Book Reviews

Books and Blogs – Do They Still Hang Out?

Are book blogs slowly going away? I don’t have an answer to this, but I’m curious to hear all of your thoughts. Is how we share our love of books changing? I find myself gravitating towards the Instagram world of books, but I do still read some blogs.

I don’t have any great revelations, but I thought I’d bring this to the table, since it’s something that’s been on my mind. A little bit because of my job, but honestly, mainly for myself. I don’t blog as much. I don’t have time as I once did. I would love to review and read more books from publishers, but I can’t commit to a full blog post, so I don’t request as many. I usually end up buying my favorite authors’ latest releases, but I do miss getting to read and share beforehand.

*Updating this post to include Goodreads as another absolute favorite. I check reviews there when checking out new authors or books and love to post what I’ve read!*

I’d love to hear your feedback on any and all of these questions:

Readers: Where do you go for book reviews? Is your main source blogs? Or a mix of places?

Authors: When looking for influencers, is a blog required? Do you have a preference?

Fellow Publishers: Are blogs still a requirement to join your reviewing programs? Would you be open to having links to an Instagram post or FB post count in the same way? Is this on your radar?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Ponderings

New Things and Old Things

Isn’t it funny how you start off the year with new goals and new ideas and then halfway through, you’re in a totally different spot. There’s many reasons for this, one being outside life circumstances, but sometimes the Lord is simply calling to you and stirring your hearts in new ways.

That’s where I’ve been (as I’m sure you noticed with the lack of posting on both blogs). Part of it has been life (the summer was really busy – I bought myself a house for my 35th birthday. Yay for mortgages!! :)), but also the Lord whispering to my heart. A change of direction.

I promise the next line isn’t “I’m moving to Europe!” (Although, um…so game!), but a shift in my online writing. I’ve had two blogs for a while, but the past several months I haven’t been sure where I was going with each one. It didn’t seem like I should have two, but I still really enjoyed writing for each one. Did I just stop altogether? I admit, that’s where I was for several weeks, but I didn’t feel peace about that either.

I know it probably seems a bit dramatic to talk about blogs this way, but I truly wanted to be faithful to whatever the Lord was asking of me. So what’s the final verdict? One blog, but a combination of the two. Will I be blogging every day? Not quite. My goal is at least once a week and will be a variety of life posts and bookish posts. I’m figuring out other details (like my Inklings), but I’m ready for a change. I’m also slowly moving over popular posts from each blog to have in the archives, so you can still find them. Plus it’s always nice to have the reminders of early blogging days – sometimes it’s cringe worthy, but worth remembering. (Although true confession, sad to lose all the comments – there were some fun discussions!)

When I first started blogging back in 2012, my time and desire fit my blogging schedule. But, as life happens with new chapters, I don’t have the time (and no longer want to) spend several hours a week on blogging (how different my weekends are with a house. Grass Internet. Grass. It likes to grow). I loved the years when I did that – it was exciting starting and pursuing something I loved. I still love it and am forever thankful it opened up doors to the career I’m in now, but I’m no longer in a place to spend my nights and most weekends working on the blog. And that’s okay. I’m excited to still be in the blogging and bookish world, but at a pace that is healthy for where I’m at now.

I’ll still have my newsletter and of course I won’t stop reading and sharing about my favorite reads on other social channels in addition to blog posts, but I’m excited about this new direction.

I’d love to stay in touch! Here’s how to find me:

Sign up for the newsletter here
Website | Instagram | Facebook | Blog Facebook Page | Twitter | Goodreads  (just note any review prior to 2014-ish may have been during my “everyone gets 5 stars!!” stage 😉
Email: jamie @ musingsofjamie.com

Bookish Radness

Books and Beverages 2016 Favorites

It’s that time! It’s my final post of 2016 (how in the why and what in the world?). It’s been a year hasn’t it? I can always depend on my books and wanted to share my favorites from this year. I’ve linked to my blog post or Goodreads (if I didn’t review). What do y’all think? What are some of your favorites?

