Today on the blog, I’m pleased to welcome your friend and mine, the wonderful Jill Weatherholt. Many of you know her through her blog, which you can get to by clicking here. Jill is here to talk about her second Love Inspired romance book, A Father for Bella, which made its debut on July 17. Click here to read a synopsis of the book. One of you will win a copy of this very book.
Jill is represented by Jessica Alvarez. Let’s talk to Jill!
El Space: Four quick facts about yourself?
Jill: 1. I once won a limbo contest while vacationing in Key West during spring break.
2. I have a fear of escalators.
3. When Derek and I first met, I asked him if he and his twin sister were identical.
4. When I work a jigsaw puzzle, I keep the box face down.
El Space: So lovely to see your second Love Inspired book. The cover is absolutely adorable! When you wrote Second Chance Romance [which you can get here], did you know that you were going to write Faith’s story, or were you leaving a second book open to inspiration? Please explain.
Jill: Thanks! I love what the art department did with the cover for A Father for Bella. They completely surprised me, but in a great way. No, since Second Chance Romance was the first book I’d ever written, I didn’t know at the time if I was capable of writing a second book. Obviously God had a different plan for me.
El Space: Yes! I love the setting—an inn in Virginia. Please tell us how you decided on that setting.
Jill: I’m happy you enjoyed visiting Whispering Slopes. Although I currently live in Charlotte, NC, I was raised in Virginia and it will always be home to me. The Shenandoah Valley, which lies between the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and the Allegheny Mountains to the west, is my favorite area in Virginia. I love the quaint small-towns sprinkled throughout the valley which make for perfect fictional settings that the Love Inspired books provide.
El Space: How is Faith like you? Different from you?
Jill: My heroine, Faith, and I are similar in that we struggle with certain fears. She’s protective over her daughter, Bella, and I’m the same with my loved ones. Like myself, Faith doesn’t open herself up to someone until she’s gained their trust. Our main difference is she has a child and I don’t have children. If I did and I were in the same situation where I’d lost my husband and my daughter’s father, I couldn’t see myself withholding photographs or other memories from my child, like Faith did.
El Space: How did you come to write for Love Inspired?
Jill: Writing for Love Inspired was a result of a last-minute contest entry. In March of 2015, I heard Harlequin had a blurb-to-book contest where the winners could possibly be offered a contract. I opened an old NaNoWriMo project titled, “Capture the Dream,” that had been sitting on my hard drive since 2010 and decided to enter. From April until July, I advanced through the stages of the contest, rewriting a horrible draft that ultimately became my first published book, Second Chance Romance. It was truly an experience I will never forget and one that I loved sharing with Derek. From the beginning, he’s been so support and encouraging. As you know, writing under contract can be quite stressful. I have my moments where I’m not the most pleasant person to be around, but he loves me despite my occasional meltdowns. And that’s why I dedicated A Father for Bella to him.
El Space: I enjoyed getting to know Joshua, the hero of the story. Thinking of your own books and the books to which you’re drawn, what are the ingredients of a good hero? Why?
Jill: When I created Joshua’s character, I wanted a man who had a wounded past and struggled with trusting women. Since his wife had left him for another man, I journaled a lot from his point of view in order to connect with his pain and the feelings of abandonment not only because of his wife, but also his father. When he’s in a position where he and Faith have to work together to keep the inn open, he realizes he’s developing an attraction for her, but he must resist, because he equates relationships to heartache and suffering. I love a hero with protective instincts, so I enjoyed developing the relationship between Joshua and Faith’s daughter Bella, too.
El Space: You also write stories for Woman’s World magazine. Why is a happy ending important to you?
Jill: Yes, over the years I’ve probably submitted twenty or more short stories to Woman’s World, all resulting in rejections. Finally, last December they bought a story inspired by my mother. I recently sold another that will be published in late August, also inspired by my mother. I have so much fun with these stories. There’s definitely a formula that the magazine looks for, but once I come up with an idea, I can usually get it written in a couple of hours. I can’t imagine ever writing anything that didn’t have a happy ending. At my day job, I see and hear a lot of the not-so-happy things that take place in and around my city, so as a writer and a reader, I need to feel good at the end of a story.
El Space: What will you work on next?
Jill: Currently, I’m working on book three, also set in the Whispering Slopes community. I also plan to continue submitting stories to Woman’s World magazine as well as venturing into writing women’s fiction.
Thanks, Jill, for joining me on the blog!
If you’re looking for Jill, you can find her on her website, blog, Twitter, and Facebook.
