PERFIDITAS | Alison Morton

I first connected with Alison Morton with her release earlier this year, INCEPTIO, a fast paced and suspenseful debut novel. Well, guess what? She’s back with the second installment of the series! We head right back in the world of Roma Nova with PERFIDITAS.

Captain Carina Mitela of the Praetorian Guard Special Forces is in trouble – one colleague has tried to kill her and another has set a trap to incriminate her in a conspiracy to topple the government of Roma Nova. Founded sixteen hundred years ago by Roman dissidents and ruled by women, Roma Nova barely survived a devastating coup d’état thirty years ago. Carina swears to prevent a repeat and not merely for love of country.

Seeking help from a not quite legal old friend could wreck her marriage to the enigmatic Conrad. Once proscribed and operating illegally, she risks being terminated by both security services and conspirators. As she struggles to overcome the desperate odds and save her beloved Roma Nova and her own life, she faces the ultimate betrayal…

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Creating a “new” culture and world as Morton has done can present some challenges, especially when there’s old Roman names and terminology used. While it’s an adjustment, once you’re in the novel, it’s a smooth transition. In this second book, Morton dives deeper into a society completely run and dominated by women. Not only is it creative, but it’s full of action and suspense. Morton keeps Roma Nova alive with her fast paced storytelling and of course some twists and turns!

You can read more about Alison, Romans, alternate history and writing here on her blog, Facebook, Twitter and the PERFIDITAS page!

(Thank you Alison for the advanced reader copy!)

4 Questions with Bestselling Author Rachel Hauck

Guys! I’m sooooo excited to have the bestselling Rachel Hauck on the blog! Not only is she a fabulous writer (she wins awards and stuff), but she’s also awesome. She gives plenty back to the reading community, not only by connecting with fans, but helping fellow writers out! She was recently awarded the 2013 AFCW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Mentor of the Year.

So if you haven’t, I suggest you grab one of her books and dive in! You can connect with Rachel on Facebook, Twitter and her website!

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, bestselling author of critically acclaimed novels such as the RITA nominated The Wedding Dress and Love Starts with Elle, part of the Lowcountry series. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.

She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker.

Rachel writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

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1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
Five years ago I would’ve never imagined myself in a different house, one with a freshly built (I can still smell the new lumber) two-story, octagon shaped “tower” with hardwood floors and trim as my writing office. Everyday I climb a curving staircase to the second floor, where the surrounding trees almost make me feel like I’m in a tree house, and I sit down to write novels. How fun is that?

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Wow, that’s a hard question. There are things in my past that I would do differently now that I have the perspective of time, but I think I would’ve cheated myself of the beauty and pain of my journey to have changed anything. Maybe I’d have been more serious about following Jesus in my college years but that season taught me a lot about myself and life. I needed those days to unlock areas of my heart that helped to get me where I am today.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
I have a lot of happy moments. When I met my husband. When I got married. When I sold my first book. I’ve probably never laughed as hard as I did in college. Man, my friends and I laughed a lot. Like, fall down on the sidewalk laughter. Growing up with my family. I still hold dear one Christmas when we were waiting for my grandparents to arrive and my dad played a girl’s hand game with me. Awesome treasures.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
Freedom isn’t free. Don’t depend on government hand-outs to complete your life. Get away from fear and anxiety. We have so many fears in our society. Work hard. Find solutions to your own problems through prayer, friends and resourcefulness. America is a great nation. Take advantage of the foundation set forth by our founding fathers.

Above all, love Jesus with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength.

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Thank you so much Rachel! Like I said, so glad you could join the 4 Questions project!

I kinda want to give something away today, so I vote let’s! I’m giving away one of Rachel Hauck’s books of your choice (international winners can choose any e-book version). I can’t wait to read The Wedding Dress and loved what I’ve read so far, so I promise you want to enter!

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this post! If you want to earn extra entries, here’s a few easy ways (just leave a comment each time you do).

  • Share on Twitter and/or Facebook. Feel free to use this tweet: Want to win a copy of one of @RachelHauck fantastic novels? Check out 4 Questions and enter here! https://ow.ly/pZK9V via @jamielynne82
  • Follow Books and Beverages Feed, and/or Facebook (if you follow already, thanks! Just let me know!)

