Friday, January 17, 2014

Lorna Faith: What To Do With Life Changing Moments

Everyone's Story is pleased, excited, and most honored to host debut author Lorna Faith. As you will see when you read her encouraging words, Lorna's sincerity and zest for making the most of what life hands her shows in not only her writing but with the way she warmly responds and offers her support. Check out the Book Giveaway she's offering of ANSERING ANNAVETA, with a look at an excerpt from the novel. Both Lorna and I are looking forward to hearing from you.

Book Giveaway:
Lorna is offering one print copy of her novel ANSWERING ANNAVETA to the first randomly chosen commenter and an e-version of the same novel to the second chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, January 24th, between 5-6 PM EST. For convenience, please leave your contact information within your comment. Thanks!

Here's a peek at Lorna's ANSWERING ANNAVETA:


“I DIDN”T LIKE HOW YOU treated that nice young man when he was introduced to us, daughter. The matchmaker went out of her way to help us, and you didn’t even give Misha a smile. Shame on you.” Papa’s eyes were hard, narrowing to mere slits as he stared at her. “I know he will be coming to our village tomorrow for the Posidelki work bee and social afterward. I want you to do whatever you need to do to show that you are happy to see him. This is one way you can finally make up for the disgrace you brought on our family at the Shremetev estate. Do you understand?”
     Annaveta answered, “I don’t like him, Papa. He’s so arrogant and only talks about himself. Pavla says she heard that he drinks all the time and gets into fights when he does.” Annaveta looked at her mama for her support, knowing she longed for her daughter to marry a good man, but she remained silent.
     Her papa continued. “Well, Pavla isn’t always right. I’ve heard from the matchmaker that his family is rich. That’s all I need to know. He’s living the Russian proverb: ‘Get a wife from afar; buy a cow near.’ So, you will do as I say, or you’ll wish you had. Do you hear me?” Papa shook his finger in front of her nose.
     “Yes, Papa.” Annaveta knew she would have to obey or she would get a beating. She wanted to have a way out, but any hope for her future seemed very bleak.
      The door slammed as he left their small hut, heightening the tension in the room. Annaveta jumped back, her body’s response instinctive. Her hands moved her wet rag with more vigor over the almost spotless stove, each movement emphasizing her anger. Papa’s unreasonable demands spun around in her head. Maybe the anger she was feeling at being forced to marry would begin to wear away like the skin on the end of her fingers. She looked over at Mama, who was busy cooking the fish that Nicolai had caught for this evening’s meal. She sighed, a mixture of frustration and resignation in the sound.
     Her future would be very bleak indeed if she had to spend it with Misha. Nicolai had asked his friends about him, and they all said he got drunk regularly and thought he was the best at everything. His friends said there were some of the youth in his village who’d claimed he dallied with plenty of girls, and that there was one girl he got in trouble.
     Nicolai’s description of Misha didn’t surprise her. One thing she knew was that she didn’t want anything to do with an unprincipled man like that. For now she would have to go along with the plan, but she was desperate to figure out a way out of this mess.