A Father for Bella can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Wal-Mart, the Harlequin Love Inspired website, and Christianbook.com. But one of you will find a copy of this book in your mailbox just for commenting. This giveaway is U.S. only though. Sorry. The next giveaway will be international, however. Look for that interview next week. Winners to be announced on August 13.
Author photo courtesy of Jill Weatherholt. A Father for Bella cover from Goodreads. Second Chance Romance cover courtesy of Jill Weatherholt. Jigsaw puzzle image from pixabay.com. Shenandoah Valley map from virginiashenandoahvalley.com. Woman’s World image from magazineline.com. Hero image from pluspng.com. Love Inspired logo found atbestreads-kav.blogspot.com.
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Thanks so much for hosting me today, L. Marie! I’ll be back later this evening to chat. Enjoy your day! ❤
Hi, Jill! Thank you for coming on the blog. Will be glad to see you! 😀
Phew! What a day…it’s great to be here, L. Marie. ❤
Glad you’re here! 😀
Fabulous interview, I loved it! I had to smile about the limbo contest, yay for you. And, the question to Derek was priceless. I thoroughly enjoyed Second Chance Romance, so I’m looking forward to reading A Father for Bella. BTW, journaling to get to know a character is brilliant; I’m going to give it a try. ♥
I also smiled at that too, Gwen. I second journaling for the sake of character. It helps!
Journaling has gotten me through some tough writing times. 🙂
Hi Gwen! Perhaps the limbo contest is the reason I had two back surgeries while in my early 30’s…LOL! Can you believe I asked Derek that question? I was obviously nervous. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by. ❤
Two surgeries??? Wow!!!
Yep, first was when I’d just turned 30 and the other @ 34…pain free since! 🙂
You, Jill, are a hardcore puzzler. No looking at the top of the box? You are strong.
I didn’t know the story about the origins of your first published book and I love it. When something is meant to be, it happens. I also didn’t know that you had stories in Woman’s World. You’re taking the world by storm. Cool beans.
Thanks, L. Marie, for hosting this interview. Your questions rock.
Thank you, Ally. 😀 ⛈ 😄(Emojis in honor of your post on the emoji quiz. Which I took by the way, but quit a third of the way through.) Great story, isn’t it? Yes, she is indeed taking the world by storm.
You were good to try the emoji quiz. They are not my cup of tea, as my score reflected. 🙄
And yes, it’s great to see Jill succeed. She’s deserves it. 💐
They’re not mine either, Ally. I think of tests like Myers-Briggs and just about break out in hives. 😖
Aw…thanks guys! ❤ I'm scared of those online quizzes…I feel like I'm being tracked! LOL!
Hi A-Bean! Sometimes Derek will flip my box upright, just to mess with me. He thinks I’m strange because he studies his box. 🙂 Well, I’m not sure if two WW stories after 20+ submissions is taking it by storm…more like a glutton for punishment. 🙂 I know! L. Marie is the best at interviews. Thanks so much for stopping by…I appreciate it!
Thank you L Marie for sharing your conversation with Jill. You are an inspiration Jill! May the happening endings and beginnings continue 💛💐💛
Glad to share it, Val! I’m looking forward to that third book! 😄
That’s so sweet, Val. I could say the same about you. I appreciate you stopping by today. ❤
I’m currently reading this book and can definitely relate to the Shenandoah Valley where I attended college. Readers get to know the characters through dialogue and the nuances of their movements as they converse. I can see this book as a movie: the script is all there!. Thanks for featuring Jill today. She’s gifted with writing talent and attracting hummingbirds, perhaps a metaphor for her busy life. 🙂
It would be nice to see it adapted for the Hallmark Channel or the big screen, Marian. I can see that happening too.
Always glad to feature Jill!
I really appreciate all of your support and friendship, L. Marie! ❤
Hi Marian! Did I know you went to school in Shenandoah Valley? Which college did you attend? Thank you so much for your kind words and all of your support for both of my books. I can’t wait to get your memoir in my hands! ❤
I graduated from Eastern Mennonite University (then College) near Harrisonburg, VA. Our school song began with the words “Amid the purple mountains of Virginia . . . 😊
Love it, Marian!❤️
Glad you remember your school song, Marian. I’m having trouble remembering the words to mine! 😀
Thanks for sharing hosting Jill and her new endeavor, L.
Jill, thanks for sharing. I learned some things about you that I didn’t know before. You’re a wonder. Blessings to you.
She is indeed, Lori!
Hi Lori! Yeah, I guess the fact that I was the limbo queen in Key West has never come up in our email exchanges. LOL! Thanks so much for your support and friendship. I hope Max is doing well. ❤
Such a wonderful interview, Jill. I wish you every success with your writing career. xx
Thank you, L. Marie. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer. 😀
Thanks so much, Jennifer! I loved L. Marie’s questions. I’m anxiously awaiting your next book. Enjoy your weekend! ❤
Great interview, both of you! Best of luck with the book, Jill.
