Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Michelle Connell

July 11, 2016 Author Interview, giveaway 39

 

I am delighted to have a new friend join us today on the blog! I’ve gotten to know her a little bit through the blog (yes, she’s a reader too!) and I’m looking forward to learning more about her today 🙂

michelle connellMichelle Connell is a wife, and homeschool mom. She has written hundreds of book reviews for various markets, including Christian Communicator, Christian Home & School, and CBA’s Retailers + Resources Magazine. Other credits include a contribution to Tyndale’s Life Verse Devotional and Guidepost’s True Stories of Extraordinary Answers to Prayer: Expecting Miracles. She also contributes to her writer’s group blog at PaddleCreekWriters.com and has coauthored a book of prompts with them.  She lives in southern Illinois, in the St. Louis Metro-East with her husband, four children, and a Poodle mix, Ripley. Cookie Encounter is her debut novel in the Chance Encounter Inspirational Romance Series. For more information visit MichelleConnellWrites.net.

about the book

cookie encounterWhere does the power to forgive someone come from?

A tender story of love and forgiveness – Follow Natalie’s journey as she learns to forgive and then falls in love.

Natalie Alexander believes she is unworthy of a romantic relationship after a traumatic event back in college. After moving to southern Illinois, she can finally put the past behind her.

But then she’s smitten with the handsome Nick Norton, who she meets over a platter of cookies.

Unwittingly Natalie is drawn to Nick, but will she ever be able to reveal her secret? Can Natalie overcome her insecurities and can Nick help her see her inner beauty?

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Michelle, you probably already know this since you follow my blog, but I start everyone out with a “fast four” –

apples or oranges

Michelle: Oranges; I’ve never been a big fan of apples, except in apple crisp.

Carrie: mmmm… apple crisp….

winter or summer

Michelle: Summer; because I don’t have to find hats, gloves, mittens, and then worry about icy streets here in the St. Louis metro area. Also, because the kids can go out and play and I can sneak some writing in.

Carrie: but summer is so hot! lol (clearly my answer is ‘winter’)

dogs or cats

Michelle: Dogs; they aren’t as finicky as cats.

Carrie: Agreed. And Zuzu heartily approves of your answer!

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coffee or tea

ice-tea-600x398Michelle: Tea, iced or many flavors of hot tea with honey in the winter. My grandma used to ask me growing up if I wanted coffee and I always answered “I will never drink that stuff.” I didn’t lie. I love the aroma, but I just can’t stand to drink it.

Carrie: I’m the same way with coffee.  Tea, too, for that matter. I’ll stick to my diet coke! Here’s a glass of iced tea for you to sip on while we continue with some questions that (mostly) matter 🙂

Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower.  If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Michelle: Oh, that’s easy! Housecleaning at the blink of an eye or at least Mary Poppins’ way. With four kids home 24/7, there is always a pile or a mess somewhere. Oh, and a few piles of my own 🙂

Carrie: That’s an AWESOME superpower. Can I have that one, too? Then I could get even more reading done!

We love to talk about books here on the blog. What are you currently reading?

Michelle: Oh, dear. For starters: Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles, Margaret Truman’s Deadly Medicine, Becca Fitzpatrick’s Dangerous Lies, Zachary Petit’s The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing; and in my soon TBR pile: The Traveling Tea Shop by Belinda Jones, The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan, a James Scott Bell Thriller, and a legal novel by Steve Martini. In June, I managed to read 10 books. My Goodreads goal is 75 and I’m overachieving so far!

Carrie: Out of all those, I have only read The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder but it’s so fun! You’ll love it!

I read that when you were two you wanted a “hipiter” (high-pie-ter), or as it’s commonly known, a typewriter. 😉 Clearly, the writing bug bit you at a young age! When did you start writing for publication?

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Michelle: The first article I sold was back in 1998, shortly after finding out I was pregnant with my first child. I knew then that it was possible to be a ‘writer mama’. I sold a few articles, then moved into book reviewing and over the years have reviewed hundreds of books for a mystery website, my local MOPS newsletter, church newsletter, and then for CBA’s Retailers + Resources magazine. I also have contributed to a Guidepost’s book, and to Tyndale’s Life Verse Devotional.

It wasn’t until October 2006 that my writer’s group convinced me to try National Novel Writing Month and it was then that I learned I could write much longer projects! Cookie Encounter is my 2nd NaNo book. The funny thing is I never planned to write novels and thought I would write children’s chapter books—alas, I haven’t an idea for a children’s book to save my life.

Carrie: NaNoWriMo is such a great movement! Lots of fantastic novels have come out of National Novel Writing Month!

Your debut novel Cookie Encounter is about a chance encounter over a plate of cookies. (Hmmm… cookies… “high-pie-ter”… it sounds like you have a sweet tooth! Lol – You’re in good company. Me too.) Have you, like your heroine, had any chance encounters over baked goods? Do share!

