Monday, November 01, 2010

A SIMPLE AMISH CHRISTMAS - Vannetta Chapman - Free Book

Welcome to my blog, Vannetta. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

A bit! Of course it varies by manuscript, but for me there's always a kernel of myself in the main character. For example, in A Simple Amish Christmas the main character, Annie, loves to read and has a passion for learning. She has a God-given hunger to learn more, and she doesn't know how to satisfy that. Definitely I could relate to this part of Annie's personality. I didn't go straight into a 4 year college after high school, though I have a BA and a MA now. I had a hard time identifying and satisfying that hunger and need to learn more, just as Annie does.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

My twenty-two year old son just walked into the study and read this question over my shoulder. Hmph. His snicker and response is not worth attempting to translate. I'm considered somewhat eccentric in my family, so it's hard to choose one thing. But we were talking about bicycles and helmets earlier today, and I admitted to wearing my bicycle helmet while I was driving my car on Loop 12 in Dallas a few years back. I had witnessed a horrible car accident on my way to work, and I just felt better wearing my purple bike helmet while driving my car. My family tolerated this for about a week before they insisted I stop wearing it or seek counseling.

Since I'm familiar with Dallas Traffic, I can completely understand what you did. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I have always written in a journal - since I was a young girl, but I had no desire to write professionally until I was in the last year of my master's degree. That was when I first realized I had a talent for writing and that God might want to use that talent for encouraging others.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I actually read almost everything, and most often read outside my genre. I read secular as well as Christian authors and every subgenre, including science fiction, historicals, contemporary, and nonfiction.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

I play the piano. I take a walk with my husband or we also ride our bikes. I pet my cats. My son and I will still go to the movies together. You know I think it's the everyday things we do that give meaning to life and that help us to stay grounded.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

You just hit on my weakness! I have a terrible time with names. In fact, I COLLECT names, because I know I'm going to need one and come up blank. I admit that I like names that have meaning, but I know this can be overdone. So, for instance, I'm not adverse to calling the town sheriff Ben Marshall. Silly? Maybe, but it's a nice strong name! I have to walk around saying a name for a bit. It has to sound good to me. It has to roll off the tongue well.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

My children, though I know they're not MY accomplishment, they belong entirely to the Lord. Bob had 3 children when I married him, and I had one. Together God has knit a family that I am so proud of . . . and I wouldn't trade a single one of them for a thousand best sellers.

Oh, I know what you mean about that. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

I'm going to choose porpoise. They seem like they're having a lot of fun, and you know . . . they have good hair days.

What is your favorite food?

Chocolate! True story - I was allergic to chocolate (along with hundreds of other things), since I was a child. My mother knew I would be confronted with chocolate at every birthday party, etc., so she proceeded to feed me just a tiny bit every day. I outgrew the allergy, but you know . . . now I still want that tiny bit every day.

Sounds good to me. Now where is my chocolate stash? What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Learning to be quiet, and just listen to God when he said "Trust me." His timing is perfect, and it isn't always the same as my timing.

That's a hard one to learn, but such a valuable lesson. Tell us about the featured book.

A Simple Amish Christmas released October 1 and is now #21 on the CBD fiction bestseller lsit. It’s the story of a young Amish girl who becomes a nurse before she joins the church. Then she’s called home and she must find a way to integrate her skills into her community. In the process she falls in love with the man her community uses for their minor medical needs. Annie has to trust that God has a plan for her life, has a future for her that will include her passions, her skills, and the man she has grown to love. I came at this story with the idea that not all Amish women would be happy with an 8th grade education, but that didn’t mean that they would want to leave their church or community either. Annie is the woman who has a foot in each world, and her heart is split in two. Only God can help her find a way home.

Please give us the first page of the book.


Mifflin County, Pennsylvania
September, 2006

Annie Weaver sat in the back seat of her aenti’s car, determined to hold in her tears. She was a woman after all—sixteen this past January. Within four months she would turn seventeen.

Which was why her dat and mamm had finally decided to send her with her aunt.

Nearly seventeen and she’d refused every boy who had wanted to court her.

Nearly seventeen and she had managed to lose three jobs.

Nearly seventeen and she was still sneaking into the barn and reading books by lamplight.

Watching the fields of her dat’s farm slip away, she put her hand to her stomach and attempted to calm the butterflies swirling there. They had met as a family and all agreed this was for the best.

A little time with the English.

A few months with her cousins.

A chance to clear her head and indulge her rumschpringe.

But what if this wasn’t merely a time of rebellion?

What if she was actually different from her family and friends?

Annie brushed away the tear, which slipped down her cheek, watched the last of Mifflin County fly past her window, and prayed God would settle her restless spirit and bring her safely home.

Sounds very interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?

and blog
and Facebook and MySpace also.

Thank you so much for having me, Lena!

My pleasure, Vannetta.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. New information: Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. I’m trying to get a good idea of where the people live who leave comments on my blog. (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 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


Coolestmommy said...

Ohh--can't wait to read more about her adventures with her English cousins.

I'm from the midwest. coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Teresa Slack said...

