Thursday, October 11, 2012

BE STILL MY SOUL - Joanne Bischof - On Free Book

Welcome, Joanne. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I share a lot of similarities with my character, Lonnie. She’s shy and enjoys the simple things in life so she was like listening to a kindred spirit. At the same time, writing Gideon was completely new. He’s cocky and confident and keeps God at arm’s length, certain redemption wasn’t meant for him. People tell me how surprised they are that I wrote his character which is always fun to hear. We are so different and working through his sins and struggles to his hopes and fears was quite an adventure. I’ve received letters and emails from readers and hearing them talk about the characters has been such a delight. A lot of them related to Lonnie and her faith, while on the other hand, Gideon has developed quite a reputation as being the lady’s man and the bad boy of Appalachia. Readers have expressed such joy over witnessing his transformation from the beginning of the book to the end. 

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m about to reveal what a nerd I am…I’m a big “Lord of the Rings” fan and once dressed up for Halloween as a hobbit. A girl hobbit. I even had the funny little ears and the “ring” on a necklace. I worked at a candy store at the time and everyone who came in got a laugh out of seeing a hobbit behind the counter.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had my nose in a book and my head in the clouds. Growing up, I was one part Jo March, one part Beatrix Potter, and one part Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was always writing, drawing, and living with my imagination in the past. Being a writer was always my normal. I can never remember ever wanting to be anything else. I am SO thankful that God made that dream come true!

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Surprisingly, I don’t really have a favorite genre. I read mostly Christian fiction and while I love Historical Romance, I’m pretty much drawn to any really good book. I love to have a broad mix on my bookshelf and when I look back at some of the books that moved me deeply, it’s a variety of genres and settings.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I try really hard to balance my time. Just recently I turned in my edits for the second book in the Cadence of Grace Series. The editing process is always tough and time consuming. I made a schedule to block out not only writing nights, but family nights as well. It made it so nice to put my work on the back burner when it was a family night and just enjoy being with my husband and kids. We’d pop popcorn, drink cider and watch a movie or go for walks. It was really nice.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
For historical fiction, I always strive to find a name that would have been around in a particular time or place. For this series, I researched names specific to the Appalachian region through books and census records. I fell in love with the name Lonnie. It’s such a simple, humble name that it’s just the sort of name her parent’s would have chosen. I also loved the name Gideon and knew right away that everyone would end up calling him “Gid.” It’s fun because even the folks at my publishing house call him that.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
The first thing that comes to mind is my three kids. They are absolutely amazing. I love spending my days with them. They are some of my best friends and greatest joys.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I think I would love to be a bird for the sheer pleasure of flying!

What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is probably Mexican food. We live in southern California, just a few hours from the Mexican border so there are a ton of amazing little Mexican restaurants around here with homemade tortillas and the best salsas.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Probably my greatest problem is simply time. I have three kids five and under, and we homeschool. Simply finding the time to write is a challenge. I usually write while they are sleeping which means I really have to make myself focus during nap time. I grab my laptop, a cup of tea and put on a little music which helps me get into the story. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day.

Tell us about the featured book.
Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith.  But when handsome lady’s man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate. 

Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.

Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life.  What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?

Gideon only ever cared about himself.
Now that Lonnie is his wife, will he ever be worthy of her heart?

Please give us the first page of the book.
The night air brushed her arms, and Lonnie prayed autumn’s cool breath could whisper her off—carry her into another life. Lord, help me. She looked up at her pa and forced a tight smile. With his broad back to the moonlit sky, his scruffy face was hidden beneath the shadow of a floppy hat. Chestnut hair swirled against her cheeks, and she blinked, willing the breeze to calm her nerves.

     Joel Sawyer arched a bushy eyebrow. "Don’t see what’s gotten ya so shaken up all a sudden."

     She lifted her chin. "I ain’t shaken." Her eyes dared him to say otherwise. "I just don’t see why…" She bit her tongue at the tremble in her voice. Her thumb traced the fresh bruises on her wrist—each small dent the same size as her pa’s fingers.

     "Because your ma’s got a headache." Her pa’s growl was for her ears alone. His eyes bored into hers, even through the lie. "Can’t go lettin’ Samson down." Sour breath hit her face. "Now get on up there and sing for these people."

     Lonnie swallowed and eyed the crowd that had gathered for an evening of dancing. With the first autumn leaves blanketing the forest floor, it was sure to be the last of the summer. She’d never sung for a crowd before and, at seventeen, felt foolish when her heart pounded in her ears and her skin tingled with fear. If only Samson hadn’t asked that her ma sing this night.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Lena!

My pleasure. My readers will enjoy your interesting interview.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Be Still My Soul: The Cadence of Grace, Book 1 - paperback
Be Still My Soul: The Cadence of Grace, Book 1 - Kindle

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.


Rosie said...

Great interview! I'd love to get my hands on this one!

Rosie from OH

monica said...

I loooove historical romantic fiction! Takes me to another place!
Monica , Ontario

LadySaotome said...

This book sounds great - the dynamics of a forced marriage and her abusive father. I can't wait to read it!

from the black hills of South Dakota!

scottsgal said...

this sounds like a book I'd enjoy.

We love Mexican food too and have some great authentic places near Chicago.

cheryl in IL

Amy Campbell said...

Be Still My Soul is number one on my wishlist.
Amy C

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

I absolutely love marriage of convenience stories! I've never heard of this author, but I'd love to get my hands on this book! Enter me!

Breanna from Indiana

Joanne Bischof said...