ANNAVETA AWOKE TO THE SOUND of her tummy’s growl as the aroma of Mama’s rye bread baking filled their small hut. Sitting up, she groaned and rubbed an imprint on her back caused by the long night spent on the knotted sleeping bench. She remembered that today, the last day in April, was a special day for her. It was her sixteenth birthday. She knew she should be excited, but for some reason uneasiness filled her senses. Maybe it was the bad dream she’d had of her family all dying suddenly. Involuntarily she shuddered as images of their burning hut flooded her mind. I really should tell Mama about my dream, but she would probably just say that it was just a silly dream, nothing to worry about. She looked over at Mama, who stopped what she was doing and came to Annaveta. She was being silly; of course, there was nothing to worry about. Everyone was fine.
     “Happy birthday, little one.” Mama put her hands on the sides of Annaveta’s face and kissed both her cheeks. “You are so grown-up. Today is a special day, your first Posidelki. You will remember this day when you are older as the day you faced your future with strength.” Mama smiled at her and kissed her forehead. “I have something for you. It was my mama’s before me, but now it’s yours. Someday you can pass it on to your daughter.”
     Annaveta stared in surprise at the ring with a small ruby in the middle, encircled by delicately designed gold. She put it on her finger, and tears came to her eyes.
     “Thank you, Mama. I will treasure it always.” She hugged her mama knowing what a sacrifice it must have been to save it for her.
     “Oh, daughter. You are such a good girl. I just want you to be happy.” Mama kissed both her cheeks, then stepped back and wiped her own wet cheeks.
     Annaveta watched as Mama hurried back to cooking breakfast. Looking at the ring, for the first time she felt a real connection with her mama and grandmere. She knew they were strong women who had made it through so much hardship. She was grateful for her mama’s reassuring words and the gift, but she didn’t feel any strength; instead, uncertainty and fear formed knots in her stomach. This was not the future she wanted, but this was what she had been given. There was nothing to be done to change it. She told herself she would go along with what Papa and Mama wanted so there would be enough food on the table for her family. She knew if she married into a rich family she could at least help them out. In her heart she knew she had to sacrifice the freedom and love she so desperately wanted so her mama and brothers could have a better life.
     She looked up and saw little Yuri’s mouth quiver as each of his loud snores pierced the stillness of the morning. He lay on his tummy, his little arms dangling down from the sleeping loft by the large white stove. Nicolai was sleeping on the bench beneath him. She was so thankful that at least these two brothers had survived out of the ten babies that had started in Mama’s womb. Annaveta was sure that the many beatings from Papa had killed the others.
     She seethed thinking of her mama’s suffering. How she hated her papa. Yes, she determined in her heart to do everything she could to help take care of her mama and brothers.
     Her hands trembled as she picked up her folded clothes. The sound of wood being chopped echoed through the small hut. She knew she had better get moving - Papa would be coming inside soon. With quick movements she changed into her patched black skirt and gray blouse, the only work clothes she owned. She folded her nightdress and set it neatly on top of the folded blankets on the bench. Hearing the clunk of the spoon against the pot, she looked over at Mama. She had her brown-and-gray-streaked hair pulled back into a tight bun and a kerchief around her head. Annaveta watched as she used her sleeve to get rid of the perspiration on her forehead, while stirring with her other hand. Annaveta wiped a stray tear from the corner of one eye.
     This is what my life will be like soon. I’ll be stirring kasha, bearing children, and being bound to a man who will control my every move. Just like Mama. But there can be no more tears. I will just have to accept it. With an angry flick, she removed the last tear from her cheek, determined to somehow survive this.
     Annaveta’s hurried steps made swooshing noises in the wet grass as she made her way to the makeshift outhouse behind the house. The brisk wind poured through wide-open wooden slats like a cold waterfall. She peered outside at the sky and saw the sun trying to pierce its way through dark fuming clouds that seemed ready to lash out at the unsuspecting earth beneath it. She understood their show of displeasure.
     Mama had the boys up and dressed by the time she got back and was putting the kasha on the table. Nicolai and Yuri sat still, rubbing their eyes as Mama filled their bowls with the steaming porridge.
     Annaveta wished for honey to put in their plain fare, but had learned early in life to keep her thoughts to herself or be prepared for a quick strike across her cheek from the back of Papa’s hand.
     “Annaveta is to help at the Posidelki today.”
     Annaveta watched her mama’s lips form an uncertain smile as she sat down and looked up at her husband.
     “Good.” He glared at Annaveta. “You think on what I told you. I expect a contract of marriage for you soon. This family needs some good luck for once,” her papa said, firmly shaking his finger at her.
     “Yes, Papa,” She forced the words from her mouth. The thought of courting and marrying any of the men she knew sent a ripple of fear through her body. She had seen firsthand the bruises of most of the women in the village and late at night had heard their screams. She wanted to escape that life to something better.
     The image of Alex’s gentle eyes flashed through her mind. Her heart tapped the staccato beat of the round dance as she remembered being held in his arms. She longed to feel his touch and hear his voice once again. Anticipation caused her stomach to flutter as she remembered she would see Alex and his sister on Sunday. Catching her breath, she stopped herself to take in all the sensations that flooded her whenever she thought of him. She covered her mouth to hide the sound that slipped out, and her eyes widened as she realized her attraction to Alex.
     But upon looking over at her papa, she realized nothing had changed. An aching pain began in her chest, and she closed her eyes. Because of her papa’s demands she would have to show interest in someone else. Alex came from the wrong kind of people, and her papa would never approve.


