Monday, December 02, 2013

TEMPEST'S COURSE - Lynette Sowell - One Free Book

Welcome back, Lynette. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t purposely write some of myself into my characters, but like for many writers, I know that happens inadvertently. I think writers always touch on some aspects of their own experiences when crafting characters. For me, usually it’s emotional journey—whether that’s joy, betrayal, outrage, finding the need to forgive, or a lesson I’ve learned. I love cooking and trying recipes, and I’ve had several characters who are chefs, either running their own restaurant, or a bakery, and even a White House chef.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I told a friend the other night about a costume party back in college. I couldn’t figure out what to wear, so I made a toga of sorts out of my dorm room curtains, and I wore that to the party. There's a picture of that night around, somewhere...

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I distinctly remember that discovery in elementary school, either fourth or fifth grade. A teacher gave us a list of 25 words and said, “Now write a story using all of those words at least once.” For me it happened naturally. My story was a Thanksgiving story involving Pilgrims and Indians. I can still remember the thrill of reading it aloud in class, and the whole room being silent as I read what I’d just made up. But it wasn't until much, much later I seriously considered writing with the goal of publication.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy reading anything from sweet romance (it has to be a unique enough hook to grab me as a reader) to gritty suspense/thrillers. Southern fiction, cozy mystery, you name it.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I force myself to slow down and rest. I usually underestimate the time I need to get certain things done—either that, or I’m overly ambitious. Recently because of my husband’s health issues, we’ve had to slow down some, but that's okay. We don’t have to do everything.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
When I sit down and think of a character, sometimes I wait until they introduce themselves to me. It depends on their personality, or ethnic background. I also try to choose names that are easy to read—no guessing on the pronunciation—especially if they’re not common names.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Choosing to become a mother to my husband’s two children. They were three and five years old when I married their father, and I don’t regret becoming an instant mother one bit. The two of them are grown now, and my husband and I did the best we could to raise them as the Lord would have us raise them.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I used to say I’d be a cat, because the cats in our household have a really nice, cushy life. But part of me would be an eagle—I’d love to feel what it’s like to fly and be able to see details from great distances.

What is your favorite food?
I have to pick one? I’d have to say chocolate. Period.

A woman after my own heart. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Learning when to move on from a book. I spent several years kicking around a proposal that never really came together. It’s a suspense/thriller, and I still love the idea. But it never felt right. I’m not sure if it’s the characters, plot, or what. I wasted a lot of time not letting myself get over that book and moving on to something else. Finally, I had to just put it to the side and let it go.

Tell us about the featured book.
Tempest's Course is part of the Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Press. It's the story of a textile conservator who’s treading water financially, emotionally, spiritually, professionally, and one eventful summer she spends in New Bedford, Mass. She lives and works in a whaling captain’s mansion as she works to restore a 150-year-old Mariner’s Compass quilt. Her life really gets interesting when she meets the groundskeeper at the mansion and also discovers the long-hidden journal of the woman who originally made the quilt.

Please give us the first page of the book.
April 1853
New Bedford, Massachusetts
They say a madwoman cannot make sense of the world around her, let alone write about it, but I can. My empty arms are full, but my heart tells me that it will never be full again. The one light of my life is gone from me, and I have no embers from which to coax a new spark.

My atonement is futile. I have no other choice other than the one before me. If Almighty God is listening from Heaven, surely He will accept this sacrifice. Perhaps the generations to follow will as well.

Chapter 1
Present Day
Kelly Frost tried not to shiver as she stood on the sidewalk in front of Gray House, but she did anyway. The breeze drifting from New Bedford’s waterfront had some bite in it, even for May. Kelly squinted against the sun’s glare reflecting off a car door, now slammed shut.

An efficient-looking woman made her way with precise steps to the gate that protected the front lawn of Gray House from nosy passersby and visitors. “Sorry I’m late. I would have told you to meet me at the real estate office, but the house is closer.” She unlocked the gate and swung it open. The ironwork complained at the disturbance.

“Not a problem,” Kelly said as she followed the woman—Mrs. Acres, was it?—up the cobbled sidewalk, then the wooden steps.

“I’ve been instructed to open the house for you while you complete your assessment of the piece, then lock up when you’re ready to go.” Mrs. Acres now worked the front door lock with an ancient key. “How long do you think you’ll need?”

“An hour, most likely.” She’d made assessments of antique and ancient textiles before, and this current request should be little different than other times in the past.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can find me at my Facebook Author Page, , on Twitter as @LynetteSowell, and on Pinterest as LynetteSowell. I hope you’ll check out my Pinterest board for Tempest's Course and some of my photos of New Bedford I took during my research trip. I’m also on Goodreads and have an Amazon author page. 

