Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Mocha with Martha Rogers and A Giveaway!

UPDATE Sunday 10/28/12 11:30 pm WINNER

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Timestamp: 2012-10-29 04:27:08 UTC

Congrats to Jes! Email me your address, Jes and I'll send the book your way!
* * * * *
Meeting Martha Rogers in 2011 was one of those divine appointments for which I will always be grateful. I just "happened" to stop at her publisher's booth at ICRS in Atlanta and asked about a sequel to her novel, and Martha was standing there and introduced herself. We discovered we have a dear mutual friend, and a friendship was born! She is an absolute jewel and when I went to Orlando for ICRS this past July, I made sure we to arrange an interview with her. As you read, you will discover what a precious spirit she has, a result of a lifetime following the Lord!

You have a Christmas coming out this fall, right?

Yes, Christmas at Holly Hill is a full-length novel. Toward the end of it, it brings back Lucy & Jake from Becoming Lucy. They come to the orphanage because a young girl who has been rescued is connected to them.

What is the basic story of the novel?

It's set in an orphanage and the children there range from ages four to twelve or thirteen. The hero is an ex-convict. He's released from prison and comes home as the prodigal son, and he has to win the trust of the town and the girl that he had loved in school. She had moved away, and her family moved back to take over the orphanage when her grandfather passed away. He doesn't think he's worthy of her. She's conflicted about him, but she sees the good in him. Then there's a little boy that he rescues from a fire, and the rest of his family is killed in the fire. He takes him to Holly Hill and that's when she really begins to realize he has such a good heart. There's a lot of other stuff going on that all works together.

You said this ties in to Becoming Lucy and the Winds Across the Prairie series. Will there be other stories that tie in to this book?

Not with this one. But Amelia's Journey was the prequel to the whole thing. It goes back and tells how Ben and Mellie, Lucy's aunt and uncle, got to Oklahoma. You learn more about Lucy's parents and grandparents.

When you write a book or series and then go back and write the prequel after the other books have been written, is it hard to go back and write it and make sure that things line up and make sense?

Yes! There was one thing that I looked and looked and couldn't find it, so I finally left it. Of course, one of the readers spotted it. "You said they started out in a mud hut and in your book they come to a house!" That's what I was looking for. So it's little things like that. But the rest of it was pretty accurate. There was just that one little mistake, but people didn't seem to mind.

What else do you have on your agenda?

My next series is set from 1865 to the 1880's, and it's loosely based on the story of my great-grandparents. My great-grandfather was captured in the Battle of Nashville and taken to Point Lookout Prison in Maryland, and he was released around the time of the Armistice and exchanged. He then came home with his brother to Louisiana and married my great-grandmother. We have been in the church where they were married and we have seen their marriage license--all that good stuff! I thought that was such a neat love story that I wanted to write it. So I embellished a lot to fill in the gaps that we don't know anything about. Then the series follows; her sister comes next, and then their daughter.

I wrote the first book years ago for them and gave it all to them, but it wasn't near long enough for a novel, so I've gone back and added a lot to it. They're all looking forward to seeing it.

I just signed a contract with B&H to do a contemporary as part of the Bloomfield series. My first ebook will be out next July in coordination with July Fourth celebration because my book takes place at July the Fourth. Then, Debby Mayne, Trish Perry, and I are all in a Christmas novella that will come out in 2014 because it's due next year. That's quite a bit.

Wow. That really is a lot!

It's going to work out, and I'm looking forward to writing the Christmas novella with them because I so admire Debby and Trish, and we get along so well. We have a lot of fun together!

So who is your quirky character? I understand everyone in the Bloomfield series has a quirky character!

Oh, that would be Winnie Simpson who has a black thumb because she kills everything. She thinks the Bloomers are a bunch of clique-ish friends that she doesn't need. Her gardening consists of silk flowers that change with the seasons.

That would be me! I have such a hard time with plants!

She speaks her mind and she doesn't care who knows it. She doesn't care if she hurts somebody's feelings. She and Naomi get along really well. Naomi is in her late seventies and Winnie's in her sixties, but they think alike. Winnie could have been Naomi's daughter.

Now you don't know anyone like any of these women, do you?

My friends are so funny. I have a couple of groups that I'm a part of--a Bible Study and a group that plays 42, and a Birthday group. I listen to our conversations and they are sounding an awful lot like my grandparents' conversations that I used to laugh at! Everyone repeats what the one before said! It's a lot of fun. When I write characters who are sixty and older, I can really get into it because I'm using what I know from my own life and what I see in my friends and what I hear them say. I know that some of my younger readers are going to wonder about it!