AS PAVLA HOED THE LAST row of newly planted potatoes in the vegetable garden, Annaveta grabbed her heavy pail of water and poured it into the trenches. Widow Polaski would have a good-sized garden this year, with lots of vegetables. Covering the small holes with the soft black soil, the girls finished in short order. They stretched, rubbing their aching backs as they took stock of their hard work. A tired sigh escaped as Annaveta thought of the wood that still needed to be hauled before they started supper.
   “Pavla, I’ll help with the outside work for Widow Polaski. Since all us girls are renting her house to use this coming year, I’ll haul the wood. You could join the other girls in the house and help get the food ready for tonight.” Annaveta wanted to avoid being in the same room with the other village girls for as long as possible.
   “All right, I can manage that. I can’t wait for the social tonight. I think the kissing games will be the most fun, don’t you think?” Pavla said as her lips puckered with the sound.
   “That’s the part I dread. I like it that our work benefits others, but it bothers me that we girls are expected to encourage boys we hardly know to show affection. I don’t understand or want any part of it.” Annaveta frowned with disgust.
     “You’re beautiful. You’ll be chosen quickly,” Pavla said, trying to encourage her.
     “You know as well as I that parents and matchmakers in our village persuade men to choose girls with physical strength to bear many children and to do heavy labor. We aren’t encouraged to seek love but to help our families. You’re stronger than I am, Pavla; you’ll be chosen first.” Annaveta’s frown turned into a smile as she thought about it. “You know, this is probably a good thing. Maybe I’ll be rejected for lack of strength.”
     “Well, don’t be too happy just yet,” Pavla whispered, covering her mouth with her hand as she looked behind Annaveta. “Here comes Misha wearing a big grin on his face. It looks like he likes you in spite of your beauty and lack of strength.”
     Annaveta stamped her foot letting her friend know that she wasn’t impressed. Pavla laughed and went inside the hut. Annaveta thought about walking away, but he’d already spotted her. He must have come from his village to join the group of young men here in Noltava for the Posidelki social. Like most of the young men, he arrived just in time to eat the food and join in the dance. She should’t be surprised that he came, though. Since he had already won over most of the young men in this village by giving out his vodka at the round dance, his friends were probably eager to have him come and bribe them with drink once again.
     The girls were expected to do all the work and provide the food, while the young men showed up later on with the entertainment. There wasn’t much she could do to change it, but she longed to go somewhere where she would be free from all the limits that is seemed fate had placed on her. Annaveta didn’t want to go back to the widow’s hut, knowing that he would be there with his friends. She didn’t have a choice, however, knowing her papa expected her to be there and would be disgraced by the other villagers if she didn’t show up with a young man by her side.
     “Hello there, my lovely flower. I see you know how to work. That’s good. Once we’re married, there will be a lot of it to keep you busy.” Misha strolled over to her, his steps swaying and words slurring as he took another drink of the bottle he held in his tight grip.
     “Misha, I’m busy.” Annaveta carried her armload of heavy wood to the back of the hut to put it in the wooden box. After dumping it in, she closed the lid, crinkling her nose at the strong stench of alcohol that surrounded him like a fog. Just like Papa.
     “Misha, go back to your friends.” Annaveta moved to go past him.
     “No. You won’t get away this time. Stay here. With me.” Misha grabbed her arms, pulling her closer to him. She stiffened at his harsh touch.
     “Go away, Misha. Stop it.” Annaveta’s angry tone grew louder as she tried to jerk away from him.
     “From what I hear you don’t usually tell men to go away. You would rather encourage their advances. So, I just want to test the goods for myself.” He pulled her closer, harshly pressing his lips to hers. She twisted out of his arms.
     “You’d better not be spreading those lies about me. I’ll have you brought before the village elders,” Annaveta threatened as she wiped off the imprint of his lips. She scrunched her nose in distaste at the foul smell of vodka that lingered on his breath.
     “Well, soon it won’t matter because you’ll be mine.” Misha’s smile vanished, and his words turned cold. “Don’t even think about changing your mind either. Because if you don’t marry me, I will come after you. And if you ever marry someone else, I will kill him.”
     Misha’s words sent an icy chill down her spine, and even in his semi-drunk state, she knew he meant it. Fear wrapped strangling tentacles around her, and for a moment she could’t breathe. She forced herself to remain calm and inhale slowly, unwilling to let the fear of what he might do intimidate her. She was determined to stand her ground against Misha. He had ruined other girls’ reputations, and she didn’t want to be stained in the same way. She had heard of a girl a few years ago in her village who had been branded falsely as a loose woman. Her family’s gate around their izba had been tarred black so everyone would think she was unchaste. It wasn’t until the girl confronted her accuser at the village assembly that those in authority asked the village midwife to examine her. When she had the humiliating physical examination to prove her virginity, the single young men asked the young woman for her forgiveness. They had to pay a fine, and the village officials hung a sign and made a white mark beside the tar on the parents’ gate announcing to the village that the girl had been proven innocent. Annaveta didn’t want to go through such embarrassment.
     “No more, Misha. I need to go help the other girls prepare the food for tonight.” Annaveta turned her head to the side as he tried to kiss her again. She pushed at his chest to distance herself from his embrace.
     “I’ll let you go for now, but only because I know I’ll see you inside for the kissing games later on.” Misha laughed and sauntered off, making a crooked path as he guzzled the half-empty bottle of vodka.
     Annaveta silently crossed her arms and shook her head. She thought about what the evening might bring. Pavla had told her she was excited about tonight because at the Posidelki they would be allowed to be more intimate than at the Khorvody or any other social. She knew Pavla was interested in Sergei and wanted more time with him. But there wasn’t any man here that Annaveta even liked.
     She sighed. If only Alex were here. He would save her from Misha and the wagging tongues. But the hard feelings between the Russian peasants and German colonists made that impossible. Oh, if only there was some way to disappear tonight.


