Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NOTHING BUT TROUBLE - Susan May Warren - Free Book

I always love having Susan May Warren on my blog. Welcome, Susan. Tell us about your salvation experience.

I grew up in the church, and was saved at a young age (let’s say seven) and then baptized at 12. However, in my teenage years I went through some questioning about my faith, and I’m sad to say I walked away from the Lord in my early college years. I realized how empty my life was without him pretty quickly, however, and I rededicated my life to Christ in July 1987. I also dedicated my life to missions, or full time ministry if He wanted at that time. Obviously, at that moment, Christ took the reins of my life and my heart and I’ve never been the same since. Yay!
How did you and your husband meet?

I worked as a program director at a wilderness camp; he worked as a trail guide at a local outfitter’s place. My place had no indoor plumbing or electricity – his place was a cake walk with HOT showers and a television! So, every weekend I went down and took a shower and ate hot pizza. We met during training week – or rather, he remembers meeting me during training week; I don’t’ remember meeting him until the end of the summer when our crew came to help their crew tear down a building. I was assigned to his tear down crew, and my first words to him were, "Can I borrow your hammer?" We "hit" it off, and were engaged 2 ½ months later!
I love romantic stories like that. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?

Hmmm….well, I love the plotting and deep thinking of James Scott Bell; the spiritual depth of Rachel Hauck; the literary voice of Mary DeMuth, and the free-spirited fun of Karen Ball. (Can’t I have more? I have SO many more!!)

If you have a singing and speaking ministry. Tell us about that.

Not singing – unless you count Karaoke, and if you ever heard me sing, you’d know I have a voice fit only for heaven (as in, it needs to be transformed). But I do love speaking – I do a lot of women’s ministry speaking, at retreats, luncheons, teas, etc. I love getting to know women on a personal level, and sharing so many of the stories that God has used to teach me. (I’m a storyteller, not a Bible expositor).

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?

I brought the wrong kid to summer camp! Sadly, our camp was six hours away (one way), and they had flipped the regular schedule, so I THOUGHT I was supposed to bring my son – but I should have brought my daughter. I was rescued by a great friend who picked her up and drove her ½ way. We were still able to get her to camp by the lights out bell! I always double check now…

What is your favourite Bible verse and what does it mean to you?

My current favourite is: Hebrew 4:16, “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” It means that even when I come crawling, my face to the floor, He won’t reject me. I pull it out whenever I blow it, or feel inadequate, or when someone hurts me, or...when I hurt someone else. Basically whenever I feel like I’m Trouble, I remember that God won’t turn away. In fact, He may even do what I do to my children – turn me to face Him, despite my puffy red face, wipe off my tears and pull me into His arms.

How did I come to be a writer?

I’ve always been amazed at the journey God has taken me on. I always loved to write, but being a missionary in Russia, I never dreamed about being an author. I just tried to do the best with what God had entrusted to me, and for me that meant writing missionary newsletters. I honed my skills through my newsletter, and then, after a number of years, began to write devotionals and magazine articles. Although I tried my hand at writing novels (I wrote 4 before I ever had one published), I never thought I would get anything published. But I diligently studied craft and analyzed books, even though I was hidden away in Siberia. I’ll always be grateful that Tyndale took a chance on me! I’m still learning, and still trying to be a good steward of the gift and task I’ve been given to write books that draw people closer to God.

Where did the idea for PJ Sugar come from?

Every author dreams of a moment where someone says something, or they see something on the news, or in a newspaper and it springs out at them, nearly shouting – STORY IDEA! This happened to me a number of years ago while talking to friends about their daycare situation, and how one of the parents ended up being a murder suspect! Scary! But an interesting idea. About that time, I was a mom who wore many hats – homeschooling mom, writing teacher, speaker, children’s church leader, -- and it occurred to me that a mother really has to be a sort of PI. Not only taking on different roles, but sleuthing out daily household mysteries like, who ate the last of the peanut butter (and put it back in the cupboard?) and whose socks are laying in the middle of the floor, and finally…(in our house), who let the dog (and her muddy feet!) in the house! PJ is the alter-ego in every mom, that super-hero inside of us that allows us to have esp (I know you’re not really done with your homework!), or have “eyes in the back of our head,” (stop poking your sister!) or even figure out how to whip together an award-winning science project the night before the fair. PJ just applies all those skills to bad guys and figuring out the truth.

PJ Sugar is also a woman who wants to be all things to all people. She wants to be her nephew’s champion and her sister’s best friend, and her mother’s favorite daughter, and Boone’s special girl, and the hero of her hometown. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Maybe…because God wants her to be His girl, and satisfied in who He made her to be. And that is a journey for all of us PJ Sugars.

About the book: PJ Sugar knows three things for sure:

After traveling the country for ten years hoping to shake free from the trail of disaster that’s become her life, she needs a fresh start.

The last person she wants to see when she heads home for her sister’s wedding is Boone—her former flame and the reason she left town.

Her best friend’s husband absolutely did not commit the first murder Kellogg, Minnesota, has seen in more than a decade.

What PJ doesn’t know is that when she starts digging for evidence, she’ll uncover much more than she bargained for—a deadly conspiracy, a knack for investigation, and maybe, just maybe, that fresh start she’s been longing for.

