Thursday, May 22, 2014

WHILE LOVE STIRS - Lorna Seilstad - One Free Book

Welcome back, Lorna. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
After I turn in the third book in the Gregory Sisters Series, I have some ideas for a couple of new series that I want to develop further. They would involve going back a little farther in history than this series was set.

Tell us a little about your family.
My husband, David, and I will have been married 25 years this February. We have three children. My oldest son graduates from college next week. I have one daughter who is finishing her sophomore year of college and another who is finishing her freshman year of high school.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I think my writing has made a more critical and aware reader in that I notice things I didn’t before. Sometimes I read something and I think, “Oh, I wish I would have thought to say it that way.” But the biggest change has occurred in time I have for reading. When I’m on deadline, I fall way behind with my To-Be-Read pile.

What are you working on right now?
I’m currently finishing the last book in the Gregory Sisters Series As Love Blooms. It’s the story of the youngest sister, Tessa. She’s a lot of fun to write.

What outside interests do you have?
There’s life outside of my office? I almost forgot about that. Truthfully, I love cooking and baking. I do some wedding coordinating and flowers for weddings. I’m a 4-H leader, and I’m passionate about teaching Bible classes. Right now, I have two 5th and 6th grade classes. One on Sunday mornings where I teach Acts, and another all girl class on Wednesday nights. I’ll be teaching at Bible camp this summer, too. It’s my mission field.

We have a lot in common. I was a 4-H leader, and then I worked as a 4-H liaison. And I’ve worked a number of years in children’s ministry, but not now. How do you choose your settings for each book?
Setting is very important to me. I do more research on setting than almost anything else. I like to set my stories in real places and bring out things that the people who live there might recognize. I also like to discover some things they might not know. Certain stories, like those in my Lake Manawa Series, can only happen one place. Other stories just need the right fit.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Right now, after writing While Love Stirs, I’d love to spend an evening having dinner with Fannie Farmer. She was the first woman to use standardized measurements in her Boston Cooking School Cookbook. She was also one of the first women invited to lecture to the Harvard Medical School. She spoke to them about improving nutrition for the convalescent.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I would have known every heartache, every joy, and every tear I’ve experienced has helped me become a better writer. I wish I’d kept better notes on what I was feeling, too.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
This whole year has been about learning to lean on the Lord and not on my own strength. I often want to protect those I love, and I have to remind myself that God loves that person even more than I do. We met with a hospice worker last week concerning my dad, and as much as I want to change this situation, I have peace knowing God will carry us through.

That’s always a hard time in a person’s life. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
First, I believe you have to feed your writer’s soul, and the best way to do that is through spending time with God and through reading. When writers aren’t reading, they’re starving themselves.

Second, I think authors need to make sure their cup is full and overflowing. If you are always dipping from your cup and not recharging, you’ll get burned out. It’s so easy to lose the joy when your cup is empty.

Third, authors need to protect their “golden hour.” This is the time when you are at your best. It’s not the time to answer e-mails, take phone calls, or schedule appointments. Save the “golden hour” to write.

Very good advice. Tell us about the featured book.
While Love Stirs is the second book in the Gregory Sisters Series. It’s a standalone, so you don’t have to have read When Love Calls to enjoy it.

After the death of their parents, the Gregory sisters make a promise to support each other’s dreams. While Love Stirs is the story of the middle sister, Charlotte Gregory, and is set in St. Paul, Minnesota.

As a graduate of Fannie Farmer's School of Cookery, Charlotte is thrilled to have the opportunity to travel, lecture, and give cooking demonstrations on the very latest kitchen revolution—the gas stove. And she certainly doesn't mind that the gas company has hired the kindhearted Lewis Mathis to entertain at her lectures.

Lewis encourages Charlotte's work, especially her crusade to introduce fresh, appetizing, nutritious food to those convalescing in hospitals. But young hospital superintendent Dr. Joel Brooks is not convinced any changes should be made—especially by this outspoken young woman.

When Charlotte and Joel are coerced into planning a fund-raising gala for the hospital, will this combustible pair explode?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Thursday, May 12, 1910
Charlotte Gregory stared at the elderly doorman. With his arm outstretched, he barred her access to Saint Paul’s recently opened Million-Dollar Hotel.

“Sir, what is the meaning of this?” She fought the urge to shove past him and march inside. Creating a scene was not the way to make a good impression on the hotel’s staff.

In front of her, the revolving door swished, and a stylish couple entered the establishment unimpeded.

Charlotte motioned her head in their direction. Perhaps the doorman would catch on.
He simply smiled.

She glanced down at her outfit. While not as fancy as that of the lady who’d been allowed inside, the cream-colored walking suit was one of her best, and her wide-brimmed hat was practically brand-new. Surely she looked good enough for a day visit to the prestigious hotel. She tried to step around the man, but he moved to block her.

“Sir, I need to go inside. I’m here to apply for a position as the chef’s assistant. Now, if you’ll kindly let me pass—”

When he didn’t drop his arm, she darted to the right. She’d come too far to let a portly little gray-haired doorman stop her.

For a portly, gray-haired man, he moved quickly.

“Miss.” He dipped his head respectfully. “If you don’t have a gentleman escorting you, you’ll want to enter through the door on the side.”

“Isn’t this the public entrance?” She glanced at the curved front of the hotel and reread the signage.

“Yes, miss.” He gave her a disarming smile. “But you lovely unescorted ladies enter through a separate door—for the protection of your reputation, of course.”