No, because we'll recognize it from our aunts and uncles and parents and grandparents!

Yes, just look around at your family. Everybody knows someone like that. They're just people you see every day. It's a lot of fun.

It doesn't sound like you are ready to retire any time soon!

As long as I stay busy, I guess I'll keep going. I used to say, "Lord, do you know what time it is? Do you know how old I am?" Well, of course He does!

Does that give you pause sometimes when you sign some of these contracts that are a ways out?

I just say, "Well, Lord, you want me to stay around a little while longer!" I'm in First Place. And I stay in First Place because I think if the Lord wants me to write these books for the next three years, I better stay healthy so that I can write them. I want to stay around to see my great-grandchildren grow up. I have two great-grandsons and a third great-grandchild on the way and I want to be around to see them because they are such a delight.

Well, you are just amazing! I hope to be in as good of shape as you are. Although I think you're already in better shape than I am now!

It's just a state of mind. It's an attitude. It's taking every day and seizing the opportunity and doing what you want to do and enjoy doing. I love traveling and I love getting out and meeting people. I love doing this. If the Lord has more books for me, then that's fine. We'll write them. When He decides it's time to stop all this, we'll stop it all.

And isn't that the greatest thing about having that knowledge and hope? You think about folks in the secular world that are trying to do it all and grab it and hang on to it as much as they can.

Yes, and I look at young people, and I say slow down. Enjoy life. The Lord's in control and if you're supposed to get that job, you're going to get that job. Just don't be so anxious about things. Let Him take care of it. It just goes so much easier. When I had my breast cancer, my attitude was, "Now Lord, You gave me this. I can't do anything about it. It's Your problem, so You've got to solve it!"

When was that?

My first surgery was in 1994 and my second one was in 1999. And I've been cancer-free since then. But it was that attitude: "It's not my problem because I cannot solve it. I am not the doctor. It's up to You, Lord. You're in control of this." All I could control was my attitude and the way I faced each day. I could choose to be happy or I could choose to be furious and angry because it was happening. So I chose joy and chose to live each day and see what God had for me to do. And here I am now, all these years later! People say, "But your grandson has cystic fibrosis and you've been through so much with him; he almost died so many times." I say, "But he didn't. We rejoice in the moment. We rejoice in each day. We don't look ahead ten or fifteen years and lament that he might not be here. We enjoy where he is now. A friend of mine said, "But how can you smile all the time and how can you be so happy?" I said, "What good does it do to be sad? What good does it do to be angry or unhappy when we have him and he's here. We enjoy him!" It's hard for people to understand sometimes, and I don't understand why it's hard for them to understand! Christians should not have anxieties over things they cannot control. If it's something that you can do something about, then do it! Ask the Lord what you're supposed to do, let Him tell you, and do it. If you can't control it, then stop and say, "Okay, it's yours, God." Then go on and do what you need to be doing, whatever it is. And let Him take care of the other.

Wow. You can preach it!

Well, it took me awhile. It did not happen overnight and it hasn't always been that way. It's just growing older and deciding that's what you're going to do. You have to be intentional.

You are such a dear! I always think, "I want to be like her." I see in your whole countenance that you live what you say. It just radiates from you.

I hope so. I don't always do what I'm supposed to do. I say, "Okay Lord, here I am again. I didn't do so well yesterday."

Well, you're still a sinner like the rest of us, but I know that you have lived a life of faithfulness and it's such an encouragement to someone like me.

When He brings you through so much, you can't help but look back and say, "Ooh, I am so blessed!" God is so good, and He always works things out. It can be horrible in the midst but beautiful when you are over on the other side.

Thanks so much, Martha! It's always such a pleasure to visit with you!

Now, keep reading to find out more about the book and the GIVEAWAY!



Christmas at Holly Hill
(Winds Across the Prairie)
Martha Rogers
(Realms)
ISBN: 978-1616388379
September 2012/304 pages/$13.99

Can Clayton Barlow prove he has changed his ways in time for Christmas?

It is October 1898, and Clayton Barlow has just returned home after serving time in prison for his part in a bank robbery. His family welcomes him, but the townspeople are skeptical. Bored with life in the small town but determined to make a new start, he goes to work with his father, hoping to regain the town’s trust.

