Monday, July 18, 2016

Be My Guest and *Giveaway*: Beth K. Vogt

by Andrea Renee Cox

One of the books on my summer reading list was the newly released Almost Like Being in Love by Beth K. Vogt. It's a fun beach read (not that I was on a beach, but a girl can daydream, right?) that delves into a couple of deep topics.

Here today is the author of this novel. Stay tuned after the interview for some *giveaway* news.

Andrea: One of the supporting characters in Almost Like Being in Love is a double amputee with a great sense of humor. Why did you choose to feature this particular disability? What were some of the challenges in writing such an interesting character as Mitch?

BethI had the idea of including a Spartan Race and/or a Mudder in the story because my son Josh runs both kinds of obstacle races, and my husband and son-in-love, Nate, ran a Spartan Race with him. At one of the Mudders my son participated in, my husband went along to watch. He told me about a double amputee who participated with a team. At one point, the course was so rugged and steep, the man couldn’t get up the incline in his wheelchair, so one guy carried him on his back and someone else carried his wheelchair. That story stayed with me, and I decided to weave it into Almost Like Being in Love. The challenge was trying to represent Wounded Warriors in a realistic way, even though Mitch wasn’t the main character of the story. I wanted to show both the struggles and successes of a Wounded Warrior – and get the issue on the pages, so that readers would stop and think about our military men and women who’ve been injured and the challenges they face.

AndreaIn the story, Kade and Mitch run a "Mudder," an obstacle course run through the mud. Have you ever participated in a marathon or mud run before? How do you stay involved in the community?

Now available!
BethI’ve never run a Mudder – that’s just beyond my physical abilities. My friends, Tony and Faith Gibson, started Heart of the Bride, which is a ministry to orphans around the world, and they host the Emerald Coast Mud Run each year in Niceville, Florida. I mention that race in Almost Like Being in Love, too. And I cheer my son on whenever I can and keep up on his involvement in obstacle races. He was just home for the Fourth of July weekend, and we talked about his next race and how Wounded Warriors participate in Mudders.

AndreaA minor character in Almost Like Being in Love suffers from alcoholism, which then affects so many others around her. Were there any difficulties in writing this character? What advice would you give to someone affected by a loved one who suffers from alcoholism?

BethI wanted this character to be sympathetic, but I also wanted to show how one person’s choices affect an entire family, as well as close friends. The reader meets this family as the status quo is shifting and changing, for better and for worse. I worked hard to create empathy for everyone involved, to help readers see why different choices were made. As far as what a person should do if someone they love is dealing with alcoholism, the stark reality is you can’t change anyone. You can’t force someone to make the right choices. You can’t make someone not drink. You can only make healthy emotional choices for you. There are resources like Al-Anon (Alcoholics Anonymous) out there for family and friends of people struggling with alcoholism.

AndreaThe Destination Wedding Series is your first collection of books that are all tied together. What has been the most challenging aspect of writing a series? Which has been more fun for you: Writing stand-alone novels or this series?

BethWriting stand-alone novels is easier because you don’t have think, “What did I say in the last book about this character? Am I contradicting myself?” But readers seem to enjoy series, where favorite characters show up again and they can find out what has happened since the last book. And that’s good because that means as a writer, I’ve created an emotional connection between my characters and my readers. I think I’m more of a stand-alone novel writer … but we’ll see. I’m keeping my options open.

AndreaAlmost Like Being in Love is rich with details, which usually means buckets of research for the author. What was your favorite thing about researching this book? Any interesting tidbits that didn't make the cut?

BethBoth Caron and Kade, my main characters, are Realtors – and I knew next-to-nothing about that career field. I’m so thankful that I have several friends who are Realtors and who were willing to answer all my questions. And I had plenty! As far as what didn’t make the cut … well, about 60-70 percent of the manuscript I turned in to my editor didn’t. After I met my deadline, I realized I needed to change it – and this involved some major rewrites. So I took the manuscript back from my editor and started reworking the story. One change? Nancy Miller, who unsettles Caron Hollister’s life, was completely rewritten.

Andrea: Bonus! What's up next for you? Any more destination weddings on the horizon?

Beth: Any more destination weddings? Possibly. I’m mulling that over. I’m also working on another novel that has a twin element in it – that’s the first time I’ve returned to that since my 2014 novel, Somebody Like You.

Andrea: Beth, it's been a pleasure chatting with you on Writing to Inspire today.

Beth: Thanks for having me on your blog, Andrea!
Beth K. Vogt



Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, as well as a 2015 RITA® finalist, and three-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. She continues her destination wedding series with You Can’t Hurry Love (May 2016) and Almost Like Being in Love (June 2016). Visit Beth at bethvogt.com





Giveaway!

Beth has kindly agreed to give away one (1) paperback copy of Almost Like Being in Love to one of my readers who lives in the United States (sorry to my international readers, but shipping costs are pricey these days).

