Sunday, May 20, 2012

WILDFLOWERS FROM WINTER - Katie Ganshert - Free Book

Welcome, Katie. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t have a lot in common with my characters, but I do always try to start with a seed of truth. For example, in Wildflowers from Winter, my main character is very confused about and angry with God. I’ve never been as confused as her or as angry, but there have been times that I have felt confused about God or upset about something. So I start with those feelings and blow them up with what-if questions.  

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
In high school, all four walls of my bedroom were covered in pictures. I didn’t use photo albums. I took pictures all the time. I’d get them developed and cover my walls with them. When I ran out of space, I started covering my ceiling. Our house was the hangout house in high school, so when people would come in my room, they would literally spend an hour looking at all the pictures. 

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When my third grade teacher picked my story about Mr. and Mrs. Leaf to read out loud to the class.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read a lot of different books. You can find me reading mainstream fiction, literary fiction, young adult, women’s fiction, and of course, romance! Contemporary, historical, even paranormal. As long as it’s an engaging storyline with sympathetic characters, then I’m in. 

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Get up early and ground myself in God’s presence. I like to wake up when it’s still nice and dark, go on a prayer walk, then dig into God’s Word. After that, I get some writing done before my son wakes up and the day begins.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
The best is when they just come to me with the character, like a bundled package. That happened with Bethany. She was always Bethany. She couldn’t be anyone but Bethany. Sometimes, though, a name doesn’t come and that’s when I usually get on a baby name website and start browsing.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Probably getting a book deal. It’s been a dream of mine for a really long time and it’s something I had to work very hard for.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A shark. But I’d be a nice shark. And a smart shark. Something without many predators. I’d love to explore the depths and the mysteries of the ocean.

What is your favorite food?
Ice cream! Ice cream with lots of chocolate and a brownie.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Anytime I have to fix something really big in my story, but I have no idea how to fix it. This always freaks me out. I’m fine with big rewrites. Those don’t scare me. What scares me is when I don’t know where to start. The best way to overcome this is to find a writing friend who’s willing to brainstorm. Brainstorming works wonders!

Tell us about the featured book.
A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love, and a peace she’s not even sure exists?

Please give us the first page of the book.
The summer I turned twelve, I tried to kill myself. At least that’s what the lifeguard told the paramedics and the paramedics told the doctors and the doctors told my mother. I don’t deny I swam to the bottom of the public swimming pool. I don’t even deny I decided to stay there. I only defend my motives. My decision was much less about escaping this world and much more about joining another.

I think that should count for something.

When I regained consciousness, I opened my eyes to a pair of blurry faces. My mother with her perpetually pinched eyebrows, raking her teeth over swollen lips. And Grandpa Dan—with my father’s face, only twenty years older. His callused grip pressed through the shoulder of my hospital gown, anchoring my body to a reality I didn’t want to face, awakening my senses until I noticed stiff sheets rubbing against my toes, beeping monitors, the smell of antiseptic, and a man I didn’t recognize.

He studied me over a pair of bifocals and clicked his pen against a clipboard, jotting mysterious notes whenever I talked or sighed or breathed funny. His name was Dr. Nowels, and he had a mustache the exact same shade as the dead mouse I found behind our trailer home the previous Easter.
After I was released from the hospital, my mom insisted I sit with him for an hour every Tuesday after school. I tried to convince her that I didn’t need to see a shrink. That she was wasting her money. Or actually, Uncle Phil’s money. But I sort of lost all credibility after the swimming pool fiasco.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can find me on my website: I love mailing out free welcome packets. All you have to do is scroll down, look left, and click on the sign-up button. From there, you can find my blog, where I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday about writing, faith, and romance. I’m also on Twitter: @KatieGanshert, and I have a Facebook page where I like to interact with readers:

Thank you, Katie, for the interesting interview.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Wildflowers from Winter: A Novel - paperback
Wildflowers from Winter: 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.


Anonymous said...

I would love to win. Love the title of the book.
angela from KY

Lane Hill House said...

Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert - Free Book

Pick me~*~Pick me~*~Pick me
Would love to have a hot-off-the-press copy of Katie Ganshert's book!

Liz R said...

I'd love to read this book!

Liz R in AL

Katie Ganshert said...

Hey gals! Thanks for stopping over to read the interview. I wish I had an unending supply of free books so I could give you all a copy!

Lcenlow said...

Thanks for the opportunity. I am always open to a new book. :-) Have a great weekend.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Congratulations, Katie. All the buzz about your debut has been amazing!

Hope you're getting to enjoy it and it's not too overwhelming!

If Canada is okay, please throw my name in the hat!


