Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lynette Sowell: A Sweetheart Author From Texas

Everyone's Story welcomes this week author Lynette Sowell. Lynette's warm smile reflects the novels she writes: warm, feel-good stories. During her visit, Lynette is sharing with us many exciting things... all interwoven with a thread of Texas. First, based around her exciting Giveaway offer of *3* copies (see below) of her novel, THE SWEETHEART OF STARLIGHT, there's a blurb and an excerpt for your viewing. Then, Lynette shares thoughts on how she came close to surrendering her dream of becoming published, sharing with us a couple of photos of Texan scenery nearby to where Lynette lives that she says captures the perfect flavor of the setting of her current release. 

Enjoy some fun, slip into a Texan state of mind, and drop Lynette a line or two in the comment section. She'd enjoy hearing from you

Lynette is offering 3 copies of her new release THE SWEETHEART OF STARLIGHT to 3 randomly chosen commenters--a very exciting and gracious offer! The winners will be announced between 4-5 PM EST on Friday, September 14th. Here's some previews of the novel:

Lynette says--

"My new release, The Sweetheart of Starlight, is the third in a contemporary romance series from Heartsong Presents (now an imprint of Steeple Hill/Harlequin). It's set in the central Texas town of Starlight very close to Fort Hood, and bears a striking resemblance to a number of towns in the area where I live. I loved writing it and the two books that came before it in the series, Counting On Starlight, and Catch A Falling Star." 

A blurb--
Tamarind Brown knows Texas barbecue.

She also knows how to run a restaurant, even if The Pit is a bit shabby around the edges and needs renovation. Her parents loaned the money for her dream, and her employees rely on her. Her place is a local favorite in Starlight, Texas. So why is she losing money?


Rick Mantovani knows pasta. His successful Italian restaurants on the East Coast take up all his time and energy. But he wants to conquer barbecue, and the place to prove himself is in the heart of Texas. The fact that Starlight is also the home of a beautiful, green-eyed barbecue champion doesn’t hurt. Rick’s recipe lost to Tamarind’s on the summer competitive barbecue circuit, but maybe now they can help each other instead of competing at the grill.

As their friendship grows, Rick visits Tamarind’s church to do a little business networking. He’s never had much time for God, and when tragedy strikes Starlight, Rick must wrestle with his lack of faith. Why believe in a God who has the power to take away everything? Can Rick learn to trust God even when bad things happen?

Excerpt--
     Rick remembered the first time he saw Tamarind back in June, as she hovered over a smoker, her wild dark hair pulled back with a red bandana, beads of perspiration on her forehead. With her toned arms, she’d flipped the brisket on the grill as if it were nothing then caught him staring at her. Just like he was doing again now.
     “So, you’re the one they were talking about at the Chamber of Commerce meeting.” The terse statement explained her glare.
     “I was going to shoot you an email, or call. . . .”
     “That would have been nice, you know.”
     “You didn’t miss me at all?” He tried to smile away her aggravation. “I’m on your side, really.”
     “Looks like you’re sampling my menu, is what you’re doing. Only two people know the secret of my sauce. That’s me and my dad. I’ll never tell you.” Tamarind glanced at the plates arrayed in front of him.
     “The pork is amazing.” He reached for a rib and took a bite. This sauce was different than the pork. Chipotle peppers, definitely.
     “Flattery won’t change the fact that you’re the one opening a barbecue restaurant in the old Millicent place. You went through rezoning and everything.” Tamarind bit her lip. “And you didn’t tell me.”

Behind The Stories by Lynette Sowell

A beautiful Texan creek with
limestone cliffs
There was a time in my writing career when I was seriously tempted to quit. Our kids still lived at home and were in school, and things were happening with them that made me think my writing was to blame.

After all, for some reason I'd developed the idea over the years that if God thought I loved something too much, He'd take it away from me. So maybe our family difficulties and challenges were a sign that I should stop writing.

I worked a full-time job, as did my husband, plus we had church commitments and the long list of “things to do” that families often have. Sports and other activities for the kids, you name it. I remember one spring night on the porch, talking to my husband and saying, “I think I should just quit writing. Maybe it's causing problems for us.” I hadn't been published yet in fiction. I'd finaled and placed in a few contests, and had some good rejections from editors, but no contract.

My husband, wonderful supporter that he is, suggested maybe I take the summer off from writing. Not quit, but just give myself a break. But he knew that God had given me a talent to write and to not write wasn't the answer. I was skeptical at his idea.

Texas Longhorn cattle
My kids, about age 12 and 14 at the time, caught wind of the idea. My daughter was horrified. “Mom, no. You can't stop writing. It doesn't bother us. It's something you do.”

While I'm aware there are things and people in our lives that can become idols, I also realized that being passionate and diligent about writing didn't make it an idol. I was exercising and using my talent that God had given me, with hopes of developing it more. The very fact that I was concerned about loving writing too much showed me that I probably hadn't made it an idol.

Every once in a while, I step back and breathe, and realize that there's much more to life than writing or thinking about writing, or musing over future book proposals. I give myself a break, but a very short one, whether it's an afternoon or a weekend, but then I'm right back on track again.

About three weeks after that conversation on the porch, I received my first fiction contract.


Author Bio:
Lynette Sowell is the award-winning author of more than a dozen titles for Barbour Publishing. When Lynette's not writing, she works as a medical editor and part-time newspaper reporter. Lynette was born in Massachusetts, raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, but makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas hill country with her husband and a herd of cats that have them well trained. She loves traveling, reading, cooking, watching movies, and is always up for a Texas road trip.