Be sure to leave a comment! Leave one by 10/31/13 at 11:59 (CST).

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4 Questions with Patrick Carr

While perusing Patrick W. Carr’s website, my eye started to twitch and my stomach started to get queasy. Why would I start with such an odd intro? Have I lost it? No, no I have not. Those are simply my reactions to words such as “math” and “Geometry Constructions.” I don’t even know what the second one actually means, but it sounds something awful (probably illegal if we’re being honest ;) ) and now my head hurts. Clearly math and I are best friends.

So why does he have a section devoted to math on his site? Because he is also a math teacher! Say wha?? I am so beyond impressed. I really enjoyed his debut novel, A Cast of Stones, and can’t wait for the next release in the series this July, The Hero’s Lot. So if you love a little fantasy, a little medieval and good vs. evil, then be sure to check out his books!

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

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1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
I wouldn’t have thought that parenting could still be so difficult. As my sons have matured the challenges they face have changed and often times I have no idea what the “right” advice is. I figured at some point I wouldn’t be doing this parenting thing off-the-cuff still, but it seems like the further I go, the less I know.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
High School. I spent way too much time caring what people thought instead of pursuing those things that interested me. In the end I realized there’s not this crowd of 20 people watching me, waiting for me to do something stupid. Everybody was too busy with their own insecurities to worry about mine.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Getting married and taking part in the birth of my four sons. From the time I was 18, what I wanted most out of life was to be a husband and father and I spent a lot of time in prayer for that from that point on. It’s amazing how much better it turned out to be than I thought. Mary is awesome and Patrick Jr., Connor, Daniel, and Ethan are sons to make anyone proud. They’re not perfect, but I genuinely enjoy being around them. They’re all hysterically funny and they have a delightfully weird sense of humor.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
Live a big life. Stop being afraid or embarrassed to try new things. If you’re fortunate enough to discover your passion at an early age, awesome, but if not, then go out and try everything! You never know when you’ll fall in love with something.

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Thanks so much Patrick! Be sure to connect with him on Facebook! Because I am such a fan, it seems only right to give one away. If you haven’t started the series, then you can have a chance and winning the first and if you have already read this one, then you can be entered for the upcoming release! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post! If you want to earn extra entries, here’s a few easy ways (just leave a comment each time you do):

  • Share on Twitter and/or Facebook. Feel free to use this tweet: Check out 4 Questions with Patrick Carr over at Books & Beverages! You can win one of his books! https://ow.ly/mj8sW via @jamielynne82
  • Follow Books and Beverages Feed, and/or Facebook

Be sure to leave a comment! Leave one by 6/28/13 at 11:59 (CST).

One Can Never Have Enough Books

Today kicks off the first trip in what I call “Summer 2013” (my creativity scares me sometimes) with a trip to visit my fam in Cali. I can’t wait!! I mean, have you seen my nieces?? I die.

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I know you won’t be shocked, but one thing I’ve been working on is my Kindle reading list. There’s been so many that I’ve wanted to read, but have held back because I knew there would be many hours of airports, layovers and plane rides.

But when I recently looked at my list, I think I may have gone overboard ;) . But this is a place for honesty, no matter how dorky right?! So here’s the list I plan on making my way through. Some were free kindle deals, some are from my fav authors and some were so cheap, I thought what the hey, let’s try it! I have a few physical books too because I’ve had my previous kindle die on a 5 hour flight before and I simply can’t have that happen again.

Which ones have you read?

Physical books:
11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King
Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend by James S. Hirsch

And because I was also feeling old school/want to re-read some:
Fahrenheit 451: A Novel by Ray Bradbury
Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
1984 by George Orwell

