Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring into Love: Angela Ruth Strong

Finding Love in My Own Life Story
A personal essay by Angela Ruth Strong

Last night a friend said, “I finished your novel. Talk about autobiographical.”

She’s right. There’s so much of me in Finding Love in Park City that I was afraid if people didn’t like the book, then it meant they wouldn’t like me. So far that hasn’t happened.

My friend asked, “Was it hard putting it into words?”

Enough time had passed since my personal experience with divorce that I’d made peace with the pain, so writing about it didn’t hurt, but I found it eye-opening to see how the story affected others. When my critique partners commented on my character, it gave me new insight into my own life. For example, after “the other woman” in my story made derogatory comments, my first reader said, “Your main character has to know that’s not true.”

Oh. I thought back to my own experience where “the other woman” had said those exact words verbatim. In my head, I’d known it wasn’t true, but the words still hurt my heart as if I believed them. Hearing it considered crazy talk from an outside source was very validating.

Then there was the, “Wow, your main character is really insecure,” which eventually became, “Oh, no wonder she’s insecure!”

Yes, I had these same insecurities, but I had them for a reason. Such a critique made me feel understood. Because this wasn’t a friend trying to reassure me as my friends all had, this was an unbiased opinion of a character my critique partner didn’t know actually existed.

I have to admit, my favorite comment so far has come from my mom. “I’m reading Finding Love in Park City right now, and I really like Sam. He’s such a great hero… Did you base him on Jim?”

Yes, Sam is based on my husband. And he really is a great hero. You guys, my husband puts great heroes to shame. He is the reason I write romance again.

Pictured above: The author (Angela Ruth Strong) and her husband Jim
danced together on their Wedding Day

I want to offer hope that love like this really exists because it’s hard to believe when the person you love is abusing you, and we all know someone who has been through—or is going through—this. Sadly, abuse is often misunderstood, and the church doesn’t always know how to help. I’d like to think my words can make a difference. I’m honored that at least one reviewer has thought so too: “This is the first book to speak so clearly about the effects of verbal abuse on a marriage and family in romantic fiction I've read.”

Back when I was in the midst of my divorce, I went to a prayer room where women prayed over me. They didn’t know anything about me, but one woman said, “This isn’t the end of your story.” She had no idea I was a writer or that I would literally write a happy ending to my tale, but it was the best advice she could have given.

I am grateful for everything I’ve learned. I’m grateful for where I am now. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my story with you.

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 rereleased it as part of a new series titled Resort to Love, and she's excited to be writing for Love Inspired Suspense, as well. 

This Idaho Top Author and Cascade Award winner also started IDAhope Writers to encourage other aspiring authors. 

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. 

Find out more at or become an insider by joining her Facebook fan group

Book blurb for Finding Love in Park City, Utah

C.J. Lancaster’s job as a tabloid journalist takes her to the Sundance Film Festival to interview an actress. She tries to charm her way past the movie star’s youngest brother-in-law, Sam, and somehow ends up on an “undate” with him. If C.J. were ready to date, the fun-loving veteran would be her first choice, but since she’s still healing from her ex-husband’s affair, she knows it will be safer if she scares her new “friendboy” away.

Sam Lake is intrigued—he’s never had to pursue a woman, and he can’t get C.J. out of his mind. Whether it’s how she likes to eat ice cream in winter or the way she gets his nieces and nephews to gang up on him in a snowball fight, he feels more at home with her than his oversized family. But when his own issues arise, he realizes C.J. might be right about avoiding a relationship with him.

Can the two of them overcome the emotional mountains in their lives, or will they remain a “noncouple” forever?

Buy Angela's book: Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble

*Only United States Residents may enter this book giveaway contest for their chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for sharing your heart. As someone who has written my experiences and pain into my own stories as well, I know how difficult and yet cathartic it can be. Much love and admiration to you for facing those demons and taking them down. <3

  2. Thanks, Amy. I really need to read your book.

  3. I LOVED this book! I'd like to have a print copy so I could loan it to several people.

    1. Thanks, Becky. I'd like for you to be able to do that too! :-)

  4. Oh my heart! This would be an amazing book to win! Not only does the story line pull you in, but to know this is based on Angela's testimony makes it that much more appealing and heartfelt.

    1. Thanks. There's definitely a lot of my heart in it. <3

  5. It sounds like a very intriguing story and I would love to read it. a_stonecipher(at)yahoo(dot)com


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