Welcome Steeple Hill Author Merrillee Whren!
First, I would like to thank the ladies here at Inkwell Inspirations for inviting me to blog. I appreciate this opportunity to share with their readers.
God has given us song so we can praise him and so we can speak in song and encourage each other. I like what Colossians 3:15-17 has to say.
“15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
My taste in music is varied. I listen to a little pop, a little country and a lot of contemporary Christian music, now that we have two Christian radio stations that reach the area where I live. And my books are often flavored with a touch of all those musical tastes.
When I was told that the theme here has to do with songs, I thought the topic was perfect because the idea for the first book that I sold to Steeple Hill came from a country song—“Ain`t That Lonely Yet” by Dwight Yoakam. The song tells the tale of a guy who was dumped by a woman, and now she’s back, calling him on the phone and leaving him notes. His attitude about rekindling the relationship—“ain`t that lonely yet.”
(Listen to Dwight sing the song here.)
The song made me ask this question. How would a Christian guy respond to the return of the woman who had left him standing at the altar in front of a crowded church on their wedding day? The answer to that question resulted in the book, THE HEART’S HOMECOMING. I wrote the story and could hardly wait until I got to the scene where the hero would use the line, “ain’t that lonely yet,” although he had better grammar and didn’t use “ain’t.” But he finally realized he was wrong.
The topic of songs also lends itself to promoting my new Kellerville series from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. The first book of the series, HOMETOWN PROMISE, is available now. The heroine Juliane Keller and the hero Lukas Frye both love to sing. When Juliane discovers that Lukas has joined the church choir, she can’t understand why someone like him was even in church, much less in the choir. But Juliane slowly comes to see Lukas in a different light, especially after she hears him sing the song made popular by Meredith Anderson, “You’re Not Alone.”
(Listen to Meridith sing here.)
Music is a big part of this story because, not only do the hero and heroine love to sing, but two secondary characters, Juliane’s sister Elise and her father Ray also love to sing. Elise worked as a singer on a cruise ship, and Ray gets out his Karaoke machine at every opportunity.
The second book in the series, HOMETOWN PROPOSAL, Elise’s story, will be available in August 2010, and the third book, HOMETOWN DAD, will be available in February 2011. Both of these books have their share of songs as part of the story because Ray Keller is always there with his Karaoke machine. Singing is a family affair in the little town of Kellerville, Ohio.
Do you or your family love to sing. Have you ever done Karaoke?
Please leave a comment for an opportunity to win a copy of Merrillee's newest release, HOMETOWN PROMISE.
Merrillee Whren is an award-winning author who writes for Steeple Hill Love Inspired. She is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award for best inspirational romance manuscript presented by Romance Writers of America. She has also been the recipient of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award and the Maggie Award. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of thirty plus years, and has two grown daughters. She has lived in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas and Chicago but now makes her home on one of God’s most beautiful creations, an island off the east coast of Florida. When she’s not writing or working for her husband’s recruiting firm, she spends her free time playing tennis or walking the beach, where she does the plotting for he novels.
Please visit her Web site at http://www.merrilleewhren.com/
Kellerville: Finding family, community and love in one small town
For six years Lukas Frye has fought to regain control of his reckless life. He comes to Kellerville, Ohio, hoping to settle down and be the man his ailing grandfather can depend on. Lukas thinks he can put down roots in a place unsullied by his past--until he sees Juliane Keller. Juliane knows the secrets that could ruin his chance of being accepted in the place he wants to call home. But she isn't just a reminder of his past; she's a woman with secrets of her own--and a heart capable of the forgiveness and love he needs.