So now… the Kindle list (in no particular order):
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Sing by Lisa T. Bergren
Speak to Me of Love by Robin Lee Hatcher
Land of My Heart by Tracie Peterson
No Safe Haven by Elizabeth Ludwig
The Heir by Paul Roberts
A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman (although I think I need to read the others first)
The Random Acts of Cupid by Amanda Tru
The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen
Tangled Ashes by Michèle Phoenix
Garden of Madness by Tracy L. Higley
Distant Dreams by Judith Pella & Tracie Peterson
Love’s Reckoning by Laura Frantz
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
So Shines the Night by Tracy Higley
Dracula by Bram Stoker (I adore this book and it’s free on Kindle people, so read it!)
Forsaken Dreams by MaryLu Tyndall
Iscariot: A Novel of Judas by Tosca Lee
A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman
Waiting for Summer’s Return by Kim Vogel Sawyer
A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman
The Messenger by Siri Mitchell
The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd
Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher
Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund
Widow of Gettysburg (Heroines Behind the Lines) by Jocelyn Green

Y’all…I think I might have a problem….

Let’s Get Things Started!

“Unless you’re dead right now, it’s not too late.”

That goes down as the my favorite quote of the book. It’s never too late to Start. It isn’t. And this book is all about how. Not just “you can do it” filling the pages, but actual steps to take towards the path of awesome.

As I’ve mentioned before, Acuff is hilarious and through his blog, Stuff Christians Like, has been an inspiration and literally changed the world. I love being a part of the community that he has helped create! Check out this video from the kickoff in NYC and interview!

“Average is predictable. Awesome is adventurous.”

And guess what?? He stopped in Austin!! Not only for the book tour, but for the second Start Night. What! What!

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Start Night was so fantastic! And hilarious. I pretty much laughed for two and half hours. It was also encouraging, helpful and inspiring. Even though I already have the book, it was great to have Jon talk about the main points and be surrounded by people who all have the same desire.

While I’ve followed Jon since the early days of Stuff Christians Like, it was so fun to hear the stories again/in person (like the schools we built in Vietnam) and those in the crowd who weren’t familiar with them be inspired (like the audible gasps & “wows”).

It was the best way to end April!

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“You have to be brutally realistic about your present situation and wildly unrealistic about your future situation…Regretting that you didn’t start earlier is a great distraction from moving on your dream today, and the reality is that today is earlier than tomorrow.”

Here’s the official description of the book. Go ahead and buy it!

Wall Street Journal best-selling author Jon Acuff reveals the steps to getting unstuck and back onto the path of being awesome.

Over the last 100 years, the road to success for most everyone has been divided into predictable stages. But three things have changed the path to success:

Boomers are realizing that a lot of the things they were promised aren’t going to materialize, and they have started second and third careers.

Technology has given access to an unprecedented number of people who are building online empires and changing their lives in ways that would have been impossible years ago.

The days of “success first, significance later,” have ended.

While none of the stages can be skipped, they can be shortened and accelerated. There are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path is easy because all you have to do is nothing. The awesome path is more challenging, because things like fear only bother you when you do work that matters. The good news is Start gives readers practical, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often.

Purpose is not a final destination.

Go ahead, Start.

Inceptio | Alison Morton

I’m excited to get to take part in another book blog tour! Welcome fellow book friends! Let’s dive right in with INCEPTIO by Alison Morton:

New York, present day. Karen Brown, angry and frightened after surviving a kidnap attempt, has a harsh choice – being eliminated by government enforcer Jeffery Renschman or fleeing to the mysterious Roma Nova, her dead mother’s homeland in Europe. Founded sixteen centuries ago by Roman exiles and ruled by women, Roma Nova gives Karen safety and a ready-made family. But a shocking discovery about her new lover, the fascinating but arrogant special forces officer Conrad Tellus, who rescued her in America, isolates her. Renschman reaches into her new home and nearly kills her. Recovering, she is desperate to find out why he is hunting her so viciously. Unable to rely on anybody else, she undergoes intensive training, develops fighting skills and becomes an undercover cop. But crazy with bitterness at his past failures, Renschman sets a trap for her, knowing she has no choice but to spring it…

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I’ve always been fascinated by Roman history, so I found this new “Rome,” Roma Nova quite the interesting place. Ways of doing things back then were rather different than today’s Western society and I thought Morton did a great job portraying what that would look like today (and the reaction to it). Plus the descriptions of Roma Nova made me want to high tail outta Texas and go to Italy. Soon Jamie, soon.

