Monday, July 16, 2007

Guest bloggers Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.16.2007

Today I have a guest blog post by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson talking about their latest novel, The Potluck Club Takes the Cake!

Is the Potluck Club becoming the Bridesmaids Club?

When the six members of the Potluck Club meet once again, things are about to heat up. Wedding plans and romantic desires abound as the six friends continue to share food, friendship, prayer—and new adventures ranging from hilarious to dangerous! Shocking rumors, family secrets, and a mountain avalanche threaten the friends’ sense of security, their relationships, and even their lives. As Evangeline’s wedding day draws near, Lisa Leann’s matchmaking ways threaten to cause trouble in more than one relationship.

Will the Potluck Club be able to put their differences aside and help each other survive the storms of life and love?

And now, here’s Linda and Eva!

The Potluck Club Series; How Two Friends Came to Write About Six Friends

Linda Evans Shepherd & Eva Marie Everson

Eva Marie Everson explains how it all began:

I can easily bring to mind the day my good friend Linda Evans Shepherd called me and excitedly shared with me an idea she’d had. “Excitedly” might not be the best word for it. Euphoric…that’s a good word. She said she’d been reading a few novels—one in particular had struck her—based on the lives of friends and how they interact with one another. She said the only problem was, these books were not Christian-based. Christian women, she said, would have a deeper level to their relationships because they are Christ-centered.

She said she had an idea for a book…she had a title, even. “The Potluck Club,” she announced. Then she asked me a very important question: would I like to write it with her.

At first I said, “Let me think about it.” And then I thought about it. I thought about it for five whole minutes. And then I jumped at the opportunity.

Six months later, Linda and I sunned ourselves at the beach and began to flesh out our characters, six women who live in Summit View, CO. All members of The Potluck Club, which meets once a month for potluck and prayer…and sometimes a little gossip on the side.

A year later, we were nestled in her mountain cabin in Frisco, CO, sipping on hot coffee while simultaneously writing and laughing so hard our sides hurt. A year after that, the first book of the series was released and Linda and I were thrilled to know that fans were falling in love with our six gals from Summit View…as much as we had!

Linda Evans Shepherd explains the concept & important messages:

The Potluck Club series is the kinda thing that could happen if desperate housewives started a prayer club and began to love one another, instead of their next door neighbor’s husband. What a concept!

The Potluck formula works because Eva and I have created six likeable women who deal with real-life secrets as they work out their sometimes rocky road relationships. You’ll be stirred by their struggles and pain but you’ll laugh out loud as you start to relate. And that’s our secret, relatable humor that finds fun in the flaws of church ladies everywhere. Because face it, we all have secrets that need resolution and we all need a good chuckle or two. Add some prayer, perhaps my grandmother’s molasses cookies or Eva’s grandmother’s German chocolate cake (yes, the recipes are in the back of the books), and we’re good to go – at least through the end of the series which now includes; The Potluck Club, The Potluck Club Trouble’s Brewing, and the latest, The Potluck Club Takes the Cake.

Even so, Takes the Cake doesn’t closeout the characters who will all soon reappear in our all new series called The Potluck Caters. (beginning Summer 08)

So why the staying power of Potluck?

The other day a fellow writer asked me how it felt to write ‘fluff.’ As soon as she asked I knew she hadn’t read the series because we deal with some pretty serious situations. In fact, a few nights ago I got a phone call from a young woman who said, “We’ve been reading the Potluck Series at our church book club. I want to thank you for talking about the issues the characters are working through. It was reading about those issues that has opened the door to help us become real with one another. Just like the women of the Potluck, we now pray together and help each other through difficult times. This would never have happened if Potluck hadn’t first opened the door.”

Friendship is yet another reason why Potluck is on it’s third helping - because the series was birthed out of friendship to inspire friendship. Eva and I have been able to relate to one another through our own real life friendship as well as our fictional world of trouble. We’ve learned so much in the process, things we pass on to our readers. Our deepest, darkest chocolate secret is this; lives seasoned with prayer, love and forgiveness as well as a huge slice of chocolate cheesecake will stay BFF (best forever friends.)

Camy here: Thanks, guys!