Web links for Lynette:
https://www.facebook.com/lynettesowellauthor   is where Lynette has most of her book news.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/the-flashlight-reader  is Lynette's new venture, a weekly radio show for authors and readers online every Monday night
http://www.twitter.com/lynettesowell  where Lynette tweets.


Please consider helping Everyone's Story by adding your name on the Guest Book Page: http://elainestock.blogspot.com/p/guest-book.html




32 comments:

  1. I am glad that you did not give up writing, your excerpt is awesome, great dialogue. I love the premise of your story and I'm hoping that "secret" recipe is shared in the book :). I'd love a chance to win. If I don't I'm keeping your title in my book wish list.

    Have a blessed day.
    HM at HVC dot RR dot COM

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    1. Heather, as always I'm happy to see you again on Everyone's Story!

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    2. Thanks, Heather! One of my inspirations for this book was watching TLC's show Barbecue Pitmasters. Plus, it's barbecue. :)

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  2. I think most writers go through a "I think I should quit" moment. I plan breaks (a week if I can get away with it) after finishing a big project like a book. :) Good to hear about your family's support.

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    1. Yes, a nice break is definitely appreciated. I plan to take one from conference until Oct.1. then start on my next project.

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    2. Thanks for visiting, Darlene.

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  3. Years ago I started my daughter's reading Heartsong Presents, in order to get them to read. BUT then I fell in love with them & kept getting them years after they left the home! I'd love to read yours!

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    1. Heartsong novels have been around for 20 years. I first read a few back in 1997-1998, when I started writing again seriously. Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. Melody, I love to hear stories of moms encouraging their kids to read. My mother was a big reader and made a pleasant fuss over books... except she preferred horror books, the bloodier and more gory, the better. Glad to know your family enjoys Christian fiction!

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  4. So happy you did not give up on your writing. I think it would have been everyones loss. Thanks for keeping writing.

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    1. Thanks, Pat! I'm too busy to stop now, and I'm thankful. :)

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    2. Pat, thank you for visiting Everyone's Story. Hope you'll be by again.

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  5. I had the fortunate opportunity to meet up with Lynette at an author signing at Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. She was a coworker of mine in medical transcription and told me all about it. So I asked my sister-in-law Barb if she would like to ride with that day to visit with this phenomenal writer. We had a nice visit, met a bunch of great people, and we bought a bunch of books that day. I too am so thankful Lynette has stayed writing as well. I love your books girl and am looking forward to some new books to add to my fall reading list. If anyone is ever wondering if they should go to an author signing, GO!!! You will have so much fun!!

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    1. What a wonderful anecdote you just shared with us--thanks. It's a great insight to know the depths of joy novels bring to others.

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    2. Hi, Holly! I remember that book signing well. It was fun to meet you in person. Don't worry, more books coming after this one! Two new ones in 2013, plus two more in 2014, and one in early 2015 so far!

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    3. Leaping lizards, Lynette! Congratulations on all those novels lined up. I'm happy for you!!

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  6. Thanks for the chance to win! I'm glad you didn't stop writing!
    likesmusic2@consolidated.net

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    1. A warm hello, Debbie. Thanks for visiting Everyone's Story.

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    2. I'm glad too, Debbie. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  7. Thanks for you inspiring personal story, Lynette!

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    1. Nice to see you again, Carla. I'm very blessed that I have such inspiring and uplifting guests such as Lynette... and when you were featured as well on Everyone's Story:

      http://elainestock.blogspot.com/2012/06/carla-olson-gade-maine-gal-writes-about.html

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    2. You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by. :) Now I'll have to go check out YOUR story.

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  8. Hi Lynette, it was interesting to read about the time you considered quitting. So glad you decided to keep going! Your new book looks wonderful Congratulations!!
    Blessings,
    Carrie

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    1. Thanks for the visit, Carrie!

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    2. Thanks, Carrie! See you soon.

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  9. No need to enter me in the drawing. I just happened to learn of this post and couldn't resist commenting on my special friend Lynette. I'm so, so glad you didn't quit writing.

    Blessings,

    MaryAnn Diorio
    A CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING
    Harbourlight Books-December 2012

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    1. It's always nice to see you here, MaryAnn ♡

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    2. Well, thanks for stopping by, MaryAnn. I'm glad I didn't quit, either.

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  10. That is wonderful that your family was so encouraging and persuaded you not to give up on writing.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    azladijo(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Welcome, Jo, to Everyone's Story. I agree, Lynette is truly blessed with a supportive, loving family... and we as writers, readers, all that are book lovers, are blessed to have each other as a "family" as well :)

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    2. Jo, I have to agree I've been blessed with a supportive family. Both my kids are in their early 20's now, and they assure me they never felt neglected, even when I carved out time to write.

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  11. Lynette, heartfelt thanks for being my guest this week on Everyone's Story. It's been a fun week with lots of viewer hits on your segment. You've certainly helped me--and I'm sure others who will be attending the ACFW Dallas conference next week--get into a Texas state of mind! And, again, I'm thankful that you didn't give up the art of storytelling and the career of writing. May you be blessed with many more novels to come.

    Thank you too for the awesome book giveaway. You have 3 very lucky winners. And they are:

    Heather
    Carla
    Debbie

    Lynette and I will be contacting the winners shortly to make direct mailing arrangements. Happy reading!

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