Thursday, April 05, 2018

LIGHT UP MY LIFE IN TEXAS - Connie Lewis Leonard - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I’m thrilled to share the second book in Connie’s contemporary In Texas romance series. I’ve read both of the books, and if you missed the first one, you’ll want to go back and read the first one too. I loved both of them. The books are so authentic to the western community in Texas and the Cowboy Churches. I love the characters. They pulled me right into the story with them. And the Texas tornado was realistic. You’ll want to read this one.

Welcome back, Connie. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
The past four years, God has opened the doors for my writing, which is a dream come true. I have written 78 articles for 15 different regional magazines with three different publishers. I love writing good news stories about amazing people who make a positive difference in the world.
I believe writing articles with a strict word count and deadline has helped develop my fiction writing. I have published three novels and one interactive devotional Bible study during that time. I just started the third novel in my In Texas contemporary inspirational romance series. I’m excited about it and whatever God has planned after this book. 

Tell us a little about your family.
My husband and I have been married for forty-eight years. We were just babies when we married! God called Gary into the ministry after we had two children. We have enjoyed a great life with all the blessings and burdens of ministry. He is now semi-retired, serving as associate pastor and minister to senior adults at Triple Cross Cowboy Church.

We praise God for our two adult children and three wonderful grandchildren. Our daughter is a licensed professional counselor in private practice, and our son is a football coach and teacher.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Being an English teacher for 25 years, I already noticed grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors. Now that I write, I notice plot problems, shifts in POV, and character inconsistencies. I also notice beautifully written descriptions, emotionally evocative passages, profound prose, and characters that come alive.

What are you working on right now?
I just started the next novel in the trilogy. This one is Play Me Back Home in Texas.

What outside interests do you have?
I love spending time with my family. I enjoy cooking and baking. I love our Cowboy Church, I love our seniors’ group and small group Bible studies, and I love working in Children’s Church. Those things are in addition to reading and writing.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
My first novel doesn’t specifically name the setting. Although it is fiction, parts of it are autobiographical about my breast cancer diagnosis, so I set it in Wichita Falls, Texas, where we lived at the time.

The idea of Somebody Somewhere in Texas popped into my head one Sunday morning during worship. The Cowboy Church plays a significant role in the book. I chose the West Texas setting because I am familiar with the area, and it fit the storyline. The second and third books have the same setting.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Since he has passed on to glory, could I say Billy Graham? I had the opportunity to attend two of his crusades, but I wish I could have met him in person. I would love to hear him talk and share how God used him to reach so many people.

I really loved him from afar. He made such an impact on so many people worldwide. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
God gave me the dream to write when I was in the eighth grade. It was a secret dream that I shared with very few people. I knew I would write someday—someday when the kids were grown, someday when I retired. I thought when the time was right, I would write and be published—after all, I was an English teacher, with a master’s degree, who studied and taught great literature and writing. I wish I had known how difficult it would be, how much I had to learn. I have attended local, regional, and national writers’ conferences. I went through the Jerry Jenkins Christian Writers’ Guild Craftsman Class. All that I have learned has shown me how much more I need to learn. I want to continue learning and developing my craft, so I can bring honor and glory to God.

We all need to understand just how much we need to learn of our craft. I’ve read author’s books that I loved the early ones, but the longer they were published, the quality went down. I want to always continue learning our craft too. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
I stand amazed at how the Lord continues to pour out His great grace and mercy on me even though I am so unworthy. He is still trying to teach me to be still, to wait on Him, to trust Him completely, but sometimes I’m a slow learner.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Keep learning. Keep praying and listening to the Lord. If He gives you a story, it is worth telling. Don’t hide your talent under a bushel. Let His light shine in and through you. I don’t measure success by the number of books sold or the amount of money earned. Each time someone tells me how my books have touched them, I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be used by Him.

I feel the same way. Tell us about the featured book.
Here is the back cover copy:
She had a history that kept her from trusting.
He had a history that included a little girl.
Andrea Travis wants to establish her veterinary clinic and be independent. She doesn’t want or need a man. Who can trust them anyway? But then the winds of a tornado blow Winn Timberman into her life. Is this ordinary guy an unsung hero, the chivalrous knight of her dreams?

