Hello again! Through September 19th (culminating with a list of winners), I have the privilege of sharing mini interviews with nearly all of the 2020 ACFW Carol Award Finalists! Today I’m continuing with Darlene Panzera and her Carol Award finalist novella “The Groom She’d Thought She Left Behind” from The Runaway Brides Collection! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.
FYI – There will be 2-3 posts per day, and a series-long giveaway, so make sure you catch them all!
Darlene Panzera is a multi-published author of both sweet contemporary and Christian historical romance. Her career launched with The Bet, a novella included in bestselling author Debbie Macomber’s Family Affair, which led her to publish thirteen more titles including The Cupcake Diaries and Montana Hearts series, and novellas in The Underground Railroad Brides, The Runaway Brides, and Sew In Love collections.
Darlene is a member of RWA, ACFW, Oregon Christian Writers, and the Northwest Christian Writers Association and co-founder of Aspiring Writer Academy. When not writing, she loves spending time with her husband and three kids, teaching at conferences, and feeding her horse carrots. Visit her website at: www.darlenepanzera.com
“THE GROOM SHE’D THOUGHT SHE LEFT BEHIND”
COLLECTION: The Runaway Brides Collection
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance Novella
PUBLISHER: Barbour Books
RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2019
What is a woman of the 1800s to do when she feels powerless to choose her own spouse and marry for love—run!
Amy’s home is at stake if she doesn’t marry her neighbor. Delia’s father wants her to marry into a political family. Georgiana is posing as a wealthy man’s wife in order to hide from her groom. Callie is fleeing one wedding and racing to marry a stranger. Emily flees her wedding with the help of a mysterious coachman. Josey’s best friend leaves a letter proposing marriage unanswered in order to elope. Bernadine becomes the ward and pawn of her evil uncle. Where will each turn when they have only God to trust?
Seven women facing the marriage altar make the decision to flee, but who can they now trust?
The Groom She Thought She’d Left Behind
by Darlene Panzera
In 1896, a would-be bride gets cold feet on her way to the altar and escapes from Boston to the Berkshire region of Massachusetts with help from her mysterious coachman.
Hi Darlene! Welcome to the blog!
Q: How has Christian fiction impacted you personally?
Darlene: The Christian novels I have read challenge me to stop and think about how I view God, life, and our relationships with one another, all while enjoying a good story. I received my first Christian fiction novel as a teen and the faith journey of the relatable teenager in the story was so compelling that I read it over and over again dozens of times, which also deepened my own faith.
Carrie: I had that experience as a teenager too – it’s so great to have that influence for teenagers in such a pivotal time in their lives!
Q: When you’re not writing your next award-nominated book 😉 who are your fave authors to read & why?
Darlene: I read all genres, but I especially love Karen Kingsbury’s contemporary novels because the characters seem so very real and relatable. I also admire Beverly Lewis, whose Amish stories are so powerfully written with vivid imagery, emotion, and meaning, that they stay with you forever.
Carrie: Very true!
Q: Do you have any strange writing habits or quirks?
Darlene: I notoriously burn dinner whenever I am on a roll with my writing and I’m ‘in the zone.’ My daughter says, “Never trust a writer to cook dinner.” Without realizing it, I suppose I also mimic some of the expressions my characters are making in the story, for my family will walk in and stare at me and ask, “Are you all right?”
Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve googled lately while researching a book?
Darlene: I needed to find out if crows can see well in the dark. I learned, they do not, which is why they rarely fly at night when there is a greater risk of being injured. This serves my story well because I was looking for a simile that my hero could relate to after entering a precarious blackout situation.
Carrie: how interesting!
Q: What’s something that God taught you while you wrote ‘The Groom She’d Thought She Left Behind’?
Darlene: Much like the heroine, Emily, I needed to trust God would help turn everything out for good. My editor brought me into The Runaway Brides Collection with the other authors at the last minute and I had to quickly come up with an idea and write the story fast, trusting God to help bring it to completion.
Carrie: yikes! i bet that was a whirlwind!
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from ‘The Groom She’d Thought She Left Behind’ & why do you love it?
Darlene: In one scene from The Groom She Thought She’d Left Behind, Emily and Gilbert are at a masquerade ball and Emily is afraid she will be recognized by the man she jilted at the altar.
“Thank you, Gil,” she said, as he took hold of her hand. “If I ever do marry, I’ll marry for—”
Gilbert nodded, lifted the mask up over his head to reveal his face, and with one of the most tender looks of understanding Emily had ever seen, he said, “Love.”
This is one of my favorite quotes because after all the previous bantering back and forth, these two finally realize they are falling for one another.
Carrie: so sweet!
I am offering one reader any TWO books (print copies) that finaled in the 2020 Carol Awards! (open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your address) 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 makes you want to read the novella Carol Award finalist The Groom She’d Thought She Left Behind by Darlene Panzera & what did you enjoy about Darlene’s answers?