All you have to do to sign up is:
1. Leave a comment, answering one of today's discussion questions (found below).
2. Include your email address in your comment. If that is missing, your name will not be added to the hat.
3. You may earn extra entries by inviting friends to the giveaway. You may invite as many people as you like, earning one extra entry for each person that tells me in their comment that you pointed them to this article.

The giveaway runs from Monday, July 18 through Thursday, July 21. The winner will be chosen at random, contacted on Friday, July 22, and announced on next Monday's article.



About Almost Like Being in Love:

She’s won a luxurious dream wedding—now all she needs is the groom!  
Winning an all-expenses paid Colorado destination wedding might seem like a dream come true for some people—but Caron Hollister and her boyfriend Alex Madison aren’t even engaged. How is she supposed to tell him that she’s won their wedding and honeymoon when he hasn’t asked her to marry him? And while everyone says they’re perfect for each other, how strong is a relationship when it’s built around protecting secrets?
Realtor Kade Webster’s business savvy just secured his company’s participation in the Springs Tour of Homes. He never imagined he would run into Caron Hollister—the woman who broke his heart—right when Webster Select Realty is taking off. When Kade learns his home stager won’t be able to help with the Tour of Homes, he vaults past all the reasons he should avoid Caron, and offers her a temporary job helping him on the project. This time, their relationship is purely business—Realtor to Realtor.
Spending time with Kade again has Caron questioning who she is and what she wants. The man intrigues her—at times infuriates her—and reminds her of what she walked away from. Has she been settling for what everyone expects of her? How can Caron say “I do” to one man when she’s wondering “what if?” about another?

You may read Andrea's review of this novel here.

Discussion Questions:

Have you ever run a Spartan Race or Mud Run? What did you learn about yourself during that experience?

How do you deal with the "tough topics" of life? How do you encourage others to work through life issues?

Join the conversation! Leave a comment.
If you liked this article, please share it!

10 comments:

  1. Question #1 Regarding running a race. Only in my dreams! Two knee surgeries on the right knee prevent that from ever happening.

    Question 2..tough topics of life. I draw on the personal experiences I've had throughout life. There have been and currently are "tough issues" throughout each of our lives and I believe we walk through them so someday we can help others. Praying with the person on the spot and also when God brings them to mind. I also encourage them to seek God, His Word and if necessary Christian counseling.

    LouAnn C
    (lambchris7@msn.com)

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    1. LouAnn, thank you for stopping by the blog this week. Your advice to "pray with the person on the spot" is so sweet and perfect. Thanks for sharing that!

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  2. Beth! Stumbled on this today! Love the cover for your new book. I have never done a Mudder though many friends have. I used to run, now I crawl!! LOL. Praying for continued success on your new release!!

    tina@tinaradcliffe.com

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    1. Tina, I am so glad you stumbled upon my blog! I hope you'll visit often, or even subscribe. I do author interviews once a month and try to keep my readers entertained in the meantime. New articles every Monday.

      I know what you mean with the "now I crawl" part. Time catches us all, doesn't it? I love how supportive and encouraging your comment is!

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  3. I have never run a Spartan race but my sons girlfriend just did. I saw some of the pictures and she was truly awesome and persevered through it. My son has asthma so there is no way he could join her, but he cheered her on! I have way too many physical problems to have ever attempted something like that.

    I deal with lifes tough topics by being honest, and sharing my faith and Jesus with others to encourage them.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Maryann

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    1. Maryann, you sound like a very positive, encouraging woman, and it looks like your son might have inherited that gene. What a legacy you've got going there! Thanks for stopping by the blog today. Hope to "see" you again soon.

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  4. I have never done a Spartan race or a mud run, but have several friends who have. Thanks for the great interview. I really liked reading the story about the people who carried the Wounded Warrior during the race.

    mo1202007ATyahooDOTcom

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    1. Wasn't that neat how those folks helped the Wounded Warrior during the Spartan Race? That really touched my heart too. Thanks for visiting Writing to Inspire today! Come back again soon.

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  5. I have never run a Spartan Race or Mud Run. I'm pretty familiar with my limitations, and that far surpasses my abilities. It's a very interesting topic though. I'm probably somewhat behind times, but I had never heard of them.

    I deal with "tough topics" in life first of all with prayer. I seek the Lord's guidance and love. A support group of family and friends is also a great blessing during daily life and whenever tough topics arise. I encourage others to work through life issues with prayer and by being there for them as they go through life issues. I have seen God's miracles in my own life and also have seen how encouragement and friendship is a blessing to have and to give through life issues.

    Andrea and Beth, I enjoyed the interview. May the Lord bless you as you share His love and encouragement with others!

    dawncox2000@yahoo.com

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    1. So glad you liked the interview, Mom. I agree, it's amazing to see God work His miracles through friendship as we help each other through tough life issues. Some of the most difficult times can bring the most abundant blessings. Thanks for supporting me and the blog!

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