Please leave a comment to enter the drawing for a free print copy of ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS TROUBLE by Sondra Kraak.
Her steps hastened even as she tried to pray, but praying was as much a thing of the past as Edward. Though at the moment, it was her present he was invading, threatening her chance at a new life.
She stopped before the schoolhouse steps. He was rubbing grime from the bottom of the window and moving his head to and fro as if trying to see beyond the smudged glass. “How nice of you to come a thousand miles to clean the windows.”
Edward’s arm jerked. He turned.
Except it wasn’t Edward.
She forced a breath past her shocked heart. Bitterness had emptied all common sense from her. Edward wouldn’t come after her. “I . . .”
“Barrett Clarke.” He walked down the steps with his hand extended.
She couldn’t tear her eyes from his face, a face with features so relaxed and different than Edward’s austere, businesslike appearance that she felt every bit a dunce for making such a mistake.
As a reader, there’s nothing more satisfying than discovering an author whose work I love. Let’s get to know Sondra Kraak, author of the new historical romance novel, ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS TROUBLE, Book 1 of the Love that Counts series:
1. What inspired you to start writing?
I don’t know if I can say what inspired me, but I can say that the first time I felt the drive to write fiction was in middle school. Maybe the inspiration came from reading and enjoying Lois Walfrid Johnson’s series about a Wisconsin family in the Northwoods. I started writing while my parents were at Bible study and I had the run of the house. I wrote about fifty pages of a story that is now blessedly lost. What I remember most about those days is the life I felt as I wrote. The joy. The anticipation of where a story was headed. I stepped away from fiction writing for a while in college and didn’t get back to it until I turned thirty. The inspiration that returned me to fiction writing was Tamera Alexander’s book To Whisper Her Name. The moment I finished it, I felt a spark inside me and knew I had to venture down the author road.
2. How much research, if any, do you do when writing a book?
Too much. And not enough. It’s amazing how much I read about Seattle history (I grew up there and my first novel written, not released yet, is set there) before I started writing and during my early draft. And yet I feel like much of that research is left out of my story. Most readers don’t realize the bits of research that leak into a character’s thoughts and words. With the historical romance genre, history plays a role, but it’s the setting for the romance which takes center stage. In historical fiction, history is center stage and the story is deeply embedded in real events. Still, the research I did for One Plus One Equals Trouble (historical romance, emphasis romance) included learning about daily life in the late eighteen hundreds as well as learning about specific places and the events that happened there. So much to read about! Then there’s research about phrases and words . . . it goes on and on. For instance, the word “okay.” It seems modern, but it dates back into the mid 19th Century. I chose not to use it because I felt it would come across modern and out of place.
3. Do you write fiction, nonfiction, or both?
For most of my adult life, when I thought of myself as an author, I pictured writing nonfiction. While attending seminary, I constantly had ideas for spiritual living and theology books. But the story drive in me never went away. That creative, imaginary world that swirls in my mind needed an outlet, so it makes sense that fiction is my first published venue. However, I’d love to write nonfiction someday, too. In fact, my blog focuses a lot of applying Scripture to life, walking in the ways of the Lord, and developing that intimacy with God the Father that the Holy Spirit makes possible.
4. How important are book covers to you, as both an author and a reader?
Book covers are highly important to me. I don’t have to like a cover to read a book, but I want it to look professional. If the cover job looks amateur, I likely won’t look inside—unless I know the author or the book was recommended. Is this wrong? I don’t know, but I think I’m not alone. I don’t trust the writing to be industry standard if the cover isn’t. I once didn’t pick up a book because the cover turned me off (it was professional, but I thought it looks like romance fluff without substance) but months later when I looked inside on Amazon because it was on sale, I found that I loved the writing. I’ve since read other books by this author and thoroughly enjoyed them. Lesson learned.
5. What was the inspiration for your latest book?
The inspiration for the setting of One Plus One Equals Trouble (small town, Cascade Mountains) came from a small red schoolhouse near where my family camped when I was growing up. I was able to visit this last summer when I was back in the Pacific Northwest. The schoolhouse has since been moved from Winton (near Lake Wenatchee) to Plain, WA:
6. What are you currently working on?
Two things. I’m working on the second book in the Love that Counts series, Luke and Mary’s story, that explores the true meaning of home. I’m also wanting to return to my first novel that takes place in 1870’s Seattle and polish it off for release either this year or early next. More information on my website!
