Amber: What do you love most about writing for the “Love Finds You” series as compared to other books you’ve written?
Melanie: First of all, I love working with the Summerside team! They’ve been such an encouragement to me, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed partnering with them. Second, I love researching small towns across the country and then creating a fictional story from their history and heritage. Right now I’m writing my fifth Love Finds You novel (Love Finds You in Mackinac Island, Michigan).
Amber: Have you visited the setting of your latest “Love Finds You” book? If so, what was your favorite part of the trip?
Melanie: I always visit the towns where my Love Finds You books are set. Sometimes I think my novel writing is really an excuse to travel and explore because I really (really!) enjoy researching these towns. In my first Love Finds You novel (Liberty, Indiana), I crawled around in all sorts of secret spaces that were once hiding places on the Underground Railroad. For the Amana novels (Love Finds You in Homestead and Amana, Iowa), I explored the picturesque Amana Colonies for almost a week. Then for my latest novel (Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania), I took a night tour last year of the beautiful Christmas lights in Nazareth while learning about its Moravian heritage.
Amber: Those sound like some great trips!
Have you learned anything about love and humility while working on your latest “Love Finds You” book that you could share with us?
Melanie: Those two themes are woven throughout Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania because the story is about a married couple selected by Lot to be husband and wife. Even as he marries Susanna, Christian Boehler loves another woman in his heart, and he often fails Susanna in the first year of their marriage. The story is about choosing forgiveness over anger and replacing bitterness with both love and grace.
Amber: What would a Christmas party in the town and era of your latest “Love Finds You” book look like? (Any details about food, decorations, traditions, etc., would be wonderful!)
Melanie: Oh, it would have been a grand celebration! The Moravian people embraced the Christmas season and the depth of its meaning--so much so that their two major settlements in Pennsylvania were named Bethlehem and Nazareth. On Christmas Eve, the sanctuary would have glowed from the tallow candles they held as they feasted together on spicy sugar cakes and black coffee and worshipped God in song: “Good news from heav’n the angels bring…All my heart this night rejoices.”
Thanks, Amber! It’s a pleasure to celebrate with you.
Amber: It's a pleasure to host you, Melanie! Thank you for your wonderful responses and helping us get in the Christmas mood!
Here are the rules for today's giveaway of a signed copy of Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania! Please read carefully.
- Leave a comment for Melanie along with your e-mail address.
- This drawing is open to readers everywhere! (International giveaway!)
- All winners this week will be announced on Sunday, December 11, 2011.