Thursday, November 28, 2013

Books by Lisa Tawn Bergren

The Bridge  by Lisa Tawn Bergren

This wonderful story is actually two stories, one in present time and the other in flashback. It pertains to an accident on the bridge over Swan River in Montana which resulted in a fatality.

As Bergren deftly weaves her story, I was drawn in so that it was hard to put the book down. She presented the story of Anna, the woman involved in the accident, in italics, which indicated each flashback, while the story of the man returning to his uncle’s cabin was in regular print, indicating the present day story. They were slowly woven together to give the reader both background and plot.

Jared Conway, divorced father of an eight-year-old boy, took his son to his uncle’s old cabin so he could clean it up and sell it, but he did not count on the quirky people he would meet there. Nor did he count on the peace and comfort the cabin and its surroundings would provide for him and his son during the summer. As we meet the characters, we are slowly taken in by them, as the story goes back and forth between present day and the 40-year-old incident.

The surprise ending will leave the reader with an “aha” moment when the reader fits everything together, as the two stories converge.

This book was a wonderful page-turner, and I recommend it highly for someone who enjoys the combination of a light mystery and a sweet love story. I borrowed this book from our church library and read it upon the recommendation of the librarian. She was right. I couldn't put it down.

Mercy Come Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Krista is a 38-year-old history professsor in a college in Colorado, but she has never forgotten her lost childhood. She grew up with an absent father and a mother who treated her indifferently. When her mother is near death in Taos, New Mexico, she reluctantly goes to be with her. Her mother never regains consciousness, but Krista battles with memories from her past. A close friend of her mother who has always befriended her helps her to see her mother in a different way as she grows closer and closer to death from Alzheimers.When Krista finds diaries and letters and reads them, she comes to understand her mother better and is able to clear her mind of some of the things that beset her for so long.

The imagery in this book is tremendous. Bergen's description of the countryside is colorful and alive. As Krista remembers things, she also remembers historic events, so the reader gets a history lesson as well as an enjoyable story. Krista also remembers Christmases through her life. This book's first title was Christmas Come Morning.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah for my honest review.

God Gave us the World by Lisa Tawn Bergren, art by Laura J.Bryant

Lisa Bergren has written a beautiful story for young children with her book, God Gave Us the World. Full-page artwork by Laura Bryant is colorful and appealing.

Mama Bear, who makes her home at the North Pole, is taking her cubs on a trip to see a special exhibit: Bears Around the World. As she explains to her cubs the different kinds of bears, the artwork depicts the landscape where each kind lives. She impresses upon her little ones the vastness of the world, the uniqueness of each kind of bear, and their similarities and differences. Of course, the cubs are thrilled to learn this, because all they know is the part of the world in which they live. Since they are polar bears, they dont know about panda bears in China, sloth bears in India, or grizzly bears in America.

Mama Bear explains that while their family lives in the cold, snowy North, some bears live in the rain forest, and others live in the desert. Every bear has a special place in God’s world, a place where they are suited to live.

It is easy to see that the story of the bears relates to the children who listen as this story is read to them. People, too, live in many different places. Mama Bear shows her cubs that God gave us the world and everything in it, and that God chose the place where each one would live. She impresses on them a need to protect their environment, just as the children should do.

This delightful book will be read again and again as children drink in the beauty of the artwork and come to realize that God made the world for them, too.
I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah for my honest review.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Winner from Bergren's interview

Thanks to all of you who commented on the interview with Lisa Bergren this week. There were 40 entrants from 18 states. I am overwhelmed with all the comments from Lisa’s devoted fans, and from some who were meeting her and hearing about her books for the first time. The internet is truly an amazing tool!
And the winner is......Julie from Minnesota!
I've met several new authors since I started doing interviews last March--some new to me and some new to writing, as well as some I already knew. Check the Author Interviews tab to find the names of all of them. Authors coming up in the next few weeks and into 2014 are:
Rosemary Hines, author of contemporary fiction, based on her New Age experiences. (found her on Kindle and ordered all three of her books)
Sarah Sundin, author of books about World War II women soldiers (found her on Kindle and ordered another one)
Kimberly Rae Jordan, daughter of missionaries, and author of a book about a missionary who was kidnapped and held for years by terrorists, and what happened when he returned. (Her books is an e-book but is being printed in December and will be available to the winner of those who comment)
Kimberly Rae, a Christian author of books about the sex trade among young girls (I've ordered one of her books and it has not yet arrived)
Eva Marie Everson, an author I found when I downloaded one of her books for free. She writes books about contemporary times. (I read one on Kindle and just finished the one I ordered from Amazon).  