Thank you, Lynette, for sharing this new book with us. I can't wait to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Tempest's Course -
Tempest's Course: Quilts of Love Series -
Tempest's Course: Quilts of Love Series - 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, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Judy said...

"Tempest's Course" sounds like a good book to read on a cozy winter day. I can't wait to read this one. I enjoyed the interview with Lynette. We have something in common. Our favorite food is chocolate. Lynette willing to marry into an already made family would have been difficult in my opinion but it sounds like you made it possible and yours is a success story. Bless you!

Judy B from Indiana

Britney Adams said...

Thank you for sharing this great interview. I enjoyed learning about Lynette and look forward to reading TEMPEST'S COURSE! I love the Quilts of Love series and know this will be another wonderful story!

Britney Adams, TX

Melanie Backus said...

What a fascinating book! I can only imagine what wonder will be revealed where journal readings occur. Thank you for a great interview, Lena.

Melanie Backus, TX

Lynette Sowell said...

Hi, ladies! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I think chocolate is one food I'd be pretty unhappy about never having again. Sometimes it's nice to have a chocolate-chocolate cupcake and a cup of coffee. Oh, yum!

What I've enjoyed about the Quilts of Love series is seeing how different all of the stories are from each other. I think there's something for everyone.

Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela in KY

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

christmasbaby said...

We are under a winter storm warning with possibility of 10 inches of snow here in MN over the next few days and now more time to snuggle in a blanket with a good book! Looking forward to reading some new books, including Tempest's Course with a big mug of hot cocoa in front of the fireplace.

Mary Preston said...

What a fascinating story this promises to be.

Mary P


Anne Payne said...

Lynette, The sneak peek into the book has me hooked! Whether I win or mot, I WILL be reading this one. I appreciate that you don't choose crazy sounding names :)

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Lynette AND Lena!

Anne, rural NC

pol said...

It is nice to meet Lynette today and read about the book she has written. thanks for sharing these comments.
I too married a man with children but his and mine were grown, this is a bit harder as his did not want a stepMom and life was not easy at first. we have been together more then 25 yrs now and I think they have accepted me reluctantly..I love the grandchilren as mine and they are more accepting.
would like to read your book.

Paula O(
a reader in Ga

Patty said...

It's always fun to read a book that combined the past and the present!
And Lynette, thanks for giving your characters names that you don't wonder about pronouncing=)

Patty in SC

Lynette Sowell said...

Yes, I try not to get too "out there" with characters' names. I do like unusual names, but if I do choose one for a character, I try to make it easy on the eyes--easy to read/pronounce in my head. But these two? Simply Tom and Kelly.

Having a blended family does bring its challenges, but I'm thankful for these kids calling me mom, as my husband and I didn't have children together. Somehow, we ended up with lots of cats. And now a big dog! :) Thanks again for stopping by

Cindi A said...

Very enjoyable interview. I applaud Lynette for taking on two young children. I know how difficult that can be (I did the same).

Thanks for the opportunity to enter the drawing.
~Cindi from Pennsylvania

Unknown said...

All the Quilts of Love have been wonderful. "Tempest's Course" sounds fantastic. Looking forward to reading it. Enjoyed the great interview. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this giveaway and please enter my name.

Barbara Thompson (West Monroe, LA)

Unknown said...

What an intriguing story! I have really enjoyed The Quilts of Love books and this one looks great to. I love the story line , the setting and the introduction to the characters.
thank you from Ohio

sm said...

I have read one of the Quilts of Love series, by Angela Briedenbach (spelling?). It was good and I would love to read more of the series. sharon ca wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sheila Deeth said...

Quilts of love sounds a lovely series, and so timely as friends were talking yesterday about quilts and how people together make a quilt of love.

Lynette Sowell said...

It's so much fun to see "Quilts of Love" series fans here. If you're on Facebook, everyone is invited to pop on over to our Christmas Bee Tuesday evening. There will be giveaways, and authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are attending (me too). Here is the link:

Karen G. said...

Great interview. Love reading the Quilts of Love books. Would love to win a copy of Tempest's Course. Thank you for the chance.
Karen G., NY

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great book. Thank for the opportunity to win a copy.
Kay from NY

Unknown said...

The book sounds really good! The plot is unique.
Tonja VA

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

rubynreba said...

Reading the first page makes me anxious to read the rest! Thanks!
Beth from Iowa