Tuesday, January 30, 2018

When it Feels Like Home ~ Alice K. Arenz ~ Giveaway

Please welcome friend and author Alice K. Arenz as she takes us behind the scene and into the Story Behind the Story of her recent release The Wedding Barter, a book I thoroughly enjoyed ... and reviewed. (see link below**) - AND a free book. Details below.

When It Feels Like Home

 by Alice K. Arenz

No, this is not Tarryton - image courtesy pixabay.com
Have you ever read a book where the place described feels so much like home that you’d actually like to live there—or, at least, read more about the people who do? I know I’ve felt that way and hoped one day to create just such a place for my readers. I just never thought about feeling so comfortable with one of these fictional communities I’d want to return there for a book totally unrelated to the reason it was invented in the first place.

Confused? That’s ok because it happens to me all the time! But, seriously, this was how I felt when I signed on to write a new Christian romance for a collection my publisher was putting together. After getting over the initial reaction of switching gears from mystery/suspense to romance, all I could think about was location, location, location! I was already stepping out of my comfort zone, so I knew there had to be a solution that could cushion me as I dared cross over into an unfamiliar genre. Then, suddenly, it came to me! Tarryton, Missouri, the fictional location from the Bouncing Grandma Mystery series was perfect...and my publisher agreed!

Tarryton already had a population of characters just waiting to pop out of the past and into the future—nine years older than when they were/are in the Grandma books, but still filled with an abundance of personality. Even the town had the requisite businesses—it was a place burgeoning with life and possibilities, a perfect setting for The Wedding Barter!

Tarryton was already on my mind when I signed on to join the novella collection—I’d recently re-read The Case of the Bouncing Grandma and The Case of the Mystified M.D. in preparation of beginning a third book in the series. It was long overdue, I know, but the excitement of revisiting that town and characters like Glory Harper with her insatiable appetite for solving mysteries had become all-consuming.

No, The Wedding Barter wouldn’t be a mystery and would be set in the present, but it would be able to borrow upon a foundation already established. From Randi’s Dandies Bakery to Kelly’s Garden and Landscaping, to Marcello’s Restaurant, Tanner’s Truck Stop, and Centerview Park, the town was waiting to be used and populated with another cast of characters. I could close my eyes and picture it even more clearly than where I lived now or had grown up. It was filled with friends and acquaintances who wanted to share their stories with new readers, waiting to charm, disappoint, and amaze. They were home . . . and they were ready to welcome us into their world.

I hope that you, dear readers, will feel the same about Tarryton as I do! God Bless.
The Giveaway: Alice is offering a free eBook copy of The Wedding Barter to one of my readers. Entering is easy ... just leave a comment below with your name and email (e.g. you(at)123xyz(dot)com). Followers of this blog will get an extra entry. Just let me know in your comment. Contest runs through Tuesday, February 6. 2018, at Midnight CST.

Though Alice K. Arenz is known for her cozy mysteries and romantic mystery/suspense novels, the Carol Award winning author has branched out with her newest release, The Wedding Barter, a romance that is both serious and funny.

Arenz is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Her first three novels were honored by two finals and one win in ACFW’s Carol Awards: cozy mysteries The Case of the Bouncing Grandma (a 2009 finalist), The Case of the Mystified M.D., (2010 winner), and mystery/suspense Mirrored Image (a 2011 finalist). These novels have been followed by An American Gothic, Portrait of Jenny, and short story, Home Cookin’.

Visit her at her website www.akawriter.com

**If you're interested in the review I wrote for The Wedding Barter, just follow this link.


  1. No need to win a book because Alice and I are in the same Trying Out for Love collection. As always, hers is outstanding and lots of fun. I hope lots of people will order it and have lots of fun reading it.

    Bonnie Engstrom

    1. Hi, Bonnie, thanks for visiting. I thoroughly enjoyed this current book from Alice. As I've enjoyed every single on of her others.