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Copyright by Pegg Thomas 2009-2015


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Apr 12, 2012
Lynnette Bonner is joining me for the Christian Writer’s Blog Chain today and our topic this month is JOY. She is enjoying the release of her second novel, High Desert Haven. Lynnette is also a member of and is known by the username Zanzibar. It’s a joy to have you here, Lynnette!

Thanks for having me, Pegg! :)

During the process of writing, editing, and now releasing High Desert Haven, what brought you the most joy and why?

Wow, that is a hard question to answer. The writing of High Desert Haven was spread out over several years – I had started the book, and then took a break from writing, but picked it up again after my boys went off to school. I think I’d have to say the day I wrote the last line brought me the most joy! That is always such a feeling of accomplishment. I just turned in the 4th book of the series a few days ago and with each successive story I keep thinking, “Completing this book is going to be easier than that last one,” but each time I’ve been let down, so far! :)

High Desert Haven is a romance so there must be some joyous moments for your characters. Describe a joyful moment Nicki Trent experiences. Share an excerpt if you like.

There is a key moment of joy toward the end of the book, but to share that one would be to give too much of the story away, so I will share this excerpt from early on in the book. Dominique Trent (Nicki) has lost her husband to a mysterious riding accident. A man has come to apply for the job, but she really doesn’t know much about him. She’s trying to run her ranch mostly alone, and needs someone she can trust by her side. Is this man trustworthy? She needs to be sure. There’s that moment of elation when she discovers he’s a believer, like she is.

This section starts out during a conversation she’s having with Tilly, her neighbor who comes over to help watch Nicki’s son. (And to see Nicki’s handsome, young, ranch hand, Conner. :) )

   “So? Who is he?” Tilly got back to the subject at hand, gesturing out the window.
   “He has come to apply for the foreman job.”
   Tilly peered out the little circle again. “Wait until I tell Janice. If he stopped in town, I bet she talked him into a corner. She always talks too much when she gets nervous. And you know how she gets around good looking men.” She glanced at the man out the window one more time. “He does have blue eyes, doesn’t he?” Tilly’s nervousness over the gunfire was making her own tongue run from the middle.
   “Sí.” Nicki took another sip of coffee, trying to push the thought of those alluring blue eyes from her mind. “Pero, no es oro todo lo que reluce.”
   Tilly turned toward her with a puckered brow. “What?”
   “All is not gold that glitters. You don’t have any idea what he is like. Just because he is fine-looking doesn’t mean that he is kind and loving. Nor that he loves our Savior, no?” Nicki spoke the words to Tilly but inwardly realized that she was preaching herself a sermon.
   Tilly wrinkled her nose. “I suppose you’re right.” But she quickly returned to high spirits. Her face brightened and she said animatedly, “It will give Janice and me something to talk about, though. It’s not often that strangers come through town, much less ones as good-looking as him. And the very day he arrives, you are shot at and he saves you!”
   Nicki smiled at Tilly’s adolescent romanticism. “Better than me being shot at and him not saving me, yes?”
   Tilly chuckled.
   Stepping over to the rag rug where Sawyer played with his pile of blocks, Nicki squatted down, ruffling his hair. For a time she closed her eyes, enjoying the feel of his little head beneath her hand, thanking God she was still here to enjoy it. When she opened her eyes he was staring up at her. She smiled. “How is Mama’s big boy this morning?”
The eighteen-month-old grinned at her, banging two blocks together. “Hi, Mama! Watch dis.” He stacked the two blocks on top of each other, adding a third, his tongue held between his teeth in concentration, then joyfully knocked over the tower.
   “Wow!” Nicki said enthusiastically. “Can you do it again?”
   Nicki shook her head at his independent spirit. If she hadn’t asked for a repeat performance, he probably would have contented himself with doing the same thing over and over all morning. But since it had been her suggestion to do it again, it no longer sounded like fun.
   A knock sounded on the door.
   Tilly moved to open it as Nicki seated herself at the table, trying to compose her thoughts. What questions do I need to ask? I don’t know the first thing about running a ranch, so how do I know what to ask him? He might not even want the job after what he’s seen.
   Jason was taller than John had been. For where there had been plenty of room for John’s head, even in this low-ceilinged building, Jason’s hair almost touched. He curled the brim of his hat into one hand, tapping it against his leg. Tilly traded him the hat for a cup of coffee, and he thanked her warmly. A blush skittered across her cheeks, but he didn’t seem to notice. His gaze was fixed on the little boy playing on the braided rug, a sudden tenderness in his eyes.
   Nicki watched as his sorrow-filled glance flickered from Sawyer, to the floor, into his coffee, and then back to the baby, finally settling on her face. “I’m so sorry for your loss, Mrs. Trent.”
   Nicki could barely speak around the lump that suddenly formed in her throat. “Thank you.”
   Jason looked back to Sawyer. “I lost my father when I was just a little older than he is, my mother a few years later.”
   “I’m sorry.”
   A sad light was still in his eyes as he pulled out a chair and seated himself. “It worked out. I don’t know if I would ever have come to serve the Lord if I hadn’t been raised by my grandmother.”
   Even as elation surged, Nicki heard Tilly give a little gasp from where she stood by the stove. So the glitter might have a little gold in it.

Joy can sneak up on you sometimes, and find you in places and in situations you don’t expect. How does joy surprise Nicki and Jason in your novel?

Neither character was in a position of looking for love, yet love sort of sneaks up on both of them in this book. For Nicki, it is the joy in finding love for the first time – even though she’s been married before. For Jason, it is the joy in second chances from a God of mercy who doesn’t hold our past mistakes against us.

What type of comment from someone who reads High Desert Haven would bring you the most joy?

“I loved this book so much I’d like to buy 100,000 copies so I can give one to everyone I meet!”

Oh, not that kind of comment? :)  Hey, who wouldn't like that kind of comment?!
No, seriously, my whole purpose in writing is to hopefully help others to see that God loves them unconditionally and has good things for them. I think the comment with regard to my first book Rocky Mountain Oasis that brought me the most joy was from a woman who had never read a Christian fiction book before. She was a manager at my local Borders store, which has since shut down. She wrote up a promotional poster and displayed my book in the center aisle of the store for a few days. The gist of what she said was that the story remained with her long after she turned the last page, and gave her a lot to think about. Oh what joy! If my book was her first tiny seed of introduction to God and His goodness… I’ve prayed for her often, since that time. Don’t know where she is, now. But God does.

So something along those lines… may people be drawn to His Truth!

Any other joyful thoughts to share with the Chain Gang today, Lynnette?

I guess just this…. We’ve all been created for a certain purpose. And our creator has set out certain rules for us to live by. When we choose to ignore those rules and do things our own way, destruction comes into our lives. Ah, but when we live the way God intended us to live, then we find True Joy.

May True Joy be yours!

Lynnette’s books are published by OakTara and are available in Christian bookstores. She has a webpage where you can order a signed copy of her books! Or check it out at Barnes & Noble.

Lynnette is also offering a free electronic copy of her book to one commenter on today’s post. So leave a comment telling us about the thing that brought you the most joy this week to be entered into the drawing. Comments will be left open until Friday, April 20th and then the winner will be notified via email. Be sure to leave your e-mail address to be entered!

his post is part of Christian Writers’ April Blog Chain on the topic, “Joy.” Check out the other Blog Chain posts by clicking the links right.


Terrie said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing Lynette with us. Your new book sounds wonderful and Because I stayed up late- because of the tease Pegg gave us on the Blog Chain site - I had to stay up to be the first in line:)
The thing that brought me the most joy this week was 1) reading this post 2) Releasing my second book 3) Celebrating the fact that Jesus is Risen! Hallelujah What a glorious week>
Did I Win???

by Pegg Thomas said...

I won't pick a winner until the 20th, Terrie, but you sure won the early-bird contest!

From Carols Quill said...

Even better than free sheep, Pegg!

Most joy this week for me was reading Corrie ten Boom's "Hiding Place." The way she and her sister found joy in Christ while living in a concentration camp, showed me profound examples of being thankful for little things that are actually big things. I'll never forget that they praised God for the fleas--and why.

It also made me joyful to realize how much power books have. That realization made me tremendously grateful that God has gifted me with the desire, the opportunity and (blush) the ability to share His joy through my writing.

I loved this post, Pegg and loved seeing Lynnette's joyful synopsis of her book. Thanks, girls.

From Carols Quill said...

uh...I forgot amid all the joy.

Gail said...

Carol, I just remembered that I used to read the Hiding Place every Easter. My copy was packed away for 6 years and I haven't found it yet. Maybe I can find it tonight and read it quick before the week is over.

