Thursday Book Interviews - Kara & Anna

Welcome Kara. Tell us about your holiday release.

Finding Joy is the final installment in the Orchard Hill Romance series. In this series, a pair of small town matchmakers compete to see who can make the most matches in a year. The last story centers around the attempt to bring together Pastor Isaac, an expert at avoiding matchmakers and Joy, the church's painfully shy organist.

I love titles. How did you come up with this one?

It follows the pattern of the series which includes titles such as Entertaining Angel, Considering Lily and Keeping Faith. I thought Finding Joy was a great title to end the series with.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book?

Not really. I did do some research on social anxiety, which Joy is afflicted with, but not what you would call in-depth research. I also did a little research on attracting birds to feeders. Joy was raised by her grandfather who refused to let her have a pet. Instead she began feeding the birds and years later, her backyard is filled with feeders and she's spent so much time outdoors with the birds that a few will even eat from her hands.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I wanted to do a series with each story highlighting one of the Fruits of the Spirit. That didn't work out, but I loved the titles and developed other stories around them.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I really enjoyed writing about Joy. I have myself suffered from shyness, but not to the extreme that Joy does. For her, social anxiety is a crippling condition. I admired her courage in her attempts to overcome her problem.

Where can we get in touch with you and purchase your book?

I'd love to invite everyone to visit my website - and/or my blog - You can find my books, including my other Christmas titles Saving Gracie and Nick and Noelle at The Wild Rose Press ( Nick and Noelle is available in print from and Barnes and Noble as well. The Orchard Hill Romance series will be out in print, hopefully in late 2009.


Hi Anna Kathryn. Tell us about your holiday release.

A Cowboy's Dream is the first story I had printed. It was with a local writer's group in their annual anthology. I've since revised it, more than doubled the word count and made the hero a cowboy as well as a pro baseball player.

Author Leah Smith has fantasized about her neighbor, Houston’s pro baseball player Marcus Slade, for years, but thinks it’s unlikely she’d catch the cowboy’s interest since her IQ is bigger than her bra size. Having already been hurt by a man who wanted size over substance, she’s not in a hurry to play in that ball field again.

When an unexpected opportunity gets Marcus inside his favorite author’s apartment, he’s not about to let a second chance at love pass him by. Their attraction is quick and electric and has him instantly thinking about something more long-term. But when a woman from his past intrudes, his hopes of a cozy Christmas with Leah are buried beneath her cold shoulder. Risking a strikeout, Marcus has one chance left...go for the grand slam of his life and crash Leah's annual Christmas Eve party in hopes of convincing her she’s this Cowboy’s Dream.

I love titles. How did you come up with this one?

It was originally called Happily Ever After, but when I sold it to The Wild Rose Press, they had a story by that title all ready, so I had to come up with a new name. The heroine in the story is a romance writer, and I actually have her newest book called "A Cowboy's Dream." I also asked a friend for help, because I am really bad with titles. Unknown to her about the heroine's book, she suggested "A Cowboy's Dream." Well, what else could I do but call it that?

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book?

Not really. I did have to research what a high-priced condominium would look I really wrote this story by the seat of my pants and for fun....breaking the rules of having an author and a pro athlete as the main characters.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I wanted to write for my local writer's group anthology and decided to make it fun. I set it in Houston, because that's the area I live in.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

Between the two, Leah and Marcus.....I think Leah. Making her a writer was fun.

Where can we get in touch with you and purchase your book?

You can contact me through my website at
A Cowboy's Dream will be available on December 17th through The Wild Rose Press,


Eliza Knight said...

Great interview! Both of your holiday books sound great :) I can't wait to brew up some nice tea and sit down to read!

Rose said...


Great interviews. Can't wait to read your blurbs today.

Kara, I'm printing your punch recipe to try this year.

Have fun on the blog today.


Renee said...


Your story sounds fun and uplifting. Thanks to my 18 dd I've found plots revolving around churches to not be as bad as I thought they would.


Renee said...


I've read your blurb in several places and find it very intriguing I've never been one to read contemporaries, but I've been moving outside my historical box lately. :)


Kara Lynn Russell said...

I'm not that into cooking, so I don't have a lot of recipes to share. But this is a really good one. Plus they don't get much simpler than this!

Kara Lynn Russell said...

If you like "home and family" type stories, you'll probably like Orchard Hill. There are no heavy messages in the stories, although most of the characters are Christians who are active in the church. The stories are light hearted and fun. At least they're meant to be. :)

Cindy K. Green said...

I can attest that Kara's Orchard Hill stories are terrific. No matter what you like to read, you'll love 'em.

Cindy K. Green said...

I love the sound of your story, Anna. It's interesting that you really rewrote it before resubmitting. I'm considering that with a few that I have going out of print.

ddurance said...

Nice interviews. Interesting research that you both had to do.


Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interviews!

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Thanks everyone. I really did enjoy writing this story, twice! Actually, Cindy, I tweaked it a bit and submitted it. It got sent to my editor for THE PRICELESS GIFT because A COWBOY'S DREAM is set in Houston. She wrote me and said, you can send the story straight to me. I wrote her and said, it's not a cowboy story...he plays ball, she writes. My editor read it and said: I really like this story. You can submit it another line, or you can make him a cowboy as well. I was like, DUH! That was a plot I hadn't considered. So, after my editor raved about the story, I worked on changing it to fit the Yellow Rose line.

The other change that I did from the original story was to the hero's last name. He's now the decentant of the couple in my January 21, 2009 release SALVATION BRIDE, a historical set in 1873 Texas. It's a great tie in and I talk about Laura and David Slade in A COWBOY'S WAY.

Well, Kara, I guess I have written a sort of series after all..I'd temporarily

So, I say, polish off those old stories and give them new life. It's worth it.

Anna Kathryn

BethRe said...

Wow both books sound great

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Okay, I've had trouble remembering the title of my story, as you can see in my long comment story is A COWBOY'S DREAM. I don't know why I want to call use 'way' instead of 'dream' but I do that on occasion!


MarthaE said...

Good interviews! Nice that these didn't require alot of research but it still takes skill to get the plot and characters together so nicely!
I like the titles on both -- they seemed to fit so well!

Sarita Leone said...

What wonderful interviews! I love hearing the story behind the story, and meeting the writer behind the words. Love the recipes, too. Nice and easy, and both look yummy. :)

I've read--and loved--most of Kara's series. There are just a few I've yet to read but they are wonderful, heartwarming stories.

A Cowboy's Dream sounds fantastic! I love cowboys...who doesn't? :)