Monday, July 17, 2017

Orlando Bound by Marianne Evans

Marianne  Evans
Orlando, Florida. In late July.

Yep, it’s going to be steamy – literally and figuratively. Romance Writers of America is invading the Disney Swan & Dolphin Resort, playing host to over 2,500 authors of every genre in the romance industry. Talk about a melting pot. Yes, there will be authors of erotic fiction seated next to authors of Christian fiction at the 200+ author-strong event to raise money and awareness for literacy, at workshops, at networking events, at agent/editor appointments.

Which brings me to my point this month. I intend to be an active part of the ACFW national conference next year, but RWA is where I got my start over twenty years ago. RWA is where I learned my craft, where I spent numerous years on the board of my local chapter, Greater Detroit RWA. But most of all, I feel strongly that Christian romance needs to shine its light, and maintain its presence in the secular publishing world. We count. We matter. Our stories positively matter…especially when it comes to love. I’ll be honest though, and I’m sure it won’t come as a shock to know our exposure (and therefore our numbers at conferences like RWA) are dwindling.

I’ve always been the stubborn type. I refuse to give up on supporting my passion, the genre of my heart and soul. I'm half introvert, half extrovert, but I'm determined to share Christian  romance with the book-loving world as best I can.

So, I’m on my way to what I’m sure will be a humid—and utterly fantastic experience. There’s a lot to think about and prepare for prior to my flight taking off in a couple weeks. One sheets for promotion, deep-dive research of publishers, editors, and agents, swag for the famous “Goody Bag” room, tallying a list of author friends I’ll get to see again, or see and hug for the first time, divvying up free time for coffee dates, lunches, dinners, informal chat sessions.  Did I mention? My dear friend and Seriously Write compatriot Mary Manners will be bunking with me!

Conferences of this scale are high octane, but it feeds my writer-side to be in the company of such creative people. When you gather thousands of authors in one space, there’s an energy level you can’t describe until you experience it. We’re diverse and we pursue separate avenues to publication, different passion and interests, but we’re bound by words, bound by storytelling.

For me, understanding like that is where life, and love, begin. Happy writing, all!
Country music bad boy, Chase Bradington is on the comeback trail. Fresh from rehab for alcohol addiction and transformed by the power of Christ, Chase is battling to rediscover the music he loves and a career he nearly ruined. Then he meets up-and-comer, Pyper Brock and instantly sparks ignite.

Despite her rampant attraction to the handsome and talented icon, Pyper knows of Chase’s reputation and soundly dismisses his romantic overtures. No way will Pyper make the mistake of falling for a man whose done battle with the bottle.

What happens when Chase’s quest to win Pyper’s love breaks down chains of resentment and eases the long-buried wounds of her childhood? And what happens when Pyper’s father shows up in Nashville, clean, sober and seeking a chance to apologize? Can Pyper follow a pathway to peace when it comes to her father? Can she fully trust Chase?

Above all, can a sin-damaged past be released in favor of forgiveness?

Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Readers laude her work as “Riveting,” “Realistic and true to heart,” “Compelling.” Her Christian fiction debut, Devotion, earned the Bookseller’s Best Award as well as the Heart of Excellence Award. Her follow-up novel, Forgiveness, earned Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year honors as did her book Hearts Communion. She is also a two-time recipient of the Selah Award for her books Then & Now and Finding Home. Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan and an active member of Romance Writers of America, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. You can connect with Marianne at