Monday, October 10, 2016

Guest Post & Spotlight: Author Marlene Bateman on "For Sale By Owner"

Check out Marlene Bateman's newest release.

Release date: October 3rd 2016
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Stressed by a year of intense, ongoing problems, McKenzie Forsberg decides to quit her high-powered job and move back to her hometown. Determined to rebuild her life, Kenzie desperately needs the peace and security she is sure will come from buying the home she grew up in. But when she arrives in town, Kenzie discovers that a handsome widower, Jared Rawlins, has already put an offer on the house. However, he can only close the deal if he sells his own house by Christmas Eve. 

When Kenzie unexpectedly runs into a couple who are considering buying Jared’s house, she unthinkingly gives them information that changes their mind. Jared, who had been more than a little interested in Kenzie, has second thoughts when he begins to believe Kenzie attempted to sabotage the sale of his home. 

Despite his misgivings, and Kenzie’s own concerns, sparks of attraction between Jared and Kenzie grow into something more. Then, Kenzie makes a stunning discovery about her past. In that moment, everything changes. Will the power of love be enough to bring Jared and Kenzie together and allow them to find their happily ever after?


I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and most often, I get a spark of inspiration from reading books or watching TV. For Sale by Owner started with a germ of idea I had while watching a movie. Some ideas fade away, but this one stayed, so I worked to expand the idea of a main character inadvertently doing something that appears self-serving but wasn’t meant that way.

When writing, I always start with developing the characters. Knowing who they are and what they want helps drive my fiction. I believe we all are a product of our upbringing and experiences so I like showing how my character’s background and past experiences have molded them into the people they are now. It’s a pleasure to create characters and make them into real people.

I’ve found it useful, when developing characters and story ideas, to just sit back and think. I keep a pad of paper and a pen with me to jot down my thoughts. As I play with ideas and characters, I try to expand and explore the story line. 

With my latest book; For Sale by Owner, I first came up with a character, McKenzie Forsberg, who has been through a bitter divorce, had trouble at work, and problems with her father. Kenzie decides to make a change. To start a new life for herself and her daughter, she decides to move back to her hometown, hoping to gain the peace and security she needs by buying the home she grew up in.

However, any good story has conflict, so I had to come up with an opposing force. And I found it in Jared Rawlins. A single father, Jared also wants the house, and for many of the same reasons Kenzie does. He wants a stable environment to bring up his young son. So, I brought Kenzie and Jared together, without knowing at first how each of them were going to deal with the situation.   

Because I strive for rich characterization, I wanted to give Jared and Kenzie moral dilemmas. I wanted to display their humanity and show that each of them had a moral compass—a belief in God—that prompted them to strive to be loving and caring people. But people are human and the characters in For Sale by Owner make mistakes that affect people around them. Kenzie has a serious relationship problem with her father. Since there is fault on both sides, I wanted to show the situation from Kenzie’s point of view and her fathers. Nothing is ever black and white.

One thing I did want when writing this book was a happy ending. It took a while to figure out how Kenzie and Jared were going to get past all their distrust and complications to get together in the end. So I threw in a little surprise at the end that helps things along.

For Sale by Owner is the first pure romance I’ve written. Previously, I’d written a mystery/romance and three whodunit mysteries. But the idea for this book grabbed ahold of me and wouldn’t let go. It was a lot of fun to write Kenzie’s and Jared’s story and shape it into a novel. When the writing flows, as it did for this book, it’s a deeply satisfying experience. I sincerely hope people love reading For Sale by Owner as much as I enjoyed writing it!

About the Author
Marlene BatemanMarlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Sandy, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House. 

Marlene has also written a number of LDS, non-fiction books: Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s from Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, Heroes of Faith, Gaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die. 

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