Tuesday, February 14, 2012

BLUE MOON BAY - Lisa Wingate - Free Book

Welcome, Lisa. Tell us about your salvation experience.
I literally can’t remember a time as a young child when I didn’t feel God’s presence in my life.  I can’t remember not knowing that I was His.  He was the third parent who would be there with me and listen to me, even after bedtime when my own parents were tired of my yammering and just wanted me to hush up.  As I grew up and was baptized, I drew a different and deeper sense of our relationship to our father and creator.  I think we’re always seeking to better understand the many dimensions of God--to internalize how broad and deep that relationship really is.  It isn’t fully possible, I know.  How can the finite ever really understand the infinite?

The farthest I ever came from being active a faith life was in the young adult college years, when it seemed that just wasn’t the focus of anyone around me.  There weren’t as many campus ministries back then, and it just seemed like church was a “When you go home to visit” thing for everyone.  It’s amazing how God uses the events in your life to fit you for a particular purpose, though, because this is one of the reasons I teach Sunday school for high school seniors today.  I want them to see the value of plugging into a faith community in college and being active during this time when they’re making so many of life’s big decisions.  It can make all the difference in the choices they make and the outcomes they receive. 

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Oh, that is hard!  I want a retreat with fifty authors!  There are so many I admire as writers and so many I love as friends.  I guess if I had to pick four, I would retreat with the girls I blog with on www.SouthernBelleView.com, Beth Webb Hart, Marybeth Whalen, Rachel Hauck, and Shellie Rushing Tomlinson.  We have so much chatting over life and sharing glasses of cyber-tea on our online front porch, and when we do have the chance to get together in person, it is a blast.   They are a joy to be with!

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I do quite a lot of speaking to groups of all sorts, for everything from women’s retreats, to banquets, to professional conferences, to book clubs.  Writing is such a solitary profession, and it is a joy to get out and talk to real people.  When I was little, if you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, “professional speaker” would not have been anywhere on the list, I can promise you.  I was the kid who was mortified in the first grade when I figured out that, if I put my hand over my eyes, the teacher could still see me and call on me to read out loud. 

One of my favorite things about book travel is that I often meet people who have read my books, and they share stories of what the books have meant to them.  It’s an incredible gift to have someone tell you, “This book made me write my mother a letter after fifteen years,” or “This story made me stop seeing taking care of my aging parents as such a burden,” or even, “This made me laugh during a terrible time in my life.”  As much fun as creating fictional people is, it’s the connections with real people that matter most.

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

Well, I embarrass myself all the time because I tend to have “duh” moments whenever names are involved.  There are days when, honestly, I think I could forget the names of my own children and pets.  The only good thing is that I’m to the point where I can pass it off as a result of  the dreaded EO-FB (Episodic Over-Forty Brain) disease.  Typically I could tell you everything about a person and I could replay what we’ve talked about, but I couldn’t give you a name, to save my life.  Even if a name does come to me, at this point, I’m afraid I’m wrong.  I probably am.  If I get to the Pearly Gates someday, and a fill-in-the-blank quiz with names is involved, I may be in serious trouble ;o)

People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
This question comes up a lot when I’m out speaking and via email.  Here’s what I usually tell people:

--Finish the manuscript.  Just learning to write from “Once upon a time…” to “The end” is the thing that stops most people.  It’s almost impossible for an unpublished writer to sell an unfinished manuscript.
--Don’t worry about making it perfect, just finish the manuscript (Did I say that already)?  It’s a lot easier to make something out of something than something out of nothing.
--Don’t pay anybody for anything, unless you know exactly what you’re getting for the money and you have checked references.  There are so many scams floating around in any entertainment-oriented business.  I’ve stopped a few people just short of spending money they couldn’t afford on publishing services that were making ridiculous promises.
--Believe in your story.  God wouldn’t have put it inside you unless it had value.  You may need to work on it.  You may need to work very hard and long, even, but that thing that’s inside you is there for a reason.
--While you’re trying to sell the first book, write a second.  You have more than one story in you, waiting to be told.

Tell us about the featured book.
Booklist called Blue Moon Bay "A warm and expressive modern twist on the parable of the Prodigal Son, or, in this case, Prodigal Daughter."  That's a pretty good nutshell for this story (I just found out that the book got a starred review from Booklist, by the way.  If you heard squealing from Central Texas last week, that was me). 

When Heather Hampton’s family falls into conflict over the sale of the family land, she is forced to return to the family funeral home in tiny Moses Lake, Texas to sort things out and deal with a family mystery and the unresolved wounds of the past.  But when local banker, Blaine Underhill, and Heather's crazy family get involved, all bets are off. Suddenly, Heather's quick trip to Texas leads to Valentine's Week in the family funeral home, and a revelation that could change Heather's life forever. 

**Right now, we have something brand new going on – a contest in which one reader can win the chance to “Join the cast” of the next Moses Lake book (Firefly Island, 2013) by becoming one of the townsfolk in Moses Lake.  I think it will be so much fun to write a reader into the story!  For more information and entry form, go to: www.lisawingate.com/jointhecast

Please give us the first page of the book.

Chapter 1 
The future is a blank page, but not a mystery.
--A Tinker’s Riddle
(Written on the Wall of Wisdom, Waterbird Bait and Grocery, Moses Lake, Texas)
            Is it possible for nine months and three days of your life to haunt you forever?  Can memories become like restless spirits, their long, thin fingers always reaching, and tugging, and grabbing?  Their fingernails, in my case, would be some variation of floral pink, nicely manicured.  Perfectly matched to a shade of lipstick and possibly a purse or some other accessory.  Undoubtedly, this is not the norm for personal demons, but try telling them that.  They won’t listen, I promise.

