Tuesday, December 14, 2010

LOVE FINDS YOU IN HOPE, KANSAS - Pamela Griffin - Free Book

Pamela is the first author I ever mentored, and I'm so happy to welcome her to the blog. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

It depends on the character, though a little of myself goes into every book. Things I’ve experienced, lessons I’ve learned, feelings I’ve had in getting there, etc.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

There are so many. lol Going back to question #1 – right now I can think of only one “oops moment” I put in a story novella and don’t mind sharing. My heroine goes out onto the apt. balcony and the toddler she’s babysitting closes the sliding door which locks. She finds herself locked out with baby on other side of glass, and no way to get down from balcony. It happened to me, with my eldest who was then a toddler, and close to midnight, when no one was around and sharp cactus stood outside the downstairs apt. picket fence below. To complicate matters even more, I had no shoes on. I’m a night owl, and a huge, beautiful cross was lit up with white lights on a hill in the distance, in Nevada, where we then lived, but could only be seen while standing on the balcony. I loved to go out there late at night, when all was quiet, and felt closer to God while looking at it and communing with Him. My son woke up and accidentally shut the door which I’d kept open a few inches (the handle was broken. I had been waiting for days for a handyman to come fix it). Sure enough, the lock slipped and locked me out. My son cried almost the entire time I was trying to figure a way back inside, also trying to reassure him through a thick pane of glass – what amounted to hours. Besides my toddler, I also had an infant son who thankfully slept through all of it. I called down to some strangers finally passing by. They located the handyman, who tried not to laugh the entire time he opened my locked apartment and freed me from my balcony prison. That was many years ago, and I altered it into a more humorous experience for my story – though looking back, I can laugh now too. Since that night, I’ve learned it helps to laugh at and through my problems.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

When I was a freshman in high school and very much a wild child (unsaved)- I wrote a suspense ghost story for my literature class. The teacher was so blown away by it she asked my permission to send it to a short story contest. I told her I didn’t care either way. I was also a rebellious brat. (It wasn’t considered cool by the bad crowd I hung with to be too smart.) Thank God that He’s in the habit of transforming warped vessels of rotting clay into worthier vessels made of stronger stuff and fit for good use. :)

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

All genres of fiction – Romance, suspense, mystery, cozy, humorous, historical – from American to European to any part of the world, really. My favorite historical stories tend to be Scottish or Irish based and set in those countries. Also England. I love medieval - the Victorian era. There are only a couple of genres I don’t like.

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

Sanity? What’s that?

I have a dry wit and have found as I mentioned before that it helps to laugh and laugh at oneself and problems. Not in a non-caring way, but in a “Oh, well. God’ll fix it – and since I can’t do anything about it, I’m not going to worry” kind of way. Although sometimes I have to remind myself of that resolve. Or my sons do it for me when I forget. My 17 year old (the sleeping infant when I was on the balcony) has a wonderful gift for impersonations and for making people laugh. He often pulls me from my stressed-out mode with his good cheer, and I soon find myself giggling helplessly or laughing so hard until tears are rolling from my eyes. Did you know it’s been scientifically proven that daily laughter can improve health, decrease sickness, and even reduce weight? I am laughing my way into longevity and a smaller size … but then, the Bible does say that laughter doeth good, like medicine. :)

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Often it has a lot to do with the meaning of the name. I look into the definition of each one (from a baby name book I have), and try to find one of the thousands inside that fits who my character is – because I believe there’s a lot of importance in a name… God considered it important enough (changing Abram to Abraham, just to show one example), and there is significance to the reason a name was given by Him to each person. So when I create my fictional characters, besides keeping in mind their origin, etc, I often do the same with their names.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Raising my two sons in a godly manner as a single mom, despite a lot of flack from some close relations (not my parents) who put me down for my Christianity and my decisions, mainly the desire to train my boys to know, love, and serve the Lord. My parents have only ever been a help and strong blessing to me, and I am so grateful for their generous support through the years.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

Never thought about that. lol Something in the cat family I guess - I love cats. They are so graceful, beautiful, independent to a point, and take no flack from anyone. Yet they can also be loving, giving and warm. Perhaps a lioness…

Perhaps protecting her cubs. What is your favorite food?

