Friday, January 28, 2011

THE RHYTHM OF SECRETS - Patti Lacy - Free Book

So good to have you back, Patti. And thanks for having me on your blog this week. Readers, if you wan to read that interview, check it out. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

At fifty-five, I’m struggling to keep with God but so grateful He has given me work. Just this month He planted the idea for a series, which will be my first. My agent fell in love with it at first sight (also a first).

Here’s the hook: Evelyn Secrest, a recently widowed homemaker, and Jamie Sue Symmes, a mentally challenged grocery store bagger, blend their vastly different skill sets, spice them with the love of Jesus, and push past civic and family opposition to open a soup kitchen.

I’m also writing my first book sold before completion, Reclaiming Lily (Bethany House, Fall 2011) (deadline of 11/15) and editing The Rhythm of Secrets, which will be released in January 2011 by Kregel.

Writing has been redefined as a full-time passion in the Lacy household.

We can see from that last answer that you worked on these questions a while ago. Tell us a little about your family.

My husband Alan shares my passion for ministry, not just through writing, but as Sunday school teachers to 3rd and 4th graders at Grace Church in Normal. When we married, we followed a tradition in both our families to teach. Day by day he lives that commitment in the halls of Illinois State University. My daughter Sarah and fabulous son-in-law Josh moved to Nashville to pursue postgraduate work with a passion to one day be involved a la Three Cups of Tea in South American villages. Son Thomas calls school locker rooms home and aspires to teach and coach after completing college. Our canine family member regulates the Lacy exercise patterns and sits in my office chair to supervise writing. We love our mongrel Laura!!

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

Yes, ma’am! I hone the craft, pen in hand, with nearly every word I read. It’s SO fun to scribble “Wow!” and “Look at that POV use!” on the pages of my friends the books. There’s SO much to learn from experienced writers. Like you, Lena.

I don't thing we ever stop learning. What are you working on right now?

Three books: The Rhythm of Secrets, Reclaiming Lily, and Those Below Normal

I'm going to add Reclaiming Lily to the schedule now so we'll be sure to have a spot when it releases. What outside interests do you have?

What outside interests do I NOT have? In that way, I’m like Cynthia, Father Tim’s wife in At Home in Mitford. I love gardening, running, films, of course reading and writing, sharing the gospel of Christ, leading Bible studies, housework (really), cooking, ART, teaching, environmental issues, traveling. I’ll stop there!

How do you choose your settings for each book?

Settings are so integral to my stories, they become characters. As I “meet” my heroine, I also “meet” the mystical cliffs o’ County Clare or the swamps of Louisiana, tawdry Thai brothels, the hallowed arch of Moody Bible Institute, far-from-plain ole Normal, Illinois!!!

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

Of course our Lord and Savior, for a taste of what lies ahead. Perhaps Moses. There’s so many things I’d like to ask him, like was he really slow of speech. Did he tremble when walking through those parted waters?

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

Hmmm. You know, Lena, I’ve loved this crazy ride. God has been so good to keep my focus on Him MOST of the time. I guess it would be those moments when I got caught up in the whole publish rush, the $$ side of the business, the hurry up and do SOMETHING urge instead of writing solely for Him and letting everything else take care of itself.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

How to reach out in love to EVERYONE, even enemies. Even those I don’t like. To die to self so the Holy Spirit can REALLY work.

Learning to see everyone through the Lord's eyes will revolutionalize your life. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

Take the readers God gives you, one by one, and make them feel like the most important people in the world.

Write SOLELY for the Audience of One and surround yourself with people who feel the same way you do. Cling to those soulmates and make them feel like the most important people in the world.

Wrestle with God to determine if He wants you to write. Then become a professional. Put in long hours. Support other writers by purchasing their books, trumpeting their talents, attending their functions. Read those craft books. Spend $$ to get professional edits. Don’t play around with God’s talent.

Tell us about the featured book.

A phone call threatens to destroy the security of Sheila Alexander, the wife of a prominent Midwest pastor, and expose secrets Sheila has managed to conceal for decades. Will Sheila save the one she loves most of all…or protect her husband and her church? The Rhythm of Secrets will transport you from bawdy Jazz era New Orleans to the turbulent Vietnam War era in Chicago. As with all her books, Patti weaves music into the manuscript, this time focusing on classical, jazz, and blues tunes.

Sounds very intriguing. Please give us the first page of the book.

Chapter 1

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Spring 1969, Chicago, Illinois

Stormy days call for Rachmaninoff. Rain thrummed the window and blended with cantata chords Sheila Franklin coaxed from her piano. Soon she’d be done with the choir piece and could continue her Rachmaninoff affair. Or maybe she’d play jazz, wild and free, though Edward had forbidden it. But Edward wasn’t here . . .