LOOKING AROUND THE CROWDED ROOM, what little courage Annaveta had sank down to her toes. She glanced at the matchmaker, who sat in the middle of a long line of older village women. They all watched closely what the young people were up to and frowned upon anyone who wasn’t paired off. Annaveta knew this was only one of many such socials to come specially devised to bring couples together for marriage.
     “Gather around, young ones.” Widow Polaski waved her hands for them to come closer. There were ten men and nine young ladies, but one young man was the accordion player, so it looked like everyone had a partner.
     “We will start with the first song. Remember to choose your partner wisely. As the saying goes: ‘Choose a cow by its horn, a maiden by her kin.”’ The old ladies laughed and nodded as they heard the familiar Russian proverb. “So, men, choose your young ladies. We will have three songs and then some games.” Widow Polaski nodded for the young man to start the music.
     Annaveta stood back, hoping to disappear. Pavla was soon escorted to the dance floor by Sergei. They moved together in a slow-moving waltz. Soon most of the other girls were dancing with their partners, enjoying each other. Annaveta stood against the corner wall watching.
     The words of the song reinforced what she already knew. Men were to choose a bride for her strength and diligence, not for her beauty. To choose a bride of spotless reputation. Well, the last requirement, according to village gossip, put her at a disadvantage. Mama had said to choose a man for a husband who was sober and hardworking. Well then, she should run far away from Misha.
     Annaveta watched her friend dance and started to sway to the soothing sounds of the music. She was enjoying herself, when abruptly her hand was pulled and she fell against a hard body.
     “Come, my beauty, let’s dance.” Misha wrapped his arms around her waist.
     “Not so close, Misha. I can hardly breathe.” Annaveta tried to pull his hands away, but she was no match for his strength. She looked over his shoulder at the sly stares of the older women watching. They smiled at her and nodded, talking between themselves, their tongues wagging as fast as the stitches they knitted. Her anger increased as she thought of their smiles while Misha was pawing at her. It didn’t look like there would be any protection from that corner.
     “This social is for young people to get closer. A lot closer,” Misha whispered in her ear as his hand from her waist to her bottom.
     She turned her head so he wouldn’t talk in her ear and moved his hand back to her waist. That was a mistake, for as he looked down at her he covered her lips with his own. She moved her head to the side, only to have him trail kisses down her neck. She looked at the other couples , and saw most of them doing the same thing. She didn’t want to join the crowd.
     Sighing with relief, she pulled herself away when the long song finally ended.
     “I need to go to the kitchen.” Annaveta firmly loosened his octopus-like arms from her waist.
     “Don’t take too long. I’ll be waiting for you,” Misha said as he walked toward the drink table.
     Annaveta tried her best to keep herself busy in the kitchen, making more sandwiches and putting more goodies on plates. She was enjoying having time to herself, when she heard someone behind her.
     “Let me help you carry those.” Misha took the two plates. “Widow Polaski has decided it’s time for the games. The first one is spin the bottle.”
     Annaveta’s cheeks turned red as she noticed that most of the girls were sitting on their man’s lap. She knew how this game was played. The bottle was quickly turned, and when it stopped, the girl whom the bottle was facing was the one the fellow got to kiss.
