Friday, September 11, 2015

BUTTERFLY DREAMS - Bonnie Engstrom - One Free Book

Bio: Bonnie Engstrom loves to write and she loves food, especially salad. She used to love to cook, but since her husband semi-retired he took over as resident chef. She grew up in Pittsburgh, he in Chicago, and they met in Washington, D.C, when they attended George Washington University. They raised their children in Southern California (that is a separate state from Northern California, isn’t it?), so several of her stories are set in Newport Beach. (Not Butterfly Dreams, though.)

She and psychologist husband Dave of fifty years now live in Arizona. They are the parents of three grown children and the proud grandparents of six grandchildren, four of whom live in Scottsdale and two in Costa Rica on the beach! Pura Vida! Surf’s up!

The couple’s eldest son is an IT expert who taught his mother everything she knows about computer literacy. Unfortunately, he and his wife live in Maryland, too far to fly home for a weekend to help Mom as he used to when she lived in California and he in Arizona.

Welcome, Bonnie. Tell us how much of yourself do you write into your characters?
I suppose I write a lot of myself into my characters, especially Betsy in Butterfly Dreams – her sassiness and her insecure body image and, definitely, her impatience with Noel. Does he listen to her? And, why does he disappear a lot?

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
How about stupidest? I shredded the only copy I had of a very good cozy mystery. I was sure it was in a Word file on my computer. It wasn’t.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Actually, I was a journalist for a long time before writing fiction. As for writing for the Christian market …

When I was tearing lettuce for a salad about fifteen years ago. I kept hearing, not audibly, but in my soul, “Write!” I left the lettuce and went right to my computer. I wrote a non-fiction about the prayers and praises of the internet prayer chain I was part of at the time. Took a proposal to Mount Herman that year and met with an editor and an agent. Neither one had ever heard of online prayer chains. They just shook their heads.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Pretty much all Christian romances, an occasional secular romance, mostly by Susan Wiggs (I skip the hot and heavy parts), Jennifer Chiaverini’s quilt mystery novels, and every Debbie Macomber I can get my hands on. I used to love the silly Cat Who mystery series, but that author passed away.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Sanity. What’s that?

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Honestly, they just pop into my head. I never have to search for names. A few have been named after my mother, Harriett, and grandfather, Lance.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Being married for fifty years to the same man!

That is a wonderful thing. James and I will celebrate our 51st anniversary in early November. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
No contest – a cat. Sleep, eat, sleep, eat and occasionally play.

What is your favorite food?
Sashimi and avocado. Yum!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Keeping motivated when I felt as if my writing was going nowhere. I think encouragement from other Christian authors, particularly on the ACFW email loop and very positive critiques at conferences, kept my spirits up. Special thanks to Gayle Roper who suggested I start this book with a list; and to Virginia Smith who loved A Winning Recipe; but especially to sweet Christy Dykes whose faith was so encouraging. Then an old, trusted friend bought a small publishing company, and she is now publishing my books at Forget Me Not Romances. Thanks, Cynthia!

Tell us about the featured book.
Betsy’s life is one mishap after another; especially a disaster when her kitchen blows up. She is conflicted about meeting tall, handsome, rich Noel. After all, her last marriage to The Jerk was a heartbreak when she was pregnant with her daughter, Brie. Now Brie appears to be in the same situation, and it becomes Betsy’s mission to console her and encourage her to repair her marriage. Noel gives little sympathy, and basically no help or encouragement. Plus, Betsy’s friend Bett is constantly conflicted about faith and hopes Betsy’s faith rubs off on her, and she keeps hinting she has a big secret.

Please give us the first page of the book.
The very first page is a comment from Bett. The next is the prologue in Betsy’s voice.

I never intended to deceive anyone, especially Betsy. She is the love of my life. But, it’s gone on too long. Deception is not right. The truth must set me free, as well as all those I love.

“You make the most unique salads. Heavens, Betsy, you should go into the business.”

And that’s how it all started.

Unfortunately, or maybe not, that comment was made by my mother. That’s why my signature salad is dubbed “Heavenly Harriett.”

Lists. My bane.

Grocery, shopping, cleaning, gifts to buy, bills to pay . . . hopes, dreams, a butterfly life.
I open my journal and write what to me seems obvious at my stage of life.

What I want:
A full-time live-in housekeeper. Nada on cooking. That’s my department.

A come-to-the-house daily personal trainer to help me eliminate the love handles, protruding tum-tum and ballooning derriere.

A new catering van. Old Sassy is becoming very cantankerous. But, if I get wish #4, this is a moot wish.

A good, God-fearing, Bible-believing husband who is dripping in dough – the money kind.

Closing the book with a sigh and a snuffle, I start chopping.

Sounds like a fun read. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to hear from my readers. I can be contacted at, Facebook or check out my website at They can write to me at 8776 E. Shea Blvd., 106-528, Scottsdale, AZ 85260.

Thank you, Lena, for this wonderful opportunity to chat with you on your award-winning blog. It’s been fun!

It has been a blessing to finally get to interview you about a book. And I know my readers are as interested in this book as I am.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Butterfly Dreams - Amazon
Butterfly Dreams (A Christian Contemporary Romance) - 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.

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Linda Kish said...

Oh, this sounds like a wonderful story. I'd love to be the lucky winner.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Caryl Kane said...

BUTTERFLY DREAMS sounds wonderful!

Caryl in TEXAS

Melanie Backus said...

I would love to read Butterfly Dreams. Thank you for sharing!

Melanie Backus, TX

Connie said...

Bonnie, I am happy to meet you through this interview and thank you Lena for a chance to win Butterfly Dreams.
Connie from KY
cps1950 (at)gmail (dot)com

Mary Preston said...

Did you design the beautiful cover?

Mary P


Gail Kittleson said...

Okay, Bonnie, I learned ANOTHER new thing about you today - thanks!

Bonnie Engstrom said...

Thank you, Linda, Caryl, Mary, Connie and Melanie for your interest in Butterfly Dreams. You, too, Gail! No, Mary, I did not design the cover; my wonderful publisher Cynthia Hickey did. I think it's beautiful, too. BTW, you should check out Cynthia's books on amazon. She is multi-published, and her books are a lot of fun.
Thanks again, ladies.

Terrill Rosado said...

There was so much information in the synopsis of this book. Her life does sound "messy." Now I need to read it to get to the bottom of everything. :)

Terrill - Lynden, WA

Deanna Stevens said...

Dee from NE thinks this is a very pretty cover! I'd enjoy reading Butterfly Dreams :)

Bonnie Engstrom said...

Thank you, Terrill and Dee! I hope you do read it and enjoy it. It was so much fun to write.

rubynreba said...

Butterfly Dreams looks like a wonderful book to read! How sad to have shredded your copy of a cozy mystery - sounds like something I would happen to do!!
Beth from IA

Brenda Arrington said...

I enjoyed the interview. Bonnie Engstrom is a new author to me. Would love to win Butterfly Dreams. Brenda in VA

Deanne Patterson said...

What a beautiful cover. This is a new to me author that I am interested in reading.
Deanne in PA.