One of the very first writing-friends I made was a sweet-as-pie lady named Sharlene MacLaren. I volunteered to influence for her first two books, and I loved them so much that I wanted to run a special promotion. I put together a game revolving around the setting for Loving Liza Jane, and through that I spent quite a few emails getting to know Shar. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my review made it into the book, and by the time I reviewed the last book in her Little Hickman Creek series, my endorsements had made it onto the cover.

Around the same time, I joined Shoutlife, which was then pretty knew. Shar and I chatted quite a lot over there, exchanged stories about our families, and promised to exchange hugs at the ’07 ACFW conference. Since then, we just assume that I’m on the list for influencers for all of her new books, and we still keep in touch through the social networks and the occasional emails. And every time I see her name on the ACFW loop or one of the sites we’re both members of, I get a grin on my face. Shar is one of those people who leaves you with a happy sigh in your heart after talking to her. She is so friendly, so caring, so loving . . . she genuinely wants to know what’s going on in your life, and you walk away from a conversation with her feeling like you matter. Is there any better kind of person?

I asked Shar to share a bit about her story. I already knew some just by piecing together our conversations, but she filled it out a bit.

After a teaching career, Shar faced retirement and a question: now what? What did the Lord want her to do with her life? She started having dreams in which she’d written a book, but she dismissed them. After all, what did she know about that? But the dreams persisted, and finally Shar surrended her heart and sat down to write. The ideas came pouring out, and her journey began.

She started along the bumpy road with a Publish America novel. When that didn’t really sell, she learned the craft and found a home as one of Whitaker House’s premiere novelists. With two contemporaries and five historicals (currently) under her belt, Shar in thrilled with her position at Whitaker and looking forward to many more books with them. Next? The rights to that Publish America novel finally reverted to her, and she rewrote it, renamed it, and it’ll be coming out from Whitaker soon. I personally can’t wait!

I’ve done a Story Time Tuesday on Shar, so regular readers probably know how much I love Shar’s writing style. She writes from the heart, with characters deep and beautiful, stories with just enough suspense to heighten the romance, and always some soul-searing truth that strikes you right in the heart. I have read and loved each of her books thus far, and I know when I pick up a new one that it will be even better than the last.

If you want a good read–and a good friend–check out Shar MacLaren. Her books will touch you, and if you look her up and drop her a line, I guarantee she will reply and win you over with her charm, love, and sweet spirit. She is one lady I can’t wait to hug again!

(I’m putting her book info below. Click on the pictures for my reviews!)



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