Featured Author: Merrillee Whren

Featured Love Inspired Author: Merrillee Whren

Merrillee Whren
Merrillee Whren

Merrillee Whren is an award-winning author who writes inspirational romance.

She is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award for best inspirational romance manuscript presented by Romance Writers of America. She has also been the recipient of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence.

Merrillee is married to her own personal hero, her husband of thirty plus years, and has two grown daughters. She has lived in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Chicago and Florida but now makes her home in the Arizona desert.

When she’s not writing or working for her husband’s recruiting firm, she spends her free time playing tennis or walking while she does the plotting for her novels.

The following is an August 2015 interview with Merrillee.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
AT THE END 
OF THE INTERVIEW

Nursing the Soldier's Heart
Nursing the Soldier’s Heart

~~

Be in to win a print copy of
Nursing the Soldier’s Heart

by Merrillee Whren 

~~

ONE copy to be won – USA & CANADA only
(Print Copy US only; Digital Copy Canada Only)

~~

Contest runs from
August 3 – September 6, 2015 NZDT

~~

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Tell us a little about yourself.

RWA-Booksigning     This may be more than a little bit. I was born on my mother’s birthday in Rapid City, South Dakota, USA. Soon afterwards my parents moved to Montana. This would be the first of many moves in my life. After I graduated from high school in Spokane, Washington, I went back to South Dakota to attend Dakota Bible College where I received a degree in Christian Education. Then I attended Milligan College in Tennessee for another degree in Bible and Elementary Education. After graduation, I got a job teaching sixth grade near Cincinnati, Ohio, where I met my husband. We were married on Valentine’s Day and had our reception in Loveland. No wonder I became a romance writer.

We started married life in Greenfield, Ohio, where my husband was a pharmacist at the local pharmacy. I continued teaching. Just before the birth of our first child, we moved to Hillsboro, Ohio. Daughter number one was born on June 18, 1978. One year later, to continue a family tradition of sharing birthdays, daughter number two was born on June 18, 1979. The girls are now grown and married.

The moves I made while growing up prepared me well for life with my husband whose career took us on a journey from a small town in Ohio to the cities of Atlanta, Boston, Dallas and Chicago. I have visited all fifty states in the USA and two dozen foreign countries. When my husband decided to start his own company, we moved to Amelia Island, Florida. We lived there for nearly twelve years until we moved to Arizona to be close to our granddaughters.

My writing journey has had as many stops along the way as my life’s journey. In 2003, after writing and revising eight manuscripts and receiving lots of rejections, I won the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart for best-unpublished inspirational manuscript. The following year, I made my first sale to Love Inspired Books, and I have written a dozen more books for them.

 

What inspired you to become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

Writing is something I’ve always done. I used to share stories with my friends. I wrote a novel in high school and shared each new chapter the next day at school. I never thought about writing for publication until I was married with kids. I enjoyed reading romances because I love happy endings, and I decided that I should write one. I didn’t know how hard it would be to get published.

 

What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

Annie Payton's lost everything she onceChristian fiction gives a writer a platform to reach people. Folks may not look in a self-help book or a religious teaching tool for information, but in the process of being entertained with a story, they can learn a lesson from God’s word. Jesus used storytelling to teach a lesson. I think Christian fiction writers can do the same thing.

 

How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write?

I hope readers will find a truth from God’s word enacted in the lives of the characters. Many of my stories are about forgiveness.

 

What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why? 

I don’t know that I can identify any one response as having affected me the most. I appreciate all letters and notes from readers. I know some just love a good story and others are touched by the things the characters experience because it speaks to something in their lives. If I had to choose, I would say it is the letters from readers of my book, HOMETOWN DAD, who have thanked me for writing a story in which the hero has Crohn’s disease. One of my daughters suffers from this disease, and I want to give people more information about it.

 

How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

Writing Christian novels makes me examine my own life as my characters deal with certain situations. I believe looking for answers for my characters in God’s word makes me see that He does have the solution to life’s problems.

 

Other than being a novelist, what other goals do you have for your life?

Nurse Kirsten Bailey places her familyThe main goal other than writing is to enjoy my family. We moved from the east coast of the United States to Arizona in the west so we could be close to our granddaughters who are six and three. It is so fun to watch them grow, and we so enjoy being close enough to see them weekly.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Besides spending time with my family, I enjoy playing tennis. I do that at least three times a week.

 

What can you tell us about your latest novels?

