Monday, February 25, 2008

Meet Ramona Cecil - Interview & Book Giveaway

Ramona Cecil PhotoToday I’m happy to present author Ramona Cecil. Her latest book is Sweet Forever from Heartsong Presents. Let’s meet Ramona!


Ramona K. Cecil is a wife, mother, grandmother, free-lance poet, and award-winning inspirational romance writer. Now empty-nesters, she and her husband make their home in Indiana. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers Indiana Chapter, her work has won awards in a number of inspirational writing contests. Over eighty of her inspirational verses have been published on a wide array of items for the Christian gift market. Her first published novel, Larkspur, won first place in Vintage Romance Publishing’s 2005 Vintage Inspirations Contest. Since then, she’s had three more inspirational historical romance novels contracted by Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents line. The first of these three, Sweet Forever, will be released in March, 2008. The following two, Everlasting Promise and Charity’s Heart, have not yet been assigned release dates. Mrs. Cecil enjoys a speaking ministry, sharing her journey to publication, while encouraging aspiring writers. When not writing, her hobbies include reading, gardening, and visiting places of historical interest.


JA: Your current book is Sweet Forever from Heartsong Presents. Tell us about it.
RC: Set in Madison, Indiana, on the banks of the Ohio River in 1845, Sweet Forever is the love story between the daughter of a riverboat gambler and a young minister. Fleeing a riverboat explosion and the man who killed her husband, Rosaleen Archer is convinced God hates her when she lands in the arms of a young minister. Jacob Hale, already struggling with self-doubts about his calling, is further discouraged in his ministry when the lovely and mysterious Rosaleen rebuffs his attempts to bring her to the Lord.

JA: The main characters, Rosaleen Archer and Jacob Hale, fight feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. What made you want to address these themes?
RC: Whatever might be the impetus of those feelings, I think they are universal and afflict every person at one time or another. There have been many times in my own life when I’ve been plagued by such feelings. These are themes to which I believe all readers can relate.

JA: Sweet Forever is the continuation of the Hale siblings’ saga, which you began in Larkspur. Can we look forward to more adventures with this family?
RC: Yes. I have two more historical romances to be released by Heartsong Presents in 2008 and 2009. Everlasting Promise is the story of Susannah, the youngest Hale sibling from Larkspur. Charity’s Heart is a post Civil War story featuring Daniel Morgan, the son of the hero and heroine from Larkspur. Daniel is first introduced as a six year old boy in Sweet Forever.

Ramona - CoverJA: What do you hope people take away after reading Sweet Forever?
RC: I hoped through this story to convey the spiritual truths that every soul is loved and valued by God, and that with God, all things are possible.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
RC: Presently, I am working on a long women’s historical called The Heritage, set in my own southern Indiana county in 1812. It asks the question, what is really important in life, i.e. worth keeping and/or dying for?

JA: Your parents were poets. How did growing up in such a creative atmosphere help shape the person you are today?
RC: My parents understood my desire to write creatively and encouraged it. My mother taught me how to write my early poems in stanzas while my dad often read to me from the poetry of James Whitcomb Riley. I remember vacation trips that were planned around visiting homes-turned-museums of James Whitcomb Riley, Gene Stratton Porter, and Mark Twain.

JA: What’s something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
RC: I was a tomboy as a child. I loved to climb trees and as soon as my brother outgrew a pair of black high-top basketball sneakers, I claimed them for my own.

JA: What do you like to read for fun?
RC: The same thing I write—inspirational historical romances. Can’t get enough!

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
RC: The newsletter page of my web site as well as appearances on blogs like this.

Thank you, Ramona, and continued blessings on your writing journey!


You can win a copy of Sweet Forever here. Just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll combine the responses of my Blogger and ShoutLife blogs to pick a winner at random on March 4th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) ShoutLifers will be contacted via ShoutMail. Good luck!


windycindy said...

Hi, What a wonderful author interview. I learn so much when I read the questions and the answers that are given! Ramona's book is one of my most favorite kind to read. A romance set in past times. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks,Cindi

Cherie J said...

Sounds like a wonderful story. Pleas enter me in the drawing.

Hannah said...

great interview! this book looks really interesting! i'd love to win a copy! hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com thanks!

Carolynn W. said...

Please include me, I'd love to read this book, thanks:)

Maureen said...

Thank you for the intereview. I would love to win a copy of this book.

tetewa said...

I enjoyed the interview today, count me in!

pearl said...

I enjoyed the interview greatly and the novel sounds so appealing. Thanks for this opportunity.

Marilyn said...

Wow! Another great book that I'd love to get my hands on. Count me in please. Thank you!

Jennifer AlLee said...

And the winner is... Hannah! Congrats, and thanks to everyone who stopped by!