Wisdom Wednesday: Bonnie Engstrom

I hope this Wednesday finds you meeting all your writing goals! I’m working non stop getting my second book ready to send to my publisher. YAY!

Today, I have author Bonnie Engstrom with us.

Welcome, Bonnie!

Name: Bonnie Engstrom

Genre: Romance and Women’s Fiction

Latest NovelMelanie’s Ghosts (WF)

Writing Tip: 

Don’t be afraid to write in a unique or unusual way. I tend to write with short, abrupt sentences – sometimes just one word. That may come from all my years in journalism, but I suppose it’s to get a specific point across. Always remember story is all!

If you are writing a traditional romance for the first time, it’s probably best to follow the formula of hero and heroine alternating chapters. But, once you are past that new hurdle, write spontaneously and extemporaneously. You can always go back and change, which brings me to the next question.

The re-write phase is becoming my favorite phase of writing! I love going back after my rough draft is finished and editing, expanding and making the story shine. To me, this is when the real story starts to take shape.

Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers:

  1. Ask for beta readers before you submit a story. Good ones who care will point out inconsistencies, repetitive words, punctuation flaws. Some things you may not want to change, and that’s all right because it’s your story. But beta readers really help. Remember they are not a critique group, though. Some of the best ones are not writers, but readers.
  2. Edit, edit, edit. I must have edited Melanie’s Ghosts 33+ times, and each time I either made some changes or added a sentence. I did take into consideration what my beta readers noted, but I didn’t agree with all their comments.

Great suggestions! I love my Beta group, and I value their opinions about my novels. I think it’s great to have both Beta-readers who are readers and also critique groups/partners. They each bring something special and unique to your writing.



One is laughing down from heaven.

One wears rags.

One is falling in love with her.

Melanie’s faith is shaken.

Her husband Larry is dead. They had only been married a few hours before he was arrested. Will her best friend Natalie be enough? Who will understand about Larry’s crime, his deception and how he died? Surely not her new friend Robert who lost his wife to cancer; no deception there. Just sadness.

Should she believe the homeless old woman who claims to be Larry’s estranged mother, calling herself Melanie’s mother-in-law? Especially when the raggedy old lady stalks her and camps on her doorstep. Why did the woman abandon her son and husband over thirty years ago? Robert gives her empathy and support . . . until his own secret is revealed.

All Melanie has left of Larry is the gorgeous blue diamond ring!

Her special group of friends, the Candy Canes, promise to pray for her. But, is prayer enough? She counts on all of them for support and answers! The love of a dog with her shaggy fur, big eyes and her kisses may have to be enough.

Larry, his homeless mother, and even Robert, all haunt her. Her only normalcy is teaching the adorable three-year-olds in her preschool class. Maybe little Jackson will help put the ghosts to rest.

About the Candy Canes:

Fifteen years ago six high school freshmen in Newport Beach, California formed a swim team that became legendary. They won the state relay swim championship four years in a row. In addition to their skill and devotion to daily practicing, they prayed together and vowed to be sisters forever. Another thing that set them apart was they chose their own swimsuits making them a team within a larger team. They chose red and white diagonally striped swimsuits. Thus, became known as the Candy Canes.

UntitledThis is the seventh book in the Candy Cane Girls series. All are set in Newport Beach, California, with a few scenes set in Scottsdale, Arizona, both places Bonnie calls home.

She and her husband, Dave, have four grandchildren in Arizona a few miles from them. Three are girls, one of which is a twin with a boy who constantly endures teasing and giggling. Fortunately, Grandpa Dave spends special guy time with him to relieve him of girly talk and share Chick-fil-A.

The other two boys live in Costa Rica – Pura Vida! – with their father who has taught them to surf, skateboard and fish for their dinners. All six children, even though separated by continents, are very close and get together at least twice a year in either Costa Rica or Arizona where the two beach boys have to wear shoes!

Bonnie and Dave believe family is all. They feel very blessed to have grandchildren nearby, even though it often interrupts their schedule.

Bonnie is a long time member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Christian Writers of the West in Arizona. She is a Pro Member of Romance Writers of America. She began her fiction writing career in California as a member of The Orange County Christian Writers Fellowship. She wrote the weekly education columns for two newspapers, The Newport Ensign and the Costa Mesa News. These organizations and the hundreds of newsletters she produced as a five-time PTA president helped to hone her writing skills. The impetus for her writing was when she was the editor of her high school newspaper and wrote a weekly column for a local community paper, The Penn Hills Progress, too many years ago to mention. (Hint: She was only 17!)

Thanks for joining us today, Bonnie! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you more and your latest release, Melanie’s Ghosts.

Take a moment to check out her newest release, Melanie’s Ghosts. Also, Bonnie loves to connect with her readers. Her email address is bengstrom@hotmail.com. Be sure to put BOOK in the subject line. She would love to chat with you and answer any questions.

Visit her website http://www.bonnieengstrom.com(where you can see all those grandchildren) and link up with her on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/bonnieengstromauthor/. To see almost all of her books go to http://bit.ly/2NgOiyd.

*Be sure to sign up for her next newsletter in which there will be a drawing you can win to be a character in her next book. You can sign up on her Facebook page or her website.


*If you are an author and would like to be a guest on Wisdom Wednesday, please email me at erin@mantlerockpublishingllc.com. I have openings available this fall and would love to highlight your writing tips and your books! 

Wisdom Wednesday


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