All right. I confess. I do write in an oversized t-shirt and underwear (which is my pajamas) on many mornings. I hop from bed to my laptop to write as much as I can before I have to shower and head to work. And, it's wonderful to not have to worry about having your hair combed or makeup on when you write. That's one of the perks of being a writer. I am dreaming of the day when I can give up the day job and dress comfortably every single day.

How do you juggle all of life's other demands with your writing career?

I don't juggle well, that's for sure. I believe the balls are dropped more than they stay in the air. I must confess that writing takes a backseat a lot of the time to family, church, and other commitments. I try to get up early enough to do a little writing before I have to go to my day job. Sometimes, I can squeeze in a little writing on my lunch hour, but usually I spend it with my nose in a book. After work, there's dinner to prepare, clean-up and spending time with my family. And, I have a few favorite television shows as well. I never get to write at night. Saturdays are for cleaning, but I try to find time to write a bit, too. Sundays are for church, family, and relaxation. The hardest part about being a published writer is keeping up with edits, marketing and promotion. It's very time consuming. That's usually an hour spent before bed every night. So, juggling? Not so good, I guess.

Goodness! You certainly know how to fill the days, Carol Ann. I am amazed by all you do!

In the house--shoes or bare feet?

Bare feet. I take off my shoes when I get in the door. In fact, I'm barefoot now. In the winter, I will wear socks to keep my feet from freezing.

Do you have a pet?

Boy, do I! I have three indoor cats named Wilbur, Templeton, and Charlotte. Wilbur is a Maine Coon. He's beautiful with long hair and tufts in his ears and between his toes. Templeton is a black and gray tabby, built like a mountain lion, and not afraid of a thing. In fact, he's the official greeter of every visitor. If you come to my house and ignore him, he'll get your attention by leaping from the floor to your shoulder. Trust me, that's sixteen pounds of muscle you won't ignore. And Charlotte is the little girl with the loud voice. She's very DIVA. In my backyard there are thirteen semi-feral cats which we care for. It's a story too long to tell here, but your readers can read about it on the bio page of my website.

Do you need silence to write or can you write through anything?

I really need silence and no distractions. I do have a two CD-set which I play to help me focus. It's the Creative Mind System by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

Thank you for this opportunity to let your readers know a little more about me and what I write. I'd love to offer an e-book version of JOSHUA'S HOPE to one of your readers. Also, I have two blogs. One is Inside the Writers Mind at http://carolannerhardt.blogspot.com. This is where I share little pieces of information about the every day life of this writer. On my other blog, Keeping Hope Alive http://caerhardt.blogspot.com , I share more inspirational things, daily devotions, and stories of God working in our world today. My website is www.carolannerhardt.com

Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Carol Ann. I am a fan of your work, and have enjoyed getting to know the author behind the stories!

Readers, Carol Ann has generously offered to give away a copy of Joshua's Hope to one lucky commenter. So comment away, and check back to see whether your name has been drawn to receive Joshua's Hope.




Buy Link: White Rose Publishing http://www.whiterosepublishing.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=23



Blurb:


Hope Courtland escaped her marriage to save her life. Her only regret is leaving her four-year-old stepson, Joshua, behind. Though she wants custody, no attorney is willing to tackle her ex-husband in a custody battle. Hope's faith begins to falter. She learns that Joshua is paying the consequences for her freedom, and in an act of desperation, she kidnaps him. Suddenly, she becomes a suspect in her ex-husband's murder.


Zack Stone is content to be sheriff of Pine Cove, Tennessee, where the worst conflict he deals with is handing out speeding tickets. Though his faith is strong, he struggles with issues of forgiveness surrounding his wife's death. When he rescues Hope in a rainstorm, the last thing he expects is to find a woman who stirs his heart. Being a small town sheriff shouldn't involve kidnapping and murder, but Zack can't turn his back on Hope and the little boy she loves.



Excerpt:


Loud voices drifted up the stairwell. Hope opened Joshua's door and slipped inside. His eyes were open. He stared at her, silent tears carving paths down his cheeks. She put a finger on her lips, urging him not to say anything. She lifted him and he wrapped himself around her like a small monkey.

“Mommy,” he whispered.

“It's all right. Mommy is going to take you home with her now. But you have to be very quiet. Can you do that?”

He nodded against her neck. “I need white doggie.”

Hope reached for the stuffed animal she'd given him on his first birthday. The neck fur had been rubbed off in two places from Joshua's fingers. “Mommy will carry white doggie for you. Don't be scared and don't look up. Just hold on tight.”

He nodded again, his arms squeezing tighter.

She kept one arm firmly around him and eased the door open. So far, so good. She only needed to get downstairs without being seen.

She closed Joshua's door and began a slow descent.

The hairs prickled on the back of her neck, alerting Hope someone was watching. Swiveling her head, her gaze locked with Anna's. For endless moments, Hope's heart stopped.

Then Peter's study door crashed open and she feared she'd been caught.

Joshua's small body jerked and he began to tremble. His fingers dug deeply into her skin.

