Tuesday, February 26, 2013

FIREFLY ISLAND - Lisa Wingate - One Free Book on This Blog - Plus Much More

Bio: Lisa Wingate is a magazine columnist, inspirational speaker, and the author of eighteen mainstream fiction novels, including the national bestseller, Tending Roses, now in its seventeenth printing. She is a seven-time ACFW Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. She has found success in both the Christian and general fiction markets, writing mainstream fiction for Penguin Putnam and Bethany House. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. More information about Lisa’s novels can be found at www.Lisawingate.com

How did you come up with the idea for this story?
Firefly Island, like all of my stories, is a combination of real life and fiction. In the story, Mallory’s life in Washington D.C. takes a sudden right turn when her love-at-first sight flame, Daniel Everson, is offered a job on a remote ranch in far-away Texas. Some years ago, my life took a similar turn when, through a series of family connections, my husband was offered the chance to leave his corporate job and operate a ten thousand acre ranch in the Texas Hill Country. Like Daniel in the story, he really did walk out of the bedroom after a phone call (looking quite peaked and somewhat terrified) and say, “I … ummm … think I’ve just been offered a … ummm… job in… Texas.”

That was the beginning of wild adventure that would last several years. We knew we’d never get the chance to do something like this again, so we sold our home and went for it. We were scared to death. We had a three and a half year old son at the time (the age of Daniel’s son Nick in the story). Like Mallory, we worried about what the schools would be like that far out in the country, how we would find playmates for our son, and whether he would be lonely, living miles from other families. It never occurred to me to wonder whether I would be lonely. I figured that part out after we started our new life ;o)

The political scandal that eventually threatens Mallory’s new life on the ranch was largely a product of serendipity and timing. As I was writing the book, a local political controversy was brewing in Central Texas. I learned about it when I happened to attend an event in my hometown and sit next to someone who’d been fighting a David-and-Goliath style battle against political powerbrokers. While the events in the story were only partially inspired by the ugly reality brewing, that little nugget of local controversy generated the perfect challenge to Mallory’s newfound life – a battle that she, with her political experience, is uniquely suited to fight.

If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Any party of mine would probably include far more than six Christian authors of contemporary fiction, because I know so many wonderful people who fit that bill. I’ll struggle with the number, but I would definitely include my fellow blogging gal-pals on www.SouthernBelleViewDaily.com , Beth Webb Hart, Julie Cantrell, Rachel Hauck, and Shellie Rushing Tomlinson. Shellie isn’t technically a fiction author, but she’s the Queen of All Things Southern, and we all write Southern stories, so she would be there even if it is a fiction authors party. I think we’d all just sit out on the porch with a big pitcher of sweet tea and see who shows up. Maybe Susan May Warren or Jenny B. Jones or Judy Christie would liven up the party? If Debbie Macomber happened to wander up the street, we wouldn’t kick her off the porch, either. Debbie is one-hundred percent delightful!

Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why
I’d invite Julie Klassen, because she was my editor at Bethany House and I love her books. I’d invite Carla Stewart because Carla’s delightful personality is an asset at any party. I’d invite Francine Rivers because she’s a fascinating person and has enjoyed such long-standing success in the industry. A historical party wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without Dee Gist (dressed in historical costume of course). Then, I think we’d just see who else wanders by, looking to hang out. Maybe Tamara Alexander or Elizabeth Ludwig would happen by… or… who knows? Lena, you could join us and share a story or two. How about it?

Since I’m a Texan, too, I’d love to drop by. Besides, I love those authors, too. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
Other than just the highs and lows of the business – one day, you’re on top of the world at an awards ceremony, and the next day someone is panning your book in a review, and you can’t imagine why anyone would be that mean to something you care deeply about – I think the toughest thing is time management. The more your world and your writing expands, the more people and activities you’re connected to. It’s easy to get so busy with your work life that you let work chip little pieces from the rest of your life. Finding balance is important and not always easy, at any stage in your career.

