Thursday, November 10, 2016

VOICES OF THE PAST - Laura Bennet - One Free Book

Welcome, Laura. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I’m spread throughout my main characters. Usually each one has something about them that is me, but that’s all for characteristics. However, emotionally, my characters struggle with many of the same situations I’ve lived through or what I am struggling to overcome in my life—trust, fear, hope for the future. And in my last book, Rachel’s Son, which is currently looking for a home, the main character went on an emotional journey that was far exaggerated into a negative place. My secondary characters have bits and pieces of people I’ve encountered.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I was sixteen, I was on a theatre tour in England and ended up wearing my slippers for the last three days of site seeing. My newly purchased boots hurt my feet, and I didn’t care if anyone else thought my slipper wearing was inappropriate. Oh, the attitudes of teenagers sometimes!

If my feet hurt, I would be tempted to do the same thing. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I could first write letters and words, at about age 4. Stories and poems followed shortly thereafter. It’s something I always loved and wanted to do. I was praised in school for my writing, studied it in college and beyond, but didn’t take criticism well so I quit every time a rejection letter arrived. I didn’t understand the publishing world and thought I must be awful even though my teachers had told me otherwise. Then for years I was busy home educating my children. I decided to take writing seriously about five years ago. I figured if I was bad, I could learn to be good as long as I was open and teachable. Mount Hermon Writers Conferences were my growing up into writing times. And I’m still learning!

Even after over 30 years in the business, I’m still learning. If we don’t, we start declining. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’ve always loved a good mystery or suspense and still love them. I enjoy contemporary and romance as long as they have some meat to them. Occasionally I will read historical fiction, especially biblical. I most appreciate problem solving action and deep characters—ones who are growing and changing in a healing or redemptive way.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Lists. I have a list for everything, otherwise I try to hold too much in my head. Discipline and routine. I try to keep a schedule and set goals, and then flex within them. This is a work in progress though. I’m a pusher of myself and can run myself right into the ground. I’m learning how to let God be my director and listen keenly for his voice. I take Sundays off. Seriously, that has made a huge difference! A day of relaxing, rest, and worship makes my week run so much more smoothly.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Okay, so this will sound weird and maybe should be the answer for the quirky question above. I love to wander through cemeteries. There are great names and such history there! I jot down names and keep a list (ha ha – see?) by my desk. When one of those doesn’t grab me, I Google baby names. That’s the best when you are looking for a particular time period or geographical location.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My seven children and nine grandchildren although I can’t take too much credit. God gets that. But still, they are all amazing people who bring me great joy and pride. I’m very blessed to be close to all of them in heart if not in proximity. I long for big family reunions.

I love it when all of our immediate family get together, and we always do usually twice during the holiday season. They live close by, so we also get together several times during the year. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A dolphin or a hawk. I love the freedom of swimming or flying with no restraint. They both frolic and dive. I used to pretend I was a dolphin when I was a kid swimming in our pool. And I love to watch hawks soaring on the wind. Such freedom!

What is your favorite food?
Can I list more than one? I have too many favorites. Salmon, steak, pizza, lasagna, bbq chicken, ice cream, and dark chocolate. But I eat pretty healthy so I have versions of those that are good for me. =) Oh, and my daily smoothies especially coffee chocolate peppermint!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Just doing it. It’s funny, but even though I LOVE to write, I can take so long to get into actually sitting down and doing it. Once I do, it’s hard to pry me away. I’ve heard other authors say the same thing, and it doesn’t really make sense to me.

But I recently went through a productivity summit online done by Michael Hyatt. It helped me focus (it was called Free to Focus) on what I should be spending my time on. When I was able to see more clearly my brand (Hope. Healing. Redemption.), and what I feel called to do (move people forward in their lives), I was able to schedule my time more appropriately to create content for that. I had to let go of some other good things to open the way for more specific writing projects. It’s made me more intentional with my writing. I also try to block out my time, and I set a daily goal of 1,000 words. I don’t always make that (I’m still a busy mom with 2 teen athletes at home), some days it’s much more, some days much less, but I try to write something every day. I’m getting more consistent.

Good for you. Tell us about the featured book.
Real estate agent, Aimee Wells, is a single mother of two who has worked hard to rebuild her life after some tragic circumstances. She thinks she’s got it all figured out until her missing high school sweetheart coincidently walks into her office wanting to see a house. His presence disrupts her perfectly ordered world and forces her to re-examine her relationships, especially with God. Who can she really trust? She’d rather leave the past where it belongs, but situations and another voice from her past won’t let that happen.

Please give us the first page of the book.
The day Aimee Wells dreamed of and dreaded for ten years arrived without warning.

The nautical sign of Ocean Front Properties shifted with the breeze as the front door closed, sending a brush of air to chill her, despite the warm spring day. Her routine message checking paused. A momentary sense her life was about to change wafted over her with the draft.

Slipping the office phone back into its place, she stared at a growing silhouette now eclipsing the sun which streaked through paned windows.

The apparition towered over the edge of her pristine, mahogany desk. The dusky green of his eyes flashed in her mind before she looked.

It couldn’t be.

She drew in a shaky breath when she realized she’d stopped. Her heart pounded in her ears.

“Aimee?” It spoke. The room tilted.

She lifted her gaze, catching the familiar dark jeans and casual olive T-shirt before looking him in the eyes.

Now I’m eager for my book to arrive. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have a website and I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also see my Voices of the Past characters’ fashion style on Pinterest. My books are available on and at

Thank you, Laura, for sharing this book with us. I know my readers are as eager to read it as I am.

Readers, 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 or country if outside North America. (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.

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Janetta Messmer said...

Laura, your books sounds great. Blessings to your writing, my friend!

ablst nlki I said...

Voices From the Past sounds intriguing. I'm from TN.

Laura said...

Thank you, Janetta! I hope your tour is going well. We missed you last night. Thanks for finding me!

Laura said...

Thanks for reading from TN! I hope you will get a chance to read Voices of the Past!

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a good one! Thank you for sharing, Lena!

Melanie Backus, TX

Julie Gillett said...

Laura, loved reading your book. Once I started I had a hard time stopping. I love you my friend and miss you!

Julie Gillett, Sacramento, CA

Jackie Tessnair said...

This book sounds very interesting.I would love to win and read it.Thanks for the chance.Jackie from N.C.

Brenda Arrington said...

This sounds like once I will very much like. Thanks for the chance to win a copy,
Brenda in VA

Connie said...

I love the title and it sounds like a great story.
Connie from KY

Laura said...

Thanks Julie, for the great review!Miss you too!

Laura said...

Thanks for the comment, Melanie!

Laura said...

Thanks for the comment, Jackie! I hope you will find it interesting =) It was fun writing it.

Laura said...

Thanks for the comment, Brenda! I hope you will enjoy it. Even if you don't win, you can still find it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. =)

Laura said...

Connie, from Kentucky, thank you for your comment! I love titles that make me want to read them. =)

rubynreba said...

Voices from the Past sounds like a book I would enjoy!
Beth from IA

Dianna said...

Getting name inspiration from a cemetery stroll is brilliant!
Dianna in TN

Beth Gillihan said...

Sounds like a great book!

Beth in Montana

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway SC.

Laura said...

Thank you, Beth! I hope you will get to read it!

Laura said...

Thanks, Dianna! It's fun even if quirky. I'm glad you think it's brilliant! ;-)

Laura said...

Thank you, Beth from Montana! I sure enjoyed writing it. =)

Laura said...

Sharon from SC - I'm so happy you'd like to be entered! Thank you.