Monday, January 18, 2016

SIGNS IN LIFE - Deanna Nowadnick - Two Free Books

Dear Readers, today we have a nonfiction author, who is new to this blog. Let’s welcome her.

Welcome, Deanna. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
Oh, Lena! I’m a ditzy Type-A, if that makes sense. I can be the most on-top-of-things coworker and then leave the car running during a lunch date with my son. I work as the Client Service Coordinator for a financial advisor. I love caring for his clients, helping them navigate life’s joys and challenges. I’m active in my church, playing the violin on Sunday mornings and serving on our Leadership Team. When someone asked about hidden talents, I said the violin might need to be hidden on occasion. Give me four beats to the measure in the key of C, please. Give me a contemporary worship hymn with four sharps and a jazzy beat, and let’s just say, I struggle a bit.

Tell us about your family.
Kurt and I met at Pacific Lutheran University and have now been married 34 years. His love and support have meant the world to me. We have two adult sons, Kyle and Kevin. Kyle is a financial advisor and his wife is a labor and delivery nurse. Kevin is a commercial real estate appraiser. His wife, Manoela, is from Brazil and works for a software company in Seattle. They all live nearby, so I’m able to enjoy weekly lunches with the boys and special times with the girls.

It’s wonderful to have your family close by. All my kids, grandkids, and great grands live very close, and we often get together with part or all of them. Have you written other nonfiction books?
My writing adventures began when Kyle and Kevin began asking about that fateful meeting of their mom and dad in college. Let’s just say, I was not in the library studying. I was 18 years old and thought Kurt was the cutest starter on the football team. Wanting to put that special night in the context of a wonderful marriage, I began writing. Well, the chapter on Love was followed by a chapter on Joy. That chapter was followed by a chapter on Peace. Before long a theme had developed, and I was holding a manuscript for Fruit of My Spirit, exclaiming to anyone within earshot, “I think I wrote a book! Really—I wrote a book.”

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
Book 3 is a Christmas book, another inspirational memoir. The Christ child received gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. I’m exploring how we’ve all been given similar gifts in our walks with God as people of faith.

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
I love knitting. I’m also a binge watcher of Netflix. I add that because one night I’ll be knitting and the next night ripping. I’ve been known to lose track of my knits and purls by the second, third, or fourth episode of my favorite guilty pleasure.

Why did you write the featured book?
Signs in Life was truly a God thing. Even before I’d finished my first book, God was pushing me to share additional stories, which is rather amazing, because I really am a Type A perfectionist. I’d really like you all to believe that I’ve got it all together. But I don’t. You’ll read about a meltdown in the drive-through of my local coffee stand. You’ll learn about my struggles with Dad and my misunderstanding of his expectations for me. God has helped me take silly antics and life’s disappointments and struggles and connect them to a Bigger (capital B) message. We really are chapters in His great story. 

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
Can I repeat that last comment? Our stories really are chapters in God’s great story. Our stories don’t have to be found somewhere between Genesis and Revelation to matter. They don’t have to appear on Amazon’s bestseller list to count. Our stories are more important than that. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan friar, said, “The genius of the biblical story is that, instead of giving us ‘seven habits for highly effective people,’ it give us permission and even direction to take conscious ownership of our own story at every level, every part of life and experience. God will use all of this material, even the negative parts, to bring life and love.” Yes, life and love!

Is there anything you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
Signs in Life is a book that can be read in a single sitting or chapter-by-chapter as a morning devotional. Each chapter ends with questions for personal (or group) reflection. You also get good-hair and bad-hair photos. My, oh, my!

We also travel with Moses and the Israelites. Never did I imagine that my own stories would connect to God’s bigger story in such a unique way. And may I be so bold to suggest that we’ve all had times when we’ve been asked to YIELD, TURN RIGHT, and STOP, just like God’s people as they journeyed to the Promised Land.

Please give us the first page or two from the book.
One day, Moses was taking care of sheep and goats for his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and Moses decided to lead them across the desert to Sinai, the holy mountain. There an angel of the Lord appeared to him from a burning bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire, but it was not burning up. “This is strange!” he said to himself. “I’ll go over and see why the bush isn’t burning up.”

When the Lord saw Moses coming near the bush, he called him by name, and Moses answered, “Here I am.”
Exodus 3:1-4 (CEV)

“If you’re going to ticket me, then ticket me!”