BTW: I’ve never been afraid of escalators but, after reading about a grotesque escalator accident, I might be taking the stairs henceforth!
Thanks, Nancy. I know what you mean. I sometimes think twice before getting on an escalator. 😀
Thanks so much, Nancy! I appreciate you popping over today. Okay, now you have me curious about the accident. Blog post, perhaps? 🙂 Happy Weekend!
You can find the story (or similar stories) by googling “escalator accident.” In short, “take the stairs.” 😀
I shall be back next week with my hand in the air, shouting ‘me, please!’ 🙂 🙂 What a very excellent interview. It tells me so many things I would have liked to know but probably not thought to ask. Thank you very much!
So glad to see you here! Jill is a treasure!
Hi Jo! L. Marie should have been a reporter…she’s got the best questions. Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have a great weekend! ❤
Great interview and a really interesting background to the book Jill, winning a limbo competition has to be a great fact to put on your CV 🙂
It’s always nice to talk to Jill.
Yes, the limbo win is amazing! I’ve seen those contests! So hard to do!
Hi Andrea! LOL! I wonder if I should put those two back surgeries I had years later on my CV! Thanks so much for popping over today…I appreciate it. I hope little Winston is well. ❤
Fantastic interview and glad to see two of my favorite bloggers come together! Congratulations on your latest book and the magazine acceptances, Jill!! Well deserved.
Hi, Phillip! Thank you!
Happy belated birthday to you also!
Thank you, Linda! 🙂
Thanks so much, Phillip! I really appreciate all of your support over the years. I can’t wait until your book is out and L. Marie interviews you! I hope your birthday was the best ever! I think I remember 40…barely. 🙂
Good to see you here! Don’t enter me in the drawing ’cause, as you know, I read and loved your book! I will be looking for your story in the WW edition! Take care and have a great weekend! Rain, rain here in GA.
Hi Jackie! You are such a gem. I truly appreciate your friendship and support. You comment over on Kav’s blog was so sweet. Yes, we’re getting those tropical downpours, too. I’m feeling like a mushroom Happy weekend to you, my friend! ❤
Hi, L. Marie – Thank you for featuring Jill on your blog. I loved Second Chance Romance and A Father for Bella. I highly recommend both of them!
I loved both too! Thanks for stopping by!
Thank you so much, Donna. I truly appreciate your support and friendship…it’s helping me through a tough time. Your photo yesterday absolutely made my week! ❤
Jill is a pretty amazing gal! ❤ Her jigsaw puzzle ability is actually quite astounding – perhaps she should consider writing a mystery book also………. That was a very good interview!
I think she should write a mystery too! I’d love to read that!
Aw…you’re pretty amazing too, Pauline! Your artistic abilities blow me away. Oh gosh, I don’t think I’m clever enough to write a mystery. Thanks for stopping by today. Hugs to you, Orlando and my sweet pal, Siddy. ❤
Congratulations on the new book, Jill! And thank you for the interview, Linda, and for letting us know about it!
Glad to present great authors, Lyn!
Thank you so much, Lyn. I appreciate you taking the time to read Linda’s awesome questions! Enjoy your weekend.
I’ve popped over here from Jill’s blog and happily read the interview. I always like learning more about the bloggers I follow. Congrats on your new book, Jill! I love happy endings too!
Hi Janis! It’s great to see you here! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading. I appreciate the visit! Enjoy your weekend! xo
I loved the Derick question. This was a super interview L. Marie and Jill. I enjoyed it very much. Jill is terrific and deserves all her success.
Thank you! She does indeed, John! I’m so glad for Jill! Thanks for stopping by. 😃 😄
Thanks, L. Marie! ❤
That’s so sweet, John. Thank you for all of your support and encouraging words. Yeah, can you believe Derek asked me out again after that? LOL! I think I was nervous. Thanks for stopping by.
Congrats, Jill. I’m so pleased for you! And thanks to L. Marie for this interview.
I’m glad to have Jill on the blog, Cynthia! 😀
Thank you so much, Cynthia. I appreciate you stopping by!
Loved this interview and I am so happy for you, Jill. And happy for us because we get to read your books! Limbo contest! How fun! I LOVE that you LOVE a happy ending… doesn’t surprise me!
Thanks L. Marie for giving us an opportunity to get to know a bit more about Jill.