     Misha pulled her onto his lap, and Annaveta’s face and neck flushed red with embarrassment. She quickly scrambled up before he could grab her and sat down on the floor. She watched as the bottle whirled around and stopped before Pavla. A shy man from their village tripped over his feet in his eagerness to give her a quick kiss on the cheek.
     Annaveta smiled at her friend’s red face. The bottle was spun next by Misha. It stopped and pointed to her. She cringed inside.
     “Let me kish those lovely lipsh,” Misha said, his words slurred. He tried to get to her lips but teetered with drunkenness and slobbered over her cheek instead. Annaveta was grateful when Sergei pulled him back into his chair.
     Annaveta sighed with relief when that game finished. They played a few more games and the music had begun for the next round of dancing, when there was a loud knock on the door.
     Widow Polaski opened the door to let a harried Mr. Baranova inside her small hut. A blast of cold wind pushed him from behind, sending chills up Annaveta’s arms.
     Pavla’s papa, with shoulders bowed and face ashen, stood facing Annaveta.
     “Widow Polaski, I’ve come to get Miss Travotsky.” He ran shaky fingers through his hair as he looked first at the widow and then at Annaveta.
     “There’s been a fire. I’m so sorry to tell you that your family’s izba has burned to the ground. I’ve already searched along with some of the village men. There was nothing left. No survivors. We were too late.” His trembling fingers wiped the corner of one eye. He lowered his head and stared at the hat in his hand.
     Annaveta gasped and shook her head, unable to take it in.
     She stepped closer to the solemn-faced man. Silence filled the room, and then she heard the shuffling of many feet as all the others in the room encircled her. Heavy dread filled her, and her legs went weak. She was sure she must have heard wrong. “I’m sorry, I don’t think I heard you right. What did you say about my mama, papa and brothers?”
     Mr. Baranova repeated his words. The blood drained from her face. Her arms and legs grew weak and started shaking violently. Widow Polaski moved beside her and held her hand.
     Annaveta looked around and saw all the men and ladies from the Posidelki social staring at her. Two of the older widows each passed a handkerchief to her, as they wiped away their own tears. She sought out Pavla and grabbed her arm and held on tightly when her friend came and stood by her.
     Annaveta tried to digest the news. She looked up at Mr. Baranova, hoping that it had all been a horrible mistake. But the grave expression on his face revealed the truth of his words.
     “My two brothers, Mama and Papa - all dead? How could this have happened? It can’t be true, it just can’t.” Her eyes bulged as she stared at Mr. Baranova, hoping he would take back his words of doom.
     Sadly, it is all true. I’m so sorry.” Mr. Baranova looked down, twisting his cloth hat in his hands, and shook his head.
     A gasp escaped her and she stumbled against Pavla, who had her arm around her. “I can’t believe it. They’re all gone. What will I do now?” Annaveta’s dazed look went around the room silently questioning all the solemn faces that stared back at her. She looked down and rubbed the ring on her finger. “Everyone who loved me is gone. I’ll never see or hug my mama or my brothers every again.” Putting her hands over her face she sobbed as the reality of what just happened flooded her mind.
     The weight of her loss crushed her will to go on. Her legs buckled from under her before everything went black.

