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Author Interview,  Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

Author Interview with Alyssa Schwarz & a Giveaway

By Deena Adams

Help me welcome Alyssa Schwarz to the blog this week. Alyssa is a fellow ACFW member and her debut novel, The Glass Cottage, releases on October 5. She’s graciously offered a copy to one person who comments on this interview.


Welcome to the blog Alyssa! Share a little about yourself and your family.

I’m an only child, but I grew up surrounded by cousins. During the summers, my family and I would drive up to Buena Vista where they lived and stay a week or two on the ranch. We had a blast exploring the hills, chasing down new rocks to climb, and roasting marshmallows over the fire pit for s’mores. I think it’s only natural I thought to write a series about a family of cousins and set my first book within that quaint mountain town. 

Sounds like a wonderful childhood. Do you have hobbies you enjoy? What do you do for fun?

My mom and I have our own art business. We are both watercolor artists and have been privileged to showcase some of our artwork through the Denver Metro area. I also love to hike and have recently taken up gardening. Two years ago, I saw the most beautiful dahlias in Washington’s San Juan Islands, and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since. After digging up a half-a-ton of soil, engineering a raised flower bed, and planting two dozen bulbs, I finally have my dahlia garden! 

Good for you! I can’t keep a plant alive to save my life. Tell us how and when you started writing.

Does random scribbling as a toddler count? I’ve always loved books and the idea of writing, but my first real attempt at penning a story had to have been in second grade when I wrote about a dog who could fly. I did the illustrations for it and everything! 

A flying dog would make a great children’s book! I’m curious what your writing space looks like.

Piles of craft books and notebooks on the desk, dual monitors to keep track of the dozens of open tabs, handwritten notes and reference images spilling from their folders, my dog Nala lying next to me with her head on my foot, and a cup of chai tea at the ready. 

Some necessities along with extra special touches. Perfect. How many unpublished and unfinished manuscripts do you have?

The Glass Cottage will be my debut novel, but I am busy working on book two in the series. I plan to release a Valentine’s Day-themed novella early next year as a prequel to the series. I also have an unfinished WW1 manuscript collecting dust on my computer’s hard drive that I’ve yet to decide what to do with. One of these days I might get around to finishing it, but for now, I’m sticking to contemporary fiction. 

Are any of your stories inspired by true events or personal history? 

While my stories are purely fictional, I love finding inspiration for ideas through history. Colorado has a fascinating past, from abandoned gold mines, to land feuds, and strange traditions. 

While researching for The Glass Cottage, I learned Buena Vista was known for its lettuce fields, and in 1891, two men stole a house log by log near Rocky Ford and reassembled it fourteen miles away. Maybe not the most helpful of information, that’s part of the fun in learning about a place’s history. You never know what you may find, and the stories might just surprise you enough to find their way into a book. 

Since my family is from Colorado, there are lots of interesting stories to be found tucked away in my grandma’s attic. After stumbling upon her journals, I thought it would be fun to write a story based on an old forgotten diary.

I love that! What did God teach you through the writing of The Glass Cottage? 

God has been teaching me a lot about what it means to listen to and follow His guidance, and the many ways in which He speaks to us at different times in our lives. Our paths rarely turn out the way we expect, but maybe that is a good thing. How else would we discover the wonderful things He has planned for us if we were only limited by our own imagination. God is the ultimate story writer, and I hope readers of The Glass Cottage will be able to sympathize with Abigail’s and Ben’s story of redemption and second-chances. 

What do you hope your readers take away from the book?

When the world seems to pull at us from all directions, leaving us questioning and worried about the future, I hope readers can escape into this story and learn what it means to trust God, even with the unknowns. 

Great takeaway. Which character in The Glass Cottage was easiest for you to write and why? Which character presented the biggest challenge?

Abigail holds a dear spot in my heart, and I think we would get along quite well as friends if she existed in real life. We both love baking and kayaking. 

The hardest character to nail down was Abigail’s cousin, Tess, a minor character at the beginning and end of this story. Her personality is very unlike mine, so it was a challenge getting into her head in such a short space. But despite that challenge, I learned to really love the spunky cousin. If you are curious to learn more about Tess, look for her in book #2 of the Prescott Family Romances series. 

Gotta love characters who bake and kayak. Who is your favorite fiction author? Favorite novel?

There are so many outstanding authors out there. I love anything written by Becky Wade, Joanne Bischof, Amanda Dykes, or Roseanna M. White. I can always count on their books to be amazing. As for my favorite novel, a lot of people might not know this book, but The Sunflower by Richard Paul Evans, is one of my all-time favorites. I’ve probably read it at least three times! 

I’ll have to look into The Sunflower! How can your readers and fans support you? 

Buy a copy of my book, leave a comment on Amazon or Goodreads, and sign up for my newsletter at https://www.authoralyssaschwarz.com/

Any last words for your readers?

My grandma used to say: “Don’t let the fear of hard work stop you from trying.” Go for it. You’ll never know if it’s possible until you try. 

Thanks so much for the interview, Alyssa! It’s been great getting to know you and more about your writing. Congratulations on your debut release!

Join the conversation. Have you ever visited Colorado? Does a Contemporary Romance set in a small mountain town sound good to you? Do you have any questions for Alyssa?

Be sure to comment by October 5 for a chance to win a copy of her book!


The Glass Cottage by Alyssa Schwarz

Could a nineteenth-century diary be the answer to Abigail’s prayers?

Iris wanted nothing more than to live her own adventure. But on the tails of the Colorado gold rush, a certain discovery could upend her world before it’s even begun. 