My joy is in simple things right now 1) tomato plants sprouting 2) my dog having fun and jumping around for treats 3) enjoying the sunshine. And God being the author of all these things!

Thanks for sharing about this book!

bookwurm70 at gmail dot com

Sherri Wilson Johnson said...

I love Lynnette's writing! Would love to win this fellow OakTara-author's book!

What has brought me joy this week was seeing my 99 year & 10 month old grandmother at Easter all decked out in her pearls and spring pumps. We're planning her 100th birthday party for June and it's such a blessing to see this Godly woman still walking around, laughing, being silly, and giving wise advice. Sherri igottawrite at bellsouth dot com

Read more:

Christine Henderson said...

Thanks for giving us the joy of writing and seeing a book in the printed word. All the best on sales.

No need to include me in the eBook giveaway as I don't have a Kindle and don't want to read it on my laptop

Lynnette Bonner said...

Thank you, Terrie. And congrats on a new release! He is risen, indeed!

Lynnette Bonner said...

Carol, I remember that scene from The Hiding Place about the fleas. Who ever thought a flea could be a blessing, right? Thanks for stopping by.

Lynnette Bonner said...

We have sunshine here today too! A real treat! The PNW gets a bad wrap for a lot of rain, but this year has been particularly dark and cold. This week, however, we've had several sunny days. (We won't talk about the fact that it poured buckets all day yesterday! LOL) Thanks for taking time to comment, Gail.

Lynnette Bonner said...

Sherri, How awesome that your 99 year old Grandma is still getting around so well. She and my Grandma should get together. My Grandma turned 100 on January 24th. Sadly, however, she's not getting around so good anymore. Anyhow, thanks for taking the time to comment!

Lynnette Bonner said...


You can order the book through your local bookstore, if they don't have it in stock. Or you can ask your local library to get in a copy. I hope you'll enjoy it if you get a chance to read it. Thanks for taking time to comment.

by Pegg Thomas said...

Joy will do that to you! :)

Michael Johnson said...


It's really cool how you have set up this site to highlight authors and their work. Great Job!

Terrie said...

Pegg I am standing by my email now ...pacing

Lynette I will probably get a copy... but shhhh don't tell pegg. :)

SandiGrace said...

Nice Interview Ladies,

I enjoyed this. I used to read Christian romance, but it has been a long time. Yours sounds promising. I like how Nikki occasionally speaks Spanish. That is so realistic, and makes me really miss my precious hispanic friends.

I experienced great joy this week when several of my young Sunday School students gave thoughtful answers and asked great questions. We were discussing some of the O.T. prophecies Jesus fulfilled, and it was wonderful! The kids were engaged and, I think, touched. Praise God! :)

by Pegg Thomas said...

Thanks, Mike!

Lynnette Bonner said...

Thanks, SandiGrace. It is a great feeling when you realize the kids are actually "getting" it, isn't it?

Denise Jordan said...

I enjoyed the interview very much!

The thing that brought me the greatest joy this week was having my mother-in-law here for a couple of days. We talked, we birded, and we ate. One day we went to lunch and saw a movie. She's the wonderful woman who shaped my husband into the man he is today, and she did most of it alone.

I'm glad I know her : )


Lynnette Bonner said...

Denise, How wonderful that you get along with her so well! I'm sure you are as much a blessing to her, as she is to you!

Adam Collings said...

Nice interview. I like how you were able to include an author from

I remember the joy when I finished writing the last word of my first completed novel manuscript. Of course that was only the beginning of the hard work which is still continuing.

As for what has given me the greatest joy this week so far? I guess that would have to be my wonderful wife. I've spent a lot of time thinking this week just how brilliant she is :)

Lynnette Bonner said...

Adam, with that comment, your wife is now spending time thinking how brilliant YOU are. :) Thanks for taking time to comment. God bless!

by Pegg Thomas said...

And the winner of Lynnette's e-book is...
*insert drum roll here*
Sherri Wilson Johnson!
Congratulations - look for your e-book soon!

Deborah K. Anderson said...

Nice interview, Pegg, and nice to meet you, Lynnette.

TraciB said...

Great interview, Pegg and Lynnette! Sorry I didn't get here sooner; April was a hectic month. Lynnette, I enjoyed your excerpt of "High Desert Haven" and your comments about joy.