Hi Sheila! So thrilled to have you visit with me again and celebrate the release of The Cottage on Juniper Ridge…which I have waiting to be read on my Kindle ;) Looking forward to catching up with you - let's get started with the questions!
1) What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?
I've had so many great editors over the years and I've learned a lot. I think one of the most important things I've learned is that a book can always be better. My current editor and I work and rework my novels in an effort to make them the best they can possibly be. Maybe the worst thing I've learned from editors has to do with the business of publishing. It is a business and books have to do well, otherwise an editor, no matter how much she may like you can't keep you.
2) What is your typical day?
A typical day will involve lots of emails. (I love email! You never know what cool news you might get or who you might hear from.) Of course, it will involve writing, and usually edits on a manuscript that my editor and I are in the process of improving. Somewhere in that day will also fall phone calls and Facebook time and give aways. Each day is just a little different so I'm never bored with my job.
3)What do you read while in the midst of a project? Or don’t you?
I'm always reading. I love reading myself to sleep at night. I tend to get hooked on favorite writers and then buy and devour all their books. I do limit myself on writers who write in a similar genre and use a similar writing voice though. That way I can ensure someone else's writing style won't bleed into mine.
4) What do you do with a paperback once you’ve read it?
Donate it to Goodwill. (Like my character Stacy Thomas, I am trying to cut back on the amount of stuff I have!) But if the book has been written by a friend then it goes on my keeper shelf (which is quickly running out of room!)
5) Are you nervous about friends reading your book?
No. My friends are all big fans.(Isn’t that the best kind of friends to have?) And besides, I try not to put anything in my books I'll be embarrassed over once it's out in print.)
6) What things inspire you to write? Location, music, film or even in a book?
Anything can offer inspiration. Often I get my inspiration from real life experiences. Much of THE COTTAGE ON JUNIPER RIDGE was inspired by our experiences with losing parents and having to sort though all the stuff they'd collected over a lifetime. I was daunting.
8) What’s next for you?
This is going to be a very fun year. This summer I have THE TEASHOP ON LAVENDER LANE coming out and then for the holidays THE LODGE ON HOLLY ROAD will be available. I'm also excited to be included in an anthology with my friend Debbie Macomber entitled STORIES WE TELL AT CHRISTMAS. There's also a possible Hallmark movie looming, too. Needless to say, I have a lot to look forward to.
The Cottage on Juniper Ridge
by Sheila Roberts
Can a book change your life? Yes, when it's Simplicity, Muriel Sterling's guide to plain living. In fact, it inspires Jen Heath to leave her stressful, overcommitted life in Seattle and move to Icicle Falls, where she rents a lovely little cottage on Juniper Ridge. And where she can enjoy simple pleasures—like joining the local book club—and complicated ones, like falling in love with her sexy landlord, Garrett Armstrong.
Her sister Toni is ready for a change, too. She has a teenage daughter who's constantly texting her friends, a husband who's more involved with his computer than he is with her, and a son who's consumed by video games. Toni wants her family to grow closer—to return to a simpler way of life.
Other women in town, like Stacy Thomas, are also inspired to unload their excess stuff and some of the extra responsibilities they've taken on.
But as they all discover, sometimes life simply happens. It doesn't always happen simply!
“You know, I wasn’t really in favor of reading that book, but now I’m glad we did,” Stacy said. “I got rid of all kinds of stuff I didn’t really need. I even got rid of some of my Christmas decorations.”
Cass’s mouth dropped. “No.”
“Well, not a lot,” Stacy admitted. “But a bunch of things we haven’t used in a long time, things I’m not that crazy about anymore. And I unloaded a whole box full of outside lights.”
She and Bill Will chatted for a few minutes, mostly about him and how he was saving up to buy a place of his own. “Except I only got about a thousand in the bank,” he said with a shake of the head. “I need to find me a rich woman. Got any money, Jen?” he added with a smile.
“Yeah. Tons. Can’t you tell?”
“Aw, well. There’s more to life than money, right?” He set down his mug. “Let’s get started. I’m itchin’ to try out that machinery.”
She’d already marked off the area where she wanted the garden. “I figure I’ll put it over there,” she said, pointing to a sunny corner of the yard she’d marked off with string and some small yard stakes.
“Okay,” he said with a nod.
She watched, feeling a tingle of excitement, as he let down the tailgate of his truck and pulled out the tiller. Home-grown lettuce and spinach and peas and carrots. This was going to be great.
Bill Will took the tiller over to the future home of Veggie Central, started it, and began to churn up the earth. She should plant sunflowers, too, she thought watching him.
She was so into her garden daydream that it took a minute for her to realize that the tilling had stopped. “I think we got a problem,” Bill Will called.
Had he hit a rock? She hurried over to where he was squatting in front of clumps of grass and sandy soil, examining what looked like some sort of network of pipes. “What’s that?” she asked. Whatever it was, something was wrong with it, she thought, looking at the water gurgling from several that had been severed.
He pushed back his hat and scratched his head. “Well, I’m no expert on stuff like this but if I had to guess I’d say that’s your drain field.”
“You know, your septic system. I think we just tore something up.”
A sick feeling landed in the pit of her stomach. “Can you fix it?”
He looked at the mess in front of him and shook his head. “If you need a horse broke or a fence mended I’m your man. This, well, you better call your landlord.”
The sick feeling swelled. “Oh,” Jen said weakly.
Bill Will straightened up. “Sorry to ruin your day Jen, but I don’t think we better till any more until you know where all your drain field is. You don’t want to do any more damage.”
She’d just done more damage ... to her tenant-landlord relationship. Oh, boy.
“You’d better call Armstrong right away,” Bill Will advised.
She could hardly wait.
Her trepidation must have shown on her face because Bill Will threw an arm around her shoulders and gave her a hug. “It’ll be okay. He’s a good guy. He’ll understand.”
Jen wasn’t so sure.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Sheila Roberts is married and has three children. She lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have appeared in Readers Digest Condensed books and have been published in several languages. Her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network and her her novel The Nine Lives of Christmas has been optioned for film. When she’s not writing songs, hanging out with her girlfriends or trying to beat her husband at tennis, she can be found writing about those things dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.
Readers can find me on:
Facebook: Author Sheila Roberts
Buy link for Amazon:
Sheila will be awarding a $25 B & N gift card and an eCopy of The Cottage on Juniper Ridge to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $25 B & N gift card to a randomly drawn host.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: