Friday, April 13, 2012

SOMETHING NEW - Dianne Christner - Free Book

Why do you write the kind of books you do?
My writing has slowly evolved into what my agent and I have coined dramatic romantic comedy. It’s dramatic because characters struggle with real life issues and grow in Christian faith. The comedy is recognition of the human condition—not laughing at others but at ourselves. Love never goes smoothly. I slowly build dramatic climatic scenes then douse them with comedy. I believe humor brings an additional layer of reality to a story and its characters. This style naturally and perfectly expresses my personality, my worldview, and even the way I decorate my home.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I’m a gal who thinks more about where I’m headed than where I’ve been. So I’d say tomorrow could be my happiest day. Generally speaking, I’m a content person.

How has being published changed your life?
It’s forced me to live outside my comfort zone. Ouch! Speaking engagements really stretch me. On the positive side, the stretch takes me all the way up to heaven’s throne. Bless the Lord for his help.
More specifically, the Plain City Bridesmaids series helped me re-evaluate and come to terms with my Mennonite upbringing. It’s been a wonderful, learning and healing experience for me.

What are you reading right now?
In nonfiction, The Everything Guide to Writing a Romance Novel by Christie Craig and Faye Hughes.  In fiction, Smitten by Kristen Billerbeck, Colleen Coble,  Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter. I’ve preordered and am looking forward to reading Keli Gwyn’s        upcoming release,  A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado Colorado.

What is your current work in progress?
My heroine works at a Mennonite Retirement Center. In real life, I’ve experienced pain,    joy, and even laughter ministering to my elderly in-laws. The retirement setting is rich        and teeming with comedy and drama. After spending a decade in and out of care centers and rehab facilities, the story practically writes itself. It has a playful premise, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

What would be your dream vacation?
An entire summer at a beach house. A writing vacation.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Setting is the first thing I settle when I’m developing a new story idea. I chose Plain City for two reasons. I liked the sound of the place, and I was familiar with it. Plain City was where I met my husband. My real life romance.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I’d love to spend the evening with you, Lena. Would be thrilled and honored to talk writing with you.

That would really be fun, wouldn’t it? What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
If I had unlimited funds, it would be decorating. I like antiquing with my husband. We’re going this weekend to look for a candy dish for an upcoming Bunco party I’m hosting. Did I mention entertaining groups? Not real great with intimate dinners, but love hosting large parties. I love everything about the holidays. Since the weather’s usually nice in Phoenix, Jim and I enjoy hiking nearby mountain trails and watching the sunset from our patio.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
One obstacle is getting sidetracked. The best way for me to keep ON track is having a plan that includes daily writing goals.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Find an agent. Create a website even if you aren’t yet published. Write consistently.
Tell us about the featured book.
Something New’s about a Mennonite gal who feels stuck in life. Lil Landis has an adventuresome spirit, but her plain Jane life is stifling her dreams. She sets out to put her potluck genes to better advantage by becoming a head chef. But when her dad requests her help, she feels guilt ridden and returns to the farm she detests.

Lil literally collides with her hero. At the restaurant where she works, she backs her clunker into his boss’s expensive car. Fletch is a veterinarian intern who comes to the Landis farm to care for the sick livestock. But because of his past involvements with activists against animal cruelty, he ends up working undercover at Lil’s farm. From there the conflict escalates.

This is book two of the Plain City Bridesmaids series.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Prologue – Lil’s vow – Ten years earlier (unedited version)
Ten year old Lillian Mae Landis inched her toes to the edge of the tiny square platform fifty feet above the ground. She ran clammy hands down her glittery red costume and poised them.  Her heart rose to her throat as she watched the trapeze swing through the air toward her. She counted, one, two, three, and then leapt forward.

Lil’s stomach somersaulted, and she exulted when her hands clasped the swinging bar with perfect timing. The crowd gasped. Her body jerked, but she held fast and tightened her tummy and leg muscles as she brought her body into perfect form. The air rushed across her face. The music came to a crescendo. Every eye was riveted on her performance.

A second trapeze carrying the teenager Rollo—a handsome boy with flowing blond hair—made its descent.  Rollo’s knees gripped his trapeze bar. Keeping silent count, Lil let loose of her bar at just the correct moment and Rollo’s sure, strong hands caught her arms. The crowd roared in delight. She basked in their admiration.

“Ouch! Stop it!”

Lil blinked, torn from her fantasy. She pulled her face from the open van’s window and looked sideways where her cousin Jake Byler was pulling Katy Yoder’s black pony tail. Lil tucked one foot under her home-made culottes and twisted so she could look him square in the eyes.

“What was your favorite part of the circus?” she asked.  Their families had attended the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus together when it had come to Columbus, Ohio, earlier that month.

“The tigers.” Jake growled in her friend Katy’s ear, then sank back in his seat and started tussling with his buddy Chad Penner.

Lil rolled her gaze heavenward. Then forgetting about Jake, she told Katy, “I liked the trapeze artists.” She had already described the circus to her two best friends—Katy Yoder and Megan Weaver—repeatedly, but she didn’t think they really understood how magical that experience had been for a girl whose normal day consisted of gathering brown eggs and snapping green beans. Lil lived on a farm.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Dianne, for the fun interview.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Something New (The Plain City Bridesmaids) - paperback
Something New (Plain City) - 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.


Nancee said...

I love the characters in this book. There's a wonderful variety, and I really like the sound of this story. Thank you for offering this contest!

apple blossom said...

thanks for chance to win
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Wendy Newcomb said...

I've been eying this book, thank you for the chance to win it.

Wendy from FL.


Unknown said...

i saw the book cover - not sure i would have guessed from the cover that this was about a Mennonite girl, so i would be interested in reading more about her. i have somehow missed the first one in the series..will see if i can find it, too! Thank you for the opportunity to win, Lena

Marianne from Arizona

mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

Katie said...