            There is no escape from those graceful Moses Lake ladies, with their embroidery-adorned pantsuits and their languid Southern drawls.  When they whispered in my mind, their sentences rose and fell and rose again, filled with long vowels, padded and powdered with cheerfulness they couldn’t possibly be feeling all the time.  They became the stuff of my darkest recurrent nightmares—the kind that reprised the most awkward teenage years and found me wandering the halls of Moses Lake High School with no idea where I was supposed to go, suddenly aware that I’d arrived in my Pooh Bear pajamas, or even worse, I’d forgotten the pajamas altogether.  Yet, somehow, I was just now noticing…

            Even from thousands of miles away, after the passage of season after season, the High School dream lingered, along with the feeling that somewhere in the tiny town of Moses Lake, Texas, the ladies were still talking about me.  “Such an odd little thing,” they were saying, a purposeful twang on the last word morphing it into tha-ang.  “All that eyeliner and that tacky, tacky purple lip gloss.  Why, those black T-shirts didn’t help her figure, one little bit, I’m tellin’ ye-ew.  But how much can you expect, considerin’ what happened?”  I wondered if their conversations turned darker, then—if the women whispered behind their hands about things I was never allowed to know.  Did they discuss theories, or facts, as they sat at Lakeshore Community Church, making greeting cards, or knitting scarves for orphans, or boxing cans for the food pantry?  Did they know what happened…

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love visiting with readers and new friends online.  People can find me on:
Blogging Mondays at: www.SouthernBelleView.com
My website: www.Lisawingate.com
Find the Moses Lake “Join the Cast” contest at: www.Lisawingate.com/jointhecast

Thank you, Lisa. It's always such a pleasure to have you drop by.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Blue Moon Bay - paperback
Blue Moon Bay - Kindle

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.


Unknown said...

i love your EO-FB (Episodic Over-Forty Brain). it sounds more clinical than Arizona Moment (as opposed to Senior Moment, as i am not there, yet).Thanks for the interview, Lena and Lisa, and the opportunity to win Blue Moon Bay.

Marianne from Arizona


Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds like a great book.

I live in FL


karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read lisa's latest novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com
(from PA)

Patty said...

I want to know what happened!

As hard as we try we can't run away from our past.

Patty in SC

Unknown said...

I'd love a chance to read this!

AmandaSue in WI

Merry said...

Blue Moon Bay sounds like a touching story and I love stories with a prodigal son or daughter. Add me please!
Merry in TX

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Lisa Wingate said...

Hi All! Thanks for stopping by, and Lena thanks for having me in your little cyber corner of the world! I really am excited about Blue Moon Bay coming out. There's something about being at the lake in the off season that's especially quiet and a little mysterious. It was fun to imagine myself there and to write about it!


EJ said...

Love Lisa's books - all of her series the characters become very real & its hard to not to think about them long after done reading the books. Especially Daily, Texas! Looking forward to reading another of Lisa's books.

Elaine from Iowa

Lane Hill House said...

What a fun interview, and stopping at one page!! I would love to read Blue Moon Bay. Thanks!

Katie said...

Sounds great!!! Please enter me! I love adding new authors to my list! :) I'm from NC.

God bless!

Katie G.

Mary Preston said...

I look forward to reading BLUE MOON BAY. If you think you forget after 40, wait until you are over 50. Now that's something to write home about.

Mary P


Ingrid said...

Thank you for the fun Interview Lena and Lisa, I always love reading them.
Lisa your Book sounds great, please add me to your Contest.

I live in S.Illinos


Bethany said...

Can you imagine the fun 50+ authors would have on a retreat together? Wow..to be a fly on the wall!
I'd love to be entered--

cbus.blogger at gmail dot com

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book it sounds like a great story! Thanks and God bless.
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Kristie said...

When I was in college the campus organization was not very active and forget it in grad school (I lived on campus). I don't attend church regularly because it's so early! I know, but I have narcolepsy. I can't go Saturday night because I have a standing appointment. I need a Sunday night service. You inspired me to look again. Maybe I can be the "prodigal daughter". *grin* I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

holdenj said...

Lisa sounds like such a lovely person! That over 40 brain disease must just hit after we get over pregnancy brain??! Thanks for the chance to win.
Julie in MN

Bakersdozen said...

I loved the interview and I would love to read "Blue Moon Bay". I live in S. CA.

Coolestmommy said...

Laughing and giggling at the whole EOFB. :-)

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Holly Magnuson said...

I've heard great things about Lisa's books and would love the opportunity to win a copy.
Blessings to you both!
HollyMag from SoCal

Angie Adair said...

Sounds great! angie in Illinois angadair@nwcable.net

Anonymous said...

I love Lisa'a books....would love to read this one...Thanks...Jackie Tessnair fromN.C.

Aizess said...

Please enter me in this giveaway. Thank you for the chance to win!

I live in New York

Susan H said...

Lisa is one of my favorite authors. I love reading her books and own almost all of them. I've had the pleasure of meeting her in person and she's such a great speaker too. Look forward to reading her newest book.

I'm from Texas.

tweezle said...

Loved your interview! I'm another chronic sufferer of EOFB. :)

Thank you for the chance at the lovely book!

In stormy PA