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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Focus On Love by Candee Fick - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Elizabeth's family has hurt her feelings and even though Elizabeth would love to work for the family business, she isn't welcome to contribute. She's a talented photographer, but because that's linked to her parents she's made a career of her second passion, playing in musicals. She has a theater job that gives her a place to live and pays the bills, but Elizabeth isn't sure if it will bring future security. If they would let her go, she would have to return to her parents and the man who betrayed her. Elizabeth values her freedom and wants her family to accept her the way she is, but they want to force her to quit chasing her dreams and they aren't interested in her abilities. This makes Elizabeth determined to make it on her own. Is a steady theater job what she needs or is there something else that will make her heart beat faster?

Ryan is a famous photographer. He loves his job, but family comes first, which is why he's currently working close to home while taking care of his sister's kids. Elizabeth's main focus is the stage, but when she meets Ryan her old passion for photography returns. He helps her to get her first paid assignment and this makes Elizabeth think about her future, what does she want and how should she achieve this? Ryan and Elizabeth have a lot in common and they instantly form a close bond, but eventually Ryan will go back to his regular photography work that will take him all over the world, which means he will leave and that's exactly what Elizabeth is afraid of. Will they be able to focus on what really matters in life and give love a chance?

Focus on Love is a wonderful romantic story. Elizabeth is a sweet and generous person. She's always willing to help others and she's incredibly kind. Her parents don't appreciate her and my heart ached for her, because of all the hurt they keep causing. Ryan shows her what it's like to have a loving family, to make your dreams come true, while still staying true to your beliefs and values. That's a powerful message and because of his trust in her Elizabeth grows as a person. Ryan listens to her, he takes her seriously and he's interested in her ideas. Through Elizabeth's creativity he finds new ways to thrive, which makes them a great match. I loved the way they interact and couldn't wait to find out if they'd find their happily ever after together.

Candee Fick has a great warm writing style. Focus on love is fast-paced and filled with interesting twists and turns. I love how Elizabeth slowly starts to believe in herself and her talents. There's so much she can do and she has a practical solution for every problem. I liked that attitude a lot and this made the story even more fascinating for me. I really enjoyed reading about the connection between Elizabeth and Ryan. Their story is deep, romantic and spiritual. I love it when main characters have such a special bond. Focus on Love is a fabulous charming story.

Advice

If you love sweet Christian romance about talented main characters who make their dreams come true, Focus on Love would be an excellent choice.

About Candee Fick


So, you want to know more about this dark-chocolate-loving bookworm? I’m glad you asked!

I’ve been married for 21-plus years to my math-teaching, football-coaching husband. We have three kids ranging in age from 13 to 20 including a daughter with Cornelia de Lange syndrome and a son with allergy-induced asthma.

I learned to read at age 4 and haven’t been far from a book since. With my love of books, putting my own thoughts onto paper came naturally. While blogging, writing articles, and self-publishing my non-fiction books and devotionals came relatively easily, my dream was to someday be traditionally published in fiction. In December of 2014, I got my first fiction contract from Bling! and am eagerly preparing for the launch of my third novel in February 2018.

In addition to my personal writing, I’ve also started The Author Toolbox, an online coaching business, to help other authors find the practical tools to build a book, a platform, a business, and a career. Along the way, I discovered how much I LOVE brainstorming plot possibilities with other authors and have added novel critiques to the services I provide as a writing coach. I’ve also spoken at schools, writer’s groups, and women’s gatherings on a wide variety of topics including faith, family, and fiction.

Speaking of faith, I’m a pastor’s kid and grew up in church. My relationship with Jesus Christ is the glue that holds the rest of my crazy life together and pops up in everything I do.

I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a founding member of Front Range Christian Fiction Writers. I have been honored to be an ACFW Genesis Finalist in 2009 (women’s fiction), Semi-Finalist in 2011 (contemporary fiction), Double Finalist in 2014 (short novel category), and Winner in 2014. I’m also a member of Novel.Academy (formerly My Book Therapy) where I continue to hone my craft so I can write better stories faster.

Currently, I blog about once a week and am active on social media the rest of the time. You can find links to social media outlets in the header and check out the sidebar to sign up to receive the latest news via email.

Thanks for stopping by! May your life’s journey be filled with stories of faith, hope, and love.

Links

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

Interview

1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I’m married to a math-teaching high school football coach and we’ve got three kids ranging in age from 14 to 21 including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. I used to teach high school chemistry, but after making the decision to stay home with my children, my mind (and eventually my time) became consumed with the realm of writing fiction. I’m also an avid bookworm, outdoor explorer, and devourer of dark chocolate.

