Update: This giveaway is now over. The winner is Shirley Blanchard. Congratulations, Shirley, you have won copies of Meg’s books Gone South and When Sparrows Fall!
Today’s post is a guest post by an author friend Meg Moseley. She’ll share with us some heartfelt stories about the life lessons she’s learned through writing novels, and then she’ll offer a giveaway of TWO books, When Sparrows Fall and Gone South to one winner!
Before we hear from Meg, I wanted to tell you a bit about the book I am currently writing, Seasons of Tomorrow. It will be the fourth book in my Amish Vines and Orchards series, and the sequel to For Every Season. It will release on or before April 15, 2014. Here is the book’s page on my website. Check back for updates as we get closer to its release!
Here’s Meg . . .
Recently, someone asked me what life lessons I’ve learned from writing novels. That made me think about recurring themes in my stories, and I came to the uncomfortable realization that they reveal my insecurities as a lifelong nerd and introvert.
I was a shy and awkward kid. For a while, I stuttered so badly that I couldn’t make the cafeteria ladies at school understand what I wanted for lunch. I don’t know where the stutter came from or why it disappeared, but I’m glad it’s gone. In a sense, though, I’m glad I experienced it. That tongue-tied kid still lurks in my heart and prods me to write about people who don’t quite fit in.
In my first novel, When Sparrows Fall, it’s Miranda Hanford, whose old-fashioned life among extremist homeschoolers is almost Amish-like. She and her children are marginalized, shut out, stared at. From their clothing to their educational choices, they’re different.
Then there’s Tish McComb in Gone South. A Yankee in Alabama, she’s an outsider, an outcast. So is her young sidekick, Mel Hamilton, a prodigal daughter whose family won’t take her in.
In A Stillness of Chimes, coming out next February, it’s Laura Gantt, who was taunted in childhood because her father wasn’t “normal.” Even as an adult who understands he was affected by PTSD, she feels the sting of being the oddball’s daughter.
Sometimes, like Laura, we’re marginalized by things we can’t control, like when and where and to whom we were born. Other times, like Miranda, we’re marginalized by our own choices. Of course, some people don’t seem to be marginalized, but I’ll bet the “cool kids” have their fears and weaknesses too. We’re all only human.
But humans are the objects of God’s love and affection. As St. Paul says in an epic 88-word sentence in Ephesians, God has “made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3-6, NKJV)
In Christ, we’re accepted and loved. No matter what. That puts us in the enviable position of being able to extend love and acceptance to others. If that’s the only lesson I ever learn from writing or from stuttering or from life in general, I hope I’ll learn it well.
Have you read Sparrows or Gone South? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Meg Moseley is the author of Gone South and When Sparrows Fall, published by Multnomah Books. She formerly wrote human-interest columns for a suburban section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and home schooled for over twenty years.
The sweet tea has gone bitter in Noble, Alabama, where newcomer Tish McComb settles to reconnect with her family roots. Problem is the name McComb isn’t welcome in town, and when Tish aligns herself with the local prodigal daughter, things only get worse. Can Tish find any mercy for sinners in Noble?
Gone South at Barnes & Noble.
A widow and mother of six, Miranda Hanford leads a quiet, private life. When the pastor of her close-knit church announces his plans to move the entire congregation to another state, Miranda jumps at the opportunity to dissolve ties with Mason Chandler and his controlling brand of “shepherding.” But then Mason threatens to unearth secrets only he knows, and Miranda feels trapped, terrified she’ll be unable to protect her children.
Professor Jack Hanford is more than surprised when he gets a call from his estranged sister-in-law’s oldest son, Timothy, informing him that Miranda has taken a serious fall and he has been named legal guardian of her children while she recovers. Quickly charmed by Miranda’s children, Jack brings some much-needed life into the sheltered household. But his constant challenging of the family’s conservative lifestyle makes the recovering mother uneasy and defensive—despite Jack’s unnerving appeal.
As Jack tries to make sense of the mysterious Miranda and the secrets she holds so tightly, Mason’s pressure on her increases. With her emotions stirring and freedom calling, can Miranda find a way to unshackle her family without losing everything?
Meg is giving away a one copy of each of her books, When Sparrows Fall and Gone South to a lucky reader! To enter to win, simply leave a comment at the end of this post.
If you are reading about this giveaway anywhere other than my website, such as on Facebook, in an email, or on Goodreads, please hop on over to my website by clicking here: http://www.cindywoodsmall.com/2013/09/17/sparrows_and_gone_south/ and then leave a comment at the bottom of the post under the words “Leave a Reply.”
Only comments left on my website will be entered into the giveaway.
The deadline for this contest is Tuesday, September 24, at noon Eastern Time. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be contacted privately, as well as announced on next week’s post.
As always, please remember that all of my giveaways are limited to US residents only. Please visit my giveaway rules and FAQ page for a complete explanation of the terms and conditions of this giveaway. Also, for your protection against web crawlers gathering your e-mail address for purposes of spamming, please do not put your e-mail address into the body of your comment. Only write it in the field provided. That way it can only be seen by me. Your e-mail address will ONLY be used to contact you if you win. When you leave a comment, you may see a pop-up screen that says your comment has gone to “moderation.” That means it is in a holding place until my daughter-in-law or I approve it. That keeps spammers from being able to post a comment. If you comment while we’re away from our computers, we may not get to it until the next day.
The winner of the blog post titled “Smores Whoopie Pie Recipe and Giveaway is Andi Sanders. Congratulation, Andi! You’ve won a copy of Melissa K. Norris’ book Pioneering Today!