Thursday, January 28, 2010

INTERVIEW with Christine Lynxwiler

Christine Lynxwiler has written many books including Promise Me Always, Along Comes a Cowboy, and Forever Christmas. Most recently, she has written about the McCord sisters with The Reluctant Cowgirl and Cowgirl at Heart (reviewed on this site). I personally enjoyed all of these books, and look forward to more. Today we are honored to have her join us for a quick chat!

CW: Cowgirl at Heart features some very cute dogs. Are any of them based on dogs you know in real life?
CL: Yes, Chelsea! They are all loosely based on dogs I've known in real life. My own dogs, plus my sister's and niece's. Yet in the book, just like in real life, each dog developed her own unique personality as she became real to me.

CW: Do you have a favorite character from the McCord Sisters or Pinky Promise Sisters book?
CL: That's a tough one. I love the whole McCord family dynamics and at this point, they're all like good friends. Kaleigh (the youngest) is probably my favorite, but that may be because I'm working on her book now (Cowgirl's Don't Cry - coming Fall, 2010)

CW: When I am not writing, I am...
CL: Spending time with my family, raising my daughters, loving being married to my best friend, and thankful to still have my parents in good health, even though they're at the 90 year mark. For fun, we do a lot of thinks together as a family - summer league softball, kayaking, visiting our horses (hubby and daughters ride, I don't... much, but I like to pet them). Our oldest daughter is in choir, and right now, our lives are consumed with All-State tryouts and preparation for a trip to Denver so she can participate in a national level honor choir.

CW: I see that you are on Facebook. How is it connecting with your readers through this and similar channels?
CL: It's so much fun! I love to connect with readers at any level and Facebook makes it easy. I enjoy the Christine Lynxwiler Readers group on Facebook. We have well over 300 members and some cool wall posts that encourage me when I'm struggling to write. There is a place for Discussion, but so far no posts. That's my hope and dream - to reach the level of writing that makes people want to discuss my books and characters. The characters are real to me. I think having readers talk about why they like or dislike certain ones and their storylines would means I've been able to make them real for readers, too.

CW: Could you please tell us what is in store for you next? What can fans look forward to reading in the future?
CL: As I mentioned above, Kaleigh's book is next - Cowgirl's Don't Cry (Fall, 2010). After that, the three McCord Brothers get their turns. Matthew first, then Luke, then Chance. I know their stories, but so far no titles. I haven't really looked beyond that. Right now, the thought of leaving the McCord family makes me feel a little lost.

Wow, thanks for taking the time to stop by and answer some questions for us! Keep up the good work!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cowgirl at Heart by Christine Lynxwiler

Elyse McCord is a local legend dog-whisperer. When she follows a lead about an abused dog and ends up on the wrong side of a gun, Andrew Stone comes to her rescue. Then it turns out Elyse may have not one, but TWO vile men pursuing her, and Andrew decides to stick around and offer his protection. What neither Elyse nor Andrews realizes though, is their growing feelings for each other.

I enjoyed COWGIRL AT HEART immensely. There was plenty of romance, tension, action, and intrigue to keep my nose stuck in the book all night. It was nice to read about the lives of other McCord sisters Crystal (from THE RELUCTANT COWGIRL) and Kaleigh, as their own stories continue. Lynxwiler creates a thrilling atmosphere with pursuers out to get Elyse, but keeps many tender moments alive throughout. I also like how Lynxwiler's books deal with tough life issues in a manner that makes the story come alive and feel very real. It makes me want to read more, more, more!

Stay tuned for an interview with Christine, coming soon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Reluctant Cowgirl by Christine Lynxwiler

If there is one thing Christine Lynxwiler has a real talent for, it's turning the ordinary into something much more magical.

In THE RELUCTANT COWGIRL, we meet Crystal McCord, aspiring Broadway actress, and Jeremy Buchanan, budding rancher. When Crystal heads home to Arkansas to tend to the family ranch, she finds it as easy to sink into the life she once knew as it is hard to keep her mind off her career and New York City. Enter Jeremy - with plenty of baggage of his own - to help her run her daily chores, and naturally sparks fly.

Readers will find themselves invested in Jeremy's heartache almost instantly, watching both him and Crystal move through their troubles towards a blossoming romance and a rewarding ending. This familiar story is a fun, contemporary, light-weight romance with no slow-moving parts. Additionally, fans of Lynxwiler will enjoy the bit part cameos by the other Pinky Promise Sisters, as they help Crystal figure out what she wants from life. With so many McCord brothers and sisters, we can look forward to more in this entertaining series!

Monday, January 18, 2010

One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

I bumped this book up to the top of my list after recent news of the 7.0 to hit Haiti. Definitely relevant.

Following a devastating earthquake, nine strangers find themselves buried in an underground room in the Indian visa office they are in when the earthquake hits. As things go from bad to progressively worse, each member takes a turn telling a story from their life. What starts as a simple distraction for them turns into a way for each to confront their past and find the one amazing thing that has made them who they are today.

ONE AMAZING THING is written from rotating points of view; any other way would not have provided as much story for the reader to become invested in. However, I always feel that a common problem with having stories within stories is that one always comes out the stronger one, making the others feel more like an interruption of the main plot. The individual stories are each engaging in their own right, but I only wanted to go back to the present moment and see what would happen next as they try to survive the earthquake disaster. Chitra Divakaruni excels at character building, and it glows even brighter in ONE AMAZING THING.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Wife's Tale by Lori Lansens

On the eve of their 25 year anniversary, Mary Gooch's husband leaves for work and never comes home. Weighing in at 302 pounds, she finds herself suddenly alone and clueless as to what to do next. The one thing she knows for sure is that she needs to find her husband and bring him home. And so she sets out with a few clues to find him. But what she finds instead is the little bit of herself that she was missing.

THE WIFE'S TALE is slightly slow to start, but once Mary has momentum, the book will carry you along with a will of it's own. It is uplifting to read about Mary's adventure and the extremely trusting and nice people she meets along the way. Lansens writes with flowing prose and soft tones that make for a very enjoyable read. I wanted Mary's story to continue for another 200 pages!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Kyle's Island by Sally Derby

Kyle Cook can't wait to get to the lake house with his mom and three siblings this summer. His father left earlier in the year and the family hasn't quite been the same ever since. When he learns his Mom has to sell the lake house, Kyle sets out to earn enough money to try and save this important piece of his childhood. Along the way, Kyle will find he has more to learn about the people around him than he thinks.

KYLE'S ISLAND is a short and breezy read and evokes memories of summer on the lake from my own childhood. Derby tunes into Kyle's young voice with ease and grace. The story is a familiar one - Kyle coping with losing a piece of his childhood is something everyone has to go through at some point in their young adult lives. Detailed descriptions of fishing and life on the lake are a bonus. Highly recommended for that male reluctant reader!