Thursday, August 23, 2012

SOMETHING BLUE - Dianne Christner - One Free Book

God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Have you been to the Grand Canyon? Arizona has some breathtaking horizons. But mostly, on the horizon, I see God’s grace working in my life.

I’m making some changes, dropping the routine information dump and getting real on my blog. All along, I’ve turned myself inside out trying to give readers a worthwhile (yet safe and impersonal) take away, such as the real scoop on Mennonite bonnets or my secret family recipe for Porcupine Meatballs. Embarrassing stuff, I know. That’s the point. They’d rather see a photo of me in a head covering or hear how I burned the meatballs because I was shopping for new clothes because I gained ten pounds on my book tour eating Whoopie pies because I was rewarding myself for doing my job even though I’d rather stay home where it’s safe because I’m an introvert. . . for example. That didn’t really happen. So I’m prying my fingers up one by one, releasing the grip I’ve kept on my privacy and letting go of my imaginary suave professional image. Getting real.  BLOG

Tell us a little about your family.
This October, hubby and I celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. I just purchased $59 flights to San Diego and am planning our little romantic getaway. I’m open to suggestions here.

Our son and his family live in the valley, which is great, but my daughter married her college sweetheart and moved to Houston. Many of those white stripes you see across the sky are me jetting back and forth to Houston because I dreadfully miss my best friend.

We’re the type of g-parents who roll around on the floor with the g-kids, anything from hide ‘n seek to Don’t Wake Daddy (a fun board game for 5-10 year olds). We’ve three g-kids in Phoenix (ages 2-8) and two in Houston (ages 2-5). This year we’ll all be together at our home for Christmas. Doing the garbanzo dance. (inside joke for readers of my series)

James and I will celebrate our 48th anniversary in November. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Yes. I don’t finish as many books and weep over great books, reading them again and again. All this in turn, makes me more critical of my own writing. Knowledge feeds knowledge, but it also reveals how little I know.

What are you working on right now?
I’m moving forward with a new series idea.  I placed a pink bike on my website banner as a hint, that’s all the bait I can jiggle.
What outside interests do you have?
Besides making white streaks across the sky, I love home decorating—and in this economy, that’s like using a few loaves to feed the thousands. I’m a fan of HGTV.  We play couples Bunco with a group of old friends. I enjoy morning jogs and use this time to continue my morning conversation with God as well as jolt—and hopefully strengthen—my aging bones. I’m told that works.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
It’s a complicated but fun challenge to match the perfect locale with an idea. With atlas in one hand and mouse in the other, I search for a city that will layer a story. Plain City complimented my Mennonite series because it adds to the simplicity theme. It’s also where I met my husband and started our real-life romance, and a place where I had personal contacts. I believe a setting must have at least three things that compliment or layer the story idea.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Lately I’ve been thinking about Queen Esther. I’m sure she could teach me how to be more respectful to my spouse. She knew how to please the king. Maybe I’d get some beauty tips too.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
Considering I knew zip, I could name several dozen, but I’d probably spend less personal money on advertising.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Every year the Lord gives me a theme. 2010 was healing. 2011, overcoming fear. 2012 seems to be endurance, settling in and pushing through no matter what, ignoring the pain and keeping eyes on the goal. That’s where I am today.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Keep improving your writing craft, get connected with other authors, find your individual niche.

Tell us about the featured book.
Megan’s attracted to her boss Chance, a charming missionary pilot. Then Micah Zimmerman moves into her parent's home as a pastoral candidate for their Conservative Mennonite church--and he doesn't look anything like the gawky young man who had a crush on her in college. It’s a love triangle, and she’s a lucky gal because both men are a catch. Her grandparent’s lost love letters play an important role in her decision.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Chapter one
Brother Eli Troyer groaned and clutched a hand over his heart. The fast, strange sensations escalated as he weeded his wife’s vegetable patch. But it wasn’t the first time this had happened. Always before, the frightening condition went away on its own. If he told his wife, Barbara, she’d shoo him off to the doctor. He was long overdue for any kind of medical checkup.

            He groped for the blue handkerchief in his pocket and mopped his damp brow. He glanced up at the June sun, then replaced his straw hat. There were more important things to do than go see a doctor. He couldn’t let up when he needed to visit folks who were actually sick. It took time to plan his sermons. Preaching and presiding over his little Conservative Mennonite flock was a full time responsibility, almost becoming too much for him as his energy waned. Why, he would be seventy on his next birthday.

            He slowly bent for his red handled hoe and continued to work his way down a garden row of bushy green beans, fighting against his increasing exhaustion. But he’d promised Barbara he’d finish the weeding before she returned from her outing, with two other sisters from the congregation, to the discount fabric store in Columbus. Those sisters made up the core of the quilting group, and Barbara was going with them to show her support for their latest project.

            Less than ten minutes passed, when he heard the sweet gurgling whistle of a bluebird. He paused to gaze up into the nearby evergreen. Barbara had suggested he put up one of those nesting houses on a pole this spring, the kind that attracted bluebirds. She already had several birdhouses strewn around the yard. She had been a good helpmeet to him over the years, and he now wished he would have made that bird house for her this spring.

            The chest pain returned, harder than before.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Dianne, for visiting with us today. 

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


aussie monica said...

I love Mennonite stories!

Monica Ontario Canada

Anonymous said...


Dianne Christner said...

Morning Monica and Angela . . . early risers. Good luck.

Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds like a great book, would love to win it. Thank you for hosting the giveaway.

Wendy from FL, formerly NE


Vanson's Mom said...

