Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Prelude to Christmas: Angela Ruth Strong's holiday romance in Montana

Welcome a dear friend of mine, Angela Ruth Strong, to the blog today. She's written a holiday romance that takes place in Big Sky, Montana and it's beautiful! :) The story is called Finding Love in Big Sky, MONTANA.

Here's the blurb for Angela's book:

Bright Star Ranch led him to her--but will he stay?

Josh Lake is forced to head home for the holidays after he’s suspended from his job in the city, but running into Paisley Sheridan could be exactly what he needed. Not only does she board him at her ranch in exchange for his advertising expertise, but spending the Christmas season with her in Big Sky, Montana, brings more joy than he’s felt in a long while. Is he willing to give up the lavish lifestyle he’s worked for in exchange for the gift of love?

The last thing Paisley wants for Christmas is to spend time with Josh Lake—the guy who broke her heart in high school—but until her bank loan goes through, she has to take all the free help she can get. Unfortunately, Josh seems to want back in her life again, and the town’s quirky coffee shop owners don’t help by hanging mistletoe at every opportunity. 

Will Paisley succeed in driving him away, or will she find the healing needed to have hope for a future together?

Enter this book giveaway contest by filling out the Rafflecopter widget for your chance to WIN a copy of Angela's book: 
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Join me today as I interview the hero of Angela's story, Josh Lake. This is a "character interview". 
Character Interview with Josh Lake from Finding Love in Big Sky, Montana:

Alexis: Dear Josh, It was so hard to choose to interview either you or the heroine of this story, Paisley. But I find you especially intriguing so I'm excited to interview you!

Josh: Thanks for picking me. Paisley answered questions for another interview, so I’m glad I get to share here.

Alexis: What is it about Bright Star Ranch that you love (besides Paisley Sheridan)?

Josh: It’s beautiful and peaceful, and it reminds me of my youth when life was simple and I hadn’t yet lost my swagger.

Alexis: You planned to visit the ranch short-term but you stayed long-term. Why?

Josh: I’d worked so hard for success in Chicago, and when I finally got everything I wanted, it didn’t satisfy. It was all about me. Paisley is passionate about making a difference in the world, and I want to be more like her.

Alexis: Why were you suspended from your job in the city? How did that make you feel at first?

Josh: I’d pitched an advertising campaign to one company and they were about to sign when their competitors came out with the exact same commercials first, which made it look like I had stolen the idea. That wasn’t my fault. But it was my fault that I blew all my money by celebrating my success prematurely so when I was unexpectedly suspended, I had nothing left.

Alexis: I believe that your suspension from your job was God working behind-the-scenes to bring you home to Bright Star Ranch. What do you think? Explain.

Josh: God does that. When we have a dream and overcome all obstacles to reach that dream, God will ask for the dream back. This is our chance to choose the Dream-Giver over the dream. It’s hard and it hurts, but I can promise if you chose the Dream-Giver, He will give you an even bigger dream in return.

Alexis: Josh, you are clearly a swoon-worthy character (I speak for most female readers of your story) but you also seem down-to-earth and dedicated to the greater good. Is there anything about your upbringing that made you such a good man? Share details.

Josh: Hey, thanks. As you can see in my previous answers, I’ve been selfish and made some foolish mistakes, but coming back to my roots reminds me of how I was raised in a big family on a Christmas tree farm where we learned to work hard and value relationships. Being the middle child, I often erred on the side of trying to charm people to like me. Having Paisley dislike me so strongly really challenged my self-worth but also forced me to question my identity in a healthy way.

Alexis: Are you a man of faith? If so, how does your faith in God impact the way you live?

Josh: Yes, I was raised to believe in God, but for a long time, I’d been living my own way rather than His. I guess I was afraid He would get in the way of my dreams. And guess what—He did. But only because He had something better for me.

Alexis: What is it about Paisley Sheridan that tugs at your heartstrings? She’s clearly a wonderful woman and I can see why a man like you would be drawn to her, but please do share in your own words why you love Paisley. 

Josh: She’s tough yet vulnerable at the same time. She’s been hurt, but it’s only made her stronger. I want to protect her, but there’s no way she would let me. In fact, she’s rescued me more than once. Also, she looks good in heels, but she’s more likely to throw them in anger than wear them to a Christmas party.

Alexis: The love that you and Paisley share is something that single ladies in the real world dream of! But your road to romance was not easy. Why do you think that it took time for you to win Paisley’s heart?