Heidi Glick, author of Christian mysteries

Becky Povich, writer of memoirs (just finished her book From Pigtails to Chin Hairs and chuckled my way through it.
Can you tell I'm an avid reader? If only housework and cooking didn't get in the way of my reading!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Interview with Lisa Tawn Bergren

 Juanita: Hi, Lisa, Welcome to my blog today! I am so looking forward to learning more about you.

Lisa: Thanks for inviting me into your circle!

Juanita: First, tell us a little about yourself, and your reason for writing Christian books.

Lisa: I’m a wife and mom living in Colorado Springs. I finish ducks in the morning (I can see your puzzled expression—see and write in the afternoon. I write Christian books because my faith is such an integral part of me, I can’t imagine not incorporating at least a tiny measure of spirituality in everything I write.

Juanita: I looked it up and found what you mean. You are very artistic, too. Looks like you make these out of weathered wood.

Have you always lived in Colorado? If not, did you have any trouble adapting to the climate there when you moved to the state? What do you like best about living in Colorado?

Lisa: I came with a team to start a Christian division for Random House, WaterBrook Press. They said we could move to New York or Colorado, and we chose Colorado. We love it here. We adopted it as our home state—I love the easy access to mountains, and the people, a wonderful combination of Midwest-sensible and Western-casual.

Juanita: Wow! I didn't know you were in on the beginning of that! What an honor.  I've been to Colorado a couple of times, and I loved its beauty and the many different things you can see there.
I notice you write in many genres—historical fiction, children’s books, teen fiction, devotionals--- Do you have a favorite or do you love them all?

Lisa: My favorite is always what I’m currently writing. But I do really love YA (teen) fiction because I think young women are adorable, and so ready to interact with me. And when their moms read the same novels along with their daughters? That’s a very happy place for me. The series I wrote last for them is called The River of Time (Waterfall, Cascade, Torrent, Bourne & Tributary), and I have a new series coming in 2014 called Remnants. Lots of action…those novels practically write themselves for me.

Juanita: How do you balance being a wife and mother of three children with a successful writing career?

Lisa: It’s always a juggling act. But since my kids are bigger now (freshman in college, freshman in high school and 4th grader), it’s a tad easier. Concentrated hours while they’re away to get the work done, so I can concentrate on them come evening.

Juanita: That is different, having kids in so many age groups. But I remember those days.
What do you like to do when you have a little free time? Or is that something you don’t know about?

Lisa: Ha! I like to hike and host dinner parties. Being outside recharges me and I love intimate, real conversations with dear friends.

Juanita: What part did books play in your life while you were growing up? Did you always think you would be an author?

Lisa: I was one of those kids who read under the covers until my mom found me out and made me go to sleep. There was nothing I really liked more than getting lost in a great book. To be an author, however, seemed like an impossible dream. I always wrote and had a role in my school yearbook and newspaper staff, and I graduated in English Lit, but I was thinking more about editing than writing myself. Post-college, I had a friend of a friend who wrote a Harlequin romance and I thought, “Well, I could do that…” And I did. God’s been more than generous in opening doors for me ever since.

Juanita: I read in one of your interviews that you didn’t have to wait long after you started writing before you were a published author. Tell us a little about your journey and the importance of having an agent in this transition.

Lisa: I wasn’t agented for my first 10 or so novels. I was in the publishing biz (first in marketing, then in editing), so I felt I knew enough about contracts and the “other side” to negotiate them myself. When I stopped working in-house, I hired an agent. While I still keep up on what’s happening, especially in this world of e-pub, I greatly value my agent and his role in my traditional publishing.

Juanita: Besides when you came to know the Lord, what was the happiest day in your life?

Lisa: The day I married my husband, Tim. He’s a prince of a man, my best friend as well as the love of my life.  

Juanita: Lisa, thanks so much for visiting with us today. It's so nice to visit with you, and I really appreciate your taking the time to do this. Bloggers, you can find Lisa on the net at  Also, check out her books on her Amazon page. I'm sure she has a facebook page too.

Lisa: Thanks for inviting me to do so!

Now, bloggers, we have a wonderful prize for this week's winner! Lisa has offered to give away a copy of one of her Grand Tour novels-- Glamourous Illusions, Grave Consequences, or Glittering Promises. This is a trilogy that I read  on my Kindle and they are wonderful. I also read The Bridge and it was one I couldn't put down.  WINNER'S CHOICE!
I have read and reviewed several of Lisa's children's books and donated them to our church library. Lisa is truly a talented writer of several different genres.