Your Future Success is in Your Own Heart by Lorna Faith

I gasped in horror and stared at the flames that shot upward. Seconds before I had removed the lid off the pot where I had been cooking french fries. However, there was one problem. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t supposed to have a lid on a pot of boiling oil.

I backed away from the stove, still in shock, watching as the kitchen cupboards ignited and the flames shot in both directions. All of them were soon buried under the fiery blaze. I panicked, not really thinking thrust my arm through the flames to turn off the stove. Screaming in pain I pulled my arm out and backed up, bumping into the soft form of my son.

“Hot!” Our seventeen month old son sat on the floor behind me. He had been playing with his Tonka truck, until he saw the flames. His eyes grew ever wider as he pointed at the flames that had now spread to the wall.

I picked Qualan up and hugged him close, reassuring him, even though I was still in shock. I didn’t know what else to do, so I hurried over to the wall phone that was about six feet away from the spreading fire. I dialed the number I knew best.

“I can’t believe I did this! I can’t believe I did this! I didn’t know this would happen!” My voice screeched over the phone line to my husband and then abruptly I hung up the phone. I was still in shock. My dear hubby told me later, he was driving home at the time and put the pedal to the metal when he heard the incoherent hysteria in my voice. He knew I had been making homemade fries and thought the oil had accidentally poured over our son.

I hurried to call 911, realizing belatedly that the fire truck needed to come now. By this time Qualan was crying and the crisis I was living in at that moment was starting to sink in. As soon as I hung up the phone, someone pounded loudly on the door.

I went to the door, opening it to my neighbor. “I saw the flames leaping through the wall... Oh my goodness!” Her eyes grew round and she stopped speaking just staring at the flaming red behind us. “You’ve got to get out of here now!” She tugged on my hand to follow her.

I nodded, grabbed my purse, hurrying as fast as my 7 month pregnant body would let me. I held onto my son for dear life, strips of ceiling singeing my hair as we ran.

My husband screeched his van to a halt and spied us standing on the street. We were dazed. He ran toward us to see if we were okay, checking Qualan over for scars or burns. 

View of the Rocky Mountains from Lorna's
“He’s okay. We’re both fine. It’s the house. I’ve burned down our house.” I started sobbing, feeling waves of guilt wash over me.

“Oh, is that all.” A big sigh of relief escaped him. “I’m so glad you’re both okay.” We stood there hugging each other, crying tears of gratefulness that our family was okay.

Everyone has a story that they’ll never forget. This is one of mine.

As writers and storytellers it’s often those real life experiences that you’ve lived through that is the impetus to new worlds and compelling characters you create.

To find the deepest issues that cause change in our characters, we need to dive deep into the muddy pool of our own raw life changing moments.

That’s what I did when I wrote the story of the heroine in my first novel Answering Annaveta. When I told Annaveta’s story of abuse by her father, being haunted by fear and rejection and living through the tragedy of a fire, I wrote from the depths of me. I lived through it once already.

I want to inspire you and challenge you, to write with abandon. Don’t let fear hold you back from digging up the messiness of all you’ve lived through. If you’re going through a crisis right now, remember and journal all those tangled emotions.

While groping your way through those murky waters, that’s where healing comes. For your readers and for yourself.

It’s your raw story that will captivate and inspire. Your future success lies within your own heart.

Lorna's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
What’s your raw story? Author Lorna Faith shows how to use life crises to fuel a novel. (Tweet This)

Everyone has a story: See how a house fire changed author Lorna Faith’s life. (Tweet This)

#BookGiveaway of Answering Annaveta by Lorna Faith. (Tweet This)

Author's Bio:
Lorna Faith loves all things romantic, historical and filled with adventure. A graduate of the University of Lethbridge with a degree in Music, Lorna teaches students by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. Her latest adventure is working on Book #2 in the Russia to Canada Trilogy as well as interviewing people about how they work through obstacles to live a better story in her Raw Story Life Podcast. She and her husband have four teenagers and live in southern Alberta with a scenic view of the Rocky Mountains. Answering Annaveta is her first novel.

Find Lorna on the Web:


  1. Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your wonderful blog Elaine ! I'm excited and honoured to be here :-)

    1. Lorna, I've been looking forward to hosting you ever since I booked you months ago. You're a lovely, sweet, and talented woman and I pray that this venue will catch much attention for you.

    2. Thanks Elaine! You are so sweet and thoughtful to have me here as one of your guest authors :) I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my story !

  2. Lorna, I hate to hear of that fire! How horrifying. Thank the Lord you were okay. And great post. Sign me up--the book looks fascinating and I LOVE THE COVER!!

    1. I agree Heather, fire is a terrible thing to live through. We are happy we made it through ok! Glad you liked the post and the book cover...I do too:) Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. Your name has been thrown into the 'hat' for a chance to win :-)

    2. Heather, it's always a delight to see you here. I agree--Lorna's cover is very eye-appealing. My husband even wondered if it was Lorna's daughter (because of the similarity), but amazingly, it's not.

