Friday, June 30, 2017

Interview with Regina Rudd Merrick and #giveaway

Today we welcome Regina Rudd Merrick to my blog. Regina is graciously offering a copy of her new book, Carolina Dream to a commenter. Leave contact information -- and answer her question in red.

Regina, glad to have you. tell us about Carolina Dream– a brief blurb:

Sarah Crawford wants more from life than to attend the wedding of her ex-fiancée. An unexpected inheritance in South Carolina comes at the perfect time, just as Sarah is willing to use any excuse to get out of town.

When she meets potential business partner Jared Benton and discovers that a house is part of the inheritance, she is sure that God has been preparing her for this time through a recurring dream. But will a dream about an antebellum mansion, many rooms to be explored, and a man with dark brown eyes give her the confidence to take a leap of faith, leaving friends, family, and her job behind?

Is there one particular message or “moral of the story” you hope readers walk away with?

Carolina Dream is about trusting God with your life, even when you think He’s not in control. The passage, Psalm 37:4, is the basis for the story: “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” This doesn’t mean if we love God, He gives us what we want. It means that when we have a right relationship with Him, our desires will be His desires.

What one question would you like us to ask your readers?  (this is the one that they answer to win what you’re giving away

Where is your favorite beach? Mine is Litchfield Beach in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, south of Myrtle Beach, and north of Charleston.

Tell us about the giveaway you’re offering.

I would love to give someone a Kindle version of Carolina Dream! Just answer the question in the comment, and you’ll be entered!

How did Carolina Dream get started?

Carolina Dream literally started with a dream I had one night. In my dream, I was going down a long driveway to what seemed to be a deserted house. If you’ve ever seen the old movie, “Rebecca,” you’ll know what I’m talking about. (If you haven’t, you’ve missed out!!) When I entered the house, there were many rooms, and I went from one to the other, wondering for what they could be used. When I couldn’t get it out of my head, I started to think of “what ifs” surrounding an antebellum mansion and what would be a good reason to come into possession of such a place. The rest is in the book!

Tell us about your research process.

The settings for Carolina Dream are Litchfield Beach, South Carolina, and Western Kentucky. I have been fortunate to have visited this area in SC twice, and had several pictures and great memories to draw on for the book. The Kentucky setting is fictitious, a combination of the small rural community where I grew up, and the small town where I currently live. I also did some research on the real estate profession, on different places in South Carolina that I had not visited, but wanted in the book. Being a contemporary romance, there were no huge research trips (unfortunately), or massive amounts of reading to do.

How do you see yourself in your character’s story, if at all?

My character, Sarah Crawford, is probably how I would have been if I had been 28 and single. She is a pleaser, a musician, faithful church member, and loves her family. She loves the beach and often struggles to trust God. What is NOT like me is that she is tall and thin, athletic, and the youngest child. I married at 19, so I was never really “single,” and I’m the oldest child in my family. When you read the book, you’ll note that Sarah’s older sister gets some great funny lines, so I probably put a lot of myself in her, as well!

While you were writing Carolina Dream do you think it mattered where the book was set?

I think it did. The first time I went to the area where it is set, I felt a connection. I felt peace and contentment. It is an area that is less “touristy” than Myrtle Beach, and more like a place where real people would live. I remember visiting a store at the Pawley’s Island Shoppes, and talking to the store owner. She mentioned that she and her husband had vacationed there and fell in love with it. When they retired, they moved there. I based one of the characters on that story, and keep the idea in the back of my mind for myself!

Share your bio:

Regina Rudd Merrick began reading romance and thinking of book ideas as early as her teenage years when she attempted a happily-ever-after sequel to “Gone With the Wind.” That love of fiction parlayed into a career as a librarian, and she is currently the director of a small public library in Marion, KY. She began attending local writing workshops and continued to hone her craft by writing several short and novel-length fan-fiction pieces published online, where she met other authors with a similar love for story, a Christian worldview, and happily-ever-after. Married for 30+ years and active in their church, Regina and her husband have two grown daughters who share her love of music, writing, and the arts. Visit Regina on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on her website at A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, she can be found periodically on

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Marilyn R. said...

The plot for Carolina Dream and how it was inspired sounds intresting. Thank you for the interview with Regina Rudd Merrick.
I'm not a beach goer at all, so I cannot name a favorite beach. I rather spend time in a rural quiet area than around water. : )
marilynridgway78 [at]gmail [dot]com

Regina Merrick said...

Thanks for stopping by, Marilyn! I've discovered that people are generally either beach people or mountain people! Lol! I won't hold it against you! Good luck on the drawing!

Unknown said...

I live near Cowan's Gap state park in Pennsylvania. It has such a nice beach that my family and I visit along with our Boxer dog, Rocky. This book sounds really good and I'd love to read it. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.
Deanne Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

Lucy Reynolds said...

I've only been to Ocean City MD and that was when my children were young. I pray someday I can go to the beach again. Thank you for the chance to win.

Sonnetta Jones said...

For years I used to use that scripture wrong until it was pointed out whose desires I should want.

My favorite beach is Las Cuevas in Trinidad. I would love o get married there.

Regina Merrick said...

I've only traveled THROUGH Pennsylvania - I'd love to see the coast! Thanks for stopping by!

Susan Page Davis said...

Beautiful setting--I have kids and grandchildren in SC. Love it in spring and fall, not so much summer. :) I have visited your library and I'm so tickled that you are now a published author!

Regina Merrick said...

I've always heard how beautiful Ocan City is! Hope you get to go back! Thanks for reading!

Regina Merrick said...

That sounds wonderful! That verse started speaking to me as a teen, and has only become more and more clear as I became an adult - and now an older adult! Bless you!

Regina Merrick said...

Thanks for stopping by, Susan! Looking forward to your post on Saturday!

Kathy Cretsinger said...

I'm a little slow getting in, but we had visitors last night. Thank you and Todd for visiting with us. I loved this book when I saw it in infancy. Now that it is a grow-up book, I still love it. I only publish books I love. Thanks for feeling confident in Mantle Rock Publishing. We love having you in our publishing family.

Regina Merrick said...

Thanks, Kathy! We had a great time visiting last night! Mantle Rock has truly been a blessing to me!

Cynthia Roemer said...

Hi Regina! I guess my favorite beach is Daytona Beach, since that's the only one I've been to. LOL! Congrats on your debut novel! I think you have my contact info, but if not you know how to find me. =) Blessings!

Laurean Brooks said...

Regina, this is an interesting interview. I like the setting. South Carolina has a lot of beauty I'd love to explore.

I enjoyed learning new things about you and look forward to reading your book. Sounds like a sweet romance with plenty of humor. Just my kind.

I have the book, (and no Kindle), so no need to enter me in the contest.

I'm asking God to bless all your future writing projects.

Regina Merrick said...

I love Daytona, too! I could live there in a heartbeat. Thanks for stopping by!

Regina Merrick said...

Thanks, Laurean!!

Linda Hoover, author said...

The book sounds like a good read and what a beautiful location. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.
I really like Clearwater Beach in FL and we were at Pensacola last Oct which was very nice. Probably any beach along the panhandle would be a good place to spend time.
Linda at

Anonymous said...

Would love to win

VanG said...

My favorite beach is Oak Island, NC. Our family has made a lot of memories there. I would love to win this book.

lollipops said...

congratulations, Deanna!

Unknown said...

So excited to have won. I look forward to reading this. Thank you Laura and Regina :)

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