Does dark chocolate count as food? :) No? Oh, well…

For a meal: any seafood – shrimp especially, lobster, crab, any shellfish, also catfish…I also love fresh veggies and salad and fruits. For a snack: medium salsa mixed with nonfat yogurt (vanilla or plain) used as a dip for plain tortilla chips. Yum! :)

Actually, lots of authors say that chocolate is their favorite food. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

I honestly can’t think of any offhand. I love to write, have the Internet and a plethora of books and a good critiquer friend who is dedicated to research and highly intelligent, so no problem there. If I can’t find something, I ask her and within minutes she sends me an email filled with reliable links. I created the time to write by giving up TV (though there are a couple of shows I record and watch as I want, and now and then I watch movies with my boys for a family night). And doors have opened to me that I never expected. My wait to get published wasn’t very long, perhaps a little over a year. The stories come to me fast – I often work on more than one at a time, so if I’m ever “blocked” in one, I move to another and often in doing so, it frees up the earlier blockage. I think I would have to say any roadblock consists of not enough hours in the day to write all that I want to write. Can’t overcome that unless I can bend or stop time. lol ;-)

Tell us about the featured book.

I enjoy all my stories, and this one was especially fun to write. Love Finds You in Hope, Kansas, is set in 1889. Five little impish darlings decide their pa needs a wife, and they want another ma. Only their pa, Rafe, has lost all hope, still grieving over their ma’s death that took place over a year ago. Alison Stripling has sworn off men, spurned because she is “nameless” – an orphan left on the doorstep of an orphanage as a baby. She gladly leaves the posh parlors of Boston for the prairie wilds of Kansas after receiving a letter asking for help with the children. She believes the letter came from her brother-in-law, Rafe, and hopes it is the answer to her prayers – but it was really written by the children, as a ploy to get their pa hitched to Auntie Alison and secure them a ma. In an effort to get his stubborn brood to see reason, Rafe and Alison secretly band forces utilizing their own plan that goes haywire from the start – and more than once – with often comical, at times heart-wrenching results…in a town called Hope, will one unforgettable family at last come to find it?

Sounds like a very good read. Please give us the first page of the book.

Chapter One
Hope, Kansas
Midsummer 1889

“Don’t just stand there with your mouth hangin’ open like a fish. Do you want a new ma or don’t you?” Andy directed the tense question to their little sister, Maggie, who hovered outside the stable door in clear indecision about whether to join them.

“Yeth,” she whistled through the space of her two missing front teeth.

“Where’s Baby Lynn?” Sam wanted to know. She hoped their little sister hadn’t been left unattended.

“I finally got her to thleep. Thee was awful futhy.”

“It’s a good thing she’s napping and not nosing around.” Andy clasped one hand over the wrist hooked around his bent knees. “She’s too young to keep secrets. Now get in here, Mags, and shut that door. If Pa sees you lurking outside and gets wind of what we’re doing, we’re all as good as doomed.”

Maggie did as ordered, moving across the barn to join them. The young schemers sat in a semicircle around a glowing lantern, its flame steady enough to cut through the dark interior. Patches of blue sky shone through the cracks of walls and roof. Usually the barn doors remained open during the day so the children could tend to their chores, but now they stood closed in deep secrecy.

Intriguing. How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website is: http://pamela-griffin.com/

My email for readers is: words_of_honey@juno.com  (I answer all mail, and if ever I don’t, it likely went into spam because of subject title and the lack of a reply wasn’t intentional.)

Also, please note - if you visit my website before I can get the guest book taken down, it is no longer operable. The company quit last month. If you leave a note there (as has happened a few times since then) I cannot see it to read it. I need to find a new guest book company that meets my needs … perhaps even start a weekly blog … my dad takes care of my web page, and that is a project we’ve been discussing – what to do with it next. Any suggestions of what you would like to see or have me do are welcome and will be considered. And a big thank you to all my readers through the years. :) Postage rates now what they are, I can no longer afford to respond personally to each of the hundreds of letters and tear sheets I have received in the last year or so, but many of you have been a source of encouragement to me and I didn’t want to let this go without thanking you guys from the bottom of my heart. Here’s hoping all of you have a wonderful holiday season and a blessed 2011!

Thank you, Pamela, for spending this time with us.
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. 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 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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Coolestmommy said...

Hi Pamela, I have enjoyed reading each of the LFY books. I'm digging a historical LFY. Sounds like a great read and I can't wait to dig in.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com
I live in the midwest

grannyvon said...

I love all the Love Finds You books I have read and would love to win this one.Great Interview with a fine Christian mother. Merry Christmas everyone! ybutler@oppcatv.com

Anonymous said...

I have not read any of this series. Sounds like it would be good. Miriam in Ohio

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Please enter me.



Casey said...

I would love to read this and such a pretty cover- I love the bright colors. Thanks for the chance!

Sue said...

Thank you for the opportunity to read this book. It looks like a great read.

Bluerose said...

