Friday, March 20, 2015

Interview & #Giveaway with Varina Denman

I don't know if Varina Denman remembers me. Probably not. People get lost in the cybersphere if you don't become a stalker or seriously connect. But anyway, she was one of my FIRST blogger friends. Or was it Facebook? I don't recall. See how close V and I are? ;) But I am SO happy to reconnect with her over her debut novel! A novel that is SURE to strike a chord with anyone who has ever attended church, been hurt, or needed healing. Take a peek into our little interview and get to know Varina, and don't forget to follow the links back to her web site for a chance to win!

Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. She has five children, teaches creative writing and literature, volunteers in her local homeschool cooperative, and boasts sixteen years as a home educator. She resides with her family in North Texas. Her first novel, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis Award.

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Jaime, thank you for hosting me on your beautiful blog. It’s so good to be here with you and Anne and Erica!
1.       So tell us what first inspired you to write your current book?
It was sort of an accident. Jaded is about church hurt, but in the beginning, I didn’t set out to write
about that. I was just writing a Christian romance, but when my characters went to church ... things happened. The inspiration for the painful scenes came from things I’ve witnessed or heard about over the years. I can’t stand to see people hurting, so I made up for those real life scenarios by writing a story that ends with hope and healing.
2.       Who is your most favorite character (and yes, you HAVE to pick one :)

This is easy, but you’d never guess. It’s not my spunky heroine, Ruthie Turner, or the hunky preacher or the likeable cousin or the bitter church leader. They’re all main characters who ought to grab me, but my favorite is a secondary character named Ansel Picket. He’s Ruthie’s seventy-year-old uncle who reminds me of my grandfather. He walks and talks slowly and chews on toothpicks. My grandfather died years ago, but when I wrote Ansel Pickett, I felt like I was spending time with Granddaddy.

3.       Is there a spiritual element or thread you hope your readers to catch as they read?

The story revolves around forgiveness. The main arc is Ruthie Turner as she learns to forgive the church who shunned her family years before. But throughout the story, almost every character experiences something that touches on forgiveness, or the character’s lack of forgiveness. I hope readers finish the book with a sense of hope in their hearts, knowing that forgiveness is possible, even in the worst situations. And that God’s love is big enough to make up for our mistakes.

4.       Where are you at in your writing career? Published, not published, searching, unsure?

My first novel, Jaded, released this month, and the second, Justified, will release June 1. I’m currently working on the third, Jilted, which is scheduled for 2016.

5.       Favorite color and why?

Red. It’s bold and bright. It’s a focal point of any room. It’s the color of roses and nail polish and buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s the name of a really funny movie. And besides all that, red shirts look good with my dark hair. 

(Jaime inserts happy cheering here because red is her favorite color too)

6.       Favorite restaurant?
Five kids on a teacher’s salary means we NEVER go out to eat (other than the dollar menu at the closest burger joint), but sometimes, our family and friends have pity and give us gift cards. When that happens, my favorite restaurant is On The Border. Quesadillas and guacamole ... need I say more?
7.       On our blog, Erica constantly tries to introduce the concept of tea drinking. So, are you in her camp, or do you side with Anne and I as bonafide coffee drinkers?

I’m the weirdo with food sensitivities. Caffeine doesn’t work for me. Or sugar. But when I go wild, I’m in the camp of iced decaf with some kind of sugar free chocolate added, and maybe a touch of almond milk. On the other hand, I enjoy me some iced green tea every now and then. But as for hot drinks in cute mugs ... neither really. Oh, how I wish I could be like the cool kids at Starbucks!

 8.       Tell us about the last thing that scared you to pieces

Ugh. I had my first author interview last week over the phone. It was horrible. I rambled. I probably offended any person who lives in a small town. Or attends a church of any size. Or believes in a loving and merciful God. Other than that, it went well. But the fear-induced diarrhea lasted for two days.

9.       Your favorite all-time cartoon as a kid and what was it about it that you liked so much?

Felix the Cat! Because of the theme song! https://youtu.be/h2YJduDyFA4

10.   They call me the Selfie Queen which sounds terribly self-absorbed. So can you save my reputation and share the honor by posting a selfie here? :)


11.   How do our readers connect with you, buy your books, or follow your writing journey?
I spend a lot of time on Facebook and Pinterest. And sometimes I land on Twitter, Instagram, and GoodReads. Jaded can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and ChristianBook. And it’s in bookstores, but that’s sort of hit or miss since I’m a new author. Follow my writing journey on my blog, varinadenman.com, and please sign-up for my quarterly newsletter.

12.   Last but not least, what’s one story idea you’ve had that ventures out of your typical genre?


Every time I read a dystopian novel, I wish I could write like that. I loved Hunger Games and Divergent. But I should probably stick to reading that genre instead of writing it, because I don’t know enough about politics, history, or current events. Good grief, I don’t even watch the news. 

And readers can find Varina here:

Twitter: @varinadenman
Instagram: varinadenman

Enter a giveaway for a copy of Varina's new book Jaded by using the rafflecopter below!


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Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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14 comments:

  1. Hey Jaime thanks for the interview with Varina. I am so glad Varina wrote JADED and addressed this wide spread issue in the church.

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  2. I've gone to many churches over the past 60 years. I can't say I've ever been hurt by the church. I have been twice very hurt by two different people at two different times--same church. It took me about a year to work through those hurts and be able to actually forgive the people. It was hard to do, but God helped me. I am very good friends with one of those people, but I rarely see the other one, which is good, because she sows discord among the brethren. I know I would not have been able to forgive them on my strength alone.

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    Replies
    1. You're so right, Kay. It's God that helps us be able to forgive. :)

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  3. Thanks for this post! Can't wait to read this book! Hope I win!

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  4. Thanks for this post! Can't wait to read this book! Hope I win!

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  5. Jaime, I knew your name sounded familiar! That explains it! Thanks for much for inviting me and hosting a giveaway of Jaded. :)

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  6. I remember Felix the Cat! We played a game with my grandma with it. Such fond memories!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Kate, I miss Felix. They just don't make cartoons like that any more.

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  7. I've been a church member for close to 60 years and have seen my share of discord within church bodies - and people hurt, including those of my own family on numerous occasions. It goes back many years - my great-grandmother was expelled from church due to dancing (it may have been something as innocent as square dancing), and was later asked to return - however, her pride wouldn't let her. I have also seen church bodies split and members leave - due to discord.

    Because we are human, I feel there will always be times when imperfections cause discord within the church body. Satan has a heyday when this happens, and loves "igniting the flames" - which takes our minds off God and onto ourselves. I feel that continually keeping my eyes on God, instead of man, and His plan for my life - studying His Word, having an understanding and forgiving spirit, and praying for guidance in spiritually resolving problems of discord and hurt - will help me weather the storms more easily. I'm looking forward to that day when there will no longer be in discord.

    I would love to read "Jaded", Varina!!

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  8. Replies
    1. I agree 100%. Thanks for commenting and sharing. I hope you win! :)

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  9. Jaime, I loved meeting Varina and learning about Jaded. Thank you and blessings to both of you.
    Connie
    cps1950 at gmail dot com

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