Sunday, April 29, 2012

Q&A and Review: “Blue Moon Bay” by Lisa Wingate

Every Once in a Blue Moon Your Heart Waits at a Crossroads
Moses Lake, Texas, is the last place Heather Hampton, Seattle architect, ever wanted to go again. Yet a promotion hinges on the sale of the family farmland, and she’s determined to return home, signed contract in hand, the next day.

But the currents of Moses Lake take visitors on unexpected journeys. As Heather’s stay lengthens, she discovers a family steeped in secrets and an unexpected connection to the handsome local banker, Blaine Underhill, despite his opposition to her project. With each new revelation comes new questions.  She can’t help wonder if the family she has come to know again are crooks or crusaders.  Somehow Heather must find the truth before she loses everything her heart longs for.

Lisa Wingate is an award-winning journalist, magazine columnist, popular inspirational speaker and a national bestselling author of 16 books.  Her first mainstream novel, Tending Roses, is in its fifteenth printing from Penguin Putnam.  Tending Roses is a staple on the shelves of national bookstore chains as well as in many independent bookstores.

Lisa is one of a select group of authors to find success in both the Christian and mainstream markets, writing for both Bethany House, a Christian publisher, and NAL Penguin Putnam, in mainstream fiction.  Her bestselling books have become a hallmark of inspirational southern fiction. Her works have been featured by the National Reader’s Club of America, AOL Book Picks, Doubleday Book Club, the Literary Guild, American Profiles and have been chosen for numerous awards.

When not busy dreaming up stories, Lisa spends time on the road as a motivational speaker. 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 has 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.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What’s new/What’s next in Lisa Wingate books?

A:  Blue Moon Bay is new on shelves and just received a STARRED REVIEW from Booklist.  I hope you’ll have fun in Moses Lake, Texas–a place with a little romance, a little mystery, and a whole lot of small-town charm!    
Q:  Any exciting contests going on right now?

A:  Always!  Sign up for the Lisa Wingate email newsletter and you’ll be entered in a monthly drawing for an autographed Lisa Wingate book!  Click here to sign up for the newsletter — No SPAM, we promise.  Just book news and holiday wishes a few times a year. 

Q: How can I keep up with you and your books?

A:  In this busy cyber age, there are so many ways to keep in touch!  You can find me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, find my writer profile and videos on Ning, or sign up for my email newsletter.  Check out our Youtube channel for inspirational videos from the books.  Join me on www.SouthernBelleView on Mondays for my blog stories and articles, or email me by clicking the Contact Lisa button on the menu.  I love keeping in touch with readers.  The best part of writing is watching stories do what they are meant to do–bring people together.

Q: Where can I find a full list of Lisa Wingate books and sample book chapters?

A:  For a full list of the books, in order by series, and sample chapters click here.

Q: How long have you been writing and many Lisa Wingate books are there?

A:  I’ve been writing all my life.  The release of Blue Moon Bay marks book-baby number seventeen!  For a full list, go to my Bookshelf Page.  Below are a few of the more recent books.  Click on the book covers to read sample chapters.  You can also read sample chapters on my Bookshelf Page.

Q: Will you phone chat with my book club or visit my book club, church, or organization for a speaking engagement?

A:  I love to chat with real people (as opposed to the imaginary kind) anytime schedules permit.  For information on speaking engagements and phone chats, check my Speaking Info Page. 

My Review:

Though I’ve never lived in Texas, I have lived on farms near small towns.  Lisa Wingate’s Blue Moon Bay brings back the memories of slow, small-town life where everyone knows everyone’s business.

However, in Lisa’s book, Blue Moon Bay, everyone doesn’t know everyone’s business when it comes to the Hampton family’s questionable behaviors.  Heather Hampton, a Seattle architect, living in big city Seattle and fast times must adjust her hasty lifestyle when she returns to Moses Lake, TX, in order to get her mother’s signature for the sale of the home place for her firm’s contract project and return the next day.  However, her family deliberately won’t tell her anything.  She’s totally unable to gather them all in one place to hash out the situation.

Lisa caught my eye and my heart from the first page of her book, Blue Moon Bay.  I love her free-flowing style of writing, her in-depth characters, and the complicated and sometimes funny circumstances that Heather finds herself in as she travels to and arrives at Moses Lake, TX.  The novel is laid out as a story of family grief, secrets, and conniving that seem to be connected to the local banker, Blaine Underhill, Heather’s former high-school crush.  Her family’s apparent rejection of her and her presence at Moses Lake and their complicity in avoiding any communication with her is mind-boggling to her. She doesn’t know if what they are doing is conniving or crooked. Toss in a clandestine romance, an overt courting, and suspense and the story is complete.

I found the small-town TX story absolutely intriguing.  The “back-hills” family keeping the “high city roller” in the dark was done to perfection.  The suspense added to the story as well as Heather’s heart-breaking memories of her father’s death and her mother and brother’s flighty lifestyles.  Will Heather ever be able to overcome her unrest over her father’s death?  Will she be able to forgive her mother and brother for their flighty, irresponsible behaviors?  A great read!  Be sure to pick up a copy!

This book was provided by Noelle Buss of Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was exchanged.

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