The post today will be a little different from usual.
About Tamera Alexander
Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious--and precocious--silky terrier.
Tell us about your walk with Christ.
I came to Christ as a teenager and asked him to be not only my Savior, but Lord of my life. I didn’t begin to understand the true cost of discipleship and what “taking up your cross daily and following me” meant until later in life, and I’m still learning. I’m so grateful that Jesus never changes––not yesterday, or today, or tomorrow. He’s always the same. Rock solid. Dependable. Trustworthy. Lavish in grace. But that grace isn’t cheap. He loves me far too much to leave me where I am. The roads that God chooses for me are rarely the ones I’d choose for myself, but with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and by following in Christ’s steps, I trust him to lead me every step of the way. And something I’ve learned…every step changes the view!
You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
C. S. Lewis…because his perspective and writings on this life and the next have long captivated me. Laura Ingalls Wilder…so I could thank her for first igniting my love for story and for the hours I spent with her family on the prairie. Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet…for first opening my eyes to the immense beauty and artistry of words (and my thanks to my seventh grade teacher, Debra Ackey, for the gift of that book). Finally, I’d invite Luke, the writer of the Book of Acts in the Bible, because I’m currently in Bible Study Fellowship and we’re reading one of “Luke’s books!” I’d love to know the “behind the scenes details” of some of the events he recorded, and thank him for faithfully penning the historical account of the early church.
Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I used to speak publicly far more than I do now. I’m currently contracted for several books and they all have back-to-back deadlines, so I’ve had to greatly limit my number of speaking engagements. But I do love to talk and visit with readers. In fact, just tonight I Skyped with a book club in Atlanta and we had such fun! For more information on virtual book club meetings, visit www.tameraalexander.com.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
I’m not sure it’s the most embarrassing thing but right now––as I’m typing this––I’m still feeling sick to my stomach over something that happened earlier today. I forgot a luncheon I was supposed to attend. Flat forgot it. It was on my iCal, plain as day, but I failed to set a reminder alarm with the event and this morning I got bogged down in planning details for upcoming projects, emails were flying back and forth, and I totally spaced the appointment.
The woman who invited me (and who paid for my ticket) very kindly emailed afterward to make sure I was all right, and when I read her note on my laptop, my heart dropped like a stone. I hadn’t forgotten something like that in a long time. How embarrassing. I immediately called and apologized, profusely. She was very gracious and understanding. But oh…embarrassing just doesn’t describe it.
We all make mistakes, and as hard as we try not to, we all let others down from time to time. Still, you hate when it happens. I’ve found it’s best just to admit your mistake and ask for forgiveness. Then learn from your mistake and put measures into place to decrease the likelihood of it happening again. Then go eat a piece of Weight Watchers Peanut Butter Pie that you keep in the freezer for such moments as these.
People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
I always try to encourage them and then also ask, “What are you willing to give up so you can accomplish that goal? What price are you willing to pay to learn the craft?” There’s a cost inherent in learning anything and especially in learning to do it well. Writing is no exception. I tell them about American Christian Fiction Writers (www.acfw.com). It’s THE single best resource for writers who aspire to write stories for the Christian market. Then I point them to my list of favorite writing resources:
• The Moral Premise by Stan Williams
• Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
• How to Grow a Novel by Sol Stein
• Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
• Getting Into Character by Brandilyn Collins
• Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
• Word Painting by Rebecca McClanahan
• Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave
• Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Tell us about the featured book, A Lasting Impression, a
novel. Belmont Mansion
When I first stepped foot across the threshold of the Belmont Mansion in Nashville, TN, and learned about Adelicia Acklen––the born-before-her-time woman who built Belmont––and her “tough as nails” personality and extraordinary life, I knew I wanted to write a story that included her, her magnificent home, and this crucial time in our nation’s history.