It was my pleasure to meet Vannetta at ACFW this year--you too, Lena. (Thanks for making me feel so welcome and validated as a writer.) Anyway, I loved spending time with Vannetta. If her books are anything like her, I can't wait to get to know her characters better as well. You are two people I'd love to spend a day with sometime.

grannyvon said...

I love the Amish books. I would love to win this one. It goes on my 'Must Read List'. Thanks for the chance to win it.

fredamans said...

I love Amish fiction! Thanks for hosting!


Lourdes said...

What a great combination an Amish book plus a Christmas book two of my favorite types.


Sheila Deeth said...

Sounds an enjoyable read to share with my Mum at Christmas.

Jackie S. said...

Oooh sounds good..please enter me.
Thanks!!! (Georgia)

misskallie2000 said...

I am from GA.
I love Christmas Stories and read 2-3 new ones each yr. I have not read an Amish Christmas story so really looking forward to reading A Simple Amish Christmas.
Thanks for hosting Lena, and the opportunity to enter to win this great book.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Linda Kish said...

I'd love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Great Interview!! I would love to win a free copy of Vannetta book.

from Kentucky

Vannetta Chapman said...

Thanks for your comments, gals. You're right--Amish and Christmas make for a fun combination. I certainly enjoyed writing it. Teresa, big wave! Please let me know if you all have any questions. I'd be happy to answer them.

Deborah Lynn said...

That insatiable thirst for knowledge. I know it well and it drives me crazy. My family believes I am eccentric too. I am interested in just about everything there is so I can certainly relate to Vannetta Chapman. Would love to win her book.
Debbie W. Texas

Edna said...

I would love this great Christmas book, it is just the right time to start reading them


holdenj said...

This looks like a wonderful contemporary Amish story! And I could certainly relate to Vannetta's helmet story, my family still knows I'm nervous in the car when I wind my purse strap around my wrist. Although I lived in Dallas a few years a kid, the Midwest is home now! Thanks for the info and chance to win.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

The book sounds good--I really enjoyed the first page excerpt. I'm from CO! wilsoncindyr at gmail dot com

scottsgal said...

I love Amish stories and that cover is stunning
msboatgal at

apple blossom said...

I love Amish and Christmas books. Thanks for the interview. Please include me in this giveaway. thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

wmmahaney said...

I love amish books! This one sounds great.

Norma said...

I'd love to read this book. I am from Saskatchewan, Canada. njloewen at sasktel dot net

Patsy said...

Would love to read this book. My favorite books to read are Amish books. I know it will be great! Thanks for giving away a copy.

Patsy said...

Would love to read this book. My favorite books to read are Amish books. I know it will be great! Thanks for giving away a copy.

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

I am in NS, Canada.

Vannetta Chapman said...

So glad to see you all love to read Amish books. I hope you enjoy Annie's story, and I can't wait to see who wins the free copy! : )

Wendy said...

Sounds like a nice Christmas read.
I am in MPLS, MN.

Cleda said...

Thanks for introducing me to Vannetta through the wonderful interview and the chance to receive this book. It sounds so wonderful.... I live in a small town in the center of North Texas... thanks again...


karenk said...

please count me in...thanks :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Cindy W. said...

Oh how I love to read Christmas stories and Amish stories. This would be the best of both. I would love to win a copy of A Simple Amish Christmas. Thank you for a chance to win.

Cindy W.


The Herd said...

Love Amish books!!!!

Renee Ann said...

Please include me. I read great things about this book when I Googled its reviews! reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com . . . from a small town in upstate New York . . .

Bakersdozen said...

This book sounds really interesting. I would love to read it. I live in Southern California.

Charlotte Kay said...

I am so happy to be included in this giveaway!
I am from Ohio:)

Anne Payne said...

An Amish & Christmas story together has to be a good book! Enter me :)

Anne in NC

Kristen said...

This sounds like a great book that I would love to win. I love Amish stories!

jkfreitas at sbcglobal dot net

rubynreba said...

I always enjoy Amish books. This one sounds very good.

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview! Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

Judy said...

this sounds like a great book - I'd love to win it!


New Jersey

Unknown said...

The cover of Vanetta's book is gorgeous and makes me feel very Christmasy. The story is appealing to my reading appetite and I'd like to read this story. I live in Texas and we don't have very much snow here and I miss a lot of snow. I was raised in a part of the country that had four seasons. Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win Vanetta's good book. I hope I do!

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Vannetta Chapman said...

Lots of Texans commenting here. How fun is that? Seriously, thank you every one for stopping by. It's very encouraging to see the interest in Amish stories. I hope you all have a blessed holiday season and that you did have the opportunity to read A Simple Amish Christmas.

Renee G said...

This is one book I can hardly wait to read.

Renee G said...

Oops - I forgot to say that I 'm from Washington State.

peachykath said...

Amish fiction and a Christmas story in one book. It can't get any better than that. Please enter me in the drawing.


I'm from Sonoma County California (about an hour north of San Francisco)

MaureenT said...

Oh I love Amish stories...and a Christmas one is even better.