Sounds great! Hope I get it! I'm from NC.

Katie G.

Dianne Christner said...

First of all, love the unique spelling of your name. Regarding the characters, I enjoyed creating them. It was interesting learning about a farm veterinarian for Fletch's occupation. My husband grew up on a farm (in Plain City) so he helped me get it right.

Dianne Christner said...

Hey gals,
I've been checking out your blogs. Where do you come up with those cute names? Scraps of Life, Wren's Thought? Finding the perfect name or title is not an easy task for me.

Dianne Christner said...

Marianne -
Arizona...Yahoo! Nice to meet ya.
Regarding the cover art, it's definitely part of the story's conflict. Hope you get a chance to read it. And if you do, would love getting your feedback.

Dianne Christner said...

Hi Kurly Katie,
Thanks for posting that article about Colton on your blog. How thrilling!

I also appreciate your interest in my books. Sorry I'm posting here so late, on Lena's blog, but in Arizona time it's only 8 a.m. And honestly, I did get up around 6:30.

Anonymous said...

the sunny south--SC

thank you for opportunity to win this book, will check back


Dianne Christner said...

Loretta from the sunny south,
This morning I opened my office blinds which face west to let in the sunshine. But in a few hours I'll need to lower them. The sun's intense here in the desert.But as those who live in the south know, it's addictive.

Cheryl Ricker said...

Minnesota! Yay!

Fun interview, Dianne!

I enjoyed getting to know you better!

Dianne Christner said...

Thanks, Cheryl.
Love being your internet friend. Just stopped by your website. Watched your video. Feels like we had a chat.

Patty said...

Always enjoy finding something from a new author! Sounds good...

Patty in SC

Hutt-Write Voice said...

Would love to win this one! Thanks for the offer.

Dianne Christner said...

Thanks Lena for providing this blog so that readers and writers can find each other. Don't know how you find time to do everything. But so appreciate your blog and your writing.

Nice to meet you here, Patty.

Dianne Christner said...

Linda - my Canadian sister. From your blog I see that we have similar 16th century roots (Anabaptist)

I so appreciate your interest in my Mennonite fiction.

Karen G. said...

What a great interview. I have Something Old in my TBR pile which I didn't think I had. So glad I have the first book. Hope to win the second book. Even if I don't win it'll be on my wish list.

Karen G. from Troy, NY

Dianne Christner said...

MsRubyKat - By your profile photo, I feel your love for books. Is that your TBR pile? I'm honored to be on it. Check out my contact info because when you get to it, I'd love to get your feedback.

Anonymous said...

I have read book 1..'Something Old' and I would love to read book 2 'Smething New' by Dianne Christner.......loved the first book of the series...excited about reading the next one...please enter me in the contest....I live in the big state of

Tina said...

what a lovely interview.
And I just loved the first book, "Something Old"; cant wait to read "Something New".

Tina Watson
Mercersburg, PA

Dianne Christner said...

Thanks gals for the kind words about "Something Old". "Something New" starts where book one ended, only it shifts to Lil's point of view. I hope you get to read it. Appreciate your following.

Anonymous said...

I think this book sounds so awesome! Would love to win it and read it!!!!!!! Thank you!!!!!

Dianna Bupp

I live in Florida

Dianne Christner said...

Hi Lady Di,
We share similar names and I was born in Sarasota, Fla., oh my, so many years ago.

rubynreba said...

Great interview. I'd love to read this.
Beth from Iowa

Dianne Christner said...

Thanks for your interest Beth. Good luck in the drawing.

Unknown said...

I'd love a chance to read this!

AmandaSue in WI
unforgetable_dreamer_always (at) hotmail (dot) com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Lourdes said...

Looking forward to reading this book I read Something Old.

Lourdes in Huntington, NY

Anonymous said...


Mary Preston said...

I know I will enjoy reading SOMETHING NEW.


Mary P


holdenj said...

I enjoyed Dianne's comments and think the book (and Lil) look great! Thanks!
Julie in MN

Diana Flowers said...

I think this book looks and sounds wonderful, Dianne! I wouldn't mind spending the evening with Lena either...she's so humorous and interesting, and her books are great! :) Would love an opportunity to read yours! Thanks!

Diana from SC

Judy said...

I would love to win a copy of this book! Hoping to meet you in person some day Dianne! I have meet Beverly Lewis and Wanda Brunstetter. Both are very wonderful sweet ladies. Very, very nice.

Great interview by the way!

Judy from Indiana

Rhonda's Doings said...

love your books! reading my first one of yours now, Dianne.
Greetings from Virginia

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Looks interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing!
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Abigail Mitchell said...

Enter me!
Thanks and God Bless!
Blanch, N.C.

Dianne Christner said...

I am overwhelmed by your responses. My heart is overflowing. I would love to meet you all. Please look me up on Facebook so that we can get connected. Thanks again. I'm humbled.

Dianne Christner said...

Lourdes and Rhonda,
Thanks so much for picking up "Something Old".

Thanks for having me, Lena. It's been such a blessing.

Judy Cooper said...

I love the setting. Will be looking forward to checking it out. Please enter my name. Thank you. Judy C. in Louisiana.

Anne Payne said...

Great interview, ladies!
Sounds like a fun story and I would love the opportunity to win a copy.

Anne, rural NC

Jo said...

This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the opportunity of being entered.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!

Nancye in Kentucky
nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Rhianne's Grandma :) said...

Can't wait to read this book...just hope I win it...Thanks, Rhianne's Grandma/Oh

Bethany said...

I'd love to be entered! Thanks--

cbus.blogger at gmail dot com

Sharon Richmond said...

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