Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a lover of Jesus, a wife to the man of my dreams, and mommy to 4 wonderful little girls. After the birth of my fourth child, who was born with a rare congenital heart defect and had a heart transplant at 8-months-old, I try to raise awareness for CHD's as well as be an advocate for Organ Donation.
What is your favorite Bible verse? (Translation too, please) Why?
Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future. (NIV)
What was your inspiration to write Sandwich, with a Side of Romance?
My eldest daughter! She and I were sitting in the car one day while Dad ran into the store. To bide the time, I told her she should help me brainstorm a new book. She named the character Maddie, and decided she should be a hair stylist. We figured to start the book off with a bang, she should give somebody a really bad haircut and get fired. And how cool would it be for that "somebody" to be our hero??
I was born in the small town of Sandwich, IL, and I'd been wanting to write a book set there, and so after I got home, the wheels in my head started to turn, and Sandwich, with a Side of Romance, was born.
Does foster care relate in any way to your own life?
My husband and I were foster parents for a brief, difficult, and wonderful time. Children are so very near to our hearts, and we weren't quite ready to "grow" our own family any more than the 2 we already had. We had the extreme privilege of being "Mom and Dad" to a sibling group of three who were waiting to be adopted. While we didn't feel like God was calling us to be their forever family, we did feel it was super important to be a bridge for them until they could find that forever home.
I'm pleased to say they DID find their forever family! And while they were with us, we found out that, WHOOPS, we were expecting baby #3. For now, God has told us that we need to concentrate on raising our own children, however we plan to pursue foster parenting again once our own children are grown.
How much research did Sandwich, with a Side of Romance take?
I did quite a bit of research, trying to make sure I understood at least the overall process of foster care in IL, although I did rely a lot on the personal knowledge I had in.
I also had a super cool aunt who lives in Sandwich who helped me out with some of the town questions as it's been quite a few years since I've been to Sandwich! And the owner/realtor for the large community of Lake Holiday also helped me out with answering specific questions.