(As always, the Tolkien and Lewis’ books aren’t listed, because y’all know how I feel about them. #NotEmbarassedOrAshamed)

Here they are in no particular order:

  • Under Our Skin by Benjamin Watson
  • The Shock of Night by Patrick W. Carr
  • The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell
  • The Edge of Lost by Kristina McMorris
  • Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs
  • A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Loconte
  • Dressed For Death by Julianna Deering
  • The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert
  • The Alliance by Jolina Petersheim
  • Jaded by Varina Denman
  • When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks
  • Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Newton and Polly by Jody Hedlund
  • The Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay
  • Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin
  • The Shattered Vigil by Patrick W. Carr

Another favorite from this year has been the start of The Diversity Series. I’m thankful the conversation is happening and look forward to continuing it in 2017.

What were some of your favorite reads this year?

Author Interviews

4 Questions with Ruth Logan Herne | Author Interview

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

Y’all. Where do I even start? I meet Ruthy in Nashville this year at the CFRR and ACFW and 5 seconds in, I knew working with her was going to be THE BEST. She cracks me up, is so so sweet and we bonded over tacos, so really what more is needed? I hope y’all are encouraged by her today and be sure to check out her latest release (also, you can win on too!)

Ruth Logan Herne has more than a million books in print, including eighteen Love Inspired contemporary novels and Back in the Saddle, Book 1 in the Double S Ranch series. Ruth is a founding member of Seekerville, a popular writing collective blog. A country girl who loves the big city, Ruth and her husband live on a farm in upstate New York.

1. What is something about your life right now that you would have never imagined 5 years ago?
Well, this question is easy-peasy! Five years ago I was delighted to see my first books hit bookshelves across the country… and it was thrilling! I was in shock… good shock!! I was a published author! I’d always believed it would happen, but the thrill of seeing my work on shelves was over-the-moon… And pure joy and thanks to God, absolutely. (Imagine me singing the “Hallelujah” chorus right now). As the next few years passed, my amazing agent began locking in more contracts. More books. More stories! I have been blessed to work with some of the best editors in the business, and it is amazing to me that I’ve got novels and novellas out with multiple publishers… But a huge thing for me, and something that would have been deemed “unbelievable” is my “Double S” series with Waterbrook Press… The chance to write these beautiful stories set in the hills of Central Washington… to have traveled out there to see the Kittitas Valley… and to set things right for the Stafford family, a group of men with wounded souls, each one too stubborn to see their own path clearly. Time, faith, hope and love helped heal those wounds, and bring each man home again.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
This is a conundrum. There are several things I’d change, and most of them involve working long hours and not being home more with my kids during their junior high/teen years. We’d fallen on some tough times and it was all hands on deck… it worked out all right, and I didn’t mind the work aspect (in fact several of my restaurant customers were big encouragers, knowing I wanted to be a writer. One couple actually donated their daughter’s Brother Word Processor to me when she went off to college so that I could start writing. There are so many good people in this world!) But… If I could have changed that situation so that I was home in the evenings, I would do it.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
This is back to being easy: Having my children. They are my cheerleaders, my joys, my first gifts from God, you know? And they’re all so excited for me… And I love that! And I have fourteen grandkids now, which is amazingly wonderful. And they all love me! 🙂 Of course, I bribe them with cookies and chocolate milk because who doesn’t love cookies and chocolate milk, Jamie??? (Editor note: #truth)

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
Being smart is a wonderful thing, but brains without a good work ethic generally get you nowhere. Never be afraid to work hard and well. Do your best with each and every job, no matter how insignificant it might seem at the time. I had so many hairnet and nametag jobs that it’s almost funny… but each one helped prepare me for using those jobs, businesses, and situations in later stories. So I got paid to research. BONUS!!!! 🙂 I encourage kids to work hard, love God and stay focused… and to build a solid platform of goodness, day by day. If you make being good a habit, it’s a whole lot easier to stay that way when temptations come your way.

You are the so great and thank you so much for sharing!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I told you readers, isn’t she the best?! 

Where to Connect with Author
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Inklings

The Friendship of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis (Plus It’s International Inklings Day!!)

(If you’re new, welcome to Inklings Week 2016! I don’t want you to miss any of the posts this week, so be sure to check them out here!) 

I miss you Oxford!

