We're happy to have Becky Lyles with us today. I already love the twist in her story and am anxious to read it. Tell us, Becky: is there a story behind your "Winds of Wyoming?"
For several years, I’d been trying to write about a woman who left the east coast to start a new life in Wyoming, where I grew up. But I could never come up with a strong enough motive for the move to create a plausible plotline. When that ah-ha moment came to me, I realized the challenges ex-offenders face when they return to society could provide the basis for my heroine’s obstacles. As believers, freed prisoners have the power of Christ to help them walk the narrow road; however, past failures and corrupt friends still haunt them and try hard to drag them back to their former lifestyles. Kate’s story is one of a young ex-felon learning to live a new life in a new place as a forgiven daughter of the King.
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
My readers love Dymple, and so do I. She’s a feisty but funny “tell it like it is” older woman who offers Kate, the heroine, blunt advice delivered with heavy doses of love and common sense.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Quirky may not quite be the word, but what I did was definitely out of the norm. I won’t bore you with the details or the reasons, but after two C-sections, I birthed our third child at home with the assistance of midwives.
What is your strangest habit?
This is kind of embarrassing, but when I’m curled up on the couch engrossed in a good book, I pick at my toenails (unless I’m wearing socks, of course). I have no idea why, but I think I’ve had that habit since I first learned to read.
What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
On one of the corner lots at a stoplight intersection about a mile from our house, a small herd of attentive alpacas watch the traffic pass, their big eyes and long ears alert to danger. Alpacas are similar to llamas but smaller. They’re hilarious to look at, especially after they’ve been sheared. With their hair trimmed, they look like pipe-cleaner critters with pointy ears poking through a shock of fur on top their tiny heads. I’m thrilled when the light is red and my husband is behind the wheel, so I can ogle the alpacas and get my chuckle for the day.
What is your favorite season of the year?
I love autumn, partly because it’s a season of new beginnings. But mostly, I like the fresh and invigorating feel of the cooler air, the amazing colors in the changing trees, and the earthy aroma and satisfying crunch of leaves underfoot.
What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
One of my favorite mental pictures is that of me and my four siblings snuggled against my father listening to him read to us with his deep resonant voice. Though he only had an eighth-grade education, he loved to read and made the stories come alive for us. But that experience was rare, because he often worked away from home. My dad also loved horses. “My Friend Flicka” and “Black Beauty” are two of the books I remember him reading to us. I have a feeling my passion for books and for the West originated with him.
Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
Mountains. I like mountains, a lot, and have been blessed to live, camp and hike in mountainous states like Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona and Idaho. My dream vacation, which hasn’t happened yet, is to spend a month or so in the Swiss Alps.
Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)
Almost every day I have a new favorite verse, but one I’ve clung to for many years is Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” In the midst of heartache and disappointment, our “God of hope” pours hope, joy and peace into our souls. What a privilege! All we have to do is trust him.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I finished writing “Winds of Freedom,” the sequel to “Winds of Wyoming,” and am working my way through the editing process. We don’t have a definite date for publication, but I’m hoping January, at the latest. Here’s a brief description:
Four desperate women searching for their place in the world fight for freedom and wholeness—for themselves and each other. Kate Neilson Duncan’s loss and heartache during a long cold winter take a backseat to the needs of her failing great-aunt and those of her mother-in-law and her best friend, who’ve both been ensnared by evil.
Check out Becky's websites at:
Facebook: Rebecca Carey Lyles
To buy her book:
Barnes and Noble
Rebecca is giving away a copy of Winds of Wyoming. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.