Friday, March 11, 2011

MINE IS THE NIGHT - Liz Curtis Higgs - Free Book

I'm thrilled to feature Liz on my blog again. She was on the first Christian writers email loop I was on way back when I first connected to the Internet. Welcome, Liz. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I love this question, simply because I write in so many genres! Children's picture books, like Go Away, Dark Night, speak to a far broader audience than the genre might suggest, since they're read aloud by teachers, parents, grandparents, librarians, babysitters—the list goes on and on. One little story can reach lots of hearts! I write nonfiction books because I love exploring God's Word and helping my readers do the same, with titles like Bad Girls of the Bible and Embrace Grace. I write historical novels like Here Burns My Candle and Mine Is the Night because detailed historical research and storytelling are both pure joy for me, and because character-driven novels are a way to reach my sisters in Christ who share my passion for fiction.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

The day I married my wonderful husband, Bill Higgs! As it happens, we will celebrate our silver anniversary on March 14, 2011, the day before Mine Is the Night releases. We were a bit older than some couples when we married (32 and 34), yet it was a first marriage for both of us. We always say we looked for each other collectively for 66 years! Believe me, he was SO worth the wait. What a good and godly man I found!

Congratulations to you and Bill. How has being published changed your life?

It's tempting to say, "Only the Lord can change a life," because that's the truth of it. Still, being published has in fact changed my day-to-day life by expanding the number of women with whom I can share God's love and grace. It's both wonderful and daunting to think in terms of ministering to thousands of audience members, and tens of thousands of readers. I so want to be fully available to all the many sisters who ask for prayer, for encouragement, for direction, yet I am limited by time and resources, as we all are. I do my very best to be approachable on Facebook and Twitter, via my website and snail mail. And I remind myself daily that Jesus had time for a bleeding woman. It's my heart's desire to follow his lead and make time for those around me who certainly deserve my attention, all the while meeting the needs of my family and keeping the promises I've made to my publisher.

Yes, that's a balance that we all have to work toward. What are you reading right now?

I just finished reading a fabulous novel releasing in June 2011, Thief by Linda Windsor, an historical set in late sixth-century Scotland during the time of King Arthur. It's truly wonderful! And I'm in the middle of reading another very promising historical coming out in August 2011, To Die For by Sandra Byrd, set in sixteenth-century England during the Tudor period. So well done! Next up is Julie Lessman's September 2011 novel, A Heart Revealed, set in Boston in the 1930s (practically a contemporary for me!). Can't wait to get started on that one.

When we're reading books for endorsement, which I've done a couple of times since the first of the year too, it's a thrill to see what God is doing with other author's works. What is your current work in progress?

After writing two historical novels, I'm returning to nonfiction with a verse-by-verse look at the story I’ve been immersed in for the last five years: the book of Ruth! Like my Bad Girls of the Bible series, my next nonfiction book will filter solid, biblical research through a storyteller’s lens, yet with an entirely different approach than I've done before. And did I mention it will be fun?! Look for that one in Summer 2012.

I'd love to feature that on this blog. I do occasional nonfiction books. What would be your dream vacation?

Spending May and June traveling through the Celtic lands—Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, Wales, Brittany—staying at different B&Bs from week to week, meeting people from around the world, while soaking up all that lovely history. "Dream" is the right word for it—we could never afford so extended a vacation!—but it's grand to imagine it.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

Actually, Scotland chose me two decades ago! Though I've collected books about other parts of the planet, thinking I might place a series there someday, I keep coming back to my adopted homeland. The farmlands of Galloway suited my first novels about a shepherd, beginning with Thorn in My Heart. The Isle of Arran, off the west coast of Scotland, seemed a good fit for young Davina McKie in Grace in Thine Eyes. Edinburgh hosted bonny Prince Charlie in the autumn of 1745, so naturally that's where Here Burns My Candle took place. And for Mine Is the Night, the ancient burgh of Selkirk in the Borderland was a fitting choice, since it's surrounded by cultivated fields, like Bethlehem itself.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

Eugene Peterson, author of The Message. His body of work reveals incredible wisdom, a pastor's heart, and boundless gifts as a writer and teacher. I'd love to simply sit at his feet and hear his thoughts on the Church today, on discipleship, on writing, on ministry, and on how we might best serve the Lord with gladness.