The nanny rushed down the stairs, and as she passed, she whispered, “Run.” Her hand waved Hope toward the front door.

“You're not the one calling the shots on this, Courtland. The kid knows too much.”

Hope froze. A man wearing a security uniform focused dark angry eyes on them. He and Hope stared at each other, recognition dawning in his eyes. She'd seen him before. Many times. One of Peter's henchmen who visited during the late hours of the night.

Peter stepped into view and looked up at Hope, astonishment showing on his face.

The other man's gaze moved off Hope's.

“You dare to threaten me, Courtland?”

The man raised his hand and Hope saw the flash of metal before Anna blocked her view.

“Run, get out of here now!” the nanny cried.

22 comments:

Mary said...

Great interview! Love the excerpt. Joshua's Hope sounds very interesting.

Carol Ann said...

Oh, my goodness! I had this interview down to be on July 21st! So sorry to be late in checking and responding!

Thanks for the comment, Mary!

Tonya Renee Callihan said...

Wow, that was a great interview. I love learning about authors and their lives. So sorry to hear about the legal battles you and your family have been through and are going through. And I love national parks. Can't wait to read Joshua's Hope it sounds like a very touching read!

LORETTA CANTON said...

Hi,

I hate to repeat what the other said but this was a good interview. I enjoyed the excerpt and cannot wait to read this book. good luck.

lorettaC

Beth Trissel said...

Hi Carol Anne. I enjoyed reading this interview and learning more about you and Joshua's Hope. It sounds like an excellent book. I am impressed by all that went into the writing of it.

Carol Ann said...

Tonya, Loretta, and Beth...
Thank you for your kind comments and for reading the interview and excerpt. I really enjoyed working with Sarita.

MarthaE said...

Hi Carol Ann and Sarita. Nice interview. My DH cooks and we like camping too! You sound sooo busy.
Joshua's Hope sounds very interesting to me - I am an attorney! I don't do custody cases anymore but I did have a few heartbreakers.
Thanks for sharing! Martha
mesreads[at]gmail[dot]com

LighthouseSandy said...

I really enjoy learning about new-to-me authors and Joshua's Hope sounds lovely!

Carol Ann said...

Hi Martha. Interesting that you are an attorney. Yeah, custody cases can be heartbreakers. Thanks for stopping by!

Carol Ann said...

Hi Sandy! I'd be interested in knowing what stands behind the Lighthouse in your user name. My sister-in-law loves lighthouses and collects them. Her name is Sandie!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Sandy Wickersham-McWhorter said...

I'm a Sandy and I love Marblehead Lighthouse in Ohio, absolutely love Lake Erie! Having been through my parents' breakup, disappearance, divorce, being raised by grandmother, and not seing my family for many years afterward I totally understand the agony of a family breakup and the abuse and pain that goes with it. Carol Ann, thank you for giving a voice to those out there who have none! Recovery does happen with time and love, my Hope was my grandmother.
Sandy Wickersham-McWhorter
www.sandywick.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol Ann -- thanks for sharing more details behind your story. I love hearing how other writers develop a concept. Sounds like you had lots of personal experience. Congrats on the success of JOSHUA'S HOPE!

Becky
www.BeckyBarker.com

Saralee said...

Hi, Carol Ann!

What a great interview! I loved Joshua's Hope, and thought you really drew me in and made me care about the characters.

Congratulations!

Billie Warren Chai said...

Carol Ann, this sounds like a wonderful story. You took a sad chapter in your life and made lemonade while giving encouragement to others. I can't wait to read Joshua's Hope.

We have 6 houses on our cul-de-sac and the husband and wife at the end are getting divorced. I've watched for months as he moved out and would show up only when she was gone to maintain the lawn. The house looks so forlorn. I can't imagine how sad it would be if there children involved.

This is a wonderful interview. Keep writing and we'll keep reading.

Billie Chai
w/a Annabelle Carlisle

Mary Ricksen said...

Hi Carol Anne, my friend has a Maine Coone cat and they are a beautiful breed. From what she tells me they are supposed to be very smart cats.
I wish you the best with Joshua's Hope it sounds like a heartwarming story, my favorite.

Carol Ann said...

Sandy, I've never been to Marblehead Lighthouse, but I sure would love to.

Carol Ann

Carol Ann said...

Becky, thanks for stopping by! I'm with you on how neat it is to learn how other writers develop a concept. It makes the book so much more interesting.

Carol Ann

Carol Ann said...

Hi Saralee! I'm so glad you enjoyed Joshua's Hope, especially the characters and the emotions.

Carol Ann

Carol Ann said...

Billie, so nice of you to stop by. It's always heartbreaking to see a marriage dissolve, especially when children are involved. Thanks for your kind words.

Carol Ann

Carol Ann said...

Thanks for stopping by Mary. I do think my Wilbur is very smart, but, of course, I'm prejudiced! Thanks for the wishes on Joshua's Hope.

Carol Ann

Anonymous said...

HI,it's Arden:
Figured out how to get in greet you. I'll have time this afternoon to read eveyrthing!
I love your format,
More later

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