Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Next Big Thing

Quilts of Love author, S. Dionne Moore (Sandra) asked me to join in The Next Big Thing. Each author answers interview questions about their book and their next project. This one is a wonderful showcase for the Quilts of Love Books from Abingdon Press. Please enjoy!

Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing

NBT: What is the working title of your book?
Angie: A Healing Heart (as of this writing moment, it's on 50% off for pre-order on Amazon). I had no idea this special was happening ($6.98) until I accidentally hit a link to amazon and this popped up. Take advantage asap. I hope it's still happening when you read this post.

NBT: Where did the idea come from for the book?  
Angie: My agent, Tamela Hancock Murray, asked me if I knew anything about quilts. All six of my kids received a photo memory quilt for their high school graduation. Combine that with watching a Denzel Washington movie that sparked a brain storming conversation with my hubby about a woman sorting through photos of both regret and joy. What would she choose-joy or bitterness?

NBT: What genre does your book fall under?
Angie: It falls in a couple of genres, contemporary inspirational romance and women's fiction. But it has strong elements of humor as well.

NBT: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Angie: I'm delighted you asked! I chose Jeffrey Donovan as the inspiration for Joel Ryan and Kimberly Guerrero as the inspiration for Mara Keegan. I'd love to see this duo in a movie version! Anyone know them and a producer? We need more movies made in Montana :)

Jeffrey Donovan would be perfect as Joel Ryan
Photo of actress Kimberly Guerrero
Kimberly Guerrero, Native American actress, perfect for Mara Keegan

NBT: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Angie: Mara Keegan, a workaholic, has to trust her business to Joel Ryan, the one man who nearly destroyed it, when she suffers a heart attack.
NBT: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Angie: My book is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. She sold it to Abingdon Press for the Quilts of Love Books line. I'm delighted it releases on April 1st and shocked at how quickly that is coming!

NBT: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Angie: I wrote the rough in about three months. Then I polished (after a break for Christmas, a car accident, and pneumonia) for about five weeks.

NBT: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Angie: How about a few endorsements and a few paragraphs?

Opening Sample -- A Healing Heart

 “Why in the world did I agree to do this?”

Mara Keegan’s vision blurred as she stared at the old photo she’d picked from the box for the first block on Cadence’s memory quilt. David's arm curled tightly around her pregnant waist, his other balanced a precocious three-year-old Cadence, and one-year-old Toby grinned up into his mommy's eyes. Louie, the new family border collie/lab pup sat at their feet ready to catch Toby’s graham cracker.

A smile stole across Mara’s lips. Louie nabbed that cracker, and Toby wailed, right after the shutter clicked. But the picture captured the split second happy moment forever. The perfect family with so much promise. A promise broken off prematurely by a whimsical God.

Mara’s smile faded. She glanced over at her sleeping fourteen-year old dog curled up on one of his favorite oversized mutt mats. He’d been with their family since the early days. His black muzzle sported more white around his nose now. Louie seemed like the bridge from past to present as she looked back at the first picture. When would she be ready to try love again? Did she even need it? She broke out in a sweat in spite of the cold wind blowing the last of December past her windows. Not until she could trust God again. How could it have all gone so wrong? The wind gust whooshed against her office door and rattled the inset glass.

A burning sensation started in the center of Mara’s chest. She wrapped her ankles around the wooden stool legs and anchored her feet as she rubbed her midsection. This gift took more out of her than she thought. With less than five months to Cadence's graduation, she had to design and create a quilt full of memories. Memories Cadence needed as she left for college. Memories to wrap around her when she felt far from home and family. Memories Mara promised Cadence, and Mara never broke a promise.

More Praise for A Healing Heart

“A Healing Heart is an emotional story of learning to let go of the past and embracing the future. Angie Breidenbach deftly creates lifelike teenagers, a frazzled mother, and a caring hero you will love. This charming book tugs at your heart and encourages you to reevaluate what’s important in your life.”
—Vickie McDonough, author of 25 books and novellas, including End of the Trail

“Restoration and hope drive this emotionally charged novel by Angela Breidenbach. Mara Keegan’s healing journey will keep you turning the pages as she uncovers promises of a life she never thought she would have again. Family dynamics, made richer through the process of gathering photos for a memory quilt, come full circle as Mara learns to let go, let God, and let love into her heart; a truly healed heart.”
—Lindi Peterson, award-winning author of Her Best Catch and Summer’s Song.

“Angela Breidenbach's A Healing Heart is a compelling story of love and letting go and is a poignant reminder to follow our dreams. Novel Rocket and I recommend it as an immensely satisfying read.”
—Ane Mulligan, Senior Editor, Novel Rocket (www.novelrocket.com)

“Breidenbach’s latest novel, A Healing Heart, paints a knee-bending word picture of our Healer God. Whether the physical, spiritual, or emotional heart, the Big Guy can handle it. Laden with conflict, sweet romance, and humorous contradictions, the story propels the reader forward while giving her pause to wonder . . . ‘What places in my heart need healing? What wounds will I allow God to stitch?’ A Healing Heart sports an endearing and motley cast of characters, and the frigid Montana landscape contrasts nicely with the hero’s warm, sigh-worthy persona. It’s a unique and touching addition to the Quilts of Love series.”
—April W. Gardner, librarian and award-winning author

“Some stories provide pure entertainment, while others teach a lesson. A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach does both and is one of those books that every over-achieving, God-loving woman should read. Not only did I enjoy this book, I found myself reflecting on my own life and how much of myself I saw in the story.”
—Debby Mayne, author of Sweet Baklava, Waiting for a View, and the Class Reunion series

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