I so agree. Tell us about the featured book.
Mallory Hale’s life veers unexpectedly off course when she falls hopelessly in love. After a whirlwind romance, Mallory finds herself leaving the bustle of Capitol Hill for the remote town of Moses Lake, Texas—with husband, stepson, and a U-Haul in tow.

A sweet, mishap-filled journey into marriage, motherhood, and ranch living ensues. But despite the adventure of her rosy new life, she soon discovers that even small towns have secrets.
When hints of a scandal emerge, Mallory comes to realize that this middle-of-nowhere home—the one she wasn’t sure she wanted—is the very place she’ll risk everything to save.

Mallory, in many ways experiences the life of a mail-order bride. Because she and Daniel have only known each other a short time when the job move forces a huge leap of faith in their relationship, she finds herself married to a man she adores, but barely knows. Like any newly-married couple, they have much to learn about each other, but Mallory is also facing sudden step-parenthood and the trials of leaving behind her family, her career, her friends, her identity, and all that is familiar. The challenges of life on a ranch are completely foreign to her.

In days of old, mail-order brides faced many of the same challenges. Our great-great grandmothers attempted to solve the problem by writing letters home, joining in sewing circles and ladies’ societies in their new locations, and sometimes by documenting their experiences in journals. Mallory finds herself unwillingly drawn into the tradition of journaling, but in a much more modern way, when she stumbles into the blogging life. As the blog draws fans, she becomes The Frontier Woman, and her world expands more than she could have ever dreamed.

At its heart, even with the larger issues of political scandal and local challenges, Firefly Island is a story about families, friendships, about community--how it develops and why we need it. Human beings are, at the most basic level, communal creatures. There’s so much evidence that people are happier and healthier, that we’re more generous and open with one another, that families are stronger and children achieve more when strong ties of friendship and community are there. These days, technology, busy schedules, and an on-the-go lifestyle compete with relationship-building activities, chipping away at the very thing we need the most. So often, our society tells people, especially young people like Mallory, that success is in not having to rely on anyone, but we were created to give and take, to need each other. I hope that Firefly Island provides a challenge to all of us, to see what we can contribute and what we can gain from the people we cross paths with in our neighborhoods and communities.

I’ve read this book and had a hard time putting it down when I needed to do something else. Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.

Chapter 1
When we no longer know which way to go,
We have begun our real journey – Wendell Berry
(Written on the Wall of Wisdom,Waterbird Bait and Grocery, Moses Lake, Texas)

There are those times when life is a cursor on a blank page, blinking in a rhythm a bit like an electronic heartbeat, tapping out a question in three little words.

What.  Comes.  Next?

Time and space and life wait for an answer. A blank page is an ocean of possibilities. The producer from CNN wants to know how I ended up here. Did I realize, when I started this thing, where it would lead?

The cursor would like an answer to that question. Or maybe it is challenging me. A wink instead of a heartbeat. A wink and a little chuckle that says, Go ahead and try. It’s like one of those bad jokes told by lonely traveling salesmen in hotel lounges, What do a milk cow, An Irish love legend, and a political scandal have in common…

But I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried, much less explain it. It’s easier to just look out the window, scan a DC skyline that seems out of place now, and let it fool me as it whispers, It’s summertime, Mallory. It’s balmy out here—can you feel it? Don’t you hear the crickets chirring and the hens plucking June bugs off the porch? 

I let myself sink into the fantasy, let it wrap around me like a comfortable old shirt—the oversized sort with the neck torn out and the fabric washed so many times that the tag is bleached bare and the logo is only a smattering of color clinging to individual threads.
I imagine that I am home, not here in DC. I hear the waters of Moses Lake lapping at the shore, feel the rhythm of it beneath my feet. My eyes fall closed, and I drink in the water-scented Texas air, the oleander blooming, the sound of small, bare feet tramping up the hallway, a favorite blanket dragging behind. The honey-sweet tastes of a summer morning.