But when I “met” Sutton Monroe and Claire Laurent while visiting the mansion one afternoon, or more rightly, when they shoved their way into my imagination and met each other, I knew I had to write their story. And I knew exactly what the setting would be too. The historic Belmont Mansion. After over two years of research and writing, A Lasting Impression is the culmination of that “chance meeting.”
A Lasting Impression is about being authentic in one’s life and relationships, and in one’s faith. It’s a love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves––and each other––for who they really are.
Please give us the first page of the book.
A Lasting Impression
Claire Laurent studied the finished canvas on the easel before her, and though masterpiece hardly described it, she knew the painting was her best yet. So why the disappointment inside her? The fiendish fraudulence trickling its way through her like tiny beads of sweat beneath layers of crinoline and lace. She ran a hand through her curls and dropped the soiled paintbrush into a cup of turpentine, full well knowing why. And knowing only deepened her guilt.
Her gaze fell to the lower righthand corner of the canvas, the one reserved for the artist’s signature. She hadn’t yet been able to bring herself to sign this one. Not with that name. Because of all the landscapes and still lifes and portraits she’d painted, none had truly felt like hers . . .
Until this one.
A breeze, moist and swollen, heavy with the certainty of rain, wafted in through the open secondstory window, and she peered from her bedroom over the town, breathing in the tang of salty air moving in from the gulf. She viewed the Vieux Carré below, the Old Square she’d painted so many times she could close her eyes and still see every detail—the rows of pastelcolored buildings clustered together and edging the narrow streets, their balconies of decorative black cast iron boasting hanging baskets that cascaded with late summer blooms. The combination lent a charm and beauty unique to this part of the city.
No wonder she’d fallen in love with New Orleans so quickly, despite the hardship of recent months.
The steady tick-tick-tick of the clock on the mantel marked the seconds, and she released her breath with practiced ease. She rose from her stool and stretched, paying the toll for retiring so late in recent evenings and for rising so early, but there was no avoiding it. This painting had taken longer to complete than she’d estimated.
Much longer, as her father kept reminding her.
Almost half past two, and she needed to “take leave of the gal lery no later than three,” as her father had insisted. She knew she shouldn’t allow his request to bother her. It wasn’t the first time he’d demanded she leave while he “conferred” with gallery patrons. And it wasn’t as if she didn’t know what he was doing during that time. What they did as a family business.
Read a full two chapter excerpt here:
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Author Website: www.tameraalexander.com
Author Blog: www.tameraalexander.blogspot.com
Author Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tamera.alexanderAuthor Twitter: http://twitter.com/tameraalexander
Tamera and her publisher, Bethany House, are hosting A Lasting Impression Kindle Fire Giveaway a Southern-Style Facebook party with a TON of Giveaways!
A Lasting Impression Giveaways and Facebook Party!
Beginning November 4th, Tamera's celebrating the release of her novel with a KINDLE FIRE Giveaway. Then on November 15th she'll be wrapping up the release of A Lasting Impression with a lavish Southern-Style Author Chat Party on Facebook!
Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party from Tamera Alexander! While Tamera and her book, A Lasting Impression, are traveling across the country virtually (with a few international stops as well!), she will be hosting a Kindle Fire Giveaway (11/4 - 11/15) and preparing for a lavish Southern-Style Facebook Party (11/15) (dripping with hospitality, of course). She will be giving away Southern Food Baskets, books, and an array of other fabulous freebies! Don't miss a minute of the fun. Swoon!
Read what the reviewers are saying here.
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A Brand New Kindle Fire (shipped as soon as it releases)
- A copy of A Lasting Impression and 3 other special books Tamera wants you to have (for Kindle)
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 15th!
Here's a link to the complete blog tour schedule: http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13436980
In addition to that, one reader will receive a free copy of the book on this blog.
Thank you, Tamera, for the fun interview.
Thank you, Tamera, for the fun interview.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.Lasting Impression, A (A Belmont Mansion Novel)
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 4 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 if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.