“Jesus is love.” She sang as she played, but her movements jerked rather than flowed; a second-year music student could do as well. Eager to be done with it, she glanced at the clock. Ten more minutes, that would do it. Ten more minutes, and she’d play the jazz she’d heard when Papa set a needle on a scratched record in their marvelous Esplanade parlor. Or Rachmaninoff. Yes, Rachmaninoff would be better. Safer. Sheila sat up straight, precisely positioned her hands on the keyboard, but her past refused to be disciplined. Her past . . .

Oh, New Orleans! Images of the noisy French Quarter and Maman’s heart-shaped face pulled her into a keyboard promenade, slow and sassy, toward the Mississippi. A tugboat sounded . . . or a wrong note. She glanced at her hands, again heard the musical hiccup. She hadn’t missed a key. It was that darned phone, threatening to shut down a riotous Mardi Gras parade. Irritation clapped through her. She continued to pound the keys, but the wretched thing buzzed insistently.

When icy resentment froze her hands, she stared at them. Her diamond solitaire dazzled her eye and reminded her of her commitment eighteen years ago. She’d agreed to interruptions like this when she’d married Edward Franklin . . . and his congregation. Life, death, or a dozen things in between waited at the other end of the line; the knowledge propelled her toward his phone. She and Edward had battened down their marriage with the surety, the safety, of Christ. And it was enough, Lord. Yes. It would have to be enough.

As she moved to his study, she kneaded her knuckles but could do nothing for the memories. Beautiful memories. Painful memories. The lonely Russian composer understood—she knew from his music—but Rachmaninoff would have to wait.

She picked up the phone from its perch on Edward’s roll-top desk. “Hello?”

Static answered, and a noise like the wings of a large bird taking flight. She leaned against the desk, reminding herself to be polite, even if it was Mr. O’Leary, ringing up Edward from the pay phone outside the neighborhood pub. Or someone who needed money. “Franklin residence. Can I help you?”

“Is this Sylvia Allen?”

She tried to breathe; nearly choked. Her elbows banged against solid oak. Nobody knew she’d once been Sylvia Allen except . . . What was this? Blackmail?

I can't wait to read it. How can readers find you on the Internet?, I also LOVE my Facebook fam and enjoy sharing Art Bites with them five days a week.

Thanks, Lena!

And thank you, Patti, for the fun interview again.
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.

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


Robyn said...

I am a piano player and the opening pages made sense to me. I often play music based on the weather or the current events of my life. It helps pull my emotions.
Sounds like a wonderful read.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Patti Lacy said...

Oh, Robyn, thank you!!! Two musicians, both teachers now, helped with the musical scenes. My seven years of piano just wasn't quite enough:)

Robyn, I use music in the SAME way.
NEARLY EVERY DAY. We sure think alike on this one! Would love to be FB friends--in fact with all of y'all! You might like my daily ArtBites as well!!/patti.lacy

susan miura said...

Great interview! Thank you, Patti, for your insightful answers and for sharing the first page of Secrets. Can't wait to read the rest. It is sitting on my dining room table, calling my name right now.

Cindy W. said...

The Rhythm of Secrets sounds wonderful. I am a Pastor's wife who love music. I play the piano by ear. Music has a healing power that I can really associate with during difficult times. I would love to win a copy of The Rhythm of Secrets. Thank you for the chance.

I live in Auburn, IN

Cindy W.


Karen Lange said...

Love this, thanks so much to both of you for doing this! Looking forward to checking out Patti's book. :) I live in north central KY.
Happy weekend,

Joanne Sher said...

Would love to enter this. Sounds like a WONDERFUL book!I live in west Michigan :)


diana said...

I don't think my comment took for some case it does I won't repeat everything I said. Please enter me. I would love to read this book.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing post. This book sounds amazing. I have tried to play the piano,but can't seem to.I did as a child,many,many years ago.I have this book on TBR list.
North Carolina

holdenj said...

It sounds like a great story. I really like the idea of music being an integral part of it too. Thanks for the chance to win!
I'm from MN.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

PatriciaW said...

Just waving to my friend, Patti. I already have--and loved--this book so no need to include me.

Housework? Really?

diana said...

I forgot to tell you above where I'm from...Diana from the beautiful and historical state of SC.

Maureen said...

That was quite a teaser..can you imagine getting that call? Please include me!

windycindy said...

What an inspiring interview!
Patti has a lovely family and her writing is delightful...
Many thanks!

Patti Lacy said...

Susan, you are so funny! It's calling your name, huh? Think you should see a doctor???

Cindy, a pastor's wife AND a pianist. This is a PERFECT book for you, dear.

Karen, waving at you! Maybe we can connect at the Southern Kentucky Bookfest. I am thinking maybe a shared meal?)

Joanne, a Midwestern girl like me!
Waving at you!

Diana, but I WANT TO READ what you said:) :) Blessings!

Patti Lacy said...

