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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Virtual Blog Tour - Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate

Good Morning Friends!

Today is our first virtual blog tour of the year brought to you by Kathy Carlton Communications.

Lisa lives in central Texas were she is a popular inspriational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books. When not busy dreaming up stories, Lisa spends time speaking to numerous groups about writing, family relationships, generational connections, community ties, writing and rural nostalgia. Via internet, she shares with readers as far away as India, where her book, Tending Roses, has been used to promote women's literacy, and as close to home as Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the county library system used Tending Roses to help volunteer mentors teach adults to read. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. Find out more about Lisa and her many books by visiting her website.

About the Book:
Paperback: 352 pgs

Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2010
ISBN-10: 0764204920
ISBN-13: 978-0764204920
Retail: $12.95

Blurb: Kai Miller floats through life like driftwood tossed by waves. She's never put down roots in any one place--and she doesn't plan to. But when a chaotic hurricane evacuation lands her in Daily, Texas, she begins to think twice about her wayfaring existence. And when she meets hometown-boy Kemp Eldridge, she can almost picture settling down in Daily--until she discovers he may be promised to someone else. Daily has always been a place of refuge for those the wind blows in, but for Kai, it looks like it will be just another place to leave behind. Then again, Daily always has a few surprises in store--especially when Aunt Donetta has cooked up a scheme.

Interview with Lisa Wingate!

1. How did you develop the initial story idea/plot line for this book? Some book ideas you search for, and some just blow in on the wind. For the past several years, dating back to Hurricane Katrina, we in Central Texas have been the recipients of massive hurricane evacuations. These massive exoduses of people, pets, and belongings are frightening, frustrating, challenging, and at times oddly wonderful. When so many are on the road seeking shelter, the worst, but also the best qualities of humanity come to the surface. Hurricane evacuations truly provide times when we ask the question, "Am I my brother’s keeper?" In answering that question, we’ve enjoyed amazing moments of friendship and fellowship, family reunions, and chances to share a food and space with strangers from other parts of the country. We’ve traded stories and recipies, laughter and tears.

One thing we’ve learned about hurricanes, living here, is that the paths are never predictable. Storms waver, hesitate, speed up, slow down, and sometimes change course unexpectedly. Evacuations needs can change and develop quickly. What better way for the beauty shop girls to find their inner strength and to show Daily hospitality, than for their cruise plans to land them smack in the middle of a sudden and chaotic hurricane evacuation?

2. Almost every author puts a little of themselves into their stories—what did you put of yourself into this one? (personality traits, life events/jobs, settings, characters based on people you know, likes/dislikes, etc.)
There’s a bit of me in the setting, of course. I love Texas, in all its variety of cultures and landscapes, but, living in a small town, I have a particular affection for little bergs like Daily, where the coffee’s always hot, and a good slide of pecan pie can cure most ills. Having watched our little town mobilize to take in hurricane evacuees several times now, I’ve been reminded that sometimes the worst things that can happen bring out the best in people. Given the opportunity and faced with the need, regular people can rise to the occasion in amazing ways, as do the citizens of Daily in the book.

Some members of the Wingate family might also claim to recognize themselves among the citizens of Daily, Texas. I would offer the disclaimer that any resemblances are completely unintentional, but that would be a bald-faced lie. When you come from a family of great storytellers and colorful characters, there’s nothing to do but make use of what you’ve got.

3. Did you encounter any interesting challenges while writing/researching for this book? Please explain if so.
The most difficult part of working on Never Say Never was researching and reliving the devastation left behind on the Texas gulf coast last year after Hurricane Ike. While interviewing family members about their experiences during the evacuation and return, we shared laughter and quite a few tears. For those who have lived in southeast Texas all their lives, talking about familiar landmarks, heirlooms, and old family places that were washed away forever, knowing some things will never be the same, is both difficult and devastating. For those of us who have so many memories of family gatherings and vacations there, it’s hard to believe we’ll never visit the old places again.

4. Why is this book/story relevant today?
Despite our best-laid plans, we all experience storms in life—whether those storms be of a weather-related nature, or due to an illness, death, or in recent months, job loss and financial misfortune. When the parameters of life and our ability to control fate suddenly change, we’re confronted with our own helplessness and need to rely on other people and God. In a culture that values independence and self-sufficiency, it’s important to remember that we all have a common need and a common responsibility for each other and that without faith we really are alone in the storm.

Never Say Never is available now at your favorite bookstore as well as online resources such as Amazon.com!

Leave a comment ~ one lucky person will be picked and their name sent in to KCC for a chance to win a grand prize: Donetta and Imagene's Texas Road Trip Basket (approximate total value over $150)!

Good luck and God's Blessings!


Kathy Otten said...

Hi Lisa,

I live in a small town too, and while we haven't seen any hurricans, the people here are always quick to band together and support any family going through a tough time. Your book sounds sweet. Lots of luck with your sales.

P.L. Parker said...

Morning Ladies - I lived in Texas for 2 years while my husband was in the military. A funnel touched down about a mile away from where I crouched in a ditch (we lived in a trailer with no tie-downs), clutching my baby son and the dog. Was a really scary moment in my life. Not sad to leave Texas behind. Good luck and many sales.

Robin Bayne said...

Love the cover and the title! Thanks for sharing : )

Jan Rider Newman said...

Sounds like a good read. Good luck!

Dawn Chartier said...

Hey there, Lisa,

Never Say Never sounds like a good book. I live near New Orleans, so I've experienced some of this evacuation a little too many times.

In fact, Katrina put me on the path to getting published. She was the kick I needed to get serious.

Good luck with your book
Dawn Chartier

Mary Ricksen said...

Hi Lisa, I wish you the very best of luck. I lived in El Paso for a while and was stuck in a sand storm. Horrible experience!!!!

Debra St. John said...

Really cute cover.

Thanks for the interview, ladies!

Deborah Schneider said...

the people of our small town here in the Northwest were always there for us during our son's long illness. And our church was our rock.

Edna said...

I live outside the city limits of a very small historical town in SC.
I love to read and try to win on the internet,


Anonymous said...

in live in texas! i live far enough north to not have to worry about any severe weather from hurricanes.
rebornbutterfly (at) sbcglobal (Dot) net