Morton had plenty of moments where after reading certain things, I had to stop, collaborate and listen because it was a “say whaaaa just happened??” type moment. Always a sign of a good writer who keeps the audience captivated. Plus Renschman is a psycho villain (like BRO CHILL OUT). I mean cray to the third power. But a good villain only makes the heroine that much better.

I will say, during the part where she was kicking butt and off on her own, I couldn’t help but want to slowly raise my hand and quietly ask, what about Conrad? What can I say…I’m a cheeseball romantic on occasion. I won’t give away much more, because you should find out for yourself ;) , but at least I didn’t throw the book in frustration when it ended (I’m still upset with Gone with the Wind. Oh Rhett Butler).

While this is only Morton’s first published book, she’s a natural storyteller and this fast-paced, suspense novel is the perfect example of that talent. It gets you hooked and rooting for Karen as she searches to find herself, her purpose and love!

Love Finds You in Mackinac Island, Michigan | Melanie Dobson

Let’s just say if I was born in any other era, I would have failed miserably. The rules of old society are ridiculous to me. I guess in some ways it isn’t much different than today in some circles, but it’s so insane to think of how many sons and daughters were married off to keep standing in social circles and society. Forget love, it was about family duty and name. I’m all about loyalty, but the back-in-the-day demands are too much for me. As Destiny’s Child would say “all the women independent, throw your hands up in the air.” (Blame that reference on the recent reunion of the R&B Girls Group of my high school days).

This refreshing story by Melanie Dobson takes place in just that era. Love Finds You in Mackinac Island, Michigan was such a sweet story that I seriously enjoyed!

It’s the height of the Gilded Age, but Elena Bissette’s family has lost most of its fortune. The Bissettes still own a home on fashionable Mackinac Island, and they spend summers there in hopes of introducing Elena to a wealthy suitor. Quickly tiring of the extravagant balls at the Grand Hotel, she spends her days walking along the island’s rugged coastline. There she meets Chase, a young fisherman who invites her to watch the ships from an abandoned lighthouse. The two begin to meet there in secret, hoping to solve a decades-old mystery. Meanwhile, Elena’s mother contrives introductions between Elena and the island’s most eligible bachelor, an elusive millionaire named Chester Darrington. When Elena’s two worlds unexpectedly collide, she will be in for the surprise of her life.

I really loved Elena’s character. She has a free spirit and wants to do her heart tells her to do, but doesn’t completely ignore the struggle she has with her duty. She loves her family, but longs for something more than what society demands of girls her age and in her station.

And was there some drama! No matter what era, you can always depend on a little scandal!

So if you’re looking for an entertaining read that leaves you smiling, I say go for it with this one!

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4 Questions with Helen Hollick

Last week I was able to be part of Ripples in the Sand blog tour with USA Today’s bestselling author Helen Hollick and I’m excited today to share with you a 4 Questions with Helen! I love what she has to share and I hope you’ll be inspired as I was to follow what you know what you were born to do!

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Helen Hollick lives in London but is moving to Devon in 2013 with her husband and adult daughter. In between researching the background information for her historical novels, and her pirate series about Jesamiah Acorne, she spends most of her time helping with her daughter’s horses as chief groom and general runaround. She has a university diploma in early medieval history – and a passion for pirates.

You can connect with Helen on twitter or her website!

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
We are moving house – escaping London to live in a farmhouse in Devon – by the time you read this I expect the move will be accomplished and my family will be well settled into our new home.

Born in the outskirts of London, and having lived there all my life, I have yearned for living in the country for many years, never believing that one day a “picture postcard” home could be mine, but an unexpected windfall fell our way and we decided to take the plunge and move. Our horses are coming with us as there will be 13 acres of field and four stables, along with an orchard and several outbuildings. Hopefully the cats will enjoy their new hunting ground (and the real log fire) and our old dog will finish his last days enjoying the sniffs and smells in the bit of woodland that will be ours.

As an added bonus, I will be very close to where the fourth of my Sea Witch Voyages, Ripples In The Sand, is set along the North Devon Coast. I am looking forward to incorporating Exmoor, and the rivers Taw and Torridge, into the future nautical adventures of Captain Jesamiah Acorne. I also have an idea for a spin-off series based around my Arthurian Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy, which I will set in Devon as well.

