Tuesday, June 09, 2015

SAVING MOSSY POINT - Donna Winters - One Free Book

Welcome back, Donna. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
As a writer, I learned early on that I was not capable of writing secular romances. My internal values and my Christian faith had to come through in stories that I would share with readers, stories that would be appropriate for ages 12 and up and would resonate with multiple generations (daughters, mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers).

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I was really elated to learn that the novel I wrote as a cultural legacy to my hometown’s Erie Canal history had been the subject of a proclamation by the village council. On March 12, 2013, the mayor and the four village trustees of Brockport, New York, proclaimed April 2013 Bluebird of Brockport month and encouraged all citizens of Brockport to read the book. It’s a great honor to have my historical novel recognized by my hometown’s village board.

That is wonderful. How has being published changed your life?
Being published has given me recognition among readers, the opportunity for sharing a moral message with thousands, and most important, positive feedback that keeps me going.

What are you reading right now?
I am reading Spirit of the North by Tyler Tichelaar (Tyler is the editor of Saving Mossy Point), The ESV Study Bible, James—Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore, How to Hear God’s Voice by Mark and Patti Virkler, and God Heard Their Cry by Ray Vander Laan. I just finished reading The Promise of Palm Grove, Book One in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series by Shelley Shepard Gray, a very good story.

Yes, it is. I recently featured Shelley’s story on this blog. What is your current work in progress?
My current work in progress is the revisions for the early titles in my Great Lakes Romances© series. I am leaving the plots the same, but improving the reader experience by eliminating head-hopping and deepening the third person point-of-view. As each title is revised, I give it a new cover and make it available as both a Kindle and a paperback.

What would be your dream vacation?
Hawaii. Never been there but sure would like to see it. My parents visited there in the 1970s. My father loved it. He was a florist in New York State and was fascinated by the tropical plants in Hawaii. He loved to travel but didn’t get to do it very much because my mother did not want to travel. Long after he passed away, my mother admitted that she wished she had agreed to go on more trips with Dad. I’ve heard it said that deathbed regrets are about what a person did NOT do in life, not about what they DID do. I’m keeping that in mind as I age.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I choose settings that either I or my readers are interested in. My series started with the setting most visited in Michigan: Mackinac Island. The two titles that followed included other Great Lakes ports or regions that I thought readers would enjoy. By the fourth title, several readers had asked for stories about lighthouses, so I wrote a mini-series set at lighthouses for titles four, five, and six. Then a reader asked for a story set in Traverse City, a great Northern Michigan town, so I wrote that as a spin-off of the lighthouse stories based on a one-sentence plot suggestion. In Saving Mossy Point—In the Fifty-First State of Superior, I wanted to write about the Upper Peninsula culture I have been experiencing for the last twelve years without calling it the Upper Peninsula.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My husband, because he is the one I love above all others on earth and the one whose company I enjoy most. This question begs for a more diverse answer, but I really can’t name anyone else with whom I’d rather spend time.

I understand. I love spending time with my husband, too. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Walking the dogs and taking motor home trips with my husband and the canines.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Short-term memory loss as I age is making book-length writing more and more challenging. I compensate for it by setting my work aside for a period of time and then coming back to it and rereading it quickly to find inconsistencies. Another tactic is to get others to read the draft for errors.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Be persistent. Don’t give up. Join writer organizations. Read extensively in the genre you are writing. Don’t expect to get rich. Honor God with your choice of words.

Tell us about the featured book.
When retired schoolteacher and widow Betty Hanson learns that the 51st State of Superior is about to close Mossy Point State Park, she expresses her concern to Ray Engstrom, the head of the General Land Office. But Mr. Engstrom reveals a discouraging fact: Mossy Point State Park has never paid its own way since it opened back in 1959. And according to him, it “has the same chance of running in the black as a turtle has of flying.”

