Thursday, May 17, 2012

WHERE LILACS STILL BLOOM - Jane Kirkpatrick - Free Book

Welcome, Jane. Tell us about your salvation experience.
I was five years old and we'd just gotten television. I watched a program called "Crossroads" about the spiritual choices each character had to make. At the end, the announcer did an alter call of sorts and invited people to invite Jesus into their lives. I did that. My parents were out in the barn working; I remember the young man in the story who prayed the same prayer. He was a Native American and I've always had a heart for Indian people. Later in my life I spent 17 years working on an Indian reservation thinking often of that story all those years before. In my later life I strayed and it was in 1982 when I returned to the faith and was baptized in a little church in Bend, Oregon, where we now live.

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
1) Anita Hampton Wright because she writes so beautifully about the soul and helps writers get inside their own soul.
2) Pastor Frederick Buechner because everything of his I read, fiction or nonfiction, his sermons as well, are written with unique and loving metaphors while exploring the challenges of everyday life that reveal God's presence in our lives.
3) Laurie R. King. She'd bring her love of history, fiction, and her Jewish experiences to the retreat. I heard her speak at the Festival of Faith and Writing a few years back and decided then that she would be a gem to spend time with.
4) Barbara Brown Taylor, an Episcopal priest, whose essays never fail to move me and require that I think and consider how I've come to believe what I do and how my beliefs are expressed in the wider world.

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I do! I mostly speak about the power of story in our lives and the importance of each person's story, the changing stories, hardiness stories, wilderness stories and how God works in our lives through stories to move us closer to him. I speak at women's retreats, as a fundraising keynoter, serve on panels and twice keynoted at the European Council of International Schools in both France and Italy speaking to teachers from around Europe. Some years ago I wrote a personal mission statement that includes "to encourage and promote through speaking and writing the power of story to Divinely heal and transform" My educational background is in mental health and I believe that writing and speaking are extensions of the healing work I've done all my life.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
I spoke in Edmonton, Alberta Canada a few years ago at a Christian Writer's conference and had used the restroom before my presentation. I wore something with a bit of a "tail." I came out, sat down and after a short time realized I was getting very wet sitting when I stood, it was pretty clear I was VERY wet on my bottom but there was nothing I could do but walk forward with my wet "tail." I often ask groups what experience it is they want to have by coming to a conference and then outline several of the barriers we put up to keep from having that experience. One is to let little things get in the way of being inspired such as the chairs being too hard or someone wearing perfume we don't like. I then said I hoped they wouldn't expect me to be inspirational because I had a wet bottom! People laughed and I turned it into an example of how we often keep ourselves from having the experiences we say we want to have because of silly things like being embarrassed by letting the tail of a wrap be wet in front of tons of people. They laughed and hopefully I went on to say something they could take home with them to encourage their days.

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?
I'd tell them to absolutely do it! That they will discover things about themselves they otherwise would never know. They'll also be in the 1% of people who say they want to write a book who actually do! And to begin, I'd encourage them to read, read, read; take some writing classes and then begin trusting that they are not alone in the telling of their story. God is with them.

Tell us about the featured book.
Where Lilacs Still Bloom is the story of a very persevering German immigrant housewife who taught herself how to hybridize first apples (so she could have easier and bigger ones to peel for the pies she liked to make for her family) and then lilacs. She had a dream to one day develop a creamy white lilac with 12 petals. She also endured many losses in her life and the flowers brought her healing. She was very generous, often giving away her new cultivars she developed (over 250 new varieties are attributed to her). Her generosity also helped her heal the losses. Her story is so inspirational I just didn't want it to be lost.

Please give us the first page of the book.
It's the lilacs I'm worried over. My Favorite and Delia and City of Kalama, and so many more; my as yet unnamed double creamy white with its many petals are especially vulnerable. I can't find the seeds I set aside for it, lost in the rush to move us out of the rivers' way, get us above Woodland's low lands now under water. So much water from the double deluge of the Columbia and the Lewis. Oh how those rivers can rise in the night, breaching dikes we mere mortals put up hoping to stem the rush of what is as natural as air: water seeping, rising, pushing, re-shaping all within its path.

             I watch as all the shaping of my eighty-five years washes away.

            My only surviving daughter puts her arm around my shoulder, pulls me to her. Her house is down there, too, water rising in her basement. We can't see it from this bluff.

            "It'll be all right, Grandma. We're all safe. You can decide later about what to do about your flowers," my grandson Roland tells me.

            "I know it," I said. "All we can do now is watch the rivers and pray no one dies."

            How I wish Frank stood beside me. We'd stake each other up as we did through years weathering what arrived. I could begin again with him at my side. But now uncertainty curls against my old spine and I wonder if my lilacs have bloomed their last time.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Jane, for the interesting interview.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Where Lilacs Still Bloom: A Novel - paperback
Where Lilacs Still Bloom: A Novel - 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.


Patty said...

I miss the lilacs from my home state of MI. DOn't see them much here down south.

Patty in SC

Karen said...

Growing up we had a huge lilac bush right outside out kitchen window. I can almost smell it! I miss those days, love those memories.