A native of Washington State, Sondra Kraak grew up playing in the rain, hammering out Chopin at the piano, and running up and down the basketball court. Now settled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, blogging about spiritual truths, and writing historical romance set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She delights in sharing stories that not only entertain, but nourish the soul.
Where to find Sondra:
www.fiction411.com (group blog)
Stop by my blog on Thursday, Jan. 14 for my review of ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS TROUBLE.
Mindy Peltier says
I love when someone recommends an author to read, it keeps me from buying a book I don’t like. 🙂 I loved the story of how a childhood camping trip played a part in a novel. Great blog post, Lesley! Thanks for introducing me to Sondra.
Sylvia Stewart says
Sondra sounds like a new-to-me author that I’d like to read.
I’ve been eyeing this book since it came out, so I’d love to win a copy! Sounds like a fun story and I like the cover! 🙂
Patti Hansen says
I love being introduced to new authors, especially Christian romance. I look forward to reading this book.
I love recommendations on new authors too. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Sondra.
Dana Michael says
I love historical fiction. This sounds like a really good read. Thanks for sharing!
My pleasure. I love sharing good books!
Janet Schill says
I am need of a good read!
Aren’t we all? 🙂
Cathy Jelsema says
I absolutely love a good book to get lost in for a while. I appreciate the recommendation and look forward to the chance to enjoy the book.
This is one of those books that you really do get lost in. It’s a “just-one-more-chapter” kind of book.
Ruht Sumpter says
You must be a friend of my niece, Janalyn Voigh, Would love to receive a free copy of you book.
Ruht Sumpter says
My name Ruth Sumpter
Hi Ruth. Janalyn is one of my writing buddies. So nice to meet you!
Dennis Brooke says
Sounds like an interesting read–and Pacific Northwest ties are always fun.
I think so too, Dennis. Sondra does a great job of creating this town and making you want to get on your horse and go there.
Diane Samson says
I’ve been in a book club and I made it my mission to find us some great Christian fiction and authors we haven’t read before. This would be such a great addition for me to read to recommend. Thanks for the share!
I’m so happy to hear that, Diane! I’ve been on a mission to find Christian fiction that’s well-written and has a strong message. I love sharing the treasures I find. This is a great one for a book club.
James Wilhoit says
Hope it’s a big success!
Thanks, James! I’m confident that it will be. And I hope Sondra writes many more.
Heather Hart says
I haven’t heard of Sondra Kraak before. This looks like a great book though!
I think everyone will be hearing about her!
Annie JC says
Looks good! I’ve heard of this one and I certainly love the cover! Thanks for the giveaway!
Lucy Reynolds says
Thank you for the chance to win a new to me author of such a great sounding book. God bless.
Karen Hadley says
This cover look so fun and the story sounds wonderful.
Beth Schwarzlose says
I have had my eye on this title. It looks really good! I would love to win it! Thank you for the giveaway.
Cheryl Baranski says
Sounds like an excellent book that I must read!
Abby Breuklander says
Oh this looks so good!!!
Deanna S says
I would love to read another of her books 🙂
Virginia Winfield says
This book sounds like a good one.
Thereadmaster(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)me.com
Janice Moore says
I cannot wait to read how the sparks fly! Sounds like my kind of book!
Thank you for the offer!
Sondra Kraak says
Thanks for featuring me, Lesley! It’s been a joy to connect with you.
It’s been fun for me too, Sondra. I’m looking forward to your next book, and I’d love to have you back.
And the winner is…Janice! Congratulations, and enjoy the book.
Susan Kinney says
Oh goodness! This looks like such a fun read! I love what Sondra tells about research! So true…too much and never enough is so right! Lovely cover and I love the blurb from the book… yes, I’m writing the name of this author and novel down! Really sounds great!
I know you’ll enjoy it, Susan!
Janice Moore says
Thank you for the opportunity of winning this great giveaway! The book was wonderful and I loved seeing how the sparks did fly! I loved the cover, and thought how several people must have worked hard to get something to represent the book so well! It is hard to believe that this is the first book by Sondra Kraak! I cannot wait to read more! She really met her goal to share stories “that not only entertain, but nourish the soul.” She gets five out of five stars!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Janice!