Please join me in welcoming Carmen Schober to the blog today to talk about her new novel, Pretty Little Pieces!
Carmen Schober, author of After She Falls and Pretty Little Pieces, is a wife and mother, a proud Cuban American, and a woman of eclectic interests, ranging from gritty combat sports to feminine design shows. She writes unexpected romance novels for the modern woman, with relatable but inspirational heroines and heroes. When she’s not writing fiction, she blogs about Christianity, motherhood, writing, and everything in between. She earned a master’s degree in English literature and creative writing from Kansas State, and she currently lives in Manhattan, Kansas. You can follow her on Instagram or Facebook: @carmen_schober_writes or learn more at CarmenSchober.com.
PRETTY LITTLE PIECES by Carmen Schober
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: December 6, 2022
Ambitious influencer Georgina Havoc and her designer beau Lance Broussard have been dubbed the next Chip and Joanna Gaines, but their happily-ever-after falls apart when Lance blindsides her with a “pause.” The show must go on, so Georgina takes on the task of renovating a forgotten cottage in the tiny, tight-knit town of Tarragon, Tennessee on her own.
Georgina has a plan to save her relationship–and her show–but a surprise drop-in from her troubled twin sister makes things extra messy. That, and the presence of rugged ex-sniper Cassidy Stokes, who throws a wrench in all her plans.
As she salvages her shattered life, will Georgina retreat to the familiar or embrace a new design?
Hi Carmen! Welcome to the blog!
Carmen: Neither, but if Hallmark hired better actors and cinematographers, I would be a superfan. I love romance and happy endings, but I just wish their delivery wasn’t so stale. Netflix productions are impressive, but they’re usually too dark and depressing.
Carrie: Netflix does tend to be that way – a company with the best of both worlds seems to be in order!
Carmen: Music! I can’t pay attention to audiobooks with three little screamers in the car. My favorite music at the moment is moody covers of pop songs.
Carrie: I can’t pay attention to audiobooks no matter what lol
Carmen: Coke. Cherry Vanilla is my favorite, but I’ll do Orange Vanilla in a pinch.
Carrie: I’ve never heard of Orange Vanilla Coke! Sounds like something my husband might enjoy…
Carmen: Mountains. The older I get, the more appreciate solitude. Beaches are beautiful, but I can live without sand and swimsuits.
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Carmen: I can say what most people are too afraid to. I definitely wasn’t always like that and spent a lot of time people-pleasing as a younger woman, but then I saw the consequences of believing lies in my own life and wished others had been bolder and gently corrected me. An uncomfortable truth is so much more loving than a lifetime of comfy lies.
Carrie: Comfy lies are very rarely as comfortable as they promise to be 🙂
Q: Which books are “on your nightstand”?
Carmen: I almost always have one parenting book, one novel, and one book about writing. I just double-checked my current stack and found:
Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers by Gordon Neufeld
Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes
Write Your Novel from the Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between by James Scott Bell
Carrie: I love that mix!
Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?
Carmen: What a funny question! I think they would say I change my mind a lot, but once I do decide on something, I stubbornly won’t let go until it’s perfect. I also hope they would say that I’m very thoughtful in my approach and give them a realistic blend of hopes and hurts that make for a meaningful story.
Carrie: beautifully said!
Q: If Hollywood wanted to produce Pretty Little Pieces as a movie, who would you want to be cast as the lead roles?
Carmen: Scott Eastwood should totally be Cassidy Stokes—his look and personality is perfect. And AnnaLynne McCord has the fabulous curly hair needed to play Georgina Havoc.
Carrie: ooo you had me at ‘Scott Eastwood’ 🙂
Q: Some authors like to hide little things in their stories. Is there anything you have hidden in Pretty Little Pieces?
Carmen: If you’ve read a lot of C. S. Lewis fiction and nonfiction, you’ll find some fun little treasures sprinkled throughout. Some moments are very obvious, but others are pretty subtle.
Carrie: ooo yay!
Q: Among other things, this novel focuses on themes of finding real faith and lasting love in an increasingly secular and individualistic culture. Can you elaborate on how these themes are portrayed through Georgina’s story and why they’re important?
Carmen: I think Georgina embodies the average nominal Christian woman today. She has a vague belief in God because of her upbringing and she prays in emergency situations, but she doesn’t have a fully informed understanding of what Christianity is or what it entails, and she’s not entirely sure if God is trustworthy. She wants his help, but she doesn’t want to be fully committed. I spent quite a few years of my life like that, so I understand that mindset. Through various events and relationships, she learns more about the Christian life, and she eventually has to decide if a relationship with God is more valuable than her own image and goals. In a culture that increasingly views Christianity as backwards and unpopular, that decision carries even more weight. I hope women see themselves in Georgina and will answer that same question for themselves.
Carrie: definitely a pivotal decision for her – and us – to make!
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote Pretty Little Pieces?
Carmen: God reminded me that whether I achieve the success I want or I don’t, it doesn’t matter without Him. I still struggle with the temptation to run ahead of God and do my own thing sometimes, and I think that same tendency is reflected in ambitious Georgina. Realizing that God is the means and the end changes everything.
Carrie: Amen ♥
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Carmen: It’s time to write another book! And maybe have another baby too. So far, I seem to do those things at the same time, haha. But besides raising my little ones and diving back into another story, I’m looking forward to the Mississippi River Readers Retreat and next year’s American Christian Fiction Writers conference! I’m also helping my husband and some friends build a school, so there are many fun challenges on the horizon.
Bethany House is offering a print copy of Pretty Little Pieces by Carmen Schober to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) 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 Pretty Little Pieces by Carmen Schober?