Michelle: Not over baked goods, and not a romantic encounter, but one year at the Write to Publish conference at Wheaton College, I ran into a friend I went to church with while growing up. We reconnected and stayed in touch for several years until she moved again. I’ve had similar encounters like this, and that’s where the series title came from. And yes, I have a sweet tooth, for chocolate. Preferably dark or in truffle form. I love cookies, too!

Carrie: Chocolate is always a good idea.

Who was one of your favorite minor characters to write in Cookie Encounter? Did anybody take on a life of their own?

cookie encounterMichelle: I would have to say Mrs. White. She seemed to take charge right from the beginning and took offense if anyone questioned her motives or procedures. I had to keep her in line 🙂

Carrie: Those are my very favorite kind of characters 😉

What do you most want readers to take away from Cookie Encounter?

Michelle: I want readers to know that no matter what happens in life, there is always hope and that Jesus longs to forgive us and he loves us so much, we can’t even fathom it.

Carrie: Yes. Beyond our imaginings…so true.

It’s been so fun to “meet” you, Michelle! Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what’s coming up next for you!

Michelle: I am editing another novel, Heir Force, which is not part of the Chance Encounter series (the next one needs more work than I planned 🙁 ). Heir Force takes place near Scott AFB, and involves Kate Langston and Spencer Coleman. Kate gets the shock of her life after her boyfriend, John dies overseas. How will she cope and will she let Spencer help her? If things go well, this book should come out next spring.

Thank you, Carrie, for allowing me the opportunity to share Cookie Encounter with your readers. I appreciate it very much!

giveaway RIMSP

Michelle has graciously offered to give TWO of my readers a paperback copy of Cookie Encounter! (Open to US mailing addresses only.)

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What about you? Have YOU ever had a chance encounter that ended up being life changing even in some small way?

Carrie

39 Responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Michelle Connell”

  1. Melony Teague

    Nanowrimo is such fun!!!

    I’ll forgive you all for the dogs instead of cats thing —-coz I love ya! What if we love both?

    So nice to learn more about Michelle.

    Great interview Carrie.

  2. Katherine Good

    Always open to new authors! I love the premise of chance encounters.

  3. Becky Smith

    I wasn’t aware of this author, but after reading this interview, I would like to read her books. I homeschooled 6 children, and it’s always fun to hear of other homeschooling moms! And I agree with her that I would love to be able to clean my house in the blink of an eye!! Great interview!

    • Carrie

      thanks, Becky! I so badly want that cleaning superpower… but I don’t want to give up my reading one either. The reading one sort-of necessitates the cleaning one haha!

      • Andrea Stephens

        I completely agree with you Carrie. I want that cleaning superpower so I can have more time to read and do other things 😉

    • Michelle Connell

      Thank you, Becky! It is quite the challenge to write around homeschooling–a full time job in itself. Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the giveaway!

  4. Jan Hall

    In high school the guys were required to take a test to see what they would be qualified for in the military. This was during the draft days. Girls could take the test if they wanted. I had a big test that day that I was not really prepared for. Since the military test didn’t count and I could take the other test after I had studied more, I took it. I received letters from the Air Force and Army. I joined the Army.

  5. JJ

    I would say that the chance encounter that changed my life was meeting my husband. I was visiting relatives during Christmas/New Year break. I went to a New Year’s Eve party at a girlfriend’s house in the city where I was visiting relatives. In walks this handsome man and it was love at first sight. We spent the entire evening talking and flirting with each other. At the end of the party, he said he would get my address from my girlfriend and write me, if that was alright with me. I said yes. He did not write until a year and a half later! But it was perfect timing. We married three years later. We’re still talking and flirting, too!

  6. Marilyn

    This book looks like an exciting and interesting read. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Marilyn

  7. Dianna

    I can’t think of a really meaningful chance encounter off the top of my head, but I believe that God brings us into certain situations for a reason.

  8. Andrea Stephens

    I’ve had a few chance encounters that changed my life in big and small ways. I’ve been told I should write a book, sadly, I lack the talent to do so.

    Now I want cookies and a good book 🙂

    • Andrea Stephens

      Oops, I didn’t mention any encounters. The biggest one would be how I met my husband. I was working at Kentucky Fried Chicken, he was a customer. He was painfully shy and would stop in nearly every day that I worked for months, I was always over friendly and chatty, often taking my break and talking to him. On one Wednesday he asked, “do you ever get out of this place?” I said “I’m off this Sunday!” we were married three and a half months later.

  9. Anne Rightler

    I can’t really think of any chance encounters that were life-changing. If I had one, I’ve forgotten! My “Halfzeimers” kicking in, I guess! Thank you for the interview. I definitely get the house-cleaning superpower, having had 5 kids and now having grandchildren over all the time!

  10. Jeanna Massman

    I met my husband in a chance encounter in September but didn’t see him again until the following April and eventually we started dating.

  11. Anne

    A chance encounter with a woman who became a friend and changed my outlook on life. I became understanding, thoughtful, and kind to many who appreciated my care.

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