The thought of being able to gaze out my study window at beautiful scenery is so exciting – mind you, I doubt I will get any work done!

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would have taken a more active part in marketing my books when they were first published here in the UK by William Heinemann (Random House UK). They accepted me for publication almost twenty years ago, and I thought, ‘That’s it, I’m set for life on a career as an author.’ It doesn’t quite work like that.

I assumed that as it was a big publishing house they would take care of all the marketing. I envisioned going on tour, doing book signings at book store after book store….. lulled into this by media interest when my first book, The Kingmaking, came out. That first book sold well, but the next two in the trilogy didn’t. Not helped by the fact that half the time one or other of the three were out of print (who is going to read a trilogy if the first or second book is not available?) My novel about 1066 the Battle of Hastings, did quite well, but the next one, A Hollow Crown (titled The Forever Queen in the US) didn’t – because the UK publisher did absolutely no marketing whatsoever for it. I realised, too late, that because my backlist had not been selling, they had lost interest in me. The plain truth is, no one will buy and read your book if they do not know that it is out there to be bought and read!

About seven years ago Heinemann dropped me. I was devastated, but I picked myself up and decided to self-publish my books here in the UK, and was fortunate enough to also be picked up by US publisher Sourcebooks Inc. I had a couple of false starts, but my books, published with the assisted publishing independent SilverWood Books, are holding their own.

And with lesson learnt, I now ensure I make contact with my growing following of readers via Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads etc. The nicest thing about this is that through social media networking I have found more than mere readers who enjoy my books – I have made some delightful, supportive, friends.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Outside of the day my beautiful daughter came into the world…. The day my first book was accepted for publication. It was a week after my 40th birthday. I had spent my actual birthday week on vacation in the Lake District area of England. It was Easter weekend and there had been no telephone call from my agent before we left home to travel northwards. No cell phone back in those days almost 20 years ago either, so I had to wait patiently until the holiday was finished and we returned home. For three days no phone call. I was starting to get worried. My agent had said that the publishers were ‘considering it’. With growing despondency I began to think that they did not want my book after all…. And then the call came. A three book deal with a rather handsome advance. I had been wanting to write since the age of thirteen. It had taken me ten years to write what became The Kingmaking, the first in the Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy.

At last I could stop saying ‘when I write my book’. Now it is ‘when I write my next book.’

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
I would like the next generation to know how to find and use the key to the door into the world of Imagination. In other words, to discover, use, and continue to use the world of pleasure that can be opened up by reading a book.

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Thank you so much for sharing Helen! If you would like to win the kindle version of Ripples in the Sand, simply leave a comment and help spread the word! Every share on twitter or Facebook gets you an extra entry! Just be sure to leave a comment each time you do! Contest through Saturday, March 9th, 2013 at 11:59 CST. Good luck! 7:28 Update! Thanks to the wonderful Helen, you can now also win a paperback version! Two chances to win!!
3/10/13 UPDATE: We have some winners! Congrats Marilyn on winning the paperback and Dena W. on winning the Kindle version!

Ripples in the Sand | Helen Hollick

Welcome to my first book blog tour! Pretty exciting right?! Plus it’s with an English publisher and author, so that alone almost causes me to pass out. Do I exaggerate? Maybe, but who doesn’t love anything British?? Four words: Middle Earth and Narnia. Point proven.

Anyway, the tour features USA Today best-selling author Helen Hollick and her newest release, Ripples in the Sand, of the The Sea Witch Voyages Series.

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The fourth voyage of Captain Jesamiah Acorne, pirate captain and charming rogue.

Approaching England’s North Devon Coast Captain Jesamiah Acorne is offered a highly secret but lucrative commission to go to Spain and bring back to England a man who will lead a Jacobite rebellion. Except, being captured and interrogated by the Spanish and meeting with an old friend, the beautiful English spy Francesca, is not part of Jesamiah’s plan. Once again he is in danger of losing his fidelity, his freedom and maybe even his life.

Throughout the pages, you’ll find a mixture of magic and history, family secrets, loyalties tested and reformed pirates. Not bad right?

