Tuesday, June 14, 2016

MY FATHER'S HOUSE - Rose Chandler Johnson - One Free Book

Bio: Rose Chandler Johnson is the author of the award winning devotional God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments. My Father's House is her first novel. She happily makes her home near Augusta, Georgia.

Welcome, Rose. (Actually, Rose is my middle name.) Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Probably more than I realize. My protagonist , Lily Rose, and I share many of the same interests—the love of writing and the French language, gardening—and in many ways, our lives took similar paths.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
In the privacy of my own backyard, I have been known to hug an old oak tree.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
As a child, when I was no more than eight or nine, I wrote plays for my two sisters and brother and I to perform in a large back room of our house. I can’t imagine why they always listened to my directions. My stage name was always the most beautiful actress name I could think up at the time—Sandra Blake. Later, in high school, I dreamed of being a writer one day and started writing in college.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read non-fiction more than fiction, and books on religion and spirituality, in particular. I like devotionals. I love Oswald Chambers and have read his complete works. The classics and the “must-reads” for college were foundational for me. But I love bestsellers sagas such as The Thorn Birds and A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford. I read novels by Daniel Silva and John Grisham, and occasionally a Stephen King novel. All the Light We Cannot See is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
My relationship with Jesus and my quiet time with God keeps me focused.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I do spend some time choosing names. But, basically, I go with what sounds suitable and fitting for the story and the heritage and personality of the character. Lily Rose could have only been a Southern girl named after the flowers in the spring. 

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Raising my six children

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d probably be a dog, maybe like the little terrier who takes up with Lily Rose on her trek to Wilcox Station.

What is your favorite food?
That’s hard to say; I’m not a picky eater and I come from a family of good cooks so I really enjoy eating. Favorite food? Let me say—crème brulee.

I love that, too, but I don’t eat it very often. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I’m still working on the greatest roadblock, which is managing my time to write. My family has always been my priority, so I have to work very hard to carve out time to write. Often I have to give myself permission to make writing time for me.

Tell us about the featured book.
One reviewer called it “a triumphant story of hope.” I think that describes it. It reminds me of the verse Psalms 27:13:

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
“Go on, Darling, and see about the colt,” I said. He stirred a cup of steaming coffee, and then handed it to me. When my hands wrapped around the warm ceramic mug, he leaned down and gently pressed his lips to my forehead. I closed my eyes, grateful for his touch.

“I love you,” he said, while taking me by the shoulders and gently pulling me into the circle of his arms. I laid my head against his chest and felt its rise and fall.

“Go,” I whispered. “I’m going to take a walk and look at the gardens.”

He rubbed my back in wide slow circles.

“I’m grateful she died in the spring,” I said.

“I won’t be long. I imagine I’ll find you sitting under the magnolia when I return.”


“I’ll join you there,” he said.

I followed him out onto the porch and watched him walk to the truck, stop, and turn. He fixed his gaze on me, and I knew he didn’t want to leave. I smiled then, and he nodded before getting in and backing down the driveway. He waved, and something about his smile and the gentle blue of the sky strengthened my heart. I watched him disappear down the street before I turned and walked back inside.

Yesterday we buried the woman who raised me, tethering my heartstrings to both heaven and earth. Full of simple goodness, her love never let me go. She wanted to be buried next to her husband, and so she is, and before we lowered her body into the red Georgia clay, we read the 23rd Psalm. The words flowed like a soothing balm.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

This morning the words are whispering to my soul, and I can’t help remembering.

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/217Bvib

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/18188725-rose-chandler-johnson

Thank you, Rose, for sharing this book with us.

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Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for introducing Rose. I would love to read her book.

Melanie Backus, TX

Britney Adams said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely interview and giveaway! My Father's House sounds like a wonderful story!

Britney Adams, TX

Linda Kish said...

I would love a copy of this book.

Linda in CA

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Rose Chandler Johnson said...

Thank you so much Lena for doing this interview. I appreciate being on your lovely blog. And thank you ladies for your kind words. I think you'd all enjoy this story. Thanks for reading the interview. If you have any questions for me, just ask.

Mary Preston said...

A lovely post. Hugging a tree is quirky, but I get it.

Mary P


Rose Chandler Johnson said...

Thanks Mary. I love trees and this oak has energy you can feel. My kids are the ones who call me a "tree-hugger". Thanks for reading the post.

Beth Gillihan said...

Great first page! I love big trees too.

Beth in Montana

Bonnie Engstrom said...

Rose ~ Your book sounds fascinating. I love the cover of the impressive Southern house, and your first page grabbed me right into the story and the personalities.

BTW, I compliment you on your photo being only a full face shot. Too many authors have a distracting photo from the waist up. Yours is very professional and shows your personality.


EJ said...

Congrats on your first novel - I'm looking forward to reading it. And my mom's middle name was Rose <3 (she's been "home" for 5 years). Elaine from Wisconsin

Rose Chandler Johnson said...

I am thrilled at the kind and supportive comments. I appreciate you all taking the time to connect with me. Yes, I love trees and I'm thankful to have many on the property around my house. Occasionally we loose some due to storms or natural causes, but I hang onto as many as I can. The lovely Southern house on the cover of my novel is located about an hour or so away from where I live now. It's a very typical house of that period...built in 1910. I wanted a stately home on the cover, but not one that was an antebellum mansion. There's lots of those around here too. Thanks for the compliments on the picture. I was just debating its merits and thinking it a bit old-fashioned compared to so many other author shots. Now, Bonnie, I think I'll keep it. Rose from Georgia

Brenda Arrington said...

I love to meet new authors and I love first novels. I loved the first page. I do understand hugging a tree. That says something about me! I would love to win a copy of this great sounding book.
Brenda in VA

Rose Chandler Johnson said...

Thank you Brenda. I appreciate your interest in my baby...I mean, my debut novel. I've been delighted at the positive reaction from readers thus far.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Cingratulations Rose. I look forward to reading your first book and I wish you many more stories to tell!
Connie from KY

Rose Chandler Johnson said...

Thank you Connie. I hope there will be more. :-)

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway SC.

rubynreba said...

I enjoyed the first page. This looks like a book that would tear at my heart!
Beth from IA

Rose Chandler Johnson said...

Some say they cried. Why I almost cry myself when I read certain parts and I definitely laugh at others. Some said they stayed up all night! It's a multi-layered story -- everything you want in a good novel. I am happy to have had the opportunity to be on Lena's awesome blog, and thank you all for your interest in my debut novel.