Over a hundred years later, Abigail Prescott returns to the sleepy mountain town she once called home to help her great Aunt Josie restore the old antique shop, The Glass Cottage. Looking for peace and God’s direction for her life, the last thing she expected to encounter was a ghost from her past—Benjamin Greene—her childhood best friend. The boy who got away.

Is this just a coincidence, or could it be the start of something greater? 

Together, Ben and Abigail work to fix up the shop and stumble upon an old journal. With more questions than answers, Abigail embarks on a journey of self-discovery to track down the mysterious Iris, but the truth is not always what it seems. 

In this tale of friendship, love lost, and love found, Abigail must decide for herself: Is every story worth saving, and if so, at what cost? 


Alyssa Schwarz Profile Pic

Alyssa Schwarz loves a good story, especially if it has a happy ending! From mountain adventures to Downton Abbey-esque romances, she firmly believes we could all use a little more inspirational and heart-warming tales to keep us up at night—tales that take us on far away (or not so distant) adventures and speak words of life and truth into our lives. 

Though Alyssa writes mainly contemporary fiction, she tries to find fun ways to incorporate the past. Whether it’s a family secret, or a century-old journal, history has a way of shaping the lives of her characters for better of for worse. If any of these story ideas sound like your cup of tea, then pull up a chair, take a sip of your favorite drink, and find your next happily-ever-after. 


Connect with Alyssa: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest


Please share Alyssa’s interview on social media to help spread the word about her debut novel!

If you missed last week’s Zoom interview with John Matthew Walker, find it here.

39 Comments

  • Deena Adams

    Congratulations to Renee P! You’re the winner of Alyssa’s book. Look for an email soon!

    Thanks to everyone who read the interview and commented. Be sure to check out this week’s interview with David Parks and comment for a chance to win his debut novel, The Boy Who Closed the Sky.

  • Lynn Moore

    Alyssa……your life sounds just as Interesting as your “writing space!” A little of this & a little of that adds up to great fun. I loved your grandmother’s saying,……”Go for it. You’ll never know if it’s possible until you try.”
    Ahhhh….the wisdom of grandmothers!
    Blessings to you as you bless the world with your gifts!

    Lynn Moore

  • Cherie J

    Hubby and I have friends who live in Colorado. We have heard it is beautiful so we would love to visit someday. I do enjoy books set in a mountain town.

    • Deena Adams

      We’re building a nice tribe of people here who want to visit Colorado. Hope you make it there one day, Cherie! Thanks for reading the interview and joining the conversation!

    • Alyssa Schwarz

      Cherie, you would love Colorado! I might be just a tad biased, but its a wonderful state to live in and visit.

  • Mary Luce

    I passed through Colorado in the fall of 1990. We were moving from California to Maine, and we stayed with friends in Colorado Springs briefly. I remember our van had a little bit of trouble making it up over the Rockies! (Should have gotten the 8-cylinder!) I enjoy stories with “less peoply” settings, so a mountain town would probably work for me. Congratulations and best wishes on your debut novel!

  • Linda Carey

    The Glass Cottage sounds like a onderful story. My grandmother had advice like the one your grandmother gave you.

      • Renee P

        I have been to Colorado several times. My grandparents lived in Salida, CO most of my growing up years.

        This book sounds so good! I am an AVID group member.

        Thank you for this opportunity!

        • Deena Adams

          Hi Renee! I’m so jealous of your time in Colorado. I plan to go someday. Thanks for reading and commenting! I have you on the drawing with the extra entry!

        • Alyssa Schwarz

          Renee, that is so cool your grandparents lived in Salida! This book is set in Buena Vista, so just 20 minutes north of Salida. 🙂

      • Connie Isbell

        The cover is so pretty on The Glass Cottage book! I enjoyed reading the interview and Alyssa’s book looks very interesting. I loved hearing about some of her other hobby interests in the interview. I’m also obsessed with dahlia’s. I would love to hear more about her dahlia garden. 😉 Deena, I think I need to give you a plant. 🌱 We’ll put a simple pothos cutting in water and it will grow! It requires very little attention and it’s fun to watch it grow. 💗

        • Alyssa Schwarz

          Thank you so much, Connie! It was a lot of fun to design the cover, and I love that the picture is from Colorado as well. Aren’t dahlias the best? I got to visit Butchart near Victoria, BC, and their dahlia gardens were absolutely incredible! It probably helps being in a more humid environment than Colorado, but the seem to grow alright here.

  • Linda Kish

    Years ago, I visited Durango and Denver. I loved both of them for different reasons. I love books based in small towns. A mountain town? That is so much more cozy. Bring it on!

  • Tammy Padgett

    I love to read contemporary fiction that points us to Gods promises. Always looking for something to read.

      • Nicole Cook

        Hi Deena! Thanks for letting me know about this interview! It was so fun to read. I’m so excited for Alyssa’s upcoming novella and to read Tess’s story.

        I think I could be good friends with Abigail too. I love listening to country music and baking just like Abigail!

        Becky Wade is one of my favorite CF authors!

        • Deena Adams

          Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Nicole! I’m so glad you enjoyed Alyssa’s interview and her book. I’m excited to read it. I love Becky Wade’s books too. Hope to connect with you on more interviews in the future!

        • Alyssa Schwarz

          Nicole, I’m so glad you liked the book! I’ll be releasing the novella January 2022 and Tess’s story later in 2022. I’m really loving these characters, and I hope you like them as much as Abigail!

          I think I’ve read all of Becky Wade’s books at least once, and I can’t wait for her upcoming Christmas release 🙂

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