Friday, April 17, 2009

Author Spotlight and Giveaway: Loree Lough

Thanks for taking time out of your day and stopping by my blog. I am so very excited to introduce a special guest and a new friend of Loree Lough. I have just had the wonderful privalege of reading her newest book, Love Finds You in Paradise , Pennsylvania. You can find my review of it here. If you are looking for a real treat to read, then look no further! We're going to talk about Loree's book today as well as a few other things, I'm sure! :o) Welcome, Loree!

I’m honored to be here!
 How did your career begin as a writer?

When a job transfer took our family to Richmond, I applied for a ‘neighborhood correspondent’ job with the county newspaper, thinking it’d help me get the kids involved with sports, school stuff, the area, etc. The editor liked my work so well, she began making regular assignments…and paying me for the articles! Soon, editors of other papers were making assignments. And when we were transferred back to Baltimore , I decided to stick with this fun new career. Alas, certain publications chose to alter facts in order to appease advertisers, so I said to my hubby, “If I’m gonna write fiction, I might as well try my hand at a novel!” The result was Pocketful of Love, which won Barbour’s “Reader’s Choice” award as the best contemporary of the year…and caused my newest affliction: Fiction Addiction.

If you weren't a writer, what would your dream job be? (this is assuming, of course, that writing is your dream job) :o)

Writing most definitely IS my dream job. I mean, how many people can tell fibs..and get pai8d for it! hehehehe. Seriously? If asked to choose another profession, I’d probably stay within the publishing industry and become an agent. I love books, and authors, and schmoozing. What could be more natural!
 How much of your own personal experiences do you use for your books?

You’d probably be hard-pressed to find an author who doesn’t put a lot of themselves into every novel, because who we are when we sit down to plot out a story is the direct result of the lives we’ve lived.

Tell us about the featured book.

Love Finds You in Paradise, Pennsylvania is set in Amish country, and is the story of two people who find comfort in one another’s arms only to discover that without God’s guidance, even ‘perfect’ couples can’t find paradise. The story has plenty of laughs, and touching moments, and romance…but it also has some gripping, gut-wrenching, emotional scenes that bring the characters to their knees…and leave readers wondering how on earth a happily-ever-after ending is possible!
I liked that you tied in just enough of the Amish lifestyle to add another dimension to the book. Have you had any personal experience with the Amish?

As a matter of fact, I have! My cousin-in-law was born and raised a Mennonite, and my terrific literary agent was descended from Amish grandparents. There are also quite a few Amish farms near our mountain cabin in Pennsylvania , so finding people to help me understand the Plain lifestyle wasn’t difficult at all.

Your sense of humor is wonderful, and hints of it show up throughout your book. I laughed the most when I read some of the things that 5-year-old Levi says. :o) Is Levi's character based on someone you know or did you just create him?

Well, Levi is a figment of my fertile imagination…and he’s a blend of every pre-school kid I’ve ever known. My own daughters were sweet and precocious, just like Levi, and my grandkids are just as quick-witted as their mommies were. (And I don’t suppose it hurts that I’m still a big kid at heart…)

I'm sure you've got a few other books up your sleeve right now. What can your readers be watching the shelves for next from you?

I’m sort of ‘fence straddling’ while answering these questions, finishing up Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska, and adding to character background and setting for the novel that’ll follow it, Love Finds You in Folly Beach, South Carolina. Here are brief overviews of the stories:

LFY in North Pole, Alaska is set in a town just outside of Fairbanks where it’s literally Christmas all year long. The hero, having grown up around Santas and elves and reindeer, has had it with the glitz and glimmer and wishes people would just back off a bit and remember it’s the day when Jesus was born. The big ex-Marine wears an eye patch to hide vicious scars and blindness inflicted in battle, but he doesn’t need two eyes to see that the heroine, despite her klutzy “I love Christmas” attitude, has a heart as big as the Alaskan sky. When tragedy threatens to split them up, it takes a few ‘gifts of the Magi’ type sacrifices to make them realize love takes as many shapes as the snowflakes that blanket the streets of North Pole.

LFY in Folly Beach, South Carolina brings together a guy whose main goal is saving the giant sea turtles who come ashore every year and the lady professor who hits town to help him write the book that’ll raise funds to do just that. But she’s running from a broken heart and he’s hiding from a hurtful past, and it’ll take more than haunted lighthouses and a beach pocked with truly gigantic shells to teach them there are more ways to love than there are turtle eggs in the sand!

I’ve also signed contracts with Whitaker House to write a multi-book historical series set in Eagle Pass, featuring four rowdy Texans who’ve been more like brothers than cousins since they each learned at a very young age why so few Christians followed in John the Baptist’s “let’s eat locusts” footsteps! The first novel in The Marshall Boys series will be available in June, 2009. I’m also excited about the 3-in-1 novel compilations (one contemporary, one historical) the company will release in January, 2009! (I’m still working on coming up with titles for all those books!)

