Welcome back, friends! 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 Susan L Tuttle and her Carol Award finalist book Love You, Truly! 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!
Susan L. Tuttle lives in the Mitten State where she’s a homeschooling mom of three and happily married to her best friend. Between raising her teens and leading the women’s ministry at church, she finds time to write. She’s firmly convinced that letters were meant for words, not math, and loves stringing them together into stories that inspire and encourage. Romance, laughter, and cookies are three of her favorite things, though not always in that order. Connect with Susan at susanltuttle.com.
LOVE YOU, TRULY
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Candlelight Romance
RELEASE DATE: December 15, 2019
Blake Carlton, the camera-shy son of Hollywood’s Darling, dodges the invasive limelight and scripted relationships that so often accompany fame. But when his mother’s popularity declines and she falls into a depression, he offers himself up as the next bachelor on a reality show, hoping to reignite interest in her career while creating a way for them to finally connect.
After her fiancé dumps her for her best friend, aspiring photographer Harlow Tucker is done with romance—until her beloved, disabled sister requests her aid to start a nonprofit. Harlow agrees to do whatever is needed to raise funds, even reluctantly costarring on a dating show with a notorious womanizer who distrusts anyone behind a lens.
As Blake and Harlow navigate the superficiality of a reality show, their preconceived notions of love are challenged. Deciding to trust each other feels like the ultimate risk, but taking that chance could lead to a love truly picture-perfect, worth both of their hearts.
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Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited
Hi Susan! Welcome back to the blog!
Q: How has Christian fiction impacted you personally?
Susan: When I was a teen, I read things I really should not have been reading, whether too steamy, too dark, or steeped in the occult. What I was putting into my mind completely affected my thought life. But I loved reading, especially as I went through struggles with friends. Books became almost an escape. Problem was, I was escaping to places where hope wasn’t shown or talked about. I didn’t really know there was Christian fiction out there. I can remember reaching a point where God challenged me to find books that reflected him. I stumbled into our church library, and my world was changed. Switching to Christian fiction truly helped clean out my thoughts, which ultimately changed some of my actions. It also began to develop in me my calling, because I realized the need for stories that could deal with tough topics but through the lens of Jesus, not the world. Stories filled with hope. And that, ultimately, shaped me as an author.
Carrie: I love that testimony & how Christian fiction shaped you as a person and as an author!
Q: When you’re not writing your next award-nominated book 😉 who are your fave authors to read & why?
Susan: Okay, honestly, I have too many to mention, so I’ll go with two I’ve read the longest: Becky Wade and Denise Hunter. They challenge me as both a reader and a writer through the depth they bring into their books. They’re not afraid to wade through some deep topics, and they do so in authentic ways. Plus, they make me laugh—and laughter is SO important in life. Their banter and dialogue is often some of my favorite in books. Oh, and their heroes??? Yeah. I’ve yet to meet one I don’t like 🙂 Bottom line, I can trust their books to always bring a story I love.
Carrie: Thank you for mentioning laughter – it IS so important! And their heroes… because those are important too 😉 lol
Q: Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks?
Susan: I cannot write in the same place each day. In fact, I can’t even write in the same spot for an entire day. I get bored and need to move. I’m constantly swapping locations and positions. Sometimes I’ll sit in my office then an hour later moved to the couch then eventually stand at my counter. As long as a spot is quiet and no one’s around, I’ll use it.
Carrie: I’m not gonna lie – that would drive me crazy hahaha! (But I still totally love you lol)
Q: Which of your characters has really stretched you as a writer?
Susan: Actually, it was Harlow Tucker for Love You, Truly. I was dealing with her core struggle while writing that book. God and I spent a lot of time together on my knees, and as he’d speak to my heart, he’d challenge me to put it onto the page. That took a new level of vulnerability for me to do.
Carrie: I appreciate so much the amount of time you took for prayer while writing!
Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve googled lately while researching a book?
Susan: “Is it ever legal to punch someone in the face?” I may have jokingly been asking on behalf of my current hero who was having a moment 😉
Carrie: hahaha! love it
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote Love You, Truly?
Susan: I’m going to elaborate on my answer to question #4 above. Like I mentioned, God was working on me as he worked on Harlow. She struggled with feeling chosen—by God and by others. As someone who has often felt the sting of rejection or being left out, God used this story to remind me of his truths. That we are created by a God who loves us and who chose us as His from before the beginning of time. He touched my heart through writing about hers.
Carrie: amen & amen.
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from Love You, Truly & why do you love it?
Susan: I actually have two. For me these were moments where I felt like I got to speak directly to whoever it was that may pick up this book. I wrote them as if I were sitting across the table from them, telling them about how much Jesus loves them—and that’s something I’m passionate about. And the words touched my heart too, because this world can be a tough place and sometimes we all need reminders of God’s truth about who we are.
You were created simply because you are loved and wanted. You weren’t an accident. You weren’t a mistake. You were envisioned and crafted together by a God who loves you infinitely more than you can imagine.
He chose you the moment he conceived you in his heart and mind. Before the very foundations of this earth, God chose you. His desire for you has nothing to do with anything other than his crazy, unfailing love. Nothing you do. Nothing you give up. Nothing. You can’t earn it, and you can’t lose it. It’s just there.
Carrie: so much this!!
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 romance Carol Award finalist Love You, Truly by Susan L Tuttle & what did you enjoy about Susan’s answers?