Winn Timberman is trying to put the pieces of his heart and life back together again. As a lineman, he lights up the lives of county electric co-op customers. But his main responsibility is to protect his little girl. He’s all she has. She’s all he wants—until he meets the beautiful, blue-eyed vet.

Can they overcome their haunted pasts to build a future? Will their swirling emotions blow them into a whirlwind romance, or will their hopes and dreams be washed away by a hurricane of historic proportions?

Hang on to your hats for a wild ride in this contemporary Christian romance filled with faith, forgiveness, and love.

Please give us the first page of the book for my blog readers.
Andrea looked out the window of her veterinarian clinic and watched hail pummel the lineman hanging on the utility pole. Ominous, black clouds obscured the sunlight. She wondered how the man could see what he was doing with the dim light on his helmet. She wondered how long the batteries in her flashlight would hold out. How long would this storm last?

The weather alert bleeped on her phone. The tornado watch had just been upgraded to a tornado warning headed in her direction. With 90 mile an hour winds, it could strike within twenty minutes. She opened the door and clutched onto the porch pillar. Shining her light at the lineman, she yelled at him to come down. He made no move. She brandished the flashlight, motioning for him to come inside. While fighting against the wind to keep her balance, she shuffled one foot at a time until she reached the pole.

Cupping her hands she yelled, “Come down! A tornado is coming!” He stared down at her. “Tor-na-do!” She made a swirling motion with one arm with her other arm wrapped around the pole.  “Tor-na-do! Come down, now!” She gestured again for him to climb down. She started to make her way back to the building. Blown forward, she hit the pillar with a thud. Holding tight she beckoned to the crazy man on the pole. Once she reached the door, she turned to see him making his descent. Even with the ropes tied around his waist, the wind whipped him back and forth.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Connie Lewis Leonard, Author Facebook page
Light up My Life in Texas Book Club Facebook page

Thank you, Connie, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me.

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.

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:


Melanie Backus said...

I love the title, I love the cover, and the book sounds great! I would love to read it and I thank you for the opportunity. Melanie Backus, TX

Sandy Quandt said...

Connie, your book sounds like a fun read. Love that it's set in TX. ;) I appreciate your advice that if God gives you a story, it is worth telling. That thought will inspire me to keep writing when I feel like quitting. Thanks.

Sandy Q TX

Anonymous said...

Melanie Backus, I love the cover also, and I thank Jackie Castle of Castle designs for merging my photos together in such an aesthetically pleasing way. I wrote a magazine article about linemen, and I just knew I had to write a book with a lineman, an unsung hero.
The heroine is the sister of the hero in the first book in the trilogy, Somebody Somewhere in Texas. I hope you'll check it out.
Connie Lewis Leonard

Connie Lewis Leonard said...

Sandy Quandt, Please do continue writing the story God placed in your heart. Don't hide your talent under a bushel. May God bless your faithfulness.
Connie Lewis Leonard

Shelia64 said...

This sounds so good! Love title and cover! Shelia from MS

Connie Lewis Leonard said...

Shelia64, I'm glad you love the cover. I do, too! I hope you will check out the book and fall in love with the characters I have grown to know and love.
Connie Lewis Leonard

Becky said...

The book cover caught my eye first, but then I enjoyed the entire interview! I have not yet read any of Connie's books, but put them on my list after reading this. Becky from Missouri

Kay Garrett said...

Enjoyed reading the interview with Connie Lewis Leonard. She is a new to me author but one that I'd love to get to know better through her books. "LIGHT UP MY LIFE IN TEXAS" definitely sounds like a book that I'd very much love the opportunity to read. Really do like the cover. What a neat picture for the title of the book.

Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
Kay Garrett from Mountain View, AR
2clowns at arkansas dot net

Emma said...

"LIGHT UP MY LIFE IN TEXAS by Connie Lewis Leonard sounds wonderful.Thank you for the opportunity to win.Have a good week. PA.

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Vivian Furbay said...

This sounds like an interesting story. Vivian Furbay of CO

Natalya Lakhno said...

Thank you for the interview! Blessings, Natalya from CA

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Thanks for sharing this interview and giveaway.
Connie from Kentucky

rubynreba said...

I'd enjoy this book very muvh.
Beth from IA