  3. Lorna,

    Reading your excerpt about your fire reminded me of your book. I love your book and hope many will read it. You are a great writer. One who is open to sharing what God is doing in her life.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your very encouraging words Anne! So glad you love the book. I'm grateful and honoured that you were one of my 1st readers... thanks for doing that! I do want to keep being honest and open in my writing, about all the things God is doing in my life:-)

    2. Thanks for visiting, Anne. I imagine that for an author there is no better praise-worthy promotion than a reader who speaks of loving a story. What a kind blessing.

      Hope to see you again.

  4. Enjoyed reading the interview and the book sounds wonderful. Thanks for the chance to win it.

    Ann Ellison

    1. So glad you enjoyed the interview Ann :-) Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read it and the excerpt of the book ~ it makes me happy that you like it! Your name has been thrown into the 'hat' for a chance to win a copy :-)

    2. Ann, thanks for visiting with Lorna and me. You're such a joy!

  5. Fire terrifies me. I'm so glad you and your son weren't hurt! The excerpt was very interesting. Hope I win. pat at ptbradley dot com

    1. Fire is very scary Patricia...I totally agree:-) We're so thankful that we came out of that fire with hardly any scars ... God is good ! Glad you liked the excerpt of the book. Your name has been thrown into the 'hat' for a chance to win ...thanks for stopping by!

    2. Thanks for your visit, Pat. Anything that can wipe out life and/or uproot us all is terrifying… another BIG reason to hold onto God's mighty hand.

  6. Wow, what a story! And what a lovely husband you have! How badly did you burn yout arm?

    Congrats on your debut release!

    1. Jennifer, you always bring me a smile with your visits.

    2. Thanks Jennifer ~ so glad God kept us safe! My arm amazing only has two scars about the size of a quarter, so I'm very thankful! Yes my husband is always more concerned about his family than the 'things' we have ...he's the best:) Thanks for your kind words Jennifer and for stopping by!

  7. Congratulations, Lorna, for what looks like a great book! I enjoyed your words and look forward to your book. Fire is a terrible thing! My daughter and her little son lived it first hand. Learning and turning around life's hardships is what makes us grow and continue in hope and love, instead of becoming bitter and hateful. This is your time...later I will share mine! Wishing you all the best!

    1. Katrina, thanks so much for visiting Everyone's Story--a warm welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed what Lorna has to share.

      If you're interested in sharing your story, please contact me via my Contact Page found on the top of this blog.

      Hope you'll visit again.

    2. Thanks Katina ~ I'm glad you enjoyed the post:-) Sorry your daughter and her little son had to experience fire too. It is a horrible thing to go through, but you're right when you say turning around life's hardships is what makes us grow in hope and love :-) Still growing...! I can't wait to hear your story, Katina. Wishing you the best too :-)

  8. Wow! I was holding my breath as I read the story of the fire. Reading it was scary enough, I can't imagine the terror of staring at those flames as the engulfed your home.
    Your novel sounds wonderful - heart-wrenching and inspiring.

    1. Lisa, thanks for making my day with your visit. I'm sure Lorna will appreciate your kind words.

    2. Lisa, staring at those flames was definitely a terror-filled moment! I'm so thankful we were all okay ~ God is good! Thanks for your kind words about the book ~ thanks so much for stopping by Lisa:)

  9. How beautiful your husbands words were. I wonder if that's what Jesus says when we tell Him about our sin.

    1. Connie--so nice to see you again. I love the scene you just conjured for us: standing before Jesus one day, perhaps with tears gushing down our cheeks and fear making us shudder, and Jesus saying, as Lorna's husband said: “Oh, is that all...I’m so glad you’re...okay.”

    2. Connie, my husband's words lessened my feelings of guilt and was just what I needed to hear at that moment:-) I agree with you and Elaine, I think Jesus responds like that to our sin and then He paints the canvas that picture! Thanks for stopping by...

  10. Lorna,
    Thanks for being honest and sharing your heart. You're a great writer and your story sounds like a winner!


    1. Wanda, thanks for visiting today. Like Lorna, and her writing, you're a winner of a friend.

    2. And your own writing as well, Wanda!

    3. I loved sharing my heart, Wanda ~ thank you for taking the time to read the post and the book excerpt. Thanks so much for your encouragement words about my story and writing...I really appreciate that! Thanks Elaine also for your encouraging words to everyone here ~ you are amazing!