April, THANK YOU! If you somehow end up with two of 'em, give one to somebody special!!!

Holden J, Minnesota is featured in THE BOOK! Whoa! Would love your take on St. Paul, Secrets style!!!

Linda, so nice to meet you here! Thanks for your interest in my third baby.

Patricia, oh, no!! You aren't a cleaner? I think I was such a pig in college that I got TOTALLY converted.
Sweetie, I put my favorite CDs on our old player, crank 'em up, and dance around the house. For me, it's FUN!!!!

Diana, you ARE from a beautiful and historical State. LOVE IT!

Maureen, THANK YOU! That's pretty much how I FELT when I read that article...and then talked to Sandy on the phone.

Cindy, I love our meeting like this!!! Hope you delve into Secrets REAL SOON!!!


Dana said...

"Wrestle with God to determine if he wants you to write." That is so interesting. I feel like thats what I am doing... but never thought of it that way. Sounds like a great book would love to win it :)
- Dana from Jackson area MS

Pam K. said...

The first page has me hooked! I'd love to win this book; if not, I'll have to put it on my list to buy or borrow. I was a pastor's wife so that aspect intrigues me.
Thanks for the interview and the giveaway.

from Kansas

Patti Lacy said...

Dana, um, I read these words, written awhile back, had YOU read them to me again, and wonder why THIS WEEK I wrestle with the roller coaster ride of being a writer! Thanks for the reminder.

Oh, Pam. Thank you. I hope the whole book grabs you.

Nancye said...

Sounds like a book I'd enjoy! Thanks for the chance.

Nancye, Kentucky

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Angela from Kentucky. I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks!!!

Patsy said...

This book sounds very interesting. Would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.
From The Bible Belt.


Patti Lacy said...

Nancye and Angela, do y'all live anywhere close to Bowling Green? I'll be there for the third year with the SOKentucky Book Fest. It's fabulous, and especially so now that my kids live in Nashville!
Thanks for stopping by Lena's place!

Hey, Patsy! Here's an old Texan (Waco and Corpus Christi) waving!
Thanks for stopping by!

diana said...

I'm sorry Patti, but now I forgot what I said. lol One thing I do remember is I'm going to search your books on CBD. I have a giftcard that's been burning a hole in my pocket, so to speak, and I am considering my options. You are a really diverse author covering so many different subjects. I love books that take place in Ireland. Haven't you written one about that? Can you give me titles of your past few books...I know it's alot to ask, but sometimes when you search on CBD using the author's name they don't show you but one book:( Thanks alot, Patti! I hope this comment doesn't get lost or I think I'll cry. haha

CarlybirdK said...

I love books that incorporate music in them. I would really love to read this book. Thank you.
Carly - in between the Triad and the Triangle NC

Brenda said...

Please enter me! I am a follower

I'm a subsciber

I live in Madison Heights, Michigan

dancealert at aol dot com

grannyvon said...

I love music even though I can't read it but have sung in church all my life, and would love to win this one. Thanks for the chance. ybutler(at)oppcatv(dot)com.

Patti Lacy said...

Diana, don't you HATE IT when the comments get gobbled by cyberspace? It happens to be all the time!

I'd LOVE to share the name of my three books.
An Irishwoman's Tale
What the Bayou Saw
The Rhythm of Secrets

My website,, has blurbs on each book. So does Amazon.

While you're there, check out Lena's books! She has inspired so many, both within the pages of great fiction and by her example as a mentor.

Carly, I would love to have you read the book. Thanks for stopping by!

Waving at ya, Brenda. Sure love your state's beauty!

Grannyvon, I LOVE to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Thank you for stopping by.

Marianne said...

i love to read books that look at the challenged people, and this one sounds amazing. i am in Arizona. would love to win this book. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

Marianne said...

i love to read books that look at the challenged people, and this one sounds amazing. i am in Arizona. would love to win this book. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

hippmom said...

My interest has been piqued! Thanks for the interview and glimpse into this book.

angelahipp (at) charter (dot) net


rbooth43 said...

A widowed homemaker with secrets has me hooked. February is a bad month for me since my husband died in 2001. I need books to keep me occupied and into a book that helps me during this time. Patti Lacy's The Rhythum of Secrets sounds like such a book.
Rebecca in NC
rbooth43 at yahoo dot com

Patti Lacy said...

Marianne, I did a book signing at the Barnes & Noble at Village Square in Dana Park. It was amazing! LOVE Arizona (my husband got his doctorate at ASU) Thanks for stopping by!

Angela, THANKS! Hope you do get a chance to read this my third literary baby!

Rebecca, THANK YOU for your interest. Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your husband's death. Books have been MY friends during lonely times as well.

Stay tuned to Lena's blog (if you aren't already) for great reading suggestions.


Bakersdozen said...

I love the premise behind this book. It sounds like a good read. I live in S. California