Hi Pix! It’s so great to see you. I hope you guys are having a great summer. Yes, the limbo contest was fun, but sadly, those days are over. Thanks so much for stopping by today. I appreciate your visit! Enjoy your weekend!
Glad to do so!
Yes, the limbo contest is a great fact. I’m waiting for that to make its way into one of Jill’s books or short stories.
Wonderful interview, Jill and Marie. As one who’s read Jill book, it’s wonderful–as good as the first. Jill–I just spent a day touring the Shenandoah Valley. What a beautiful area. It is now on my list of places I want to move when I retire.
Mine too! Maybe be can be neighbors…do you cook? LOL! Thank you so much for reading A Father for Bella and for taking the time to write such a lovely review. As a writer yourself, you know they’re important, so I really appreciate it. Thanks for popping over and have a fantastic weekend, Jacqui!
Thanks, Jacqui. How cool that you visited that area! I’d love to visit there. I am a fan of quaint towns. 😀
What a terrific interview, Marie and Jill! I have gotten to know Jill through her blog and Twitter. Loved Second Chance Romance and I’l looking forward to reading A Father for Bella. It’s so nice to read a story with a happy ending – Jill’s great at that!
It’s a really good book! And yes, Jill is great at happy endings!
True that! 😀
Aw…thanks so much for your sweet words, Barbara! L. Marie had some great questions for me. I’m so happy we’ve connected…we do have fun on Twitter, don’t we? It’s a nice stress reliever. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by.
Yes all of this does a good job with the stress! 👍👌😀
What a great interview, Marie and Jill! I enjoyed learning new things about Jill, especially how she began writing. It’s always interesting to discover how authors began their journeys into publication. I also loved both books and look forward to #3! With all the bad news nowadays, a happy ending is refreshing. One thing I also look for is dialogue that flows naturally between characters, and Jill’s does exactly that. So Congrats, Jill! 🌷
I enjoy learning about that too, Baydreamer. And yes, it’s nice to read about happy endings! 😀
What a wonderful conversation with you and Jill and excitement for the new book’s release. Yay!
I did not realize you also wrote for magazines, Jill. Wonderful as well.
Great to see you here, Penny! I’m happy you enjoyed my conversation with L. Marie. She always asks the best questions. Yes, I love the challenge of writing a tight romance that comes full circle. Although I have a notebook full of rejected stories, I do enjoy writing these. Thanks so much for stopping by!
It is wonderful, Penny! I’m glad to see that persistence has paid off in Jill’s life.
For sure – and I lesson I, myself, must continue to learn.
You and me both!
It’s nice to read a little bit more about your newest book, Jill, and about the process of creating it and why certain things are important to you. I’m looking forward to reading the story later this summer. So, L. Marie, I’m withdrawing from the contest, since I already purchased Jill’s book, and would like to improve the chances of the other commenters. 🙂
Thank you for commenting though, Liesbet! 😀
Thanks so much for purchasing my book, Liesbet. I appreciate it! Have a great blogging break and safe travels. See you in September!
Fun interview! I’m tickled to learn that you won a limbo contest. I also love that you entered a contest at the last minute with an old NaNoWriMo project. Just goes to show us never throw away our stuff! Glad to see how your journey has evolved, Jill. 🙂
Sadly, those limbo days are over, but replaced with some great memories, Kate. 🙂 That’s so true, all of our written words can be rewritten, even years later. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Thanks, Kate! I love the fact that Jill keeps winning contests. 😀
I can’t believe that Jill has advanced this far since entering the contest. Congrats and wishing you many more successes. Your question to your husband made me chuckle.
Great to see you hear, my friend! LOL! I know…can you believe he asked me out again after that silly question? Thanks so much for your kind words.
This interview is a like a breath of fresh air for me Jill. I loved reading about you and your writing inspirations. Wishing you great success my friend. I am so late here but I thought of the old dictum…’better late than never’ 🙂 Love and hugs ladies.
Thanks for stopping by Balroop! Congrats on your recent book release.
Aw…thanks so much, Balroop! You’re right on time and I so appreciate your visit. See you on Twitter. ❤
Congratulations on the ‘difficult second book’ Jill. And great interview Linda!
Thanks, Andy! So what’s the situation with your next book? Are you ready to come on the blog about it?
My timing is off! Manuscript is with Nordland but has coincided with the editor Mike’s move from Norway to America, so don’t think he’s looked at it yet.
Oh man! So he’s moving to the States? Wow. I hope you’ll hearing something soon, Andy!
Thanks so much, Andy! I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Hello! I enjoyed this interview very much! It’s great learning more about Jill. Thank you!😊
Thanks for stopping by, Vashti!