Determined to prove Mr. Engstrom wrong, Betty gathers help from friends and neighbors. A plan emerges to open a folk school, a place where students of all ages can come to learn a craft, and work begins to put Mossy Point State Park on solid fiscal ground. But not everyone is on board with the plan. At times, Betty almost finds herself sidetracked by dealing with her estranged daughter and grandson, who suddenly appear back in her life, and then there is her close friend Lee, who seems to want more than friendship. The State itself seems to have alternative plans for the park, and when an accident threatens to destroy both Betty and the park’s finances, all of her plans could fall apart. What can possibly turn their fortunes around and make a turtle fly?

Please give us the first page of the book.
“Mr. Engstrom, you can’t sell Mossy Point State Park!” Betty Hanson slid to the edge of her chair and stared straight into the pale blue eyes of the head of the General Land Office in the recently formed State of Superior. She’d sought this meeting with him at his office in Superior Bay, the new state capital, to warn him of the devastating effect a park closing would have on the Village of Mossy Point. But convincing him wouldn’t be easy. His gaze never seemed to meet hers for more than a nanosecond.

“Is that what you came here to tell me? You said you had some urgent information on a serious threat to state land. I assumed it concerned illegal activity, but selling a park? Come, now.”

“Selling the park is a serious threat.”

“Why not sell it? That park’s a real money pit.” As Mr. Engstrom leaned his bulky torso back in his creaky leather chair, Betty envisioned a button popping off his too-tight shirt and splashing in the coffee mug on the edge of his desk. Her lips twitched into a smile that she instantly suppressed.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Please stop by my website where all my social media links are located in the footer:

Thank you, Donna, for sharing this book with us. I know my blog followers will want to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Saving Mossy Point: In the Fifty-First State of Superior (Great Lakes Romances) (Volume 17) - Paperback
Saving Mossy Point: In the Fifty-First State of Superior (Great Lakes Romances Book 17) - 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:


Brenda Arrington said...

I live in VA and am thrilled at the chance to win this great sounding book.


Anonymous said...

sounds like a great book! Shelia from Mississippi

Deanne said...

This sounds interesting. I would enjoy reading it.
Deanne in Pennsylvania

Great Lakes Romances said...

Thanks, Lena, for sharing about my book with your followers.
Thanks Brenda, Shelia, and Deanne for entering the giveaway!
Donna Winters

Rebecca Bell said...

This sounds like a great book to share with my 11 y.o. son. Thanks for having the interview with Donna, Lena. I would love to win.
Becky from Missouri.

Mary Preston said...

A lovely interview thank you. This sounds like a great read.

Mary P


Patty said...

So many of us are not willing to stand up to the government and often let changes happen that we don't agree with. No one wants to make waves... I look forward to reading Betty's story.

Patty in SC

Great Lakes Romances said...

Rebecca, Mary, and Patty, thank you for stopping by to enter the giveaway!
Donna Winters

Great Lakes Romances said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your great giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

Mama Cat said...

This book sounds great - I would love to read it! I grew up in the lower peninsula, still call Michigan home, even though it's been a long time since living there. A great interesting idea - the 51st state. Thank you for the chance to win! Phoenix, AZ

Great Lakes Romances said...

Sharon and Mama Cat, thank you for stopping by to enter the book drawing!
Donna Winters

Library Lady said...

I have read Donna's books and am looking forward to reading this one.
Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
Janet E.

apple blossom said...

oh, sounds like a wonderful book thanks for the chance to win
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

rubynreba said...

The cover is so pretty! I'd enjoy this book.
Beth from IA

Great Lakes Romances said...

Janet, Apple Blossom, and Beth,
Thank you for stopping by with your wonderful compliments! Best wishes for great reading this summer!
Donna Winters

Deanna Stevens said...

Deanna from Nebr. enjoyed the interview & this book sounds like one I'd enjoy reading!

Anonymous said...

I met Donna online away back but have never gotten one of her books. I would love to win this one. Thanks for a chance.
Maxie from Texas > mac262(at)me(dot)com <