My guest today is a very special lady. A teacher, speaker, wife, mom, and grandmother, Shirley Kiger Connolly writes both historical fiction romances laced with nuggets of inspiration for the growing believer and searching nonbeliever, and lighthearted devotional books of reflection. Shirley, an English and Journalism Major at college, is a graduate of Institute of Children's Literature and member of ACFW, FHL, and several RWAs. She and her husband presently live on the Southern Coast of Oregon. Thanks so much for dropping by today, Shirley.
Let's talk writing!
Anne - Tell us about your latest release.
Shirley - The title to this book, which is the first in my new DECISIONS series, is SAY GOODBYE TO YESTERDAY. Here is one of my blurbs, which I hope will entice you a little.
An unwed mother with a questionable past heads west to find the father of her daughters only to discover she is about to make the biggest mistake of her life.
Scorned with disgrace, Annabelle Jordan and her daughters are no longer welcome in her reverend uncle's community. In need of a fresh touch of grace, Annabelle's in no mood to seek mercy yet. Not after carrying on a continual affair with a young military officer long enough to produce two daughters before finally sending him away.
Now without a home, Annabelle's convinced her answer is to find her officer again and force that marriage he pledged but never kept. Who else would show interest in a soiled, aging woman over thirty with two growing children?
Of course, that was before Major
Radcliffe entered her life. How was Annabelle to know she would fall for someone beyond her reach, not only loyal to the faith she's been fleeing, but also pledged to a wife and family of his own? Carlton
Anne - It certainly does! What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Shirley - Getting through the first five chapters. I keep fixing and fixing and fixing, so it hinders my creativity to keep going. I have this thing about trying to make something perfect before I even get it down. I am the forever do it over lady, I guess.
Anne - What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself from writing?
Shirley - How much I still don't know. Although I've known since I was eight years old that I wanted to be a writer, I wasted lots of years NOT writing the stories of my heart. Now that I'm old, and not quite gray (that's the blessing of being a redhead, I guess), I get tired too easily, and can't seem to accomplish as much as I would like in the time that I have to accomplish it. (Does that make sense?)
Anne - Absolutely. I find I can waste hours online...and elsewhere! Outside of writing, what accomplishment are you most proud?
Shirley - Probably raising my children, and watching how they grew up and kept the values they were taught. That and teaching myself to play guitar, then write songs the Lord gave me. Also when I had the joy of putting together a small music group a few years back, where two other women and I sang harmony and shared our songs of the Lord with others. Being able to lead women in large study groups and seminars over the years is a blessed accomplishment to me. Anything I've done that has been of benefit to others in some way, whether by promoting or helping other authors, or helping women I meet be strengthened their faith by something I've shared or written. All these are blessings to me.
Anne - Quick. Your five favorites – author, actor, movie, song, quote.
Shirley - Author:
Actor: The James Stewart kind from the thirties through fifties and the Clark Gable kind from back then. The Bette Davis kind, and Olivia DeHavilland style. (I'm an old movie buff.) Newer? Tom Hanks kind of guys, or Mel Gibson types. For the ladies? Meg Ryan style.
Movie: All the classics from the forties. The newer ones? BRAVEHEART, GLADIATORS, or lighthearted SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE kind.
SONG: Classics are my favorite. Love Mozart pieces.
Quote: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me… Just one of many.
(That's a hard question, Anne!)
Anne - LOL. You answered it perfectly! Would you provide an excerpt from Say Goodbye to Yesterday?
Shirley - Here you go:
At that very moment, she sensed a compelling, potent magnetism unlike anything she'd experienced, as if the major had always been a part of her, as if God had fused the two of them together like an intangible bond. But would God have a hand in doing such a thing between two people like the major and her?
He pulled away then reached gently for her again. His fingers came around to push a stray tendril of hair away from her cheek.
After the warm and sweet, lingering kiss that followed, Annabelle blinked her eyes,
catching sight of the ring on the major's left hand. She instantly withdrew herself, lowering her chin. "I shouldn't be allowing any of this. It's wrong. I'm sorry."
How could she have forgotten that ring and what Cousin Philip had told her? How could she have been so thoughtless? Not only was this man of strong faith, he had a wife of his own.
"I -- I...please forgive me." Annabelle's heart fell into her stomach.
"You didn't invade my space. I invaded yours. I caused you to--" She studied the ring he wore with more interest, feeling her cheeks flush hotter. "And you a married man."
Anne - Ach! You're leaving us hanging like that?! Say Goodbye to Yesterday is a book I need to read! Where can readers reach you online?
Shirley - At my website, or my blog or my publisher's site or my author page at Facebook.
Say Goodbye to Yesterday is available at all online stores, and at Desert Breeze Publishing and also at Christian Book Distributors.
Watch for my Book Release celebration over at my Facebook Author Page!
Anne - Thank you for dropping by, Shirley. As always, it's been a pleasure!
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