Susan Anne Mason said...

oops - don't know if you need the email - sbmason at sympatico dot ca

Jo said...

I would love to read this book. Please enter me!

Jo from Southern Arizona

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Michelle Massaro said...

Aw, Katie, I'm still so excited for you! You deserve ice cream and brownies every day while on this ride! :D Great interview.

I'm from sunny southern CA! Feel free to come and visit.

~ Michelle

Katie Ganshert said...

Susan - thanks! It has definitely been a crazy, exciting ride! I would definitely send a book to Canada. :)

Michelle - you know me well, girl! Ice cream and brownies are right up my alley!

Hope everyone is having a fabulous Sunday! I'm about to go running and join my hubby and my little boy for some disc golf.

A.J. Cattapan said...

I'd love to win a copy of this book. It sounds great!

Count me in . . .

Amy from Illinois

scottsgal said...

Being from the Chicago area, I enoy books set in the city.
Cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Mocha with Linda said...

sounds like an interesting book. Would love to win.

Linda in Texas

rubynreba said...

Wildflowers From Winter sounds like a wonderful book. Please enter me.
Beth from Iowa

Unknown said...

I would love to win a copy of "Wildflowers from Winter"! It sounds like such a good book.

I'm from Texas.


Mama Cat said...

You have my attention from the first paragraphs! Please enter me in the contest. I can appreciate the challenges you have faced while writing this book, as it sounds like the emotions are tremendously aching at times. Leading this lady into the love of our Lord will be a message of God's love and great restoration of a soul. God bless you! Jeanie in Phoenix, Arizona

Bethany Kaczmarek said...

I love Bethany's voice. Sounds like an incredible story, Katie. "I think that should count for something." I've had conversations like this with kids...I understand the longing for something better, for my true home.

Beautifully written. And I love that you'd be a nice, smart shark. :)

Bethany Kaczmarek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deborah K. Anderson said...

Count me in, Katie. You had me from the opening line.

And thanks so much for sharing this, Lena.

Oh, I'm in the Midwest.

Jackie Tessnair said...

I would love to win this book...Thanks, Jackie Tessnair fromN.C.

Mary Preston said...

A wonderful first page thank you. I can see I am going to like Bethany.

Mary P


Lynne said...

I love to read new authors and this book sounds really good from the "teaser" you gave us! I can't wait to read the whole book!

Lynne from TN

Judy said...

The cover of this book caught my eye. I don't know what is so captivating about it but I love it.

Katie is a new author to me. I loved the interview especially the part about the favorite food. Ice cream! Chocolate! and a brownie! Wow, what can I say? I'm right there with you!

This book sounds like a great read and I can't wait to read it.

I'd love to win a copy.

Judy from Indiana

EJ said...

Love finding new authors - and will def. put Wildflowers from Winter on my to read list. Thank you for the great interview

Elaine from Iowa

Katie Ganshert said...

Hey everyone! Love all these comments!

Beth and Elanine - where are you in Iowa? I'm from Iowa too. That's where the story is set!

MamaCat, Bethany, Deborah, Marybelle, Lynne - thanks so much for the encouraging words! I'm glad the opening grabbed your attention. I hope the rest of the story blesses you!

Judy - so glad you like the cover! When my editor first showed it to me, it was love at first sight. It captures the tone of the book so well. The barrenness of winter, the hope of spring.

Sharon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharon said...

Katie - I walked into Lifeway in Burnsville MN on Saturday and saw you had a book signing on Friday! :( Would have loved to meet you in person!

Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of "Wildflowers from Winter"
Sharon from Eagan MN

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Looks interesting!
Please enter me!
God Bless!

Abigail Mitchell said...

Enter me!

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond

Katie Ganshert said...

Sharon - can't believe we missed each other! Hopefully we can meet in person someday in the future. :)

Nancee said...

I've read a lot of reviews about this new book, and I'd love to win a copy. Thank you for offering this giveaway!
Nancee, Western Michigan

apple blossom said...

love to win thanks

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Judy Cooper said...

I enjoyed the interview. I know I would enjoy the book. Please enter my name. Thank you, Judy C. in Louisiana.

Cathy said...

Would love to win this! I've heard so many great things about it. :)

sunshine6892 at hotmail dot com

Cathy in BC Canada

Five Bees in the Triangle said...

Great first page! I'm hooked. Would love to win a copy and keep reading.
Heidi in NC

Bethany said...

I'd love a chance to win and read this book! I'm in Ohio :)

cbus.blogger at gmail dot com

Diana Gardner said...

Would love to win a copy. Portsmouth, VA