“Friendship makes prosperity more shining and lessens adversity by dividing and sharing it.” Cicero

Today is officially International Inklings Day!!!! On this day 90 years ago, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were gathered for English tea with Oxford English faculty at Merton College and met for the first time. This would begin a 40 year friendship and this friendship would inspire generations to come and also help to produce some of literature’s greatest masterpieces.

Yet, truth be told, it wasn’t friendship at first sight. After that first meeting, Lewis commented (I believe jokingly!) about Tolkien: “No harm in him: only needs a smack or so.” He thought him rather opinionated, but this was more due to the fact that at the time Lewis was an atheist and Tolkien was a strong Roman Catholic. As Diana Pavlac Glyer explained in Bandersnatch (which really is an excellent book and you should all read it!)

“It got worse. As Lewis and Tolkien got to know each other, it became clear that they had a number of serious disagreements. They had different interests and personalities. They came from different religious traditions. And they had different academic specialties. Lewis was an expert in literature and philosophy; Tolkien was a philologist, an expert in languages. He loved Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon. Lewis said that meeting Tolkien triggered two of his childhood prejudices. He explains, “At my first coming into the world I had been (implicitly) warned never to trust a [Catholic], and at my first coming into the English Faculty (explicitly) never to trust a philologist. Tolkien was both.

Soon after the faculty disagreed on required courses for English students and Lewis and Tolkien found themselves on opposite sides of the debate. So Tolkien decided that in order to win people over to his curriculum, he would gather the faculty together to bring about love for mythology and ancient languages. This turned out to be a genius move. Once again, I’ll quote Bandersnatch:

Lewis and Tolkien discovered they had significant common ground. They gravitated towards each other because they shared an interest in what they called “northernness,” the vast skies, icy landscapes, and heroic tempers of the ancient Vikings. As they talked together, Lewis was slowly won over to Tolkien’s view of the English curriculum. And as they worked side by side, they forged a solid friendship. E. L. Edmonds, a student at Oxford, remembers, “It was very obvious that [Lewis and Tolkien] were great friends—indeed, they were like two young bear cubs sometimes, just happily quipping with one another.”

Tolkien would go on to play a significant role in Lewis’ conversion to Christianity (especially on the night of September 19, 1931, where, along with Hugo Dyson, the three men spent hours discussing life and faith and Lewis later said this was his final push for Christianity) and Lewis would be Tolkien’s biggest supporter and encourager in finishing Lord of the Rings and other works. Their friendship was a staple in each other’s lives and, while, in later years the friendship did change, it never lost it’s meaning.

In Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of a Friendship by Colin Duriez, we see that “with C.S. Lewis’ death, it was a “wound [Tolkien] knew he would not lose, as one loses a falling lead.” Even years after Lewis’ death Tolkien wrote about Lewis: “The unpayable debt that I owe to him was not ‘influence’ as it is ordinarily understood, but sheer encouragement. He was for long my only audience. Only from him [did I] ever get the idea that my ‘stuff’ could be more than a private hobby.”

I’ll leave with a few fun facts because I’m all about fun facts.

  • Lewis’ character, Elwin Random, in Out of the Silent Planet, resembles Tolkien quite a bit. Elwin means “elf-friend” and the character is a Cambridge philologist who has a love for languages.
  • The Professor in Narnia was also inspired by Tolkien.
  • Treebeard was inspired by C.S. Lewis.
  • They each have rad names: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and Clive Staples Lewis
  • They both lost their moms at a young age
  • Tolkien’s dad died when he was a toddler and Lewis’ Dad withdrew and sent Lewis to a boarding school after his mother’s death.
  • They both fought in WWI.
  • In 1961, Lewis nominated Tolkien for the Nobel Peace Prize in literature (which he totally should have won)
  • Both Humphrey Carpenter (Tolkien’s official biographer) and Edith Tolkien (when she told scholar Clyde S. Kilby) stated that C.S. Lewis actually wrote Tolkien’s obituary, which was published the day after his death (9/2/73) in The Times.

“My happiest hours are spent with three or four old friends and old clothes tramping together and putting up in small pubs – or else sitting up till the small hours in someone’s college rooms talking nonsense, poetry, theology, metaphysics over beer tea and pipes.”