Hi Vashti! Thanks for coming by and for the Twitter share. We need to have L. Marie interview you…she’s good! ❤
I love love learning more about Jill (limbo, really??) and about her writing process and successes. I don’t need a copy of Jill’s latest, so take me off that list. I just started reading A Father for Bella and am enjoying the setting and characters immensely. I don’t know much about that part of Virginia. Went to school for one year in Fredericksburg and fell in love with the place (but was in love with a boy in another college, another state, so I transferred – should have stayed in VA – haha). Isn’t it true that we all have romantic stories within ourselves? And thank goodness for writers like Jill who write them out – and end HAPPY. I’m with Jill. We need “happy” in our endings.
Thank goodness is right! I love a happy ending! I totally agree that we need “happy” in our endings. Thank you for stopping by!
Thanks for stopping by, Pam! Fredericksburg is a beautiful area. I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying A Father for Bella. Thanks for reading!
Better late than never 😉 Two of my favorite people in one place, can’t get better than this! Really great interview questions, Linda, and, Jill, I feel I know you so much better now. I love your idea of journaling to understand a character’s point of view. That’s priceless. Best to both of you!
Hi, Marie! Awww, thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. I did too. I loved learning about her process. And the limbo contest is a hit with all. 😀
Actually, I’d love to see Jill do the limbo 😉
That would be awesome, Marie!
Hi Marie! Thanks so much for stopping by. I agree, Linda’s questions were great. Sadly, after two back surgeries my limbo days might be behind me. Have a great weekend!
Oh, well, I guess I’ll leave your limbo expertise to my imagination 😉 Have a great weekend, Jill!
Thank you for this great interview, I really enjoyed it. I’m a big fan of Jill’s and enjoyed reading how she developed her character Joshua, and the VA setting for the book was perfect. I just finished reading A Father for Bella and love it! Nice romance story, nice tension, great build up of twists and turns that you don’t expect, and wonderful details of the characters and scenes making you feel as though you’ve been there. Loved the book and looking forward to your next Jill!
So glad you enjoyed the interview and the book, Mary. I’m glad to meet another fan of Jill. I’m also glad she’s working on another book in this series. 😀
Thanks for stopping by, Mary! I appreciate your kind words and I’m so happy you enjoyed A Father for Bella.I’m a big fan of yours, too! xo
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Awesome interview. Good luck, Jill, with all your writing projects. Enjoyed reading about your writing journey. ❤
Hi Carol! It’s so nice to see you. Thanks so much for stopping by! ❤
Thank you for this fantastic interview, L. Marie. Congratulations to Jill on the publication of her second book. I loved her first book and have bought ‘A Father for Bella’ and am looking forward to reading it.
Thanks, Clare! Glad you enjoyed it! So glad you enjoyed Jill’s book! You’ll love the second one too!
I’m sure I will!
Hi Clare! Sorry, I forgot to pop over to check for more comments. Thank you so much for your kind words and for purchasing my second book. I hope you enjoy it! Wishing you and your family all the best. ❤
No need for apologies, Jill ❤ I haven't started your book yet and I'm so looking forward to reading it! All the best to you and Derek xo
Thanks, Clare! Isn’t it bedtime over there? LOL!
Yes it is. 10.45 pm! LOL!
Nite nite! 🙂
Jill, I’ve learned so many more wonderful things about you through this interview. And I cracked up on #3 at the top. 😂 And what do you mean you do jigsaw puzzles with the box face down? You’re incredible. Congratulations on your newest release. 😊
Thanks for stopping by!
Hi Laurie! Sorry, I forgot to pop back over here. LOL! Can you believe I asked Derek that about him and his twin sister…blond moment for sure! I never look at the picture on the box when I’m working a puzzle. Sometimes Derek will turn it over and put it in my face, but I shut my eyes. Yes, I’m strange. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by. You’re still getting comments on your guest post!
I love that this conversation continues! Yay!
I chuckled when I read what you said about your husband and his twin sister.😂
I don’t have the patience to complete an intricate puzzle with the cover right in my face!! I was working on one but gave in and asked my puzzle-Queen friend to come over and finish it for me. She comes by once or twice a week and works on it for me. Too much sky and vines for me to find in such a mass of pieces. I did put the bird pieces together though. ☺️
I just read a few more comments. I never imagined there would be so many. Thanks Jill!! ( :
That’s funny your friend come over to work your puzzle. 🙂 You were very popular! I might need you back for a part two, Laurie!
😂😂 I know. She goes in the room where I have the puzzle set up and sits for a couple of hours and works on it. 😂😂
I wonder why? ….🤔 I guess your followers like to read books too. 😊
That’s a great solution! 😀