I’m pleased to welcome Donna L.H. Smith to the blog today to chat about her book, Meghan’s Choice!
Donna L.H. Smith is a Kansas prairie girl transplanted to Lancaster County, PA. She is a graduate of Christian Writer’s Guild Craftsman program and holds two college degrees, both B.S. and M.A. in Mass Communication. She’s been married to a wonderful man named Kirby for thirty years. Her debut novel, Meghan’s Choice, made the finals of both the Selah and Will Rogers Medallion Awards. She blogs, speaks at workshops and retreats and although she is at an age where many begin slowing down, she wouldn’t think of it. Recently, she took on the role of Managing Editor of www.almostanauthor.com and serves as ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Mid-Atlantic Zone Director. She is also a member of AWSA’s Protégé program (Advanced Writers & Speaker’s Association).
An unusual ultimatum. A young woman’s bold journey. Two handsome men. An amazing God. That’s Meghan’s Choice.
Meghan Gallagher complies with her father’s demand that she work on her own for a year by choosing to tutor eight children in a wild Kansas railroad town. But she had no idea just how wild it was until she was hit by a stray bullet and rescued by a local dance hall girl.
In short order, she meets a dark, handsome cowboy and a wholesome, attractive doctor who both vie for her heart. As things heat up around town, Meghan’s love life catches fire as well. Is she scandalous to allow both men to court her at the same time? And—how close a relationship with God does Meghan want? Will she draw near?
Meghan’s Choice was named a semi-finalist in the 2014 Operation First Novel by Jerry B. Jenkins and an honorable mention for the Golden Leaf Award in 2015.
Hi Donna! Welcome to the blog!
Donna: Apples. Although I love orange juice, I don’t like pulp. But to eat as it [is], I peel an apple and cut it into pieces.
Carrie: Apples are my fave, no matter what form!
Donna: Dogs. I don’t hate cats, but my dad did, so we never had one. They usually like me. We did have dogs, however, and I like them more, because they’re closer in personality to me. Cats are more independent.
Carrie: Our beloved dog passed away a couple of months ago, and we still feel the void she left behind. I miss her following me around everywhere.
Donna: Hallmark Channel. I’ve been watching ever since it started, and we got it on cable. I also watch Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama. I had a trial subscription to Netflix years ago but didn’t keep it after the free month.
Carrie: I love Hallmark Mysteries – that’s pretty much the only channel I ever watch
Donna: Ocean: I love mountains, but not for a retreat. I grew up in landlocked Kansas—flat with no mountains, and only lakes. Oceans have always drawn me since I moved to Pennsylvania in 1982. Cape May, NJ is my favorite beach to go to. I only get there every few years now. But I love it.
Carrie: My husband is from Kansas too 🙂 I love the oceans and the mountains equally but the mountains are my happy place!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Donna: Wow. I don’t know. I think at different times in my life, I would have liked mindreading, super-strength. I am connected with the God of the universe though. I don’t have to worry about anything, because I’m his. He reads all minds and knows all hearts. He’s stronger than anything.
But, I’ve always loved to read. My English teacher mother made sure of that. I’m a voracious reader. I have over 600 books on kindle and numerous others in my personal library.
Carrie: I think it’s probably good that we can’t read minds – social media is bad enough lol!
Q: When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Donna: These days, when I head into a bookstore, I head for Christian fiction, then Christian living, anything on the Holy Spirit (if it’s a Christian bookstore). I love seeing what all they have. Where I live, we do have a Christian bookstore about 15 miles away, and if I go in there, that’s the order I’m drawn to.
Carrie: that’s a wonderful blessing!
Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?
Donna: Well, let’s see. I don’t know how ‘weird’ these are, but for my historical novels, I’ve Googled: the Santa Fe Railroad, Victorian manners, the Gunfight at Hyde Park, old-fashioned names for modern diseases, (like grippe for flu), all sorts of things like that.
Carrie: separately, not so weird… but if you were researching all of the above at once? That would be a little more unusual 🙂
Q: Do you have the whole plot outlined before you start writing, or do you let the characters dictate what comes next?
Donna: Nope. I’m more of a “pantser” except that I must know where my story is going. Especially with my second book I just finished, even some of the places I thought it was going to go changed a bit of direction on me as I wrote it. For me, the fun part is to see how it gets to where it’s going. Because I know the ending, but how it gets there is all the fun.
Carrie: That’s the fun part for the reader as well!
Q: What surprised you about Meghan’s Choice or your characters as you wrote their story?
Donna: Those doggone characters do surprise you as they flesh themselves out. Sometimes they’ll rise to the occasion, and sometimes they’ll do something really stupid. And then it’s fun to see what they do about that. In Meghan’s Choice, Meghan treats one of her suitors the way she’d been treated by someone she once thought she’d marry. She felt pretty bad about it when she realized that.
Carrie: I love how characters have a mind of their own – even (especially) to their authors 🙂
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Meghan’s Choice?
Donna: Know God in your heart, not just in your head. Many people today think because they go to church every Sunday and live good lives, that they’re Christians. Jesus said, “you must be born again.” Growing up, to me, that was just a phrase from the Bible, the story of Nicodemus. It wasn’t until someone asked me if I’d ever had an “experience” with God, that I realized there was more to knowing God by heart. Meghan is asked that question in the book. Her answer was my answer.
Carrie: “Know God in your heart, not just in your head.” – so very important ♥
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂
Donna: Thank you so much for having me! 😊
Donna L.H. Smith is offering a print copy of Meghan’s Choice to one of my readers! (Continental US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about Meghan’s Choice?