What do you hope your readers take with them after reading one of your books?

Every day of the week, I’m blessed to receive dozens of letters from my readers (and they can tell you, I answer every single one, personally!). I’m always touched and honored that they feel comfortable enough with me to share their own personal stories, detailing how they identified with a novel’s characters, setting, storyline…and in most cases, all three! It’s no secret that this work I’m doing is the result of God’s gentle nudging, or that the stories I tell are peopled by flawed humans who are grappling with faith issues; it’s the characters’ very realistic struggles that readers identify with most, for as the characters overcome obstacles and grow as human beings—and as Christians—readers take hope. Here’s one example from a reader who wrote me after reading the galleys for LFY in North Pole, Alaska :

Dear Loree; Being an Army veteran and self-proclaimed "Grinch", I felt a keen kinship with Bryce. I too, hated the way society has commercialized every Christian holiday, especially Christmas. It didn't help that my husband decided to 'clear his conscience’ about his extramarital affair just before Christmas. Instead of dismissing the ways of the world and embracing Christmas for what I know it is in my heart, I started hating everything about Christmas. Anyway, your book helped remind me what people, love & Christmas is about. I laughed aloud for the first time in a long time. I took a close look around & saw all the positive things I had been overlooking. Thanks for a great story & a great reminder! Lauren B., Racine , WI

See…that’s just one example of hundreds I could share of how the Lord uses Christian fiction to reach those who might not otherwise hear what He has to say to His children!
I believe recently we realized that we had something in common. We have both had the thrill of meeting the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera (the stage version, of course). What was that experience like for you?

Oh, wow. It was a genuine thrill! Phantom has been one of my favorites stories ever since I saw the original black-and-white movie version as a little girl. So to get to meet this long-suffering ‘almost a hero’ with a killer (pun intended!) voice!

Where can our readers find you on the web?

They can visit my web site (, my blog (, Facebook and Shoutlife…you name it, I’m probably there! I hope everyone will visit soon and often, because I love hearing from y’all!

Loree, it has been wonderful having you here today, and I certainly hope we can visit with you here again in the future!

I’ve enjoyed it, a lot, so I hope you’ll invite me back again, soon. Thanks so much for the opportunity to get to know you and your visitors better!

Loree is also giving away one copy of her book to one lucky person. If you're interested in participating to win your own copy, simply leave a comment at the end of this post. Be sure to leave your name along with your email address like so (user at aol dot com) so that we can contact you. Deadline to get your entry in is Saturday, April 25th at midnight.


  1. Thanks for this fun interview with Loree. This looks like a very interesting story. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!
    Carrie (at) Turansky (dot) com

  2. oooh please enter me for this one! i love the summerside books!

  3. Great interview. I'm a retired Pastor and I enjoying reading Christian books. Please enter me in your drawing. Clif(At)CCDitmore(At)cox(Dot)net

  4. That was a wonderful interview and I appreciate Loree being so open on the questions. I really enjoyed reading the letter that she shared. Please enter me in your contest.


  5. This book looks like a good story and it is always fun for me to find a book that takes place in the town I live in. Please enter me in your contest. Thanks!

  6. Thanks for a chance to win! The Love Finds You...series are wonderful books! Please enter me.

    ldneuhof at hotmail dot com

  7. love to read this!
    rebornbutterfly (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  8. wonderful interview the book sounds terrific thanks for the giveaway minsthins(at)optonline(dot)net

  9. loved the intereview- thanks for the chance mrs.mommyyatgmaildotcom

  10. Thank you~ I love a good read. :)

  11. Sounds like a great book! Thanks!!

    emvark at gmail dot com

  12. Great interview!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. I love books like this. It sounds really interesting.

  14. I've read a couple very positive review of this book - I'd love to read it

    msboatgal at

  15. What a wonderful interview, and the book sounds great!

  16. The interview was very nice thanks, this sounds like a great read. Thanks again for the giveaway

    sharr1226 at yahoo dot com

  17. Looks like a great read

  18. Great interview! I'd love to win this book--please enter me.

    Cathy Bryant
    catbry1 AT yahoo DOT com

  19. sounds wonderful
    Kawaiineko2008 at aol dot com

  20. Well, ladies, I printed out your comments, then cut out your names and put them in a hat...

    ...and the winner of Paradise is...!

    Marie, I'll send you an email, asking where you'd like me to send the book.

    And to the rest of you, thanks for all the warm and wonderful comments. Yer just a buncha peaches, that's what!


  21. So Marie...did you receive your book and the little extra I tucked in with it! I have lots of faith in lots of things. But the post office? Whooooo...they sure test my patience AND my faith! LOL

    Hope you enjoyed it (if it arrived in 'read-able' shape!).

    Hugs to you!