Clayton recognizes the schoolteacher at the Prairie Grove School as his childhood friend, Merry Lee Warner, and old feelings surface. Still, he doubts that he could ever get a woman like Merry to love him.

As the townspeople prepare for Christmas, their suspicions about Clayton lead to trouble. Will the trusting heart of an unlikely new friend be enough to restore Clayton’s relationships with his neighbors and reunite him with God and Merry?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martha Rogers is a freelance author of both fiction and non-fiction and a speaker. Her stories and articles have appeared in a number of compilations and magazines. Her first fiction novella was released in 2007. Her Winds Across the Prairie series debuted in 2010 with Becoming Lucy, Morning for Dove, Finding Becky, and Caroline’s Choice. Her experiences as a public school teacher, Sunday school teacher, youth leader, First Place leader, Mom and Grandmother give Martha a unique field of ministry. Martha served as editor of a monthly newsletter for the writer’s organization Inspirational Writers Alive! for six years and is the state president. She is also the director for the annual Texas Christian Writer’s Conference and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), for whom she writes a weekly devotional. Martha and her husband are active members of First Baptist Church, Houston.

Learn more at her website.

MY THOUGHTS

Martha Rogers has created another delightful novel tied into her enjoable Winds Across the Prairie series. She has once again created characters that tugged at my heart. I particularly liked her depiction of Clay's character and determination as he endeavored to show the town he was a different man than the youth who had hung out with the wrong friends and ended up in prison. Reminiscent of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, this book swept me away to Prairie Grove, Kansas in 1898. A wonderful Christmas tale that will warm your heart!

Read my reviews of the other Winds Across the Prairie books:

Becoming Lucy
Morning for Dove
Finding Becky
Amelia's Journey

GIVEAWAY!

I have an extra copy of this book that I am going to give to one of you. Just leave a comment on this post by 8:00 pm CDT Sunday, 10/28/2012, and I will randomly draw a winner. US mailing addresses only, please. You must include an email address if you don't have a blog. Winner will have 48 hours to respond after notification of win or another name will be chosen.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Realms Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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16 comments:

pol said...

I dont think I have read any of Martha's books but love Christmas stories and kids so know this will be a good one, thanks for sharing your comments on this one.
Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

pat cowans said...

would love to read. christmas & historical is my favorite

Judy said...

I loved this interview with Martha!

Christmas At Holly Hill sounds so good. I love Christmas stories.

I would be thrilled to win a copy. Thank you for this giveaway.

Blessings!
Judy
judyjohn2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

Glenda Parker Fiction Writer said...

What a great interview. I loved it. I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the opportunity. God bless you both.

Glenda Parker

Martha W. Rogers said...

Thanks for featuring me, Linda. I didn't realize I talked so much when we were together. You made it so easy. I hope readers will enjoy this book as much as I did writing it.

Ladette Kerr said...

I have enjoyed previous books by Martha Rogers... would love to read more!! Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

ladettek[at]gmail[dot]com

Megan Parsons said...

I would love to win this book! Thanks! makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com

karenk said...

a wonderful posting/interview w/ martha...thanks for the chance to read her fabulous novel

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I loved reading the article about Martha Rogers. We have her books in my church library.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter the contest.
Janet Estridge
von1janet@gmail.com

Jes said...

Christmas at Holly Hill sounds good! Love the book cover!

Jes
jswaks at gmail dot com

windycindy said...

What an amazing lady and I so love her outlook on life...Out of my group of 7 closest friends, 4 are breast cancer survivors. Yes, survivors being the key word!
Her book sounds like a marvelous one to read while sitting in front of our fireplace, while sipping a cup of hot cocoa...
Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

auburnchick said...

What a great sounding book! I'm thinking my students would relate to it on many levels! Thanks for the heads-up, my friend!!!

tickmenot said...

This book sounds really good. I love Christmas books. The interview was great! The author is amazing and inspiring. Thank you!!

Becky

ischu9@aol.com

Cynthia A. Lovely said...

Wow, I think I'm just under the deadline here!
cllyrics@gmail.com

Martha W. Rogers said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments. You've warmed my heart on this chilly day here in Houston. I hope the winner will enjoy the book.

Jes said...

Hi Linda,

Thank you! I've sent you an email with my address. I'm looking forward to reading Martha Rogers' book! :)

Jes
jswaks at gmail dot com