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