“Of course.” Charlotte’s cheeks warmed. Why hadn’t she remembered that? She’d read about this kind of hotel etiquette before, but it still seemed absurd—especially in 1910. “In that case, sir, where exactly do I find this ladies’ entrance?”

“It’s to your left, miss.” He pointed his gloved white fingers to a door on the side. “It’ll lead you directly into the lobby. The hotel’s restaurant isn’t open yet, but the roof garden and the Palm Room Café are. May I recommend a cup of tea to ward off the chill of this lovely spring morning?”

The doorman’s deep, sonorous voice made it difficult to stay cross. Besides, he was simply doing his job. She only hoped this wasn’t an indication of the rest of her day.

“Thank you. Perhaps I will have a cup of tea.” To celebrate when I get the position. Charlotte nodded her head in thanks and slipped around the corner.

I can’t wait until my book arrives. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Lorna, for giving us a peek inside your life and your new book.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
While Love Stirs -
While Love Stirs: A Novel (The Gregory Sisters) - Amazon
While Love Stirs (The Gregory Sisters Book #2): 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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, 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.


Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Library Lady said...

I would love to win this book to give to the church library.
Thanks for the opportunity to do so.
Janet E.

Aerykah said...

Thanks for the giveaway! :)
I loved book 1 in this series & can't wait to read this one. :)

Aerykah in Oklahoma, USA

Lorna said...

Hello, ladies! I'm thrilled you stopped by today.

Aerykah, I'm glad you loved When Love Calls. I hope you enjoy Charlotte's story just as much

Anna said...


Julie B. said...

The book sounds wonderful. Love your books, Lorna!

Unknown said...

Sounds like a wonderful book and would love to win a copy. The cover is beautiful! I am from

Anonymous said...

Amanda meyer
Royalton MN
So excited!!!

Lorna said...

Thank you, Julie B!

Lisa, Revell's art team has does such a great job with my covers. I feel very blessed.

Britney Adams said...

I am eager to read WHILE LOVE STIRS! Thank you for sharing this interview and giveaway.

Britney Adams, TX

Caryl McAdoo said...

Sounds like a good story, Lorna. I love your smile :) Always nice to visit with you, Lena! Good interview! :) Y'all be blessed!

Melanie Backus said...

Can't wait to read this one. Thank you for a great interview, Lena.

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Preston said...

Such a pretty cover & I did enjoy the first page thank you.

Mary P


karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this novel, lena.

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Susan Johnson said...

Thank you for this interview and a chance to win this book. Loved the first page.
Susan in Texas

Unknown said...

I love Lorna's books ... And would LOVE TO WIN, thanks for the chance to get to know her a little better, Lena and thanks for the chance to win

Peace River Country

Unknown said...

Lena, thank you for the interesting review and interview.
I have not read any of Lorna's books but I loved learning of them.
I am sorry to hear her Father needs hospice. They are an amazing group of people and will be a tremendous blessing to her family.
Thank you and Blessings from Ohio

PriviesAndPrims said...

Just the first few sentences got my interest! Would love to win.

Lancaster County, PA

Melody said...

I was a County 4-H Agent (in Oklahoma)! Grew up a Missouri 4-H'er and knew that was what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Donna, TX

Lorna said...

I've so enjoyed meeting all of you, and I'm glad so many of you liked the first page of While Love Stirs! It was a fun book to write and research and I hope that comes through on the pages.

And Melody, my husband is youth field specialist with ISU, so 4-H is a career here too. :)

Patty said...

It seems Charlotte was a bit ahead of her times. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

Patty in SC

A Cooking Bookworm said...

I can't wait to read While Love Stirs -- I just finished When Love Calls and enjoyed it! Charlotte's story is just for me, though: I love to cook...and read! ;-)

Binghamton, NY

mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Patsy said...

Lorna, my husband's name is David and our anniversary is in February too! When our youngest daughter was still at home she was very involved in 4-H. We did so many things with her in 4-H. She was able to go to Washington, D.C. twice because of 4-H. We hope we can get our grandson involved in it also.
Love your books!
From South Mississippi

Merry said...

While Love Stirs sounds like a delightful book. Please add me!
Merry in MN

kam110476 said...

Hi Lena & Lorna! It's amazing to me that women used to have to enter in separate doors to protect their reputation - and that really wasn't that long ago! Thanks for the chance to win this sweet book!
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

Kim L said...

I would love to win your book!

Anonymous said...

My sister was wanting to read this.
J.C. -Indiana-

sm said...

While Love Stirs sounds wonderful. I would like to know more about Fannie Farmer's school. Looks like a good book for new brides! sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Lorna said...

A COOKING BOOKWORM, I love your name! Yes, I think this book would be right up your alley!

PATSY, I think we must be kindred spirits!

I found it amazing, too, KAM, that they had to go through separate doors at many hotels. So much was done to keep up appearances back then.

I know I said it before, but it's so fun meeting all of you here!

Unknown said...

How neat that you are a 4H club leader. My family has always been very active in 4H. My son is competing at state level next month for his emerald award.
Tonja VA

Lorna said...

Tonya, tell your son good luck from me! I think kids get so much from 4-H and I wish people realized it isn't just for farm kids anymore. We actually live in the city and don't even have a pet. :)

Patricia said...

Looking forward to reading this book! The cover draws me in with a need to read WHILE LOVE STIRS!

Patricia Blackmon
East Texas Piney Woods

apple blossom said...

Oh, I love Lorna's books thanks for the giveaway.
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book!
thanks for the giveaway!
sydney harries GA