I'm a big fan of Dianne's. I've always enjoyed your blog but I'm really excited to see the "real" you in your upcoming posts. I LOVED "Something Blue" and found myself doing the garbonzo dance a few times while reading it myself. : ) good luck in your journey to show your readers your true authentic self through your blog. Can't wait!

Dianne Christner said...

Thanks Wendy for joining in the conversation this morning.

Hi Rachel. Thanks for your kind words and enthusiasm. I hope the Lord can use my blog to stir up faith in others because my readers, like you, lift my spirits and spur me on.

Lena - congrats on your upcoming 48th anniversary. My hubby's name is James too.

Diana Flowers said...

I enjoyed the interview, Dianne, and I would sooo love to read this book! The cover is beautiful and the storyline is definitely my kind of book! Thank you!

Diana from SC


Dianne Christner said...

Thanks Diana,
Covers are like babies, mostly authors think their own is so pretty. LOL But this one does look like the heroine. I use photos to write and sent Barbour a copy of my photo. Then they use real models, and I thought this one was right on target.

Judy said...

I really enjoyed the interview. Closing in on 40 years of marriage! Fantastic! I would love to win a copy of Something Blue. I love the cover!

Judy B from Indiana

scottsgal said...

love the premise of this book - sounds wonderful
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Dianne Christner said...

Hi Judy and Cheryl,
Thanks for stopping by. I'm in and out of my office today, playing cupcakes with Chloe. She's two and the cupcakes are snap apart and interchangeable. Kinda like book plots. Hope you get to read "Something Blue"

ASC Book Reviews said...

This sounds AWESOME!!!!

Please enter me!

ASC Photos & Designs, NM

Dianne Christner said...

Thanks Amanda. You're in.

pol said...

Hello Dianne, I am from Ga and love to read stories like this one so would love to be in your drawing.
You look so young hard to believe that you could be having anniversary in 40's. Congratulations and hope your little romantic trip is all you want it to be....
Paula O(

Dianne Christner said...

Hi Paula from Georgia. Nice to meet another southern gal. Though Phoenix is southwestern, we're all enjoying the sunshine. Thanks for the compliment. Keep 'em coming. Ha. Writing can be a lonely business so today's fun.

Amy C said...

Hi Dianne! I loved this interview! It's nice to get to know authors. ... Happy anniversary!


Dianne Christner said...

Hi Amy,
Hope you're having a great day. We'll add you in the giveaway. Blessings!

Nancee said...

I've read a couple of other reviews of Something Blue, and it sounds like a great book! Thanks for offering this giveaway!
Nancee in Michigan

Sparks of Ember said...

Your interview is great - I love your peppy answers! Don't think I believe you about being introverted. ;) Now I'll have to check out your blog! Who can resist?

The book sounds great, too. Love triangles! Yay!

Dianne Christner said...

Hi Nancee and Lady,

So glad so many are making it past the sign in puzzle to prove we're not robots. Am I the only one who can't read those?

I hear authors are not supposed to read their reviews but I can't help it. I read every one that I come across. Part of my learning process, what works and what doesn't.

If I'm not coming across as an introv..its because I love what I'm doing. And you all are a big part of what I'm doing.

I sure hope you DO visit my blog. Just promise to be kind.

Sparks of Ember said...

Oh - I was going to guess "something borrowed" for your new book until I saw you said it's a new series. And here I thought I was so clever!

And I have a horrible time with the repatcha word puzzle things!!

Dianne Christner said...

Actually, I had an idea for "Something Borrowed". I talk about that on my "Spoiler" tab on my website. But it is a spoiler and in order to understand it, you have to read "Something Blue" first.

Right now "Something Borrowed" isn't in the works, but hey, never say never, right?

Jo said...

This does sound like quite a interesting book. Would love to win it. Thanks for the opportunity!

Jo from Southern Arizona

Dianne Christner said...

Thanks so much Jo.

What a pleasure to hang out on your blog today. Blessings to you and your writing.

Katie said...

Her grandparent's letters sound so intriguing! Please enter me. I'm from NC.

Mary Preston said...

I just wanted to take Brother Eli to the Doctor myself. What a first page!! I am so looking forward to reading the rest of SOMETHING BLUE.

Mary P


Patsy said...

I haven't read any books by Dianne and am looking forward to reading "Something Blue". I love these kinds of stories.

from South MS


Emily said...

Looks like a really great book! Thanks for the giveaway!


Debbie said...

I'll read anything to do with Mennonites or Amish! Can't wait to give this one a try! Sign me up!

Long Island

John said...

Thanks for the chance to win. Pleas enter my name in the drawing!

John NY

apple blossom said...

Thanks for the chance to win
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks absolutely wonderful!!
Sharon Richmond

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Enter me!
God Bless!

Nancee said...

Very nice interview with Dianne. I love her writing. Thanks for offering a giveaway of Something Blue.
Nancee in Michigan

Jackie Tessnair said...

Please enter me.I really want to read this book.Thanks...Jackie Tessnair from N.C.

Cindy W. said...

I love the cover of Something Blue. Would love to win a copy.

Cindy W. from Indiana


Judy Cooper said...

I enjoyed the interview and I know I would enjoy the book, because I do really enjoy reading about their lifestyle. Please enter me. Thank you Judy C. in Louisiana.

Mrs. Carpenter/ohio said...

This sounds like another great book, would love to win....Mrs. Carpenter

rubynreba said...

Please enter me. Thanks!
Beth from IA

LuckyLady 717/ohio said...

Sounds like a book I would enjoy reading...Lucky Lady 717

Diana Gardner said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks. Portsmouth, VA