I scrambled out of the car, slammed the door, and kicked the rear tire. Squinting into the harsh glare of a flashlight, my first words were louder than necessary, “If you’re going to ticket me, then ticket me! I just want to get home.” Not giving the police officer a chance to respond, I continued, still annoyed, still defiantly frustrated, “I’m tired. Really—I just want to get home!”

“And I just need you to slow down, ma’am. I actually stopped you, because I really just needed you to slow down and stop—at the sign back there. You’re in a school zone. It’s dark. There’s traffic.”

The officer was right. Traveling home from the gym, I’d failed to stop at a busy corner. Distracted by a young mother’s ever present to-do list, I’d rolled through an intersection, the middle school on my left, a railroad crossing on my right. Fortunately a man with a badge had cared enough to give me a much deserved warning and an undeniable lesson: road signs are an important part of safe travel.

Road signs are everywhere: SPEED LIMIT 25, SCHOOL ZONE, STOP. Yet even with signs telling us what to do and how best to do it, we still miss the signs, overlook and ignore them. But signs in life surround us for a reason and I’ve gotten costly reminders of their importance. A patrol car’s red and blue flashing lights have refocused my attention on the speed limit—more than once. Traffic cameras have reminded me to slow down in a school zone—twice. And a police officer has re-emphasized the importance of coming to a complete stop at a busy intersection.

In addition to traffic signs, I have also overlooked and ignored directional signs. I live in Monroe, Washington, about an hour’s drive from Seattle. On a trip into the city, I programmed my car’s navigation system to get me from the freeway to a waterfront restaurant. After three turns, I decided I knew better than my digital guide. I didn’t. I made wrong turn after wrong turn and silently cursed the afternoon’s traffic. The delay cost me time and patience and taught me a second undeniable lesson: road signs are not just an important part of safe travel, but there are consequences when ignored and overlooked.

So why don’t I follow the signs, block after block, turn after turn? Why don’t I heed the high resolution images on my car’s high definition screen? The signs were all there: a black and white sign alerting me to the speed limit, a red sign reminding me to stop, a yellow sign warning of the school zone. There were signs telling me of the exit ahead and the turn on my right. Still I ignored some, skipped others, and overlooked many. Why did I, why do I, ignore the help?

And if I struggle to get around the block, how will I ever survive the bigger journey? How will I navigate life? Not the quick trip to the grocery store, but the longer journey through adulthood? Not only the daily commute, but the more onerous trek through times of trial? Not just the trip into the city, but the turn into temptation? What about my travels as a wife and mother, sister and friend? What about my travels with God?

Very interesting. Where on the Internet can the readers find you?
I love connecting with readers. Notes and emails are just the best! I live in the Puget Sound area and also enjoy speaking and meeting with groups, both small and large. I’ve even used book-signings to benefit local causes. It’s great fun and a wonderful opportunity to give back and pay it forward.
Facebook:           (author page)
LinkedIn:                    Deanna Nowadnick
Twitter:                       @DeannaNowadnick

Thank you, Deanna, for sharing this book with us. We all need the reminders you're bringing to us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels with God - Paperback, sale priced
Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels With God - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. 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:


Anonymous said...

would love to win. angela in ky

Deanna Nowadnick said...

Lena, thanks so much for giving me an opportunity to connect with your followers. It's been a wonderful adventure. I can't wait to share the book!

Connie Porter Saunders said...

This interview was very inspiring and this book sounds lovely.
Connie from KY

Deanna Nowadnick said...

I love seeingn comments from Kentucky! I'm not sure I've ever had a winner from your wonderful state...

GrandaddyA said...

Oh, wow! This book sounds very interesting! I have been looking for more non-fiction books to read this year and this needs to be on my list.
Edward A in VA

Brenda Arrington said...

Sounds like a "must" read. I really enjoyed your interview.
Brenda in VA

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

Deanna Nowadnick said...

Thank you all for your kind words. I'll be giving away both my first book, Fruit of My Spirit, as well as the second book, Signs in Life. Two winners!

Anonymous said...

sounds like a great book! Shelia from Mississippi

Deanna Nowadnick said...

Happy Friday! I can't wait to share books with a couple winners!

Deanna Nowadnick said...

Ed and Sheila, you're the winners. Congratulations! As soon as I get your contact information from Lena, I'll have books sent. Enjoy!