Thursday, July 07, 2011

DANDELION SUMMER - Lisa Wingate - Free Book

Author Lisa Wingate is a fellow Texas author. I love, love, love every book of hers I've read. We've become acquainted in the cyberworld. I'm hoping for some face-to-face girl time with her soon. Welcome, Lisa. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
Most of my stories are, in some way or other, about relationships. My characters often have family issues and past hurts that are holding them trapped in one place.  God wants harmony and peace for us, and I like readers to see that they have the power, with God’s help, to rise above old hurts and animosities.

I love stories with a sense of community, in which neighbors pull together and learn to regard others with a sense of grace.  Intergenerational themes are some of my favorite.  Younger characters learn to enjoy older people and older people learn that they can open up to the new experiences and ideas that can come from spending time with someone younger.  I hope the books will inspire readers to be open to the people who cross their paths.  God does some of His best work through the people we meet along the way!

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
Blue Moon Bay will be released by Bethany House in February, 2011.  The second book in the Moses Lake series, it is a stand-alone story, but also within the small-town lakeside setting of Larkspur Cove (Bethany House Feb, 2011).  When a family falls into conflict over the sale of the family land, a no-nonsense career woman is forced to return to the family funeral home in tiny Moses Lake, Texas, to sort things out and deal with the unresolved wounds of her past.  There, she meets a local guy, finds herself embroiled in a family mystery, and reconnects with the plain faith of her family’s Mennonite neighbors.  The last place she ever wanted to find herself turns out to be the place where she might reconnect with her family and find out where she’s meant to be. 

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
Oye!  That’s hard!  Could I please sit down with the entire United States Congress?  I have some things I’d like to tell them.  In particular, I’d like to stand there with the gavel and read the “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” poster that was so popular a few years ago.

If I could pick just one person, I’d like to sit down with someone influential in Texas state government and discuss the fact that cutting funding is like deciding not to water and fertilize the crops because it costs too much today.  The problem is that what you do today affects tomorrow’s harvest.

What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
It’s a tossup between Will Rogers and Mark Twain.  I admire the writing, the humor, and the wisdom of both of these men. Having lived near Will Rogers’ birthplace for many years, I’d probably opt for Will if I have to go with just one.  A man whose fame enabled him to hobnob with presidents and celebrities of all kinds, Will never forgot his roots and he always looked at life with a simple man’s view – or perhaps he was extremely complex but gifted at expressing his astute observations in common language that no one could resist.  I’d hope to find out which it was on this special evening.

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
I’d encourage them to realize that rejections happen for many reasons.  A rejection doesn’t necessarily mean the writing is bad or that writer doesn’t have a worthy story to tell.  You have to keep trying, keep learning the craft and consider the possible reason for rejections.  Don’t make alterations to your work based on one rejection, but if you receive the same critique from multiple people, take another look at your project and consider revising.  At this point, a strong, supportive writer-community is a must.  There is so much benefit in contact with published and unpublished writers.  This can be by joining writers clubs and organizations, attending the meetings, communicating by email, reading online newsletters, asking questions of other authors in the newsletters, blogging with authors and readers, and so forth.  Aside from that, it’s good to realize that the more you learn about rejection and revision before you sell a manuscript, the more equipped you will be to hit the ground running when you do sell a book.  The rejections and revisions don’t stop after you sell—the rejections just become reviews, and the revisions become editorial letters, but the process is much the same.

Tell us about the featured book.

Dandelion Summer

Several years ago, I received a reader email from Ed Stevens, a retired engineer, who offered to help with technical projects to spread word of the books via Internet.  As we worked together, I learned that he had an amazing life history to share.   

My favorite stores are the sort inspired by the lives of real people. 

Those conversations with Ed became the genesis for Dandelion Summer, which an early reviewer called a cross between Water For Elephants, The Help, and Driving Miss Daisy (if you can imagine that combination).  Dandelion Summer is the story of Norman, an aging widower who feels he has no reason left to live, and Epie, a young girl who needs someone to believe in her.  When Norman's daughter hires Epiphany to cook for him in the afternoons, Norman resists, but over time, an unhappy coexistence leads to an unlikely friendship. 

Norman's history mirrors that of Ed Stevens, who worked with the Howard Hughes team that designed America's first moon lander, Surveyor 1, during Kennedy's race to beat the Russians to the moon.  What those men accomplished with 1960's electronics was truly a moment of American Camelot.  In Dandelion Summer, Norman shares memories of that turbulent summer of sixty-six with Epiphany.  Through Epiphany, Norman finds links to a family secret, mysterious memories of another life, and a young woman, a black housekeeper, who saved him.   

I love when a story comes to life on its own, and Dandelion Summer was that kind of story.  Norman and Epie were fun, funny, and sometimes just downright difficult, each of them.  For those of you who enjoyed Tending Roses years ago, Dandelion Summer is something of a grandfather-granddaughter version, with some mystery and history thrown in for good measure. I wish every young woman could have a "Norman" in her life, and every lonely elderly person could have a young friend who needs guidance and infuses new life into an aging soul.

I'm thrilled to share with you that both Publisher's Weekly and RT Bookreviews Magazine gave Dandelion Summer fantastic reviews, and the book has already garnered interest from two film production companies!  Keep your fingers crossed, and in the meantime, I hope readers will enjoy getting to know Norman and Epiphany, learning a bit about Surveyor 1 and the crew that built her, and reliving that Camelot summer of 1966. 

Please give us the first page of the book.

Chapter 1

                                                             J. Norman Alvord
    A single drop of water changes the ocean. A noted colleague of mine once asserted this as we dawdled over lunch at a restaurant near Cape Canaveral. “How can it not?” he demanded. “Some amount of matter is displaced. There’s transference of energy. Nothing is as it was before.” We were young then, certain of our own importance. Convinced that our presence in the world, that our work, was destined to change it. “I discussed it with Einstein, you know,” he said, and went on to share a story of having accompanied the physicist on a fishing trip, of all things. They’d considered the drop-of-water theory while Einstein reclined on the deck of a sailboat, trails of pipe smoke drifting lazily into the air. Less than a year after their conversation, Einstein’s sudden demise sent a ripple around the world.
    There are those men whose deaths displace water in the far parts of the sea, and then there are those for whom the pool seems to have dried up long ago. So much of a life can pass without a thought of where the journey might end. A young man’s days grow full and his nights become short, and his mind is crowded with all that must be done, and all that has been done, and all that waits to be done. Hours come and go, a rush of time that seems limitless as it passes.
    Looking back through the haze of years, you wish to whisper in the young father’s ear, tell him to put away his books and his calculations, go out into the yard and play a game of kickball, stop worrying about engineering the best tree house on the block and just climb the tree. Sit quietly in its branches with a son or a daughter and watch the minutes drift by in glorious splendor, as aimless as the cloud ships in a summer sky…
I can hardly wait to get my book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Stop by my cyber-porch at
For Dandelion Summer, we’ve also done something special, which has turned out to be one of the most fun things we’ve put together in advance of a book.  A book club read the book early, and then we met for a pre-publication book discussion.  The result was the Book Club Premier of Dandelion Summer, which readers and writers can watch here: - p/a/u/0/jDYy8jZqGO4

Come and visit me at our fun, relaxed southern fiction cyber-spot with Beth Webb Hart, Marybeth Whalen, Rachel Hauck, and Jenny B. Jones.  We talk about fiction, faith, fun, family and all with a southern view of things.

I’m also a hopeless Facebook addict, and readers-friends or writer-friends can join me here: - !/pages/Lisa-Wingate-Readers-Circle/132187520154779

Lisa, it's been such fun to host you here on my blog.

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 4 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 if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Anonymous said...

I would be so blessed to win a copy of this book.

EJ said...

Love Lisa Wingate's books - please enter me in this contest.

Thanks - Elaine from Iowa

Sergio H S Christino said...

How to know the right time for God?