Thanks, Rosie! I hope one lands in your hands!! ;)

Monica, so nice to meet a lover of historical romance--I completely agree! :)

Hi Lady from the black hills! Oh, I can just picture the views from your front porch :) So glad you're looking forward to the book!

Scottsgal, raising a chip and salsa in your honor. :) So nice to meet you! Glad the book sounds like a read you would enjoy!

Hi Amy! It's always a pleasure to see you :D number 1?! You just made my day!

Breanna, so glad you stopped in for the giveaway! I love me a marriage of convenience story too :) I hope you enjoy Lonnie and Gideon's!!

Amada Chavez said...

Please enter me! :) I'm still trying Joanne! :)

I really am very interested in your book and want to post a review on my blog to! :)

Amada (pronounced: Chavez, NM


John 8:12

Kim F said...

What a lovely interview - I look forward to reading this book - I love the setting of it.

Cheyanna West said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheyanna West said...

Thanks for taking the time to put this interview together. I have always felt that a book is a "gift of story" from the writer to the reader. I look forward to enjoying this gift.

Jo said...

Great interview! I really enjoy reading books like this so thank you for the opportunity of the giveaway!


Kay from NY said...

Great interview. Books sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance.
Kay from NY

Marissa said...

Can't wait to read this one!!
~Marissa from Colorado

Cathy said...

Please enter me! I can't wait to read this one. :)

Cathy from BC

Joanne Bischof said...

It's always good to see you, Amada! I'm so honored that you want to read Be Still My Soul!! I hope one of these giveaways has your name on it!

Thank you, Kim. The setting being one that you love is exciting to me. Glad you entered!

Cheyanna, what a sweet way to put it :) Delighted that your looking forward to reading the book and glad to have crossed paths with you here on Lena's blog!

Hi Jo! My friends and family call me "Jo" so I especially like your name :) Thrilled that you enjoyed the interview! Nice to meet you!

Wonderful, Kay! So nice to meet a face from NY. I bet you are enjoying some yummy fall weather where you're at :)

Marissa, you are so sweet!! I'm honored that you're looking forward to it. I hope you enjoy it...blessings!!

Thanks Cathy!! Lovely seeing you and delighted that you enjoyed the interview! Waving up at BC :)

Lane Hill House said...

Very interesting interview!! Love the first page; so full of emotion, and the cold chill! Kathleen ~ Missouri

squiresj said...

Please enter me to win. I would love to win and review this.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Melody said...

Another great read...hope its me!

Donna, TX

Michelle said...

Wonderful interview. I grew up in Appalachia, and I'd love to read this one. I think my mom probably would like it too.


Mary Preston said...

My heart went out to Lonnie. BE STILL MY SOUL is a must read for me.

Mary P


Jean Smith said...

Sounds like a great book. I would love to win it. I'm from York, Pa.

apple blossom said...

oh, thanks for the chance to win

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

rubynreba said...

Please enter me for this book. It sounds very good!
Beth from IA

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond

Joanne Bischof said...

Kathleen, it is so wonderful to see you here! I have your review linked into my newsletter-you put so much thought and heart into it. Its just lovely!

Squieresj, honored that you're looking into reviewing the book. I'm glad you entered!!

Melody, nice to see you again! I hope one of these copies lands in your hands :)

Thank you Michelle! It's always exciting to meet someone from the region. I hope Be Still My Soul will be a read both you and your mom will enjoy. Blessings!

Mary, it means so much to hear that you connected with Lonnie on that heart level. Bless you for being here and for entering!

Rubynreba, I'd remember those cats anywhere. :) Thank you for entering the giveaway and I've enjoyed your comments!

Thank you Sharon! Waving at you over there in NC! :)

Melody said...

Looking forward to this book!

From Donna, TX

Katie G. said...

Sounds great! Very interesting. Please enter me. I'm from NC.

Sarah said...

Enter me!!

Anna W. said...

Looks great! Please drop my name in the hat! :)

Anna W. from GA

MsRubyKat said...

Would love to win and read this book. Putting it on my wish list. Thank you for the chance to win.

Karen, Troy, NY

Kandra said...

Please enter me! This looks interesting!
Kandra in TN

Ganise said...

Please enter me in the drawing! Thanks for the interview :-)


g.gclermont AT gmail DOT com

Judy said...

Would love to win a copy of this book!

Judy B from Indiana

Merry said...

Thank you for a little peek, Be Still My Soul sounds stirring from the first page. Please add me!
Merry in TX

Joanne Bischof said...

Melody, that's such a blessing to hear! I'm so glad!!

Hi Kate! Thank you for taking the time to read about it. Nice seeing you here!

Sarah, from's fun seeing all these North Carolina girls :) You are entered!! :)

You got it, Anna! Nice to meet you!

Hi Miss Ruby Kat, great seeing you again! Honored that Be Still My Soul is on your wishlist :D

Thank you so much, Kandra. You are entered!

Ganise, I'm still hoping that one of these books has your name on it!! :)

Lisa E. said...

I've had my eye on this book for a few months, now. I recently seen several wonderful reviews of it on blogs I follow, so I'm now especially anxious to read it!

Lisa in Washington State

Judy said...

This is a must read book for me! I really loved this interview with Joanne.

I am drawn to the cover of Be Still my Soul. I don't know why I am so drawn but I really love it.

I would be thrilled to win a copy of this book.

Judy B from Indiana

Jes said...

So fun you went to work dressed up as a girl hobbit! :)

jswaks at gmail dot com

Kevlin said...

Would love to win a copy of Be Still My Soul. The library won't let me request it because it is out of my district. Thank you for the opportunity.

Kevlin, NY.

Diana Gardner said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks! Portsmouth, VA