2) Could you describe the main characters of Focus on Love in seven words each?

Liz is a free-spirited, red-headed photographer-turned-actress.

Ryan is a cowboyish, family-oriented, award-winning freelance photographer.

3) You write about finding your path in life, how did you discover writing is your passion?

After spending stress-filled days dealing with my daughter’s developmental issues, intense behaviors, and various therapies, I often escaped into the pages of fiction. But when new stories began showing up in my dreams, my fingers itched to record—and then share—those stories with others. Stories were something I thought about all the time. The passion grew along with my skill until now I have more ideas for books than available hours to write.

4) What does true love mean to you?

True love, to me, is about finding someone to heal the cracks in my life and fill up the empty places until I can’t help but then overflow love to others around me. Love requires both giving and receiving, and often puts others before myself. And yet in all of the pouring out, true love never leaves me dry. Then, building on that solid foundation, romance adds the sparks and surprises that make life fun.

5) Your main characters are creative people, what inspired you to write about these talents?

It’s hard to explain, but deep down, there’s a piece of my soul that simply longs for expression. But while I try to find the right words to reveal my heart, I know that others showcase their emotions through dance, painting, music, and yes, photography. I believe creativity is an inherent trait of all humanity but we all find different ways to share it with the world.

6) You write Christian fiction, what role does faith play in your stories?

Personally, I believe that the Bible is the greatest love story ever told. The ultimate hero pursues the one he loves, sacrifices himself in order to save her, defeats the devious villain, and then they live happily ever after. In my stories, I aim for my human heroes to reflect (albeit imperfectly) a few of those same traits. I also try to depict Christian characters honestly struggling with life’s challenges but finding hope and strength through their faith.

7) You like helping other writers, how did this start and what’s the first advice you usually give?

I guess you could call this “paying it forward.” I’ve been the recipient of both timely encouragement and practical advice when I needed it most. Once I reached a place where I finally knew something about writing for publication, I looked for someone behind me in the journey so I could help them along. The first advice I usually give is that you don’t climb Everest in a day; you simply take the next step. One step at a time, it’s possible to reach your dream. (And then we figure out what their next step actually is…)

8) Church was an important part of your upbringing, what was that like and what part does it still play in your life?

My parents met in Bible college and by the time I was six weeks old, my dad was an assistant pastor at a small church and mom played the piano during the services. If the doors were open, we were there! Growing up as a pastor’s kid wasn’t easy because it brought extra scrutiny on my life and I struggled with perfectionism while living in the fishbowl of church life. However, especially after the birth of my daughter, I’ve since learned to rely on my faith to carry me through the challenges. Today, church has become another place to connect with God and his people…but not an obligation.

9) Family is very important to you, how do you combine your writing with a busy family life?

It’s all about scheduling my priorities. Now that my kids are older and don’t require as much hands-on time or direct supervision, I’m able to block out time to escape to my office and work on the next scene. I also get up before the rest of the household and write for an hour every morning before the typical chaos of lunches and carpools and laundry erupts. That jump start makes it easier to get back into the flow whenever that next opportunity comes. But—unless I’m coming up on a deadline—family life comes first.

10) What are your plans for the future?

I’ve got two completed manuscripts in the revision stage and should see those published in the next year to year and a half depending on my publisher’s timeline. However, I’m also currently working on a personal project that includes a contemporary romance interwoven with a series of four historical novellas all set around castles. Plus I’ve been invited to be part of a multi-author collection. All that to say, there are many more stories to be told…and the future holds a lot of time spent writing!

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of Focus On Love by Candee Fick.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

17 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful interview. Love the review.

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  2. Focus On Love sounds like a beautifully crafted, heart-warming story that will tug at your emotions.

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  3. It sounds so charming and heart warming.

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  4. this sounds like a fab read, thanks! xx

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  5. This sounds like a wonderfully interesting romance and full of great feeling.

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  6. I can't wait to read this book.

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  7. Great interview! I loved Candee's description of true love and how she intends to portray a Christ-like love in her Christian fiction books. Hopefully, I'll read this soon.

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  8. Yay, so happy to meet a fellow Christian! I love how your love of God permeates your books. Excited to check this one out, God willing! Have a wonderful week! :)) xx

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  9. Such a lovely interview. I'd love to read this book.

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  11. I adore the way Candee describes love in her interview.

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  12. Thanks, Candee, for this giveaway! Would like to read your books! God bless you!

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