I hope y’all enjoyed this brief look at Tolkien and Lewis’ friendship! Who has greatly encouraged and inspired you in your life?

Bookish Radness

9 Reasons Readers Are the Easiest People to Buy Gifts For

I love finding the perfect gift for someone. It makes me happy when a gift comes as a surprise and brings joy. But then there’s some people who I have to work to find that perfect gift. I’m sure we all know someone like that. You’re worried they won’t like it or they already have it (to which I say Amazon.com Gift Card Internet). But you know who isn’t hard to buy for at all?

Readers.

I have decided we are the easiest group of folks to buy for in the entire universe. If you don’t believe me, here’s 9 reasons why I’m right 😉 Also, my birthday is in July. I kid internet! Kid!

1. You give us a book and we’re happy. Worried we already have 379 unread ones? That means nothing to us. Aren’t sure which one to get? I’ll let you in on a secret: Goodreads. The “To Read” shelf will have at least 50 to choose from. Mine currently has 394, so trust me when I say books are always a good option. If they’re not on Goodreads, I’m sure there’s an Amazon wishlist.

2. They have at least one fandom. What’s a fandom you ask? It’s a very natural and totally healthy obsession with a series, book, author etc. Why is this a good thing? Once you find out what it is, the gift options are endless. Worried you won’t ever find out what their fandom is? Don’t worry, we let the world know whether they want to know or not. I’m pretty sure my third cousin’s best friend’s mom has heard about my love of Lewis and Tolkien.

3. Buy them a fancy edition of a favorite book. Have they mentioned a favorite book? You’re in luck. For the classics that means there’s been several versions published and we love collecting all the awesome covers. Whether it’s Jane or Tollers, trust me on this – I myself own several copies of The Hobbit (even one in Latin), The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.

4. If a gift shares about how awesome reading is, get it. We love pretty much anything fun about how awesome readers are and how fun reading is. We’re talking Laptop covers, iPad cases, book bags, phones cases. Really endless possibilities.

5. If they love classics, congrats, there’s an awesome online bookshop to buy things from. It’s Out of Print and for every item purchased they donate a book. I have spent a bit of cash in this store both as gifts and for myself.

6. Another shoutout goes out to Litographs because they make your life much easier as well. Anything from their shop will make a reader happy. Plus they also make a donation with every purchase. You just can’t lose.

7. You can always buy a Gift Card to B&N or Amazon or any book retailer. If you think a gift card to B&N is impersonal, let me set you at ease: it isn’t. Instead, it is seen as manna from bookish heaven. This gives us readers the chance to try something new, get an awesome edition of a favorite or buy bookish accessories.

8. Book related clothing makes us happy too. We are a proud group and we aren’t afraid to show it. I think half of my non-work shirts are related to books. Cute v-necks that express my love of epic literature? Yes please!

9. Give us a gift to help spread our love and we’re in! Find cute note cards or postcards (I happen to know of some ;)) that express the love of reading and favorite authors? PERFECT. Then we can convince our friends and families to join the reading radness club.

What do you think? Is there a group easier to buy for? What’s another reason you would add to this list (you know for an even 10)?

Author Interviews

4 Questions with Evangeline Denmark | Author Interview

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

Happy Tuesday everyone. Today I have the pleasure of hosting author Evangeline Denmark! She recently released her YA novel, Curio (I’ll be posting a review later this week as well!). Anyway, I absolutely love these interviews (I admit I’m a tad bit biased) and hope you enjoy another addition to 4 Questions and of course the giveaway at the end :).

Evangeline Denmark cannot sing. The tragic discovery of this truth led to bouts of angst-ridden poetry writing in her teens, several ill-advised relationships with literary characters, and the compulsive creation of her own fictional worlds. Having found her true voice, Evangeline now writes fiction with hints of whimsy, glimmers of fantasy, and strokes of the supernatural.

Her debut novel, Curio, a young adult steampunk fantasy, releases January 2016. She has also co-authored two children’s books, The Dragon and the Turtle and The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari (Waterbrook Press.)

Evangeline lives in Colorado in a house stuffed full of animals and creative people that would surely go to ruin were it not for the watchful eye of a cattle dog named Willie.