It's not fair to say that trouble happens every time PJ Sugar is around, but it feels that way when she returns to her hometown, looking for a fresh start. Within a week, her former teacher is murdered and her best friend's husband is arrested as the number-one suspect. Although the police detective investigating the murder--who also happens to be PJ's former flame--is convinced it's an open-and-shut case, PJ's not so sure. She begins digging for clues in an effort to clear her friend's husband and ends up reigniting old passions, uncovering an international conspiracy, and solving a murder along the way. She also discovers that maybe God can use a woman who never seems to get it right.

Read the first chapter:

About Susan: Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep’s Clothing, a thriller set in Russia, was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader’s Choice award. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota.

A note from Susan May Warren

Sometimes, do you feel like you just don’t fit in? You look around you and if anyone knew how difficult it was just to put yourself together, to smile when you feel completely overwhelmed, to even figure out what you were making for supper, they’d know what a mess you were. Maybe you totally relate to those words in 1 Peter – God’s elect, strangers and aliens in the world. Do you feel like when you look in the rear view mirror, all you see are your mistakes?

Maybe not. But if so, then PJ is your gal. I wanted to write a story about the person in so many of us who just wants to get it right…but can’t seem to stay out of trouble. My friend and I have what we call the “stupid mouth” club…and we report our weekly foibles (usually on Monday, after Sunday church!). PJ is our charter member. She’s the girl that changes her mind, always hopes for the best, is always discovering that she is just a little different than everyone else. PJ is us.

And that’s good news. Because God loves PJ. He loves her messiness, and her impulsiveness, her heart bent toward others, the hope that fuels her actions. And He has a plan for PJ – one that includes her weaknesses as well as her strengths.

Yep, I need to hear that – need to hear that I don’t have to be perfect for God to love me, use me, sing over me. Need to hear that although I don’t fit in, well, I’m not supposed to…in fact, I’m supposed to be a little…alien.

I wrote PJ for everyone who feels just a little messy, just a little like they can’t quite get it right. And who needs to hear that God loves them. Period. Full stop. Hallelujah.
The celebration for Susan May Warren's first release in her new PJ Sugar collection, Nothing But Trouble, is a month long Sugar Party!
The fun Kick-off with a SUGAR BOMB was on Friday May 15th. The party will continue all month with a blog tour and chances to win copies of Nothing But Trouble from the blog tourists! Schedule posted below.
The Sugar party will conclude in a day of celebration on Friday June 19th with a day long ONLINE Sugar Book Club Party. Susan will be giving away prizes, answering questions, hosting a live chat, and generally getting herself into some "Trouble". Check it out at:
Thank you for spending this time with us, Susan.

Readers, here's a link where you can buy Nothing But Trouble:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Notice: the only notification you'll have is the winners announcement post on this blog.

If you're reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave a comment:


Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Hi Susan!

I LOVE your books ~ I've read just about all of them! I first saw "Nothing But Trouble" on your website MONTHS ago; ever since, I've been patiently waiting (somewhat!) for it to be released. *grin* I can't wait to read it!

Thank you for a chance to win my very own copy! Great interview, btw.

Lori S.


Carmen said...

Sounds like a winning book. Please enter me. Thanks.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Sherry Kuhn said...

Great interview with Susan. I always love her books and would love to win this one.

Thanks for entering me in the drawing!

Sherry K

Roanna said...

"Nothing But Trouble" sounds very interesting!! I would like to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks so much and congrats to the person who wins!

Megan said...

Such a wonderful journey that Susan has been on. I really like the book as well, it sounds interesting! Please enter me!

Sheila Deeth said...

Wanting to be right for everyone... I can certainly relate to that. Sounds a great book.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Great interview!!!
I've been seeing this book on the blog circuit and it looks wonderful! I'd love a chance to win.

Ashley E said...

PJ just make me laugh. I cannot wait to read this book!

Amee said...

I've heard a lot of great things about Susan's books here recently, enter me in the contest!

Merry said...

I would love a chance to win Nothing But Trouble. I've really enjoyed Susan's books, especially the Team Hope series.


Unknown said...

I haven't read any of your books yet but would love to. I love the story about how you met your husband!


Unknown said...

I love Susan's books - she is from MN as am I and I like reading about familiar things.

G.R.I.T.S. said...

I love susan's work!! I would love to win this please enter me!

Rae Byuel

Edna said...

How is everyone today, Please enter me to win this fine book.


Mimi B said...

Love SMW!! Please sign me up to win her book.

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

Shirley said...

Susan is one of my favorite authors! Please enter me. shirley at shirleymcclay dot com

Patty Wysong said...

Wow, but this looks great! I had to laugh at the title--I was called PJ all through high school (which was an MK school in Ecuador) and I'm still called variations of PJ today by those that know me best. LoL--definitely my own alter ego there!

Loved the interview!!

hippmom said...

I like the title of this book and I think I would enjoy reading one of Susan's books. THanks for the chance to win.

angelahipp (at) charter (dot) net

Holly Magnuson said...

Another wonderful interview Lena. Thanks for sharing with us Susan. Your book sounds like a VERY good one. It sounds like PJ is my kind of gal.
Blessings to you both!

Leila said...

Sounds super. Please enter me to win. :)

airdrie at ymail dot com

Anonymous said...

Please count me in for the chance to win! Thank you.


peachykath said...

I love Susan May Warren, I've read her books before and would love to read her new book. Please enter me in the contest.


adge said...

I've seen this book everywhere. Please enter me in the contest. Thanks.