Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 20 books, including Dancing with Fireflies and The Convenient Groom. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.
Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the experience of falling in love vicariously through her characters and can expect a happily-ever-after sigh as they close the pages of her books.
In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!
When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking coffee, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are raising three boys.
You can learn more about Denise by visiting her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/authordenisehunter
Savanna: Welcome to The Engrafted Word, Denise. Congratulations on your newest release, The Wishing Season. Can I just say, first of all, how much I love the cover?! The story sounds so good too! Can’t wait to read it. 🙂
Can you tell us what first gave you the idea for PJ and Cole’s story?
Denise: I had no idea what PJ’s story was going to be when I wrote the 1st two books of the series. I did, however, make her a culinary student in those books, so I knew I needed to work that into my plot. A couple of different things went creating PJ’s story. One, I’ve always wanted to write a story in which a character wins a restaurant. Two, I had recently become aware of the problems that foster kids face when they age out of the system. So I created an eccentric resident who wants to give away her ancestral home, a heroine who wants to open her own restaurant, and a hero who wants to open a transition house for foster kids. The hero and heroine are competing for the same space, and the eccentric resident insists on seeing their plans in action for a year before deciding which one wins. Voila! “The Wishing Season”.
Savanna: Love that. What a cute idea! So what’s something you hope readers will remember most about your Chapel Springs series?
Denise: I hope the characters stick with them. I intended the McKinleys to feel like family. It’s always my desire that readers connect with the characters and grow to care about what happens to them, cry for them, and root for them.
Savanna: As a writer of “happily-ever-afters” yourself, do you have a favorite romantic movie and a favorite romantic book?
Denise: I love romantic movies! My all-time favorite is “You’ve Got Mail”. I’ve seen it dozens of times. I also love “While You Were Sleeping” and “The Notebook”. My favorite romantic book of all time “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers.
Savanna: All great choices, I must say! 😉 Describe your favorite place to write. What’s your ideal setting for inspiration?
Denise: I write in my living room, on the end of the sofa, with the leg-rest kicked out. It’s all about comfort. 🙂 Honestly, besides being comfortable, nothing else really matters. I’m locked into my story while I’m writing so I’m not going to notice, say, a beautiful mountain view out my window. I guess it’s just as well that I live in flat, northern Indiana. LOL
Savanna: Hey, whatever works, right? Sounds nice!
Denise: The biggest thing I’ve learned about awards (and reviews, for that matter) is that it is all subjective. The same story that one reader loves, another will hate. When I receive an award I feel pleased, honored, and very blessed, especially when I get to celebrate the moment with friends.
Savanna: Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
Denise: Next up is Married ’til Monday, the last book in the Chapel Springs series. Here’s a blurb:
Ryan McKinley has tried to move on from his ex-wife, Abby. He’s sulked, he’s gotten angry, and ultimately he bought her dream house. Big mistake. Living alone in the massive 2-story has only made him miss her more. When her parents call him out of the blue about their anniversary party in Summer Harbor, Maine, Ryan believes God has dropped a golden opportunity straight in his lap.
Abby McKinley never exactly told her parents about the divorce. A strained relationship with her dad has culminated in a distant relationship with her parents, but she’s finally succumbed to her mom’s pressure to make the drive for their 35th anniversary party.
Then Ryan shows up on her doorstep, looking as devastatingly handsome as ever. When he insists he’s going to Summer Harbor, with or without her, Abby knows she can’t say no. Her parents still thinks they’re married and now Ryan knows it too. Besides, he only wants to check in with his best friend from college—her cousin Beau, who just lost his dad. It’s just a one-week road-trip with the man who utterly destroyed her heart. What could possibly go wrong?
Savanna: Sounds like another cute story! Can’t wait to check it out. 😉 Thanks so much for being with us today, Denise. It’s been great having you as our guest. Can you tell us how can readers connect with you?
Denise: I love hearing from my readers! They can email me or sign up for my newsletter through my Website. I often have book giveaways just for my newsletter members. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter.
Denise has graciously offered a copy of The Wishing Season to one lucky reader! Enter below and it could be YOU! 😉
Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends December 24, 2014. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody! 😉