Bio: Lynette Sowell is the author of more than 20 titles for Barbour Publishing, Heartsong Presents, and Abingdon Press. Her work has won the Carol Award and appeared on the ECPA best seller list in 2014. When Lynette's not writing, she works as a newspaper reporter for her city paper and is an award-winning columnist. Lynette was born in
Massachusetts, raised on the Eastern Shore
of Maryland, but makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas
hill country with her husband, their Texas
heeler, and a duo of cats. She loves traveling, reading, cooking, watching
movies, and is always up for a Texas
Welcome back, Lynette. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
Forgiveness – whether that be forgiving someone, forgiving yourself, or accepting God's forgiveness. God's faithfulness in spite of difficult circumstances is another theme I like to write about. Real life can throw us some curveballs, and fiction can cause struggles for characters too. I like to show my characters overcoming with God's help.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
I'm preparing to re-release a mystery book series that was published some years ago, called Scents of Murder. I've had a great time getting to know these characters again as I've made tweaks to the books and some fun changes. After that, in early summer 2015 I have two novellas set to release in multiple-author book sets. I'm a hybrid author, and I've enjoyed a bit of independent publishing on the side.
What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
That's a tough one. For me, it's a toss-up between the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John. Paul wrote so much of the New Testament, I'd love to get some clarification on some things that he wrote, from his perspective, that is. :) I'd like to meet John because of the books of the New Testament that he's written, to find out what it was like to walk with Jesus and see Him face to face.
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
There are SO many reasons authors get rejected. Those reasons can range from simply bad timing, to “we already have something similar to this” (the reason my first book was rejected), to “you need to work on plot/grammar/characterization, etc.,” to “this isn't a good fit for us.” Take a careful look at the reason for the rejection—if you're given a reason, that is.
Also, I believe most authors have two sides—the “business” author side and the “artist” author side. I would pray and decide which side of your author's personality you'll follow. The business-author will study the market and see where his or her style/voice will fit a niche in the market and adapt proposals to fit that. The artist-author will keep “following her heart,” so to speak, and keep pursuing publication with a style, regardless of the market. There is no guarantee, either way—but prayer and persistence will get you through. And chocolate for when those rejections come!
Tell us about the featured book.
A Path Made Plain is book two in the Seasons in Pinecraft series from Abingdon Press. It stands alone from book one (A Season of Change) and shares the story of young Betsy Yoder, who makes the Amish-Mennonite village of Pinecraft in Sarasota, Florida, her year-around home. She gets her family's support, literally and figuratively, to open a bakery. She's nursing a healing heart after the man she loved left the Order to join the Mennonite church. Then Thaddeus Zook, ex-Amish, roars into Pinecraft on his Harley. He's spent not quite a decade away from the church and his family after going to culinary school and becoming a pastry chef. He chooses Pinecraft, where his grandmother lives, as a safe place to get his life back together again.
Please give us the first pages of the book.
Betsy Yoder's cheeks ached from smiling as sweat trickled down her back. She dished up yet another serving of chicken pot pie to yet another wedding guest, while her splintered heart ached far more keenly than her outer discomfort.
Amish Jacob Miller had married Englisch Natalie Bennett not quite a week ago, and although the current celebration of a cousin here in Ohio helped buoy Betsy's spirits, she felt a throb of pain as if she'd witnessed Jacob and Natalie's wedding all over again.
With the new union, Betsy's dream died forever. It was not fair the mercury had shot up to more than eighty degrees today, and the promised rain never fell from the clouds scudding across the sky, to occasionally provide some shade. The pretty autumn weather was probably welcome to everyone in
Betsy couldn't get back to Pinecraft and
quickly enough, and her snug room at Aenti Chelle's house. Sarasota, Florida
“You're doing fine, Betsy, just fine,” she muttered to herself.
“See? This means you are meant to stay here in
Ohio,” her mamm said.
“With us.” Mamm served up a dollop of mashed potatoes to a guest in line.
Betsy's cheeks flamed, hot as the pans holding food to feed a succession of three hundred guests—a rather small number for an Amish wedding.
A man marrying an Englisch wife who'd joined the Beachy Amish Mennonite church was certainly not an everyday occurrence, nor something expected or one necessarily wanted to see, not if you were Amish in
Which was why Jacob and his children had packed up the remainder of their belongings and moved to
Florida, for good. Their bishop had given
his blessing for them to join the Beachy
Church in Sarasota, which had become Natalie's place to
fellowship. She'd passed her proving time and been baptized into the Mennonite
church before driving from Florida to Ohio for the wedding. Driving.
As in a vehicle, not a buggy. Somehow, the fact Natalie's mammi and daadi had
been Amish made everything all right.
The new bride had glowed in her cape dress and white head covering, but Betsy couldn't forget the first time she'd seen Natalie Bennett, clad in pink capris and a t-shirt. Betsy kept piling pot pie on brimming plates and wiping sweat from her brow. At least there was some shade with the wedding meal laid out on long tables under the trees on the Millers' property.
Her mother nudged her arm. “What, no protests? Since you aren't marrying Jacob, it's time for you to come home and stay home.” Did the humid breeze whooshing through the branches above conceal her mother's words from other ears? Betsy hoped so.
Her cheeks burned. “This isn't quite home anymore, Mamm.”
will always be your home.” Her mother smiled at a guest passing by the table.
“Your daed agreed to let you stay in Florida
for a time, but now—”
“I have my housecleaning clients and Aenti Chelle says I'm welcome to stay in her home.”
“Your cousin Anna Mae could use some help in her quilt shop.”
Betsy fell silent. Of course, Mamm wouldn't budge. Daed would have the final say, so she just needed to bide her time until she returned to
by bus. The house she'd lived in for her twenty-one years should seem familiar,
and it did, along with the room she used to share with sisters Grace, Phoebe,
and Emma. But during the last week or so, it seemed she saw her surroundings
with fresh, grown-up eyes.
Her practical side whispered in her ear as she lifted a now-empty pan off the table.
Back here, there are more prospects, more of your friends, more of everything you've always known. Mamm is right. On a day like today, given other circumstances, it would be easy to agree to move back to
Ohio, returning to Florida
long enough to gather her belongings from Aenti Chelle's and empty her Florida
The idea made the neckline of her dress tighten. Betsy tugged at it. Constricting, limiting. She had begged Gotte to tell her what to do next when she learned of Jacob and Natalie's engagement. She'd taken her father's approval to stay in Florida as a sign she and Jacob would one day be together, she just needed to be patient and bide her time.
“But living in
is for old people. You know what they say about Pinecraft. 'It's for newlyweds,
half dead, and hard to get,'” her dearest friend Lottie had told her last
winter when she'd shocked everyone by asking to remain in Pinecraft and work.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My blog is at http://lynettesowell.blogspot.com, and you can also find me on Facebook at my author page, www.facebook.com/lynettesowellauthor, on Twitter @LynetteSowell, and on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/lynettesowell. I also blog monthly over at notquiteamishliving.com and inspyromance.com.
Thank you, Lynette, for sharing this new book with me and my blog readers. I'm really enjoying this series.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.A Path Made Plain - Christianbook.com
A Path Made Plain: Seasons in Pinecraft - Book 2 - Amazon
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