Bio: Kim Vogel
Sawyer is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million
books in print, in several different languages. Her titles have earned numerous
accolades including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice
Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired
military husband Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope and
redemption. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and
A couple of years ago I stumbled upon an obscure online
article about the mysterious disappearance of several children from one Arkansas county during
the 1930s. This sent my writer brain down several pathways of possibility, and
the story emerged from there.
Tell us about the
book’s cover and what makes it
This cover is very different from any of my others, which
mostly largely feature the heroine. The soft image of a carefree child running
through the grass invites the reader to turn the flap and see where she’s
Please explain and
differentiate between what’s
fact and fiction in the book.
Although the story was based on a true event, all of the
details surrounding it are straight from my imagination. There are some
real-life cities used for locations (such as Las Vegas,
Nevada), but the town of Cumpton, Arkansas,
which plays heavily in story world, is completely fictitious. I am sure there
are a few snippets of conversation between characters that happened at some
point in time in my life since I have three daughters, but the story is
predominantly made up.
How much research did
you have to do for this book?
Quite a lot! I researched forensic science, vegan
lifestyles, health issues commonly suffered by the elderly, and several cities
so I could get the details right. I enjoy research, though, so it was kind of
especially how cold case detectives solve mysteries.
What inspired and
surprised you while you were writing the book?
Since I am a seat-of-the-pants writer and don’t
follow an outline or plot, I am often surprised by where the characters take
me. I love this kind of writing because every day is an adventure.
I told the writing
workshop students on Monday night that as a seat-of-the-pants writer if I
plotted out each scene, I’d
be bored when tried to write the story. I had already completed it in the
plotting. What do you hope the reader takes away from the story?
First of all, I hope the reader will see that it’s
never too late to restore broken relationships—both with people and with God.
I also hope it will help them take a look at their life and, if they are
allowing a past event to negatively impact their present, will forgive
themselves and let the regret go.
What is the next
project you’re working
I’m in the research stage of a story set at the
Atlanta Exposition in 1881.
Please give us the
first page of the book.
Hazel Mae Blackwell
Hazel set a porcelain cup and saucer on the overturned apple
crate in front of her little sister. “Madam, would you like cream
and sugar in your tea?”
Maggie nodded, making her Shirley Temple curls bounce. Her
Daddy called flaxen—shimmered under the noonday sun, almost as yellow as
the roses painted on the cup.
Jealousy sparked in Hazel’s heart. Why couldn’t
she have inherited Mama’s sunshiny-yellow hair and sky-blue eyes the way
Maggie had instead of Daddy’s dirt-brown hair and eyes?
“What do you say?” Hazel asked the question as
tartly as Mama.
“Pluh-ease,” Hazel said.
Hazel sighed. Maggie was just-turned-three, as Daddy often
reminded her when she got impatient with her sister. Sometimes she wished Mama
waited so long after Hazel to have another baby. Wouldn’t it be
fine if almost seven years didn’t stretch between them? Mama
and Daddy were always telling her she was lucky to have a sister, and Hazel
loved Maggie. Of course she did. But sometimes…
“Pwease, Hayzoo Mae?”
She lifted the lid on the doll-sized sugar bowl and spooned
out pretend sugar. Then she pretended to pour cream. No matter how much Hazel
begged, Mama never let her waste real sugar and cream for her tea parties. She
used the spoon to stir the air in Maggie’s cup. “There you
Maggie’s apple cheeks dimpled with
her smile. “Fank you.” She picked up the cup between
her fingers and carried it to her rosy lips.
“I hope it isn’t too hot.”
Maggie made noisy drinking sounds. Her blue eyes rounded and
she pursed her lips. “Ooooh, it is hot! I bu’n my tongue!”
Hazel stifled a chuckle. Playing make-believe with her doll
had never been this fun. Maybe she should have let Maggie use her special tea
set before. But she’d waited until her sister passed her third birthday,
the same age Hazel had been when she received the set for Christmas from Memaw
and Pappaw Blackwell. She hadn’t trusted Maggie’s
baby fingers not to break one of the fragile cups or plates.
She picked up her own cup and held it close to her mouth. “Blow
She puffed breaths into her cup, smiling when Maggie imitated her.
With the sun warming their heads, they sipped and smiled at
each other and helped their dollies eat pretend cookies from the serving plate
centered on the crate. Hazel’s imagination painted their
surroundings from a dusty yard to the fancy city restaurant she’d
seen in a magazine. With linen-draped tables instead of a handkerchief-covered
crate. With ladies wearing silk instead of homespun. So easy to see in her
imagination. She even pretended her hair was shiny yellow curls trailing down
her back instead of wind-tossed, dirt-brown, pin-straight locks lopped at
She picked up the plate and offered it to Maggie. “Would
you like the last cookie?”
Maggie reached out her pudgy hand.
I’m eager to read this story. How
can readers find you on the Internet?
Please visit my website (KimVogelSawyer.com)—you’ll
find Facebook and Twitter links there.
Thank you, Kim, for
sharing this new book with us. My blog readers will be eager to read it, too.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.
You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us
where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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