Unknown said...

The lilacs are just coming into bloom here! Thank you Lena and Jane for the lovely interview and awesome opportunity to win Where Lilacs Still Bloom!

Marianne from Northern Alberta

mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

My hometown is Portland, Oregon but now I live with my English husband in Latvia. Lilacs are the flower of Latvia and are found on most properties. We have a very old bush on our little sheep farm. I have always loved them.
Kathleen at Kalnozoli Farm

Jane said...

Hi Patty. I think lilacs thrive in the cold winters that the south just does without. Keep those good memories of lilacs!

Jane said...

People often planted them beside the kitchen door, Karen. Sometimes while driving along country roads I'll see a bush in a field and imagine the kitchen door that was once beside it!

Jane said...

We spent a little time in Jaspar a few years back. Are you that far north? How lovely to have the blooms to grace your days

Jane said...

What a lovely image you word painted Kathleen! Hulda's gardens are just north of Portland Or so if you read the story I hope it will bring back good memories of your growing up years. Enjoy those lacs and sheep!

Joanne Bischof said...

The story sounds beautiful, Jane! The opening page is so poetic and enthralling. This is definitely a book I'm looking forward to reading.

Nancee said...

I've heard so many good things about this book. I'd love to have a copy. Thank you for a wonderful interview and for offering this giveaway!
Nancee, Western Michigan

Diana Gardner said...

Would love to win a copy! Portsmouth, VA

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Because of my own book deadlines, I don't comment on many of the interviews on my blog, but I couldn't resist sharing this.

When I was a child, we lived in northwest Arkansas, and we had a large lilac bush in our front yard. It had a large cluster of trunks with spaces scattered between. One of my favorite places to play house was in that lilac bush.

Trella Hastings said...

I love Liilacs. We have a tall Lilac bush in the front that is in full bloom, a deep purple color. They have a fragrant smell as well. I will miss this bush that we planted a few years ago as the house has just been sold. I hope the new owners will cherish it as much as we did. I love gardening!
I met Jane in Hood River at one of her workshops several years ago. What a great experience! I live in WA state, near Seattle.
Trella, near Seattle

scottsgal said...

I love my lilac bushes - it's my favorite smell ever
msboatgal at

Anonymous said...

I love all flowers in any garden, but Lilacs are one of the first to bloom and absolutly delightful to smell while passing by them. I am a following fan of all you have to say Jane.
Teresa Clark

Karen G. said...

Would love to have lilac bushes in my yard but hubby says no. Lilacs have always been my favorite. Used to have lilacs perfume ages ago.

Karen Gervais from Troy, NY

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this beautiful story ;)

karenk..from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book...Thanks..Jackie Tessnair from N.C.

Judy said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for this giveaway!

Judy B from Indiana

Anonymous said...

I've been to Hulda's garden several times and I'm so excited to acquire this book.
Hope I win the book.
Judy K.

Lourdes said...

Nice cover would love to win

Lourdes from Huntington NY

Pam K. said...

I've read many of Jane's books and loved them all. I would very much like to win a copy of Where Lilacs Still Bloom. Besides the fact that Jane is one of my favorite authors, this book has such a lovely cover and lilacs are a flower I enjoy.
Thanks for giving away a copy and for the interview with Jane.


Jaedyn said...

I absolutely love Jane's books - she's one of my favorite authors. :) I would love to win a copy of this book!


Jane said...

What a great place to play house, Lena! And Trella, I remember you in Hood River because you have a name that sounds like wind chimes.
We bought a home two years ago that has a lilac bush...when it bloomed this year I remembered the people who had planted it. There is just something very evocative about lilacs. I wish you could all win the book! Thanks for stopping by.

Sheri said...

My daughter brought me a bouquet of lilacs on Sunday. They reminded me that I need to get Jane's book. If anyone needs an uplifting experience just go to one of Jane's presentations.

misskallie2000 said...

I love lilacs and planted 2 bushes and waiting for them to bloom.
I would love to read "WHERE LILACS STILL BLOOM". Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

Brenda from Georgua

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Mary Preston said...

WHERE LILACS STILL BLOOM looks absolutely fascinating.

I do love lilacs - such a pretty cover too.

Mary P


apple blossom said...

lilacs are nice would love to win this book thanks
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Jo said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Liz R said...

I'd love to read this book, please enter me!

Liz R in AL

Faith said...

Lovely interview, my good friend is the biggest Jane Kirkpatrick fan ever! She's read nearly every single book, except this one :)

Thanks for the opportunity :)

Faye from SD

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC,

Lane Hill House said...

We were just given heirloom lilac starts for our hilltop home; both lavender and white! Please enter me for the drawing.

rubynreba said...

The lilacs are beautiul. We have a lilac bush and I wish it would bloom all year!
Beth from Iowa

Mama Cat said...

The title catches my first interest, then the history and story of a woman who had an incredible path to walk and story to tell. I would love to win this! And I live in Phoenix, AZ and very much miss lilacs from my home state of Michigan!

Karin said...

Lilacs- my favorite flower. I wish the blooms lasted longer. The fragrance is heavenly.