I’m ready to cuddle a knobby-legged little body in my lap, snuggle a case of bed head under my chin, feel the soft, downy hairs tickle my neck, hear the first snuffly breaths of morning before there’s any need to talk, or ask questions, or face the rest of the world. I’m aching for all the things I never thought I’d want, for the place that has wound its way over me like the silk of a web, soft yet strong. I am a prisoner of it, content in ways I could never have imagined. It’s strange how quickly a life can become your life, and how hard you’ll fight for it when someone tries to take it away…

I absolutely love that first page. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love getting to know readers and new friends across the miles. People can find me on:
Blogging Mondays at: www.SouthernBelleView.com
My website: www.Lisawingate.com

Lisa Wingate is celebrating the release of Firefly Island with an iPad Mini giveaway and a fun Facebook Author Chat Party (March 19th).  


  One fortunate winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • The Moses Lake series (Firefly Island, Blue Moon Bay and Larkspur Cove)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 18th. Winner will be announced at the "Firefly Island Author Chat Party on March 19th. Connect with Lisa, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of Firefly Island and join Lisa on the evening of the March 19th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 19th!

Thank you, Lisa, for visiting with us again. Your interviews are always interesting.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Firefly Island Firefly Island (The Shores of Moses Lake Book #3) -  paperback
Firefly Island (The Shores of Moses Lake Book #3) - 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 Google +, 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.


pol said...

Hi Lisa, this sounds like a wonderful story, will be interesting to read how a job offer from so far away will play out in the story. I like Texas and hope to move there soon. thanks for sharing about this book.
Paula O(Kyflo130@yahoo.com)
a reader in Ga

pol said...

Hi Lisa, this sounds like a wonderful story, will be interesting to read how a job offer from so far away will play out in the story. I like Texas and hope to move there soon. thanks for sharing about this book.
Paula O(Kyflo130@yahoo.com)
a reader in Ga

Cathy said...

Looking forward to reading this one!

Thanks for the giveaway

Cathy from BC Canada

Anonymous said...

I have seen many good reviews for Firefly Island. I'm looking forward to reading this one.

Katie J. From FL

Susan H said...

I love Lisa's books! She's a great storyteller in person and on paper!

Susan in Texas

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to win this book

Lisa Wingate said...

Thanks, all! And Susan, I so appreciate the kind words about my books! I treasure the readers and friends who share these adventures with me ;o)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the chance to win.

Bonnie Jean from Florida

Jo said...

This sounds like a wonderful story and I would really love to read the book. Look forward to it and thank you for the opportunity.


Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Norma S said...

Thanks for giving me a chance to win your book, so you say that all of your stories are a combination of real life and fiction, i can't wait to read it. Great interview you and Lena gave. God bless you and have a great week.
Norma Stanforth from Ohio

Mary Preston said...

It is a great first page & I look forward to reading more.

Mary P


Cindy W. said...

Firefly Island sounds like a great read. Thank you for your generosity in the giveaway. I would love to win a copy.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

apple blossom said...

oh, thanks for the chance to win Lisa's book
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Patty said...

Not sure if I have read any of Lisa's books before. Thanks for the chance to remedy that!

Patty in SC

Lourdes said...

Story sounds great.

Lourdes Dix Hills New York

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond

karenk said...

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

karenk (from PA)
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Cyndi said...

I, too, didn't know my husband all that well when we married so the premise of this book sounds intriguing. We just celebrated our 30th. :) Looking forward to the chat party and to reading this book!

Cyndi W.
Tuscaloosa, AL

Breanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rubynreba said...

Firefly Island sounds like a wonderful romance. Please enter me.
Beth from Iowa

Anonymous said...


Heidi Reads... said...

Thanks for sharing the interview!
Heidi from San Diego, CA

holdenj said...

Sounds like a great story--always like a book that is hard to put down.
Julie in MN

Jackie Tessnair said...

Would love to win and read this book.Thank..Jackie Tessnair N.C.

Bethany said...

I'd love to be entered! This sounds like a great read. I am in Ohio :-)

Kristie said...

This book sounds great! I do not know how I would feel moving to another state so far from my family. It sounds like Lisa pulls from her life with this book. I'm not sure how I would feel about putting myself into a character. I don't know how objective I could be. Kristie from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Merry said...

Firefly Island sounds like a touching, romantic story. Please add me!
Merry in TX