1. What is something about your life right now that you would have never imagined 5 years ago?
I never could have anticipated the depth of friendship I’ve found through writing. I have met and grown to love some amazing writers over the course of my journey and now not a day goes by that we don’t have contact. We have never ending conversations about life and story, and I know, no matter what, they will be there to support me like I’ll be there to support them.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would make the decision to write bravely sooner. For a long time I thought I had to fit into a certain box. When I finally let go of those imaginary expectations, I found a more authentic voice and my writing went to deeper places.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
A couple summers ago our family vacationed in South Carolina and I remember the four of us playing on the beach, the waves rushing in and the coquina clams digging into the sand. Family trips can be stressful, but in that moment we had such peace. I might’ve even stopped worrying about sharks for a whole minute!

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
Creativity is the best addiction you can have. You’re going to face hard things in your life and it’s natural to want to escape that, to muffle the pain with anything and everything that might take the edge off. But creating something—a poem, a drawing, a sculpture, a song—allows you to make something beautiful out of something painful. Other addictions destroy you, but creativity makes you more YOU. Embrace it.

Thank you so much Evangeline!! So happy to host you on the blog!

Where to Connect with Author
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Author Interviews

4 Questions with Award Winning Author Mary Weber | Interview

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

Guess what?! Today I get to host one of the most awesome and friendliest people on the planet! She also writes fabulous books. I absolutely love her Storm Siren series and cannot wait to read the final book! Enjoy y’all and stick around for a giveaway I’m hosting. Internet high fives all around!

Mary Weber is a youth pastor and Christy, Carol, and INSPY award winning author of the bestselling young adult Storm Siren Trilogy. In her spare time she sings 80’s hairband songs to her three muggle children and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California which is perfect for stalking tacos, Joss Whedon, and the ocean. You can get nerdy with her on Facebook (Mary Weber, Author), Web (maryweber.com), or Instagram (MaryWeberAuthor).

1. What is something about your life right now that you would have never imagined 5 years ago?
Oh man…can I say everything? Is that allowed? *laughs* Let’s see, five years ago I was busily racking up 87 agent rejections on a book that has never been published and wondering what on earth God was doing in me. As far as values, family time, and my youth work – those have grown and blossomed, and yet, at the core they’ve also stayed much the same. But regarding the book career…I never imagined I’d be writing teen fiction for Harper, or getting to speak with teens at high schools, or that the books would have met the enormously kind audience they have. It’s something I’m grateful for every single day.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
This is a hard one because I firmly believe every mistake and heartbreak and weird decision leads us to become the people we are and to the future we have. So while I regret so many things, I also know I grew (albeit painfully, gah!) and life wouldn’t be the same without them (if that makes sense?). I guess, though, if I could do one thing differently, I think it would be to worry less. To understand that all things are used for good and growth and we can trust our Father that there’s a far bigger purpose than what we see.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Honestly? Every night when I curl up in bed beside my husband and hear my kids in the other room as we tell them for the umpteenth time to go to sleep. :0)

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
I have a tattoo on my arm that says, “You were once wild here don’t let them tame you.” It’s what I tell the teens I work with all the time and it’s what I tell myself – that we were created to be more passionate, wildly brave, powerful souls than we even know. That what we see, and what culture and society says, and even sometimes what religions and opinions and peers think we should do and be are tame compared to what our Creator has in store for us. We were created with purpose. For a purpose. So chase after that. Chase after hope and adventure and kindness – always kindness. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. ❤

 

Thank you so so so much Mary for joining in the blog! I’m so inspired by words, what truth and encouragement.

Hope y’all enjoyed this as well and be sure to connect with Mary around the web!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Author Interviews

4 Questions with Award Winning Sarah Loudin Thomas | Author Interview

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

I truly am so thankful for this little corner of space of the internet, where I can chat with y’all about books and bookish things – like author interviews. It seriously is so fun and I love that so many authors are willing to share so much of their lives with us readers! And how fun is it when it is one of my favorite authors – like today?!

If you’ve been around the blog, you know I’m a fan of Sarah’s books and so excited she joined in 4 Questions!

Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, released August 2014 through Bethany House and won both the Selah and the INSPY Award for best debut novel. Book #2–Until the Harvest–released May 2015 with a third set to release in August 2016. Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina where Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.

1. What is something about your life right now that you would have never imagined 5 years ago?
I DID imagine being a published author (although the imaginings might have been a bit more grandiose!), so that’s not it. Honestly, what I never imagined was needing to help take care of my dad while he’s still in his mid-70s. He’s back home in WV and has Parkinson’s. He’s in an assisted living home and the staff takes really good care of him (some even read my books!). But there are a lot of details to take care of—bills, property maintenance, doctor’s appointments—all the things I assumed he’d be more than capable of handling for a long time yet. My dad and his stories are a big part of the inspiration for my novels so this shift in his health has really made me aware of how important it is to ask him questions and encourage him to retell those favorite stories. You just never know how long someone you love will be around.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Wear sunscreen. There are a lot of things I can look back on and recognize as less than stellar decisions, but I figure those have played a significant role in shaping the person I am, so I’ll go with sunscreen. Having better skin probably wouldn’t change who I am today!

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
My wedding was the happiest moment for years—I’m grinning madly in all the pictures. But more recently it was the launch for my first book. We had it at my church and SO many friends and my family came out that afternoon. We had a bean supper with square dancing following a reading from Miracle in a Dry Season in the sanctuary. My husband introduced me with such love, admiration, and dare I even say adoration, that it made me cry and filled my heart as full as it would go!

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
You should wear sunscreen EVERY DAY. Also, most of what seems so achingly important to you right now won’t mean doodly-squat in twenty years. Only two things matter: loving God and loving other people. In that order. I try to write books that honor God and whisper, “I love you just the way you are,” to readers. If you can find work that lets you worship God while loving people, you’ll have it made. Let all the other stuff go.

Thank you so so much Sarah for joining in! I 100% second the sunscreen advice. I hope y’all enjoyed hearing from Sarah!

Where to Connect with Author
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Author Interviews

4 Questions with Award Winning Author Becky Wade | Interview

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

I don’t even know how it’s been well over two months since my last 4 Questions! I dropped the ball, but good news is I’m back and sooooo excited to have Becky Wade joining us! If you enjoy contemporary fiction and love, then be sure to check out her books! Meant to Be Mine (you can check out my full review here) is a recent favorite contemporary read for me and I’m truly excited to share this 4 Questions with y’all!

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky’s passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She’s delighted to be penning warm, wry, and heartwarming contemporary romances for the Christian market. She’s the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, Undeniably Yours, Meant to Be Mine, and A Love Like Ours.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

1. What is something about your life right now that you would have never imagined 5 years ago?
Life as I now know it as a writer and a mom of school-aged kids! Five years ago, I’d been a stay at home mom for a decade and was busy juggling nap schedules and playdates for my youngest, who was one at the time. I’d written an inspirational romance manuscript and my agent had sent it off, and right around this time of year we received an offer on that manuscript, which became My Stubborn Heart.

That offer started a domino effect of exciting, challenging, wonderful changes!

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
If I could go back, I would start my career writing inspirational romances instead of the general market romances I penned before I had kids. It boggles my mind to think about how my whole path might have been different. I could have written so many books by this stage of my life if I’d been writing continuously since I was in my early twenties!

Thing is… if I’d had deadlines to worry about when my babies were tiny I may not have cherished those years as much as I did. So, in the end, I trust that things happened in a way that God can use for my good and His glory, despite my missteps.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
The moments right after my husband proposed to me. I was in love and full of hope and amazement. I can remember absolutely marveling at my engagement ring and thinking over and over in this dazedly goofy way, ‘We’re engaged! We’re going to get married!”

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
I want the next generation to know that neither fame nor money nor achievement nor marriage nor motherhood is the thing. The thing that will bring you the most meaning and satisfaction is living life in partnership with God. So let Him use you however He sees fit. Listen to Him, be humble, and live very generously with the understanding that everything you have comes from Him. It’s a wonderful journey if you spend the journey allowing Him accomplish His will through you.

Thank you so so much Becky! I always love reading what people share with these answers and I was truly encouraged! I hope y’all were too. Be sure to connect with Becky around the internet!

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