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Wednesday, 20 January 2016

ℚ♫ Grace After the Storm: Laci and Mitch [2] - Sandy Sinnett

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Grace After the Storm (, 5 Prince Publishing, 212 pages), a Women's Fiction, book two of the Laci and Mitch series.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


A very warm welcome to Sandy Sinnett; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

We love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Grace After the Storm, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"I wrote to music every day.  Most of which were Lady Antebellum songs, any of them, but specifically ‘Just a Kiss’, ‘Need you Now’ and ‘Dancing Away with My Heart’.
They are my favorite group, and listening to their songs filled me with hope of new love and finding new love.  Other times it was Lauren Wood’s ‘Fallen’ song (from Pretty Woman), and ‘Fall Again’ by Glenn Lewis (from Maid in Manhattan).  These were my favorites."
What compelled you to write this particular story, Grace After the Storm?
"This is the second novel in the series, a sequel to ‘Hope in the Rain’.  Obviously I knew by the end of the first book I would write this one.  I wanted to give Brad (Mitch’s brother) a chance to find the love of his life like Mitch did.

This story is different though, in that Brad’s true love is still the same one from his past - his journey to find his way back to her after a chance encounter brings them back together for the first time in eight years."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"This book probably has less of ‘me’ in it than the first one did.  I did use my real grandmother as the character ‘Lois’, Hannah’s grandmother, giving her many traits that my grandmother has even today…including macular degenerative eye disease. The memories that Hannah and Lois share are real memories of our time together when growing up.

The other aspect of ‘me’ in this story, is writing about the second chance love.  As a recent divorcee, I am writing about what I would want for myself as much as I am for any woman who wants to find love again."
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating this book?
"The most surprising thing I learned when creating this book was how hard it was to create these characters purely from my imagination, outside of Lois.  Clare was probably the hardest, trying to understand her life as a foster child and making sure there was a sufficient chip on her shoulder to give her some grit."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Grace After the Storm - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The artist was assigned by 5 Prince Publishing.  I thought she captured the essence of what I wanted, and that was to draw attention to the couple, and the storm.

Although the book is based in the setting of a bed & breakfast/winery type of estate, a pivotal scene in the book occurs during a horseback ride through a thunderstorm.  That ride, and that storm, changes the fate of Brad and Hannah forever – for many reasons.  It may seem misleading at first, as the book isn’t about horses, but the cover conveys love, despite the storm taking place in the background.   The horses are calm, and beautiful.  The horses in the story are as well.

I believe the cover is most likely a scene from Brad and Hannah’s ‘future’ together, having overcome such a storm, where they will enjoy many walks and horseback rides together."
Why should we read Grace After the Storm and what sets it apart from the rest?
"You should read this book if you love a story about finding second chances in life and love, especially if you’ve ever had a love from your past that still haunts you even today. One that you would give anything to have again.

Read this book if you want to see someone struggle with real feelings and real pain as she tries to overcome past hurts and put them behind her in order to feel love again.  It’s difficult to believe that someone whom has caused you pain can change, and be a different person again.   Trust is hard to regain after being lost.  This story is about rebuilding that trust.

No matter what, when two people are truly in love and meant to be together, going through the storm can sometimes be the defining moment to bring out the best in people."
Can you tell us something quirky about Grace After the Storm, its story and characters?
"Grandmother ‘Lois’ was named after my grandmother ‘Freda Lois’.  

I wanted to interject a fun component to the ‘McRae’ family name.  It means ‘Son of Grace’ in Irish/Celtic.  For Hannah, I changed it to ‘daughter of Grace’ for obvious reasons.  I wanted her name to also have some tie to the ‘Grace’ theme of the book.

Clare was named after the last name of one of my favorite authors, Cassandra Clare.

My best friend (whom I wrote about in book 1), has been a Big Sister to three young women now, and I too have served the ‘Big Brothers Big Sisters’ organization in Olympia, WA.  I wanted to shed light on this program, as its dear to my heart.  Clare is a ‘little’ in this book."
Who would you recommend Grace After the Storm to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"This is a clean romance novel.  Any age could read this, but I suggest at least 13 and up to understand all that it tries to convey.  The end of the book has some ‘spice’ during honeymoon, but again, rated G for the most part.  Must use imagination… :-)"
If you could / wished to turn Grace After the Storm and the Laci and Mitch series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Location: The Columbia Gorge area in Washington State;
Lead Characters would be:
     Mitch – Tim McGraw,
     Laci – Reese Witherspoon,
     Brad – Dean Cain,
     Hannah – Rachel Weisz ,
     Clare – Lily Collins."
What has been your greatest challenge as a writer?
"Balancing family, and work.   I am a full-time mother of four, a full-time marketing professional, and volunteer with many non-profits in my spare time.  My happy place is writing. I’m a better mom and employee when I have time to write, but balancing those can be a challenge.  Luckily, my family allows me to write when I need it.  No matter what, they come first before anything else."
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
"Tough criticisms from my original editor was tough to take.  He was a 56 year old male, and always harped on me for writing in a passive voice.  I learned a great deal from his constructive criticism.  Other criticisms are from those who like more spice.  My novels are ‘too nice’.

The best compliment I have received continues to be the ones that say ‘I cried, laughed, got mad at the characters, and felt like they were real people’.   I like that my characters become real to readers and that they fall in love with them as much as I did.  That makes it all worth it."
What is in store next?
"I would like to finish the trilogy I started by the end of 2016, ending with ‘Faith From Falling Snow’.  This book will be the last installment about Laci and Mitch, and their newborn baby that is born with a birth defect/health challenge (my sons real-life story).  It will also highlight a story about Laci and Mitch’s two oldest sons and how they fall in love with the same girl.

After that, I would like to finish the novel I started last summer called “Sandcastles at Sunset” by 2017."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
" I don’t have a pet, but my quirky thing is my addiction to Coffee.  My kitchen is decorated in coffee pictures, mugs, towels, etc.  I drink it at least once a day, and I have made at least a dozen friendships in coffee shops that I still have today…all starting from random encounters with complete strangers.

This photo is from my favorite Starbucks store, and this is the store manager and my favorite barista (all of us had been crying).  They were saying goodbye to me before I moved back to Illinois, and everyone autographed a cup for me."

That's sweet! :-) Thank you for sharing it with us and thank you again for chatting to us today.

Grace After the Storm
Available NOW!

UK: purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads
US: purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US purchase from Smashwords

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