Monday, December 9, 2013

A Warm Welcome to Rebecca Carey