Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Varina Denman

April 4, 2017 Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Varina Denman 54

I’m always happy when I get to talk with Varina Denman, the author solely responsible for me starting a blog 😉

Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about women and the unique struggles they face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and her debut novel, Jaded, won the ACFW Genesis Contest, the BRMCWC Selah Award, and the INSPYs Bloggers’ Award for Excellence in Faith-Driven Literature.

She attended three universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in her local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature.

Even though Varina has spoken at ladies’ retreats and taught women’s Bible classes, she finds the greatest fulfillment facilitating prayer groups. Varina lives in North Texas where she helps with the Marriage and Family Ministry in her home congregation. She is represented by Jessica Kirkland of Kirkland Media Management.

You can connect with Varina on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Her book Jilted is the final book in her Mended Hearts Trilogy.

Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest.

As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and a town that must—once and for all—leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.

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Hi Varina! I’m always honored to have you on the blog! Thank you so much for chatting with me! 🙂 As you know, I start all of my guests out with a fast four:

Varina: Peanut cluster ice cream (no sugar added)

Carrie: Yum!

Varina: Christmas

Carrie: Me too! Me too!

Varina: Knock-out roses

Carrie: Those make me smile 🙂

Varina: It changes, but lately, I’ve been loving “Never Alone” by Barlow Girl

Carrie: Yeah… asking me for my favorite song is about like asking me for my favorite book lol.

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

Varina: My kids tell me I’m pretty good at Scattergories. (And it gets on their nerves when I win)

Carrie: Oh now I want to play Scattergories with you!! How fun!

Who is your favorite book character from childhood?

Varina: Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read and re-read her series all through my childhood, and then acted-out scenes, pretending I lived “way back then.” Undoubtedly those books had an influence on my becoming an author.

Carrie: I always wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder … although the balloon made out of a pig bladder kinda made me hesitate lol 😉

If I snuck a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?

Varina: Mainly, that I’m sort of a slob (because of all the old receipts and used tissues), and that I don’t get out much (it’s a relatively small purse with only a few things in it, because I know I won’t be gone long).

Carrie: Do you mean that a purse ISN’T a receptacle for old receipts? Oops…

Your novel, Jilted, finishes up the series you started in Jaded, your debut novel. As you prepare for your new book Looking Glass Lies releasing in May, which character/s do you miss most from the Mended Hearts trilogy?

Varina: In the Mended Hearts series, the small town of Trapp, Texas, plays such a big role in the story that it almost seems like a character, and I miss it very much. Even though Looking Glass Lies is also set in a smallish Texas town, it’s not as small as Trapp, where everybody knows everybody. Those books simply had a fun “feel” to them because of that setting, and I really enjoyed writing them.

Carrie: Trapp itself was one of my favorite aspects of the Mended Hearts books!

Clyde and Lynda were both characters we first met back in Jaded and continued to see in Justified. But in Jilted, you really unpacked their stories for us. Between these two characters, who do you relate to the most?

Varina: Probably Lynda, though I feel similarities with both. Lynda struggles with depression, and since I’ve had my own bouts with it, I was able to write many of her scenes from personal experiences. At least the emotions and motivations behind them, though not the specific actions and situations.

Carrie: That was something that touched me so much about Jilted – the authentic depiction of Lynda’s depression. As someone else who has battled it, I could really identify with her character.

What do you most want readers to take away from Jilted?

Varina: That things are usually not as bad as they seem. Lynda Turner spent more than a decade feeling sorry for herself when she could’ve been enjoying a satisfying life. That’s another thing we have in common. Life is hard … but we can still experience joy while we work through things.

Carrie: Yes. So true.

Again thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us a little about your new blog and what‘s coming up next for you.

Varina: Looking Glass Lies releases May 2, and I’m super excited to share Cecily Ross’s story. For most of her adult life, Cecily has compared herself to other women—and come up short. After a painful divorce from her emotionally abusive husband, she returns to her hometown looking to heal. When tragedy strikes, Cecily’s eyes are opened to the harmfulness of her distorted views on beauty—giving her the perfect opportunity to find peace at last.

My new blog, Shame on Shanty, spawned from one of the book’s secondary characters. Shanty Espinosa leads an accountability group of women who are overcoming low self-image. Her blog is a safe place to discuss shame, insecurity, and all those other mixed-up emotions. Even though Shanty is a fictitious character, her blog is packed with real advice from other writers, bloggers, and friends. I hope you drop by for a visit!

Carrie, thank you for hosting me on your blog today. I always enjoy chatting!

Carrie: Likewise, my friend! 🙂

Varina Denman is giving away a signed paperback of Jilted to one of my readers! (US only.) Giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be read on the Disclosure page. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you?  If you’ve read Jilted (or other books in the Mended Hearts series), who is your favorite character?

Carrie

54 Responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Varina Denman”

  1. Sylvia Miller

    Dodd from book one is probably my favorite character. He’s such a gentleman and a true hero.

  2. Kay Garrett

    I’ve not read any of them – yet. 🙂 Loved reading about JILTED and learning some about the author, Varina Denman. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  3. Bonnie Roof

    Thanks for the interesting interview, Varina and Carrie. I love stories of depth and redeemed characters – even though I haven’t read any of Varina’s stories, they’re been on my TBR list for some time. I’ve heard so many wonderful comments about her writing and would love to read each of her books!! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

  4. Winnie Thomas

    I haven’t read any of Varina’s books, yet, although they are on my TBR list. I will be reading Looking Glass Lies soon, which I’m looking forward to.

    Thanks for the nice interview. It was fun to get to know more about Varina Denman.

    • Carrie

      BFFF!!! You must read the Mended Hearts trilogy!

  5. Onamae

    I’m new liiacs, éclairs, blue moon Elvis, Christmas I look forward to reading your books

  6. emilee douglas

    I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Varina’s other books. I would love to though!

  7. JJ

    I haven’t read Varina’s books yet, but I have 2 in my TBR pile.

  8. Dianne Casey

    I haven’t read this series yet, but I’m looking forward to reading the series.

  9. Kim

    I have read all of Varina’s books and all are on my keeper shelf. I think my favorite character is either Dodd or John Scott or Fawn. I loved them all! I am really looking forward to this new book.

  10. Katie Donovan

    I loved the whole series! I’m not sure I could say who my favourite character was, but I’ll say Dodd. But I retain the right to change my mind depending on which one I’m reading ?

  11. Elizabeth

    Ruthie was my favorite character – I think because I enjoyed her story the most.

  12. Jeanna Massman

    I have not read Jilted but I’d like to.

  13. Anne

    i look forward to reading this author’s books which sound captivating.

  14. debra

    I, too, have not read her books, but would love to.

  15. Suzie Waltner

    This is the only one in the series I have NOT read yet. It’s on my TBR list that only seems to grow 🙂

  16. Janice Moore

    This would be my first time to read books by this author, and I am looking forward to doing so! I really want to read “Jilted”!

  17. Janice Moore

    Sorry – please delete my second response!

  18. Nancy M

    I have one or two of these books. But haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. As is the case with so many of my books! Hoping that changes soon and my TBR stack dwindles slightly! Ha ha ha! Maybe I should say current!

  19. Carla Moore

    I love small towns and prayer groups. Just watched Pricilla Shrier on Simulcast at my church with the ladies over the weekend. I would love to win a copy of your book.

  20. Julie Waldron

    I haven’t read the books yet but they sound great. 🙂

  21. Andrea Stephens

    I’ve only read Jaded, so I’ll say Ruthie is my favorite.

  22. Stephanie

    I haven’t read it yet but look forward to it.