Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate: Review, Interview and Giveaway!

There is a mystery in Wildwood Creek's history, a mystery that affects Allie's present...

Wildwood CreekWildwood Creek
by Lisa Wingate
Christian Romance
Paperback, 384 pages
February 4th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers

Allie Kirkland has never been one to take wild risks. But when she’s offered a costuming assistant’s job on a docudrama in the hills near Moses Lake, she jumps at the chance. She’s always dreamed of following in her director-father’s footsteps, and the reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step. The family expectations will have to wait.

But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delevan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the folk songs of Chinquapin Peaks. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.

When strange connections surface between Allie and the teacher who disappeared over a century ago, everyone in Wildwood, including Allie’s handsome neighbor on the film set, Blake Fulton, seems to be hiding secrets, and Allie doesn’t know who she can trust. If she can’t find the answers in time, history may repeat itself . . . with the most unthinkable results.

Bethany House

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This was an interesting book.  It had a mysterious feel to it - sort of like standing in a moving fog.  I always enjoy books that have a historical feel to them and this book bounces back and forth between the present time and the past.

This is labeled as a Christian Romance and while there were Christian elements to it, I felt like it was really light.  The romance part was also very light.  The story unfolded slowly, I sometimes had a hard time staying invested but I always wanted to know more and would push through because of that.  The last third of the book picked up tension and speed and it was the part I enjoyed the most.

The plot of this book was good- the stories, the mysterious element.  I actually liked the bounce back in history part of the book the best because I felt more of an emotional connection there.  The changes in time were sort of a mixed bag for me because I felt like I got a bit of both worlds but not enough of either to be completely satisfied.

Bonnie Rose had to be my favorite character and I wished through the whole book that it was her story being told in more detail.  She was the person I was most interested in and the person I was rooting for.

Like I said, the ending was my favorite part.  The mystery climaxed, the action picked up, the romance finally entered and I got a Happily Ever After.  It was a good way to end the book.

Next up is an interview with author Lisa Wingate followed by the giveaway so be sure to get to the end!  :)

Lisa, the Writer

Part I of IV:

What were your first writing efforts?

I’ve loved to write for as long as I can remember. My older brother was a good writer, and when you’re the youngest in the family, you want to do what the older kids do. When he won a school award for his poem, “The Bee Went Under the Sea,” I was so impressed by his literary brilliance (and the blue ribbon) that I immediately went to my bedroom and created my first book, The Story of a Dog Named Frisky. Frisky’s tale was cleverly illustrated and published on manila paper in multiple editions which sold very well in the grandparent market.

Who have been your favorite authors and how have they influenced you?

In terms of classics, I have so many favorites. I love the rhythm of the prose and the wisdom of Eudora Welty and Zora Neal Hurston. I love the sense of place and the intermingling of both the humorous and the profound that is so present in Mark Twain's works. What I have learned, sitting at the knee of these and other timeless writers, is exactly this – the stories that drive deepest into us are those that tell us things we already knew, that crystallize truths we’ve felt but not yet framed into words in our own minds. When a story pulls something from within the reader, it is a kidnapping, in a way. A piece of personal truth is forever tied to that story.

I think that's what we all want as writers. It’s what we seek to create on the deepest levels beyond just entertainment. The best stories both draw on life experience and expand it to deliver meaning.

Have you had help along the way?

A special first grade teacher, Mrs. Krackhardt, put the idea of being a real writer into my head. She found me writing a story one day at indoor recess, and she took the time to stop and read it. When she was finished, she tapped the pages on the desk to straighten them, looked at me over the top and said, “You are a wonderful writer!” From that moment on, in my mind, I was a writer.

The strange thing is that I was only in her class for a few months before we moved again, but during that time, she left an indelible mark on my life. It’s funny how we have defining moments in our lives, and that time in Mrs. Krackhardt’s class was one of mine. For years, I couldn’t have told you what she looked like, or whether she was a young teacher or an old teacher, but I could have told you that she said I was a wonderful writer. When I left her class, she wrote on my report card, “Keep that pencil working with that wonderful imagination, Lisa!” and “I expect to open a magazine and see you listed among the contributors.” I still have that report card, and I never forgot those words, or the way her confidence in me gave me confidence. Publishing is a difficult business, but I always believed I could do it, because my first grade teacher told me so.

I was also fortunate to grow up in a family of great storytellers. I classify them among my writing mentors, as well. Nights gathered around the outdoor fire on my grandparents’ farm were backyard lessons in weaving together stories in a way that could hold an audience breathless until the final line. Some of those stories were funny, and some were sentimental, but the older folks in our family could hold court with a tale about going to the grocery store or getting a haircut. Even from a very young age, I remember being not only enamored with their stories, but fascinated by their skill. Reality and fiction were seamlessly intertwined to create a weave that was flawless. They never let the truth get in the way of a good story, and it was impossible to tell which was which. Both were equally enthralling.

Lisa Wingate Author PictureLisa Wingate is a journalist, inspirational speaker, reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, and the author of over twenty novels.  Her novels combine elements of history, romance, mystery, and women's fiction with nuggets of Southern culture, from the sublime to the humorous. She is a seven-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, a Christianity Today Book Award nominee, an Inspy Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her works have been selected for Booklist’s Top Ten List in 2012 and in 2013. 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.

Bethany House

Tour-Wide Giveaway
February 10 - March 2nd  US Only
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1 Winner, 1 Amazing Prize Pack:
   $50 Amazon Gift Card
   Print copy of Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate
   Handmade-by-author Prayer Box with notepads

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  1. Of course I think about how my history affects my present. It's what made me who I am and how I met the people I met and got to where I am.

  2. Nice interview, I enjoyed learning more about you.



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