I have a series out now with Love Inspired called the Village of Hope. The Village of Hope is a ministry located in an Atlanta suburb on a former college campus. The Village, as it is often called, is a community of folks from all walks of life, who are in need of help. The Village ministry provides services for the homeless and the unemployed. They provide legal services and job training. They give a helping hand to those who are recovering from substance abuse. They assist widows and abused women in their women’s ministry. Neglected and abandoned children are served in their children’s homes. The assisted living facilities help those who can no longer live completely on their own. The first two books in the series, SECOND CHANCE REUNION and NURSING THE SOLDIER’S HEART are available now.

 

What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead?

This book has so many things toThe third book in the Village of Hope series will be out sometime next year. It still has no official title or release date. I am also working on some new indie books. I have one published so far, A PLACE TO CALL HOME. I have a sequel to that book, A LOVE TO CALL MINE, which I expect to have out this fall and a novella sometime around Christmas.

 

What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?

I hope they will look for my books and find stories that will remind them of God’s promises and how He works in our lives.

 

Do you have any parting words?

I’ll quote one of my favorite passages from the Bible. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 NRSV

 

Village of Hope


Montana Match

Montana Match
Montana Match

(A Novel)

by Merrillee Whren

  • Love Inspired
  • Contemporary 
  • January 2014
  • ISBN: 9780373877195

Purchase: 
[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

Nanny to six-year-old twin girls isn’t exactly the position Brittany Gorman is looking for. But she needs a job. And the twins’ struggling single dad, rancher Parker Watson, needs all the help he can get. Soon Brittany is not only assisting with the girls, but also helping Parker make peace with his past. It seems Brittany’s finally found a place to belong. And with two little matchmakers on the loose, there’s no telling what the future holds. As her time on the ranch runs out, can Brittany and Parker find the strength to face that future—together?


Second Chance Reunion

Second Chance Reunion
Second Chance Reunion

(Village of Hope #1)

by Merrillee Whren

  • Love Inspired
  • Contemporary 
  • January 2015
  • ISBN: 9780373879335

Purchase: 
[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

A Mom’s Redemption 

Annie Payton’s lost everything she once held dear. The Village of Hope is her last chance to rebuild the life she’s frittered away so needlessly. But as she works to regain custody of her children, she never imagines an unlikely advocate in her corner—ex-husband Ian Montgomery. Ian’s always willing to help those down on their luck, but his ex-wife’s a different story. Her past betrayal is still a painful memory. As the Village’s lawyer, he’ll represent her—but that’s as far as he’ll allow his feelings to go. Can Annie show Ian that she’s changed in every way but one—the love she still has for him?


Nursing the Soldier’s Heart

Nursing the Soldier's Heart
Nursing the Soldier’s Heart

(Village of Hope #2)

by Merrillee Whren

  • Love Inspired
  • Contemporary 
  • August 2015
  • ISBN: 9780373879779

Purchase: 
[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

Loving the Soldier 

Nurse Kirsten Bailey places her family above all else. She refuses to give former army medic Brady Hewitt any leeway for being weeks late in visiting his ill grandmother. But Brady has a good excuse, and he’s eager to show the pretty nurse that first impressions aren’t always right. While working with Brady to care for his grandmother and two orphaned boys, Kirsten realizes that his charm and kindness aren’t an act. But Kirsten plans on doing missionary work abroad, and she’s determined not to fall for the engaging soldier. Could the man she once dismissed be the one to make her stay forever?

 Connect with Merrillee Whren

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Nursing the Soldier's Heart
Nursing the Soldier’s Heart

~~

Be in to win a print copy of
Nursing the Soldier’s Heart

by Merrillee Whren 

~~

ONE copy to be won – USA & CANADA only
(Print Copy US only; Digital Copy Canada Only)

~~

Contest runs from
August 3 – September 6, 2015 NZDT

~~

b_w_scrolldiv

How to Enter:

Please comment on the interview and/or leave a message for Merrillee Whren in the blog comments below, then fill out the contest form with your details.

  • To comment, log in at the top right of the blog (or below the comments)
  • Scroll to the bottom to leave your comment
  • Complete the CONTEST FORM* then return to this blog

Only entries made completing the above criteria will be eligible for drawing. 

*The Contest Form operates through Google Forms. You do not need a Google account to use it. None of the information supplied is used outside of Soul Inspirationz administration of the Giveaway.

 

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