Saturday, January 10, 2015

FROM DISHES TO SNOW - Kathy M Howard - One Free Book

Welcome, Kathy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I tend to write more of myself into the characters than I originally think I will. Several of my personal feelings and thoughts are brought to light, whether others, including myself, realize it. Sometimes I feel like I lead a double life – one that the world sees and one that is between God and me. That side of myself that is usually only visible to God is given a chance to come out through the growth and inner workings of the characters. I am an introvert at heart and often that is the part of me that is expressed on paper.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’ve learned that the older I get, the quirkier I become. My family would say my most recent oddity is my dealings with hotels and vacation getaways. I am a homebody and don’t like to venture too far from the comfort of my own four walls. On those rare occasions when I do get out and must spend a night or two in a hotel, I bring my own sheets. I’m not a clean freak by any means, but I have a very hard time laying my head down at night until my own sheets and blanket are in place.

I take my own pillows when I go to hotels. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Since middle school, I have loved and truly enjoyed putting words to paper. Countless journals and sporadic pieces have been written over the years, but to call myself a writer – I guess that’s the opinion of the reader.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love reading most Christian fiction novels, especially historical Christian fiction, from mystery to romance. On occasion, I also enjoy a good science fiction. Unfortunately, informational books and documentaries are usually a hard read for me.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’ve learned over the years that I require “alone time.” In the midst of the blessed chaos of homeschooling, church activities, helping my husband at his chiropractic office, and the everyday duties of a wife and mother, I will escape to my room or even my parked car for that necessary quiet moment. There, I spend my time with God and try to write, even if the writing part comes after the kids are in the bed. By the end of the day, if I haven’t had that alone time, I find I am more tired and a bit cranky.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Several of the characters’ names are some alteration of my family’s. Others are names that I’ve heard over time that interested me or that I fancied as a little girl, dreaming of what I might one day name my children. Choosing a name is the fun part. It’s like I’ve been given a birth certificate for each character and I can pick from an endless pool of possibilities. Once that name is in print, the character is real, taking on an individual personality.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Professionally, I would have to say, seeing an unreachable dream come true is the accomplishment I am most proud of. Writing a book is something that was always on my “wouldn’t that be cool” list, but never imagined it would come to fruition. I am truly grateful and humbled that God has allowed it to happen. He receives all the glory.

Personally, I am most proud of my family. I wouldn’t call them an accomplishment, necessarily, but I am so very proud of them. They are my support, my sounding board, and my encouragement. God has definitely blessed me.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
This is a fun question; one that I’ve given to my students in the past, but have never actually answered myself. I guess I would be a turtle. Turtles have their “alone time” and they carry their house with them in the disguise of a shell. I’d never have to bring my own sheets. J

What is your favorite food?
I am a very picky eater. I could live off of bread, chicken, and chocolate – and I basically do. I’d say my favorite food, although it is a dessert, is a delicious, homemade chocolate chip cookie with a tall glass of skim milk.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Writing takes more time than I ever imagined. Once a novel is written, it is then rewritten – draft after draft after draft. I have two school-aged daughters and a husband that I often felt disconnected from because of the amount of time that went into writing this novel. My family not only encouraged me, they also extremely patient with me as I tried to figure out how to write and spend time with them.

Most days, I wrote at night, after the kids went to bed, but there were those times when I was in the middle of a scene and knew I needed to get through it without breaks. When those situations arose, my family stepped up to the plate. My husband took the girls on an outing that Saturday or out to eat that Thursday evening, never complaining. I do not believe writing is an individual job. In the Howard household, it is a team effort.

Tell us about the featured book.
From Dishes to Snow tells the story of Bayne Harris, a young wife and mother finding her way to forgiveness and acceptance after the loss of her two children and her husband. She blames herself because she caused the accident that took their lives.

Bayne leaves her home in Augusta, Georgia, and escapes to View Top Mountain, North Carolina, in the hopes she will live, deservingly in her mind, in solitude, and unhappiness. Once there, God brings people into her life, including a love interest, that show her her idea of living is not God’s. God reveals Himself in a mighty way, using her solitude in a mountain cabin, the beloved new acquaintances, and an unexpected turn of events.

The book (hopefully) shows the emotions an individual can go through – from the darkness of a bottomless pit to the beautiful Light on the other side. God is good, all the time, even through our darkest hour. He never changes and He will see us through. We need to lean on Him and trust Him with everything, especially in that unimaginable hour.

Please give us the first page of the book.
I have included the first page of the PROLOGUE and the first page of Chapter One. I wasn’t sure which you would prefer.

 “Mrs. Harris? Ma’am? Can you hear me?”

The buzz of fluorescent lights above was deafening.

“Bayne, are you okay?”