Josh: Paisley’s heart had been hardened toward me for a reason I didn’t understand. It was especially hard to understand when we had such a strong connection. It’s like she was motioning me toward her with one hand while holding me back with the other. I think we all do that more than we realize. We want to be loved, but we are afraid of the risk. This is why we must first accept God’s love. If God is enough for us, then we know we will be okay if others reject us the way we fear they might.

Alexis: What were your first thoughts when Paisley offered you free room and board at her ranch in exchange for your advertising expertise?

Josh: I was shocked. She’d been trying to get rid of me up to that point. It showed me how much she cared about her ranch, and it made me want to be part of something that meant so much. At that point in our story, I wanted to kill time until I could get back to Chicago, I wanted to avoid confessing my failures to my brothers back home, and I also wanted to get her to like me so I could like myself a little more.

Alexis: When your boss offered you a chance to return to your job and lavish lifestyle, why didn’t you?

Josh: I realized Paisley was what I’d been looking for all along.

Alexis: The town’s coffee shop owners hung mistletoe every chance they got. Were you scared of meeting Paisley under the mistletoe by accident or even on purpose? Why or why not?

Josh: I liked flirting with her. And I’d made it pretty clear I wanted to kiss her. She turned me down every time though, and I wasn’t interested in facing the rejection in public. I know Dot and Annabel had good intentions with the mistletoe, but Paisley needed to decide to kiss me on her own.

Alexis: What is it about Christmastime in Big Sky, Montana that warms your heart?

Josh: Jingle bells. Dashing through the snow. Bright stars. Evergreen trees. Giant fireplaces. And, of course, hot chocolate at the Coffee Cottage.

Alexis: What is it about your relationship with Paisley that helped you both find healing and hope for the future?

Josh: I had to learn that I couldn’t “pitch” myself like an advertising campaign to get people to love me. Paisley was the opposite. She was afraid to offer anything because she didn’t think she was worth being accepted. We learned the truth through the gift of Christmas and through each other.

Alexis: What relationship advice do you have for us single ladies at Christmastime, Josh?

Josh: I can set you up with my little brother Sam. Just kidding. He’ll probably be single forever. My actual advice is this: Give. Rather than focus on what you don’t have this holiday season, focus on what you do have. Santa may not have left you a diamond ring, but God has given you many other gifts. And you have a lot to offer. When you give to the less fortunate, you will never feel so blessed and loved.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview! It was a delight to spend time with you! Would you like to share closing thoughts?

Josh: Thanks, Alexis. It’s been a delight.

Author bio:

Angela Ruth Strong studied journalism at the University of Oregon and published her first novel, Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 2010. With movie producers interested in her book, she's decided to rerelease it and write sequels as a new series titled Resort to Love. 

This Idaho Top Author and Cascade Award winner also started IDAhope Writers to encourage other aspiring authors, and she's excited to announce the sale of her first romantic suspense novel to Love Inspired Suspense. Presumed Dead releases in February. 

She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and three teenagers where she teaches yoga and works as a ticket agent for an airline when not writing.

Buy Angela's book:
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble 

Connect with Angela:
Website - www.angelaruthstrong.com
GoodReads - http://bit.ly/2ggIUfn
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1557213161269220/


  1. I LOVED this book and the other books by Angela Ruth Strong! I'm so glad that I read it and can't wait for her next book to come out.

    1. I love books written by Angela Ruth Strong too! :) This one set in Montana, though, is one of my personal favorites! :) Thanks for visiting my blog today. God bless you!

    2. Thanks, Becky. You saw my cover reveal on fb today, didn't you?

  2. I really enjoyed the book and would love to win a paperback copy. I'm looking forward to reading more of Angela's books.

    1. It is a very enjoyable book, I agree with you Edward! :) Good luck in the book giveaway contest. Thanks for visiting my blog today. God bless you and your family! :)

    2. Edward, I love having a male reader. Your perspective is much appreciated.

  3. I would love to read Angela's book. I've always been intrigued with Montana (second to Texas) and especially with Big Sky. It sounds like the perfect place to escape to for vacation.

    1. Montana is a big, beautiful state. Texas is also a big, beautiful state! Don't make me choose between the two. Lol. The cool, crisp and clean air in Montana is something to treasure. A great place for vacation or restoring your health. Thanks for visiting my blog, Jess! Great to see you here! Take care and God bless you.


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