I hope you will leave a comment so you can be entered in the contest. I'll notify the winner by email on Saturday, November 23, and Lisa will mail the book to you. Please remember to leave your email address, and will you tell me which state you live in?
Have a great week!





Monday, November 11, 2013


Thanks to Angela Hunt for her interview last week. Not many people availed themselves of the free book--a children's book--but it was there for them if they wanted it. I know many of my readers probably don't use e-books, etc., and I didn't either, for a long time. I learned there is an app you can put on your computer to read the books, and then my husband gave me a Kindle for Christmas one year. I thoroughly enjoy reading the Kindle, but I like real books more.

What are you thankful for? Several of my friends on Facebook have been posting what they are thankful for since the beginning of November. I haven't done it yet. I'm working on updating and rewriting my book about Bible Characters for use in a Women's Bible Study at our church, and it has been a time-consuming, but very rewarding project. I'm excited about getting these books printed (not published) for use by the women, starting in January. I'm thankful God gave me a mind that wants to learn more and more.

Next week, on November 18, look for an interview by Lisa Tawn Bergren, with a give-away. She is letting the winner of the week's blog choose the book she wants. Take a look at Lisa's books on Amazon and see what she has written. I've read several of her books and they are all great!

I will not be posting any more this week--getting ready for the big interview next week.

Hope you are thankful this November. God bless you.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Meet Author Angela Hunt

Q:  Hello, Angela, I’m excited to have you on my blog today. First, please tell us about your salvation experience and why you write Christian books.
A: I accepted Christ as a child, at about six years old. I was raised in a Christian family, so I was taught early about the things of God. 
Q: Please tell us about your early life. Did you always want to be a writer or did you come from a family of readers to cause you to become so prolific in your writing?

A: I never really thought about being a writer because I was a singer, and that's sort of what everyone expected me to be.  But my mother was a reader, so I was, too. I read everything I could get my hands on. 

Q: I read your book, Roanoke, the Lost Colony on my Kindle and was surprised that I had not heard that story before. In all my years of teaching children about the Pilgrims and the beginning of America, I wonder how I missed that. How did you learn about this incident and why is in not in the history books?

A:  I think the story of Roanoke is often overlooked because the colony was not a "success" by historic standards. The colony mysteriously disappeared, leaving only a few mysterious clues. When I heard that part of the story, I loved the mystery and delved into the history. The answer I came up with in my book is the one that best fits existing folklore and probability.

Q: When I read The Shadow Women about the women in the life of Moses, I was excited to read all the history you inserted into your novel. How do you go about beginning your research when you start to write?  Do you depend wholly on facts or do you write some new things into Biblical fiction?

A: I use as much history and cultural information as I can, and I try never to contradict anything I know to be true. But when you're dealing with times that ancient, you find that even scholars don't agree on timelines and such. All I could do was compare the historical sources with the Bible--my bottom line--and then do what felt most logical to me. 

Q: And you did a marvelous job, in my opinion! I was not aware of your children’s books. Tell us a little about why you chose to write books for children, and something about these books.

A: My first books were children's books, written when my children were small. I love kids, and sometimes I think I still think like a kid.  :-)  Now that I have a granddaughter, I'm rediscovering children's books and having a great time with them. 

Q: After looking through your website and reading some of the titles of your contemporary fiction, I can’t wait to get started reading some of these books. Where do you get your ideas for such up-to-date novels—dealing with everything from a bad marriage to a surrogate mother to a funeral home?

A:  I love exploring anything that interests me, and I'm interested by almost everything. And our society is experimenting with a lot of technological advances that could have dangerous ethical implications. I like exploring those issues so people can see how serious the complications can be. 

Q: Tell us about your newest book, and what we can expect to hear from you in the future.

A:  I have just finished a novel on Esther, and found her story fascinating!  I'm still waiting to find the right publisher for that one. 

Q: Angela, thanks so much for visiting with me and my blog readers today. I appreciate the time you took to answer these questions and to help our readers get to know you and your books a little better.

A:  My pleasure!  Thank you for the invitation! 
Now readers, you can download a copy of one of Angela's children's book, If I Had Long, Long Hair, for your e-reader, phone, tablet or computer. Go to Facebook, search for Angela Hunt, Novelist, and you will find the link to download the book. You will see it in color, just as it is in print. Hope you enjoy reading it.  I hope you will also comment.

Or you can go to Google, type in www.angelahunt.novelist, then click on her link for Facebook and you will be directed to Amazon where you can click on the free book. I just did it. Angela says she has a free book offered regularly, so check this site often, and see what you find.
This is the cover of the free book, copied from the Faceook page.