I stood at the window, staring at the world outside. The sky was gray, dreary. Rain began to fall. The veteran doctor and co-worker of my husband walked slowly to my side. He unwrapped his stethoscope from around his neck and stopped within inches of my unmoving body. I felt his hot breath on top of my head. He spoke again, deliberately lowering his tone.
“I know this is hard, but I need for you to respond. Can. You. Hear. Me?”
“Yes! I hear you! I hear you! But, why am I here? Where’s Micah,” I yelled.
What was wrong with him? Wasn’t it his job to listen to his patients? Why was he ignoring me? Before I could reach a reasonable explanation for the doctor’s apparent indifference, my legs lost all feeling. They were suddenly numb, going limp from top to bottom. My body began to quiver, and my eyes fluttered wildly. Doctor Henderson reached out and grabbed my right arm, catching me as I started to fall. His cool fingers around my clammy skin steadied my shakiness and sense of understanding long enough to feel an invisible punch. The fierce blow of truth hit hard.


Everyone said it would get easier. They said, in time, life would get back to normal. They were wrong. After fourteen months nothing was easier, nothing came close to normalcy. I still woke up every morning expecting to hear the shower running and quiet giggles coming from the bedroom across the hall. I still spent twenty minutes struggling to get out of bed, day after day, praying it was all just a horrible nightmare. Surely the lack of sounds in the house was because Micah had stepped out to get the paper and the kids were still asleep. But, all was quiet.
All had been quiet for over a year now. The only sound I heard was from the decades-old ceiling fan above me as its pull chord banged the light fixture with every rotation of the blades. The rhythm was loud and monotonous, but in an unusually noiseless house, the distraction was welcomed. The banging kept the silence at bay for a while, until those first twenty minutes passed. Then the tears fell, and within seconds my pillow was saturated with the results of my reality.
My world was gone. Everything had been taken from me. Gone, and all because of my rushing, my poor decision-making. Doctor Henderson’s words continuously haunted me. It was an accident, plain and simple. It just happened. It was not just an accident. It was not plain or simple. And it definitely did not just happen. I let it happen. I was the cause that ripped my world apart.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I would love to hear from readers. They can email me at, find me on Twitter at @kathymhoward1 or on Facebook at

Thank you, Kathy, for sharing a bit of your life with us along with your new book.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
From Dishes to Snow -
From Dishes to Snow - Amazon
From Dishes to Snow - 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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Melanie Backus said...

I am very interested in this book and would love to read it. Thank you Lena, for introducing us to Kathy Howard.

Melanie Backus, TX

Beth Gillihan said...

Love the first page. Really captured my interest. Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Caryl Kane said...

From Dishes to Snow sounds like a wonderful example of God's faithfulness in dark times. I would love to read it.

Caryl in TEXAS

Britney Adams said...

I am already captivated by the excerpt and would love to read more! Thank you for the wonderful interview and giveaway.

Britney Adams, TX

rubynreba said...

From Dishes to Snow looks like a very good book. Love the title!
Beth from IA

rubynreba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela from KY

Anonymous said...

I'd love to read this book. Sounds like a thought-provoking work of art.
J.C. -Indiana-

Deanna Stevens said...

What a heartbreaking first page. I enjoyed meeting you today & thank you for offering a giveaway book..
DeeKay from Nebr.

Anonymous said...

This is a new author to me. I would like to win her book. I am Maxie from Texas.
> mac262(at)me(dot)com <

Jackie Tessnair said...

This book sounds wonderful.Great post.Thanks for the chance to win it.Jackie Tessnair,N.C.

Mary Preston said...

This sounds like such an emotional read. Most interesting.

Mary P


Loraine Nunley said...

This sounds like a really interesting read. I loved Kathy's animal answer about being a turtle. I can certainly identify with that! Thanks for the giveaway!

Loraine in TX

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

RW1010 said...

How heartbreaking for Bayne! I would love to see how it turns out for her. Thanks for sharing with us!
Robin in NC rw620{at}aol{dot}com

Sm said...

Going through a dark time right now with my husband and cancer. I could use this book with light after a dark time. Sm. CA. wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Library Lady said...

I would very much love to win Kathy's book, "From Dishes to Snow" to give to my church library.
Thanks for the chance to do so.
Janet E.

Sierra Faith said...

oooo this looks good!


Granny's Attic said...

This woman must have suffered terribly. I have to read this to find out how she handled it. lisajcowell(at)cs(dot)com in Ohio

Val Pearson said...

That excerpt left me wanting to read more. I'm adding Dishes to Snow to my TBR list. Here is to a lot of sales of this intriguing book.

Val Pearson, Nevada

Sydney Harries said...

Thanks so much for the giveaway! Looks like a great book!
Sydney Harries GA

Kathy Howard said...

Thanks for featuring me on your blog. I apologize for not responding earlier. I just found this. Thanks also to everyone for the nice comments. I hope the readers enjoy the book. :)