Pamela, you've lived one of my fears-being locked outside with your children inside!!!! When my little boy was a baby and sleeping, I would even take the keys with me to the mailbox. I'm also terrified of windows, though, so I'm a little weird! I'm glad you can laugh now at it, though. :)

And I'm sending prayers for you for raising two boys in Christ, especially as a single mom. I can't begin to imagine how hard it must be to do it all by yourself!!

I would love to be entered for this book. The dress on the cover is so pretty. I just love the purple! :)

Frances said...

Can't wait to read this one, Pamela. I love historicals, love Kansas, and love your writing.


Pamela Griffin said...

Thank you so much, everyone! :)
Bluerose - I've had a lot of support from my parents, both financially and emotionally. They have been a huge help and blessing to me when I needed it - and thank you for the prayers!
(P.S.- purple is one of my favorite colors so I liked her dress too. ;-))

And Lena- I should have said this at the end of the interview - but thank you so much for having me here on your blog spot. :) You're a wonderful lady and it's a blessing to know you. <3

fredamans said...

Please enter me, from Ontario, Canada. I love the Love Finds You series, they are so inspiring and entertaining. Thank you.

Unknown said...

I love the Love Finds You books.

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview! Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you! I live in the panhandle of Florida.

Linda Kish said...

Please include me

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I love the Love Finds You books and would love to win Pamela's.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

please enter me!

Pam K. said...

I would especially enjoy reading "Love Finds You in Hope, Kansas" because I once lived not far from Hope, Kansas. I still live in Kansas and find it fun to read books set in this state.
Please enter me in the book giveaway.

Nancye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancye said...

This sounds like a book I would enjoy! Thanks for the chance!

Nancye from Kentucky
nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Melissa Jagears said...

I live in Kansas!

rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

Please enter me.

Wendy from MN, but originally from KS!
ebeandebe at gmail dot com

apple blossom said...

Oh, I love the LOVE finds you books. thanks for the giveaway. please add me name to the drawing.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

CarlybirdK said...

I love these books and I would love to win this one. Thank you.
Carly in NC

Katie Marie said...

Hope, Kansas - sounds like a lovely town! I'd love a chance at winning this book!

~ Katy

Unknown said...

Please enter me!! I have a sister named Hope and this would make a great gift! Thanks!


Carol N Wong said...

I love that the author puts things that have happened to her in her books. That makes them extra special.
I would love to read 'Love Finds you in Hope, Kansas'. Please enter me in this giveaway.


rbooth43 said...

By the interview, I am sure that I would enjoy reading LOVE FINDS YOU IN HOPE, KANSAS.

Anne Payne said...

Enoyed the interview. I haven't had the pleasure of reading any of the LFY books, so this book would be a treat!

Anne, NC

holdenj said...

Looks like a fun story, thanks for the chance to win!
Posting from snowy Minnesota!

dancealertreads.blogspot.com said...

Would love to win the book it sounds like a great read!

dancealert at aol dot com

Molly said...

Please enter me! Thank you!

Molly from NC

Jackie S. said...

I love the LFY books...so please enter me from Georgia! Thanks!!

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Please enter me in the giveaway! Thanks!

Anna W. from GA

Trinity Rose said...

This sounds like a wonderful book.
Thanks for the giveaway.
Many blessings,
Trinity Rose from OH

Carman said...

Please enter me! I have really enjoyed the love finds you series so far and can't wait to read more!!

Booklovercb at yahoo dot com

Cindy W. said...

Oh, I love the Love Finds You books. Would love to be entered to win a copy of LFY in Hope, Kansas. Thank you for your awesome giveaways Lena.

Cindy W.


Cindy W. said...

Oops! I forgot to tell you I live in Indiana.

Cindy W.


Jo said...

I enjoy reading the Love Finds You books.

I live in Southern Arizona


Michelle said...

Thank you for entering me! I live in California

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Carole said...

Pamela's book is already on my wish list - and what a great cover!

I enjoyed getting to know a little about Pamela through this interview. It sounds like God has rewarded your faithfulness in raising your two boys to love Him, Pamela.

I appreciate the chance to win LFY in Hope, Kansas. I went to graduate school in NW Kansas back in the 70s and love that state, by the way. And I'm from Georgia.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Patsy said...

This sounds like another good read. Would love to read it.
From Southern US.

Ann Lee Miller said...

Please enter me in the drawing. :)
Ann Lee Miller
Gilbert, Arizona

A J Hawke said...

LOVE FINDS YOU IN HOPE, KANSAS sounds like a fun read.

Thanks for the opportunity to receive a copy.

A J Hawke in Texas

Anonymous said...

please count me in...thanks :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

MaureenT said...

I Love the Love find you books! Please include me!

Charlotte Kay said...

I want to be entered!
Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Merry said...

Little matchmakers, sounds like a fun story. Please add me!
Merry in TX