While this isn’t a genre I normally read (one example: Jesamiah’s wife is a witch who has an on going battle with the spirit of the sea Tethys), Hollick shows her creative and adventurous writing though yet another adventure of the charming Captain Jesamiah Acorne!

Be sure to stop by next week for an awesome interview with Helen!

4 Questions with Sally Lloyd-Jones

I’m so excited to share this interview! Why? Because she’s British! I mean really, what more is needed right? There’s that and the fact that she is an award-winning and bestselling children’s author. If you have children and are looking for an amazing bible to share with them, you need to check out Sally Lloyd-Jones’ bestseller The Jesus Storybook Bible. And her newest?? Awesome! And as I mentioned in the review of Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, the book is beautiful! It’s a beautifully illustrated and beautifully written collection for children about spiritual/biblical truths and faith. I want one for myself! Besides being British and an incredible author, she was born in Africa. What a story right?!

It’s great to be able to connect with Sally and learn more from this creative and insightful author!

Sally Lloyd-Jones is a leading writer of inspirational books for children, with an expertise in conveying biblical truth to young children. She is the author of three bestselling children’s Bibles, including the Gold Book Award-winning Baby’s First Bible and, most recently, the Moonbeam Award-winning The Jesus Storybook Bible. She has written many picture books for children, including Handbag Friends, Time to Say Goodnight and the critically acclaimed How to Be a Baby: By Me, the Big Sister. A native of England, Sally lives in New York City and can be found at www.sallylloyd-jones.com.

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1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
That I would be “Playing the Ryman”.

Musicians say when they Play the Ryman—(because you don’t “play at the Ryman”, you “play the Ryman”)—they are humbled thinking of the legends who trod the same boards before them. Legends including Elvis, Johnny Cash (who met his wife June Carter for the first time back stage at the Ryman) and Patsy Cline. They all played the Ryman. Emmy Lou Harris, Neil Young, Mumford and Sons, Coldplay have all played the Ryman.

And now me. Yes, I “Played the Ryman.”

The last two years, I’ve found myself on that same legendary stage looking out at the audience—standing alongside my wonderfully talented musician friends—and having really no idea how I got there. I’m a children’s book writer. This is not part of what we do.

And yet—there I was “Playing the Ryman.” (Not singing you’ll be relieved to hear—just reading from my books). I was honored to be part of Andrew Peterson’s moving BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD Christmas concert.

I’m still pinching myself and so very grateful.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Live less afraid. I’d like to have more quickly got to the place where I’m “living out loud”.

But then again how can you really say that? Because all the things you’ve been through have made you who you are today. Grace and joy are at the heart of things. So I prefer not to look back like that. I believe even the awful things are worked together and redeemed and will be turned around ultimately. And the joy will be greater for it all once having been so sad. It’s what Tolkien spoke about—everything sad coming untrue.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
That’s hard. How on earth do you choose? Actually, I can’t. Life is too full. I read a quote this week that said, “Write on your heart that every day is the best day of your life.” And it’s true. I’m happiest when I’m happiest right now today. Some of the happiest moments are the small surprises. One of my favorites? When it snows. My heart leaps. I feel like I’ve been given a free day. I want to run outside and play. I’d like to live every day as if is a snow day.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
That the dream you keep deep down inside your heart—the thing you most want, the dream you may never have told anyone—may just turn out to be the very thing you were born to do. It may be the dream God planted in your heart.

It won’t look exactly the way you imagine it. It may take a long time to come. It may even come in disguise.

But keep your eyes out for it.

Fredrick Buechner says it best when he says: “listen to the voice of your deepest gladness”.

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Thanks Sally for sharing! So remember when I gave one away before it came out? Guess what?? I have another one to give away thanks to Zondervan! I’m so excited – this really is amazing children’s book. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post! If you want to earn extra entries, here’s a few easy ways (just leave a comment each time you do!) Share on Twitter and/or Facebook, Follow Books and Beverages Feed, or Facebook. Why not show the author some love too? Follow on twitter and/or Facebook for extra entries!

Be sure to leave a comment! Leave one by Thursday, Feb 28th, 2013 at 11:59 (CST) and I’ll announce the winner next week! UPDATE with the winner! Congrats Liz!

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