  11. Lorna,

    I found myself reading feverishly, caught up by your real life story... so glad it had a "happy" ending. Your book has a beautiful cover and sounds compelling!

    Thanks for sharing! Blessings to you and Elaine.


    1. Thanks for your visit, Kathy. I think I see Lorna smiling all the way from Canada with your words now in her heart.

    2. Wow Kathy - like Elaine said I do have big smiles on my face! Thanks so much for the very inspiring words (makes me want to get back to writing :-) Blessing to you Kathy ... thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment ~ really appreciate it! Thanks also Elaine for hosting me here ~ :-)

  12. This book sounds interesting, and the retelling of the fire story was so descriptive. What a frightening experience! Thanks for the opportunity to win!


    1. Patti, it's always a pleasure to see you here. Thanks for brightening my day.

    2. That house fire was one of the scariest moments in my life, Patti! I'm so grateful we came out of it okay:) Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read the story..!

  13. Your book sounds exciting. Logging forward to reading it some day soon.

    1. Judy, welcome to Everyone's Story. Thanks for visiting with Lorna and me. Hope to see you again.

    2. Thanks Judy for stopping by and for your inspiring words :-) It makes me happy that you're looking forward to reading the book ~ And thanks again to Elaine for having me on Everyone's Story !

  14. Hi Lorna and Elaine,
    It sounds like a great story, and the cover is beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing your story. Your lives were saved, and that is the main thing. Sometimes life can change in a flash.
    Paula V

    1. Welcome back, Paula. You're so right--life is too fragile and so packed with life lessons to ever be taken for granted. And may you be blessed as well.

    2. Hi glad you like the story and I'll let my friend Heather know you like the cover picture, that'll make her day:-) We are so thankful that God spared our lives and brought us out of that ok. It's so true, that life can change in a moment. Grateful for the gift of today! Blessings to you today too Paula!

  15. I enjoyed reading this excerpt from your novel, Lorna! I found it very interesting, and am looking forward to reading the complete novel. I especially appreciated the ethnic background of the story because my Mother is Ukrainian. Thank you for sharing your personal experience with tragedy - so glad that no lives were lost! Keep up the great writing... I am going to be one of your avid readers!! :)

    1. Hi Joanna! Makes me happy that you liked the excerpt and that you are looking forward to reading the novel ~ Elaine's right, you just made my day today :-) We are so glad that no one was seriously hurt in the fire too ~ Thank you so much for your inspiring words Joanna I'm eager to get back to working on Book #2 in the series! Thanks so much for stopping by ... :-)

  16. Welcome to Everyone's Story, Joanna. Wow! I think you just made Lorna's day with your kind enthusiasm... I know you made mine with your visit.

    Hope to see you again.

  17. What an amazing week this has been on Everyone's Story and we all have Lorna Faith to thank. Lorna, I'll be emailing you directly in a little while, but I want you and everyone else to know that you've received many international viewer hits. I can only pray and hope that this will find you blessed with many new devoted fans. Thanks too for your lovely Giveaway package.

    And before the two winners are announced for Lorna's novel ANSWERING ANNAVETA I want to share something I believe I haven't disclosed before about my Giveaway offers: before the winners are chosen I pray that whoever is chosen if meant by God to receive this book and will be uplifted and encouraged by it. With that said…

    The winner of the hard copy of ANSWERING ANNAVETA is Lisa B.

    The winner of the e-version of ANSWERING ANNAVETA is Connie.

    Congratulations, ladies!! Both Lorna and I will be contacting you in private emails.

  18. Elaine! I'm so grateful to you for having me as a guest on your blog and I'm so touched by your kind words:-)

    I'm humbled by all the wonderful people who read this story:-) Praying that God touches their lives in an amazing way!

    Love it that you pray for the winners Elaine ~ I'm excited to send Lisa B. and Connie their books ~ hope you enjoy traveling into a bit of Russian history :-)

    Thanks again Elaine for hosting me on your wonderful blog ~ and who knows maybe I'll be back someday!!!

    1. I'm so looking forward to spotlighting you again, Lorna. You know where to find me!

    2. And I'm looking forward to being here, on your wonderful blog. Thanks again Elaine!


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