To understand the timing of God,
need to feel peace in your
decisions that we make
Portrayed in the peace:
Philippians 4:7, which exceeds
all our understanding.
Waiting on God's timing
also means renunciation and holiness.
When we surrender completely to the Lord,
He becomes the sole owner of our time.
God works in silence,
Silence in God shapes our character.
Wait patiently for the LORD
May the glory of God rests on you ...

God bless you !!!!!

Missionary Sergio Christino

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Pam K. said...

I've read several of Lisa's books and enjoyed them. I'd love to win a copy of "Dandelion Summer."

apple blossom said...

please include me in this giveaway. thanks. I live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Sarah said...

Would love to win!

Sarah H

Marianne said...

Thanks for a great interview and post, Lena and Lisa. i would love to win Dandelion Summer. Thanks for the chance. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com from Peace River Country, Albeta

Anonymous said...

I would love to win "Dandelion Summer". I am a new reader of Lisa's books. Right now I am reading "Larkspur Cove" and I'm really enjoying it. It is so hard to put down. Thanks for this giveaway and God Bless!


JoyAnne said...

Love the interview!

Joyce in TN

hippmom said...

I think I would enjoy reading "Dandelion Summer".Please include my name in the drawing! Thanks for the interview.
Angela from Nebraska

scottsgal said...

love the title - perfect summer book title
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

M.Greer/Ohio said...

Love the title and it sounds like a great book. Thanks for a chance to win....

Ms. Greer/Ohio

Carol N Wong said...

I would love to read this book. I loved both 'Water for Elephants' and 'Drving Miss Daisy". I really love that as the author worked with the man who volunteered to help with technical projects had an amazing story. I think this often happens. If you have enough time to talk to someone, their life story will come out, and it is always is very interesting.


Anonymous said...

I would love to have a copy of your book. I would read it and hand it off to our church library
Patricia Corneluis

Bluerose said...

A mix between Water for Elephants, Driving Miss Daisy, and the Help.....very interesting! :) I will definitely have to read this one!!


Krista said...

I just love Lisa Wingate's books and I would absolutely LOVE to win this one! :)

Krista from Gresham, OR

Susan H said...

I love Lisa's books, they are great reads! I've also had the pleasure of meeting her in person. She is such an incredible writer and speaker! I own all of her previous books and would love to win a copy of her newest one to add to my collection!
Susan from Fort Worth, TX

karenk said...

would LOVE to read lisa's latest novel...thanks for the opportunity :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com
(i'm from PA)

Granny said...

Lisa Wingate is my all time favorite. I have met her several times and she is such a sweet and caring person. I would love to win a copy of her newest book.
Annette from Hewitt Texas

holdenj said...

What a wonderful interview! I am a newish fan, great to see so many more titles in the works.
Julie in MN

Jackie S. said...

I love Lisa's books..please enter me for this one! Thanks.
Jackie in GA

margie said...

This book sounds amazing!!! I thoroughly enjoyed the interview and would love an opportunity to win a copy of Dandelion Summer. margie at mijares dot net

Jo said...

I would love this book. Please ente5r me.


Judy said...

I'm reading Lisa's Larkspur Cove right now and I am loving it! I would love to win a copy of "Dandelion Summer"!

Thanks for the chance!

Judy from IN

Mrs. Carpenter/ohio said...

Would love to win this book...thanks,

Mrs. Carpenter

Anonymous said...

I bet you could tell Congress a thing or too eh? I sure could...would love to win this book.


Lisa Wingate said...

Thanks stopping by, everyone! I really appreciate all the kind words and sweet comments (and of course I'm grateful to Lena for having me on her awesome blog!) The people you meet along the way really are the best, best, best part of writing!

peachykath said...

This book sounds really amazing. Please enter me in the drawing for it. Thank you.

Katherine from Northern California


Kristie said...

It's interesting that you base your fiction so strongly on real people. I think it would be strange to read a story about me. Thanks for your advice about writing. Take care! Can't wait for your next book. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Katy said...

I've never heard of Dandelion Summer before reading the interview. It looks neat! Please count me in!

~ Katy from Florida