Thursday, November 04, 2021

BEYOND BELIEF - Joy Harding - One Free Book

Welcome, Joy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters. I write about what I know, so my characters tend to reflect my life and experiences without being limited to my life and experiences. I enjoy researching in order to bring dimensionality to my settings and my characters. Also, the answer varies with the character. For example, in the Boundary Waters Search and Rescue series, I wrote a lot of my life into Liz. I did that purposefully, because I wanted others to understand the challenges inherent in living with chronic illness and why someone would choose to walk away from a high-powered career in favor of a simpler life.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done? Detour a thousand miles out of my way on a road trip, just because I wanted to see the mountains.

That sounds like a good idea to me. When did you first discover that you were a writer? I just started writing professionally, but I have loved to read and write my entire life. I have taken advanced level writing classes and enjoyed writing retreats both in school and as an adult. I started writing fiction when I wanted to read a story that no one had written. So I wrote it—for myself. That was my first novel—all 1600 pages of it.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading. I read and enjoy both fiction and non-fiction. In fiction I enjoy everything from science fiction (if it’s good science and good fiction) to romance, adventure, suspense and mystery. I tend to avoid graphic crime and horror. I am not a fan of the anti-hero, and I want a likeable, easy-to-cheer-for protagonist.

In non-fiction, I love biography, science, history, bible study, educational texts, and true-life adventure. I also do a lot of reading about the history of needlework.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world? I center myself in God’s Word and in prayer daily. I schedule rest days to enjoy quiet or time with my husband. I also spend as much time as I can in nature. Being out in God’s glorious creation I feel as though I can breathe freely.

How do you choose your characters’ names? Often, I will use the first name of a friend, particularly if the character reflects that friend’s character.  Because I write under a pen name, I’m able to do this without bringing undue attention to someone’s personal life. I NEVER use this method of naming characters to poke fun at someone or to point out a failing. The bad guys names come straight from my imagination. Other names come from research into ethic naming traditions or, as I mentioned, straight from my imagination.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of? Right now, I would have to say publishing my first book. I’ve been very blessed in my life, so that answer changes as the years go by.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why? I would probably be a coddled, cherished indoor kitty. I would be well taken care of, and I would know that I can bring joy to my humans just by curling up in their lap and purring. Besides that, cats are smart, clean, and have a mind of their own.

What is your favorite food? Steak

I love a good steak, too. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it? Grammatical and word use errors that my word processing software does not pick up and that I miss when I’m proof reading. I hired an amazing contract editor with almost 30 years of experience. Yes, it’s expensive, but she’s worth every dime.

Tell us about the featured book. Beyond Belief
is the first book in the Boundary Waters Search and Rescue series. It is set in northern Minnesota near the borders of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). I woke up one morning in January of 2020 with this storyline in my head. For a while I couldn’t keyboard fast enough to get the words out. In my experience, that’s a God thing.

In the opening pages of Beyond Belief, we are introduced to Jack Lockwood, a resident of Ely, Minnesota. Jack is a physician specializing in trauma and emergency medicine, who also has a passion for rescue and on-scene treatment of life-threatening injuries. We learn about Jack’s backstory, what he is doing in northern Minnesota, and why the events of that morning will change his life forever.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Listening to the wind howl, Dr. Jack Lockwood was grateful for the solid walls surrounding him. He’d been particular when he’d built his half-log home outside of Ely the year before. Northern Minnesota was no place to dabble with flimsy siding and unreliable heat. As was his habit, he’d done extensive research. Then he’d spent the extra money and installed geothermal heat and electricity powered by sun and wind.

Looking around the room, Jack was pleased with his choices. The generously sized kitchen and the living area with its wood stove flowed together to accommodate gatherings of friends. His study and a full bath shared the front of the house with the dining area. The loft and bath upstairs housed guests—with plenty of room even when his brother’s family of six visited. The master suite was at the back of the house and included a library with a sitting area, his bath, and his bedroom. In this area, his private sanctuary, he departed from common sense just enough to include a wood-burning fireplace. He knew that conventional fireplaces sucked up more warm air than they provided, but he just couldn’t build a northwoods home without a fireplace that burned real logs. This one was a work of art, constructed with local river rock by a stone mason from Ely. Jack’s years in Montana and Colorado had convinced him that the loss of heat was worth the ambiance and smell of a crackling fire.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website and blog:

My Facebook page:

My email:

Thank you, Joy, for sharing your book with my blog readers and me.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

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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Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like one not to miss!
Melanie Backus, TX

Tina said...

BEYOND BELIEF by Joy Harding sounds wonderful. PA. Thank you for the chance to win. Have a good week.

Linda Kish said...

My uncle used to go to the north woods of Minnesota to fish and hike until he passed away a few years ago. I'm guessing he didn't stay in a place quite as fancy as the home Jack built.
This sounds like an interesting story. I'd love to read it. Linda in SoCal

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

traveler said...

This novel sounds captivating, memorable and unforgettable. Thanks. Anne in NM.

Lucy Reynolds said...

Sounds like a good one. Thank you for sharing. Blessings from WV.

petite said...

A fascinating interview and a wonderful story which would be greatly enjoyed. Pearl-NM.

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Nichols SC.

Joy Harding said...

Hi all.
I am so sorry to be late to the party. We just got back into town. It makes my heart feel good to know that others identify with the setting of Boundary Waters Search and Rescue: Beyond Belief, and the storyline. Minnesota is my home, and I love to share it with others. Linda, I have been fishing in the north woods and my home was a tent :-), also not as fancy as Jack's place. In his defense, he is making his home up there and the winters would be touch to manage without 4 stout walls. :-) I hope that those of you who read this novel enjoy it and find that it touches your hearts. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to this interview. If you have any comments, questions, or just want to get in touch, please email me. I will answer and I would love to hear what you have to said,

Melissa M. said...

Please enter me--thanks!!

-Melissa from TN

Joy Harding said...

Hi Melissa! Thank you for your interest in Boundary Waters Search and Rescue: Beyond Belief. I hope you will read and enjoy.