Have you ever experienced something that was painful to go through, but you discovered healing and liberation in the process? I read a book last week that displayed this so well. In the first of my February Book Review Blitz, Third Time’s a Charm Author Virginia Smith walks the reader through the process of letting go and finding healing. Let me tell you a little about the author and the book. Be sure to check below for how you might eligible to be entered into a drawing for a very nice gift of ten books from the author.
Virginia’s publicist says:
Virginia Smith recently contracted her twelfth book in four years. Previous books in the Sister-to-Sister series include: Stuck in the Middle and Age before Beauty. In 2008 she was named Writer-of-the-Year at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Stuck in the Middle was a finalist for American Christian Fiction Writers’ 2009 Book of the Year Award. A Taste of Murder was a finalist for the 2009 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Ginny and husband, Ted, divide their time between Lexington, Kentucky, and Salt Lake City, Utah, escaping as often as possible for diving trips to the Caribbean. Admittedly, her adventurous outings are often as much fun as they are “book research.”
The Inspiration Behind the Main Characters:
I was watching a DVD when I first envisioned Tori Sanderson. In Sweet Home Alabama, Reese Witherspoon is chic, petite, and more than a little headstrong. Plus, she’s ashamed of her upbringing, and therefore insecure even though she enjoys a successful career. That’s exactly how I pictured Tori as I wrote the first two books in the Sister-to-Sister Series. But Tori is several years younger than Reese, so as I wrote the opening chapter of Third Time’s a Charm, I was struggling to come up with the perfect visual image. One evening I saw an advertisement for “Samantha Who,” starring Christina Applegate. I jumped out of my chair and shouted, “That’s her! That’s Tori!” So I gave my character a curly perm to match Christina’s. I Googled the show’s cast and found Barry Watson, who became my model for the handsome handyman, Ryan Adams. And Mitch Jackson is modeled after Michael Weatherly, the gorgeous but suggestively inappropriate Tony DinNozzo on “NCIS.” Sounds like I’m a television junkie, doesn’t it? Not really, but I do like to have a visual image for characters as I write. It helps them come alive in my mind, and hopefully in the minds of my readers, too.
About the Book:
(Dual Residency: UT & KY) – There’s not too much in this world that a little retail therapy can’t fix—except maybe the empty hole in your heart from lost and undiscovered love. Tori Sanderson is no exception. Facing abandonment issues with her father, Tori sets out to find the real reason he left her. Along the way she discovers even deeper truths. Add in two matchmaking sisters plus a couple of attractive men vying for Tori’s attention, as well as a tempting job promotion possibility, and you’ve got one confused sister. Through it all, Tori searches for the love she’s been missing all these years.
Author Virginia Smith, presents Third Time’s a Charm, the third installment of the Sister-to-Sister Series. Page-turning humor surrounding the lives of three sisters will once again engage readers, while somber self-discovery will unveil Tori’s struggles, and perhaps a few of your own. In a world with more than a few dysfunctional families, this story will ring true for many.
Interview With the Author:
1. This book is the third and final book in your Sister-to-Sister Series. How did you feel when you completed this last book?
I felt a little sad, because I have lived with the characters for three years, and they’re very real to me. I’ll miss them. Plus, I wanted to leave readers with a good impression, so I was anxious for the last scene to be strong. I prayed over that last line for a long time, and when the words finally came, I got chills. They were absolutely the perfect wrap-up for the whole series. I still get tears whenever I read them.
2. Which of the sisters in this trilogy do you relate to the most? Why?
That’s a hard question to answer, because there is a piece of me in each of the Sanderson sisters. But I’d have to say I relate most closely with Tori, because she is professionally ambitious, and she struggles to balance her career and her personal life. I did that for over twenty years, so much of her conflict comes from my experiences.
3. You’ve been contracted to write 12 times in the last 4 years. To what do you attribute this success and how would you encourage others who are doing everything possible to get published?
Perseverance. I wrote for over twenty years before my first book, Just As I Am, was published. But I believed that the Lord gave me the desire to write, and even when my pile of rejections was growing (to an astounding 143 before my first publication!), I knew if He wanted me to write, I was going to keep writing. Even now – or maybe especially now – I trust Him for every story, every contract. Sometimes I still receive rejections, but I keep writing because He keeps giving me stories.
4. How is your relationship with your own sisters similar to Tori and her sisters? Did you pull from these sibling experiences when writing Third Time’s a Charm? How?
I sure did! Actually, my sisters were the inspiration behind the whole Sister-to-Sister Series. They are the most incredible women in the world, and I wanted readers to glimpse the relationship we have. And they were excited to have starring roles in my stories. It was funny watching them try to identify themselves in the books, because I took characteristics from each of us and mixed them up to create each of the Sanderson sisters. Tori, for instance, is a career-minded person, like me. She’s creative, like one of my sisters. And she’s a big flirt, like the other sister. Uh… I’d better not identify who that is, or I’ll start a family feud!
5. What’s next for Virginia Smith?
In May of this year I have a new book coming out from Steeple Hill. Researching A Daughter’s Legacy was a lot of fun, because it is set in a zoo! It’s my first straight romance, and was something of an experiment for me to see if I liked writing the genre. I loved it, and have a few ideas germinating in my mind for future romance novels.
Then later in the year, Into the Deep will hit bookstores. That’s a romantic suspense novel with a scuba diving theme. It takes place partly in Key West, and partly in Cozumel, Mexico. Can you tell I have a lot of fun researching my books?
For a more in-depth look into the life of Virginia Smith visit the KCWC blog.
Michelle’s Review of the Book:
This was a delightful read. One thing I loved was that it’s the 3rd book in a series, yet I hadn’t read the other books and felt right at home in this one. The author does a nice job of creating a series of books that can also stand alone.
Although in everyday life, I’d never related to glamorous main character Tori, her upscale lifestyle, or her prestigious career, I felt as though I was living vicariously through her in the book. I love a book that carries me away from my own life into a world I’d never experience otherwise. This book did that for me.
Ginny Smith has a way of weaving the lighthearted and the serious together seamlessly. At the heart of this story is a girl who longs for a daddy. Smith has tackled something that plagues so many young women today and affects them so deeply.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Virginia Smith’s publicist and I know I’ll be looking for more books by this author. I’d say third time isn’t just a charm, it’s a winner.
The Grand Prize will be awarded to one fortunate person who leaves a comment at one of the blog tours participating in the KCWC Third Time’s a Charm blog tour. The prize includes:
The complete collection of Virginia Smith books, TEN in all (listed below), with a personal behind-the-scenes commentary written by the author – especially for this tour!
- Sister-to-Sister Series, including: Stuck in the Middle, Age Before Beauty, and Third Time’s A Charm.
- Unforgettable Mayla Strong Books: Just As I Am and Sincerely Mayla.
- Classical Trio Series from Love Inspired Suspense: A Taste of Murder, Murder at Eagle Summit, and Scent of Murder.
- Murder By Mushroom
- Bluegrass Peril