And I love the music that he's written as well as using The Message for devotional reading. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

Traveling, whether near or far, camera in hand. Visiting botanical gardens, art museums, and historic properties. Watching movies, especially period films. Lunching with friends. Curling up with my cat or my husband or both.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

In writing novels I sometimes struggle with drawing out leading ladies who won't talk to me. Despite my best efforts to flesh out a main character's personality, to understand her back story, to sort out her goals and motives, sometimes my female protagonists refuse to bare their souls on the page. Secondary and bit characters appear without any real work on my part. From their first words I see and hear them, pick up on their mannerisms, and grasp what makes them tick. But my heroines are far harder for me to pin down—unless they're Bad Girls, of course. That kind of woman I get! To overcome this obstacle, I interview my characters at length, like a counselor might question a patient: prodding at tender spots, looking for vulnerabilities. I'm often surprised at what my characters reveal in such sessions, and how much their honesty affects me. Then I simply get out of their way and let them step into the light, flaws and all.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Read great books, the surest method for writing better books yourself. Attend writers conferences, where it's wise to do more listening than talking. Join the Christian Writers Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, a local writing group—whatever your calendar and budget can afford. Finally, write every day. Force yourself to stay on task until you have a respectable number of words written. If you have only an evening, that might be 300-500 words. If you have all day, your goal might be 1,000-1,500 words. Every write works at his own pace. The key is to find your rhythm and keep it going. Every day. Every day. Every day.

Tell us about the featured book.

The emotional and spiritual journey that began with Here Burns My Candle soars to a glorious finish in Mine Is the Night, a dramatic and decidedly Scottish retelling of the biblical love story of Boaz and Ruth, transported to eighteenth-century Selkirkshire.

Reeling from the aftermath of bonny Prince Charlie's disastrous bid to reclaim the British throne, Marjory Kerr and her daughter-in-law, Elisabeth, have lost everything they hold dear—husbands, sons, houses, titles, and possessions. But they have not lost hope.

With only the Almighty and each other to depend upon, Marjory and Elisabeth discover they are stronger and more resourceful than they’d imagined. So is the God they love and serve, and the heroic kinsman he brings their way. A timeless tale of redemption and restoration, Mine Is the Night serves up an ending that isn’t merely happy—it’s transcendent.

Your books are always amazing, and this one is as well. Please give us the first page of the book.

Foul whisperings are abroad.

26 April 1746

The distant hoofbeats were growing louder.

Elisabeth Kerr quickly pushed aside the curtain and leaned out the carriage window. A cool spring rain, borne on a blustery wind, stung her cheeks. She could not see the riders on horseback, hidden by the steep hill behind her. But she could hear them galloping hard, closing the gap.

Her mother-in-law seemed unconcerned, her attention drawn to the puddle forming at their feet. A frown creased her brow. “Do you mean for us to arrive in Selkirk even more disheveled than we already are?” Three long days of being jostled about in a cramped and dirty coach had left Marjory Kerr in a mood as foul as the weather.

“’Tis not the rain that concerns me.” Elisabeth resumed her seat, feeling a bit unsteady. “No ordinary traveling party would ride with such haste.”

Marjory’s breath caught. “Surely you do not think—”

“I do.”

Had they not heard the rumors at every inn and coaching halt? King George’s men were scouring the countryside for anyone who’d aided bonny Prince Charlie in his disastrous bid to reclaim the British throne for the long-deposed Stuarts. Each whispered account was worse than the last. Wounded rebel soldiers clubbed to death. Houses burned with entire families inside. Wives and daughters ravished by British dragoons.

Help us, Lord. Please. Elisabeth slipped her arm round her mother-in-law’s shoulders as she heard the riders crest the hill and bear down on them.

“We were almost home,” Marjory fretted.

“The Lord will rescue us,” Elisabeth said firmly, and then they were overtaken. A male voice cut through the rain-soaked air, and the carriage jarred to a halt.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Free e-newsletters:
Travel Photos:

Here is a list of Liz's current books in print in addition to Mine Is the Night:

NonfictionBad Girls of the Bible, 2004 ECPA Gold Book Award
Really Bad Girls of the Bible, Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Unveiling Mary Magdalene, Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Rise and Shine: Encouragement to Start Your Day
Embrace Grace, 2007 Retailers Choice Award Winner
My Heart's in the Lowlands: Ten Days in Bonny Scotland
Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible, 2008 Retailers Choice Award Winner

Video Bible Study
Loved by God, Now in 4,000 churches


The Pumpkin Patch Parable, 1998 Gold Medallion Award Winner
The Parable of the Lily, 1998 Gold Medallion Award Winner
The Sunflower Parable, 1998 Gold Medallion Award Winner
The Pine Tree Parable, 1998 Gold Medallion Award Winner
Go Away, Dark Night

Mixed Signals, 2000 Rita Award Finalist
Bookends, 2001 Christy Award Finalist
Thorn in My Heart, Christian Fiction Bestseller
Fair Is the Rose, Christian Fiction Bestseller
Whence Came a Prince, 2006 Christy Award Winner
Grace in Thine Eyes, 2007 Christy Award Finalist
Here Burns My Candle, 2010 RT Book Reviews Award Finalist

Thank you, Liz, for spending this time with us.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


LizCurtisHiggs said...

I'm HONORED to appear on your blog, Lena! Thanks for letting me share my heart with your readers and mine. God bless!

Julie Lessman said...

LENA!!! THANK YOU for featuring LIZ CURTIS HIGGS, who is my ALL-TIME favorite writer!!! Her Scottish trilogy blew my back to the wall years ago and has haunted me ever since. And Mine is the Night is nothing short of OUTSTANDING!!

Liz, I have to laugh at you calling A Heart Revealed "practically a contemporary" next to yours! Let's see -- 1700s vs. 1930 -- uh, I'd say so! :)

Don't enter me in the drawing as I already have my own precious copy and some other lucky person needs to get this amazing book into their hot, little hands.


Marianne said...

Loved this book, Liz. Read it for a review for Waterbrook Multnomah!

waiting for the next one don't enter me for this one, Lena.

MKMiller said...

I'd love to be entered into the giveaway! Kylee Miller from Jackson, MI.

Dawn said...

I am eagerly awaiting reading Mine is the Night. The book of Ruth is my favorite in the Bible. I'm already planning a trip to Barnes and Noble on the day the book comes out so I can get it! I also love reading Liz's wonderful, heartfelt updates on Facebook.

Michelle said...

I love Liz Curtis Higgs! She inspires me, lifts me up, and challenges me to not only read fiction books but to get in His Word!!!!! I hope I win this book!

Tiger said...

I can't wait to read this latest book by Liz Curtis Higgs. I would love to be entered in the give away! Thanks!
Kim Marshall From South Carolina

Kari Linder said...

Looking forward to reading something from Liz! Thanks for the chance to win!
Kari in Oregon

Kari Linder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annette W. said...

Not an entry, I have one on the way!

I love Liz. She is an incredible speaker and writer.

She has returned my emails several times over the years...and it always blesses me!

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.....I love LizCurtisHiggs books. ANGELA FROM KENTUCKY

Linda said...

I am counting the days for "Mine is the Night"! Please do enter me in the drawing! I can't wait to finish the story! I'm from Wisconsin Rapids, WI. Thank you!

windycindy said...

Congratulations to Liz and her husband! My husband and I will
be celebrating our 25th anniversary
very soon...I love Liz's writing and I would enjoy reading this book!
Many thanks, Cindi

Jackie S. said...

Please enter me as I love her books! I have read them all and an anxious to read this one as well.
Thanks from Georgia.

Miriam said...

Sounds like a great book. I have heard this author speak in person many years ago. Wonderful author, Miriam from Ohio

Kathy Carlton Willis Communications said...

Please add me to the drawing for an opportunity to win "Mine Is The Night." I "love me some Liz Curtis Higgs" and it would be great to win this book. I've taught her "Bad Girls of the Bible" study in multiple settings, and it's always well received. Liz—you rock! Thanks, Lena for hosting this. (Texas, USA)

Anonymous said...

I am from Maine, I love Liz's books! I've been waiting it seems FOR-EV-ER for this one to come out!!

prov3111 @

pleae enter me in the drawing.

Cindy W. said...

I have yet to read any of Liz Curtis Higgs books but have had her books on my 'wish' list for some time. Would love to win a copy of Mine is the Night. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W. from Indiana


Pam K. said...

Sounds like another great book by Liz. I'd love to win this one.


diana said...

Hey, my Julie friend above! So good to see you here! I loved the Lowlands of Scotland...I love Liz Curtis Higgs! I am behind and need to read Here Burns My Candle, and if I win this one I can read them back to back. Sounds like a plan!

lynnmosher said...

Thanks so much for interviewing Liz. I love reading about her. I live not too far from her. She has always been an inspiration.

Happy anniversary, Liz! Can't wait to read the book!

karenk said...

would love to read liz's latest novel...thanks for the chance :)

karenk (from PA)
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Cíntia Mara said...

I read Bad Girls of the Bible and loved Liz work. It's bad that in Brazil we don't have many of his books, so I want to got them in English. Please, enter me in this giveaway.

The story of Boaz and Ruth is very interesting and pretty beautiful. I hope I can read this book soon.

Best wishes!

gahome2mom said...

Thanks for the great review and thank you for sharing advice for new beginning authors. gahome2mom/at/gmail/dot/com

Patsy said...

I love the cover on this book. I don't know why but I like dresses like that. Southern thang I guess.
Would enjoy reading this book. I know it will be great.
From the Bible Belt


diana said...

Liz's books are the "cream of the crop" as they say. I learn so much from them, as well as thoroughly enjoy reading them! If anyone has not read the Lowlands of Scotland (hope I got that series name correct!) I would certainly encourage you to. It is an awesome series!

diana said...

Sorry, Diana from South Carolina above.

Robyn said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE LIZ!!!! Liz was the first Christian speaker I heard when I was a new mommy. She spoke about her book "One Size Fits All and other Fables". Loved her, bought all her books and can't wait to get this one.

Thanks for the interview Liz and Lena!!

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

apple blossom said...

Love to be included in Liz's book giveaway thanks
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Lorna Faith said...

Thanks Liz for being real! I love it that you are so humble and give God the glory for all your accomplishments:) You are such a talented writer and I just love your books:)

Would totally love to win this book...please enter me for a chance to win!


Jennifer @ Quiverfull Family said...

If Canadians can enter, please include me!!

Kristen said...

Sounds like a great book! Please enter me in the drawing.

Kristen, TX

Ann Lee Miller said...

I've read several of Liz's books, both non fiction and fiction and would love to win another.

Ann Lee Miller
Gilbert, AZ

Brenda said...

I would love to win the book. It sounds great. I'm a follower by GFC.

dancealert at aol dot com

Tamara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tamara said...

I remember listening to a speech Liz made *years ago* that was re-broadcasted over the radio. My mom and I sat by, using old cassette tapes to record it so we could listen to it over and over in our car and laugh every time. The tapes are long-lost, and I barely remember much besides a story of Liz trying to get her pantyhose on with wet nail polish and needed her husband's help...but those memories are quite fond ones.

I've been trying to get Liz's other books from the library, but the waiting lists are entirely too long (and I'm notorious things that have late fees attached to them). I wish you and Liz all the best. As an aspiring writer myself, I can appreciate all the struggles. :)

Tamara from Kirksville, MO

diana said...

Everyone loves Liz's books, but more than that her readers love her! She is so kind to her readers and makes each one of us feel special. We love you, Liz!

Bakersdozen said...

I now want to read both books in this series. They sound wonderful. I live in So. California

Judy Cooper said...

Thanks for the chance to enter! I'm here in Southwest Louisiana

kristen said...

THis sounds fantastic!
Please enter me:)
Kristen from WA

Judylynn said...

Please enter me in this giveaway.

Judylynn in Tennessee

Jenn Kia and Emily said...

Thank you for this opportunity to enter the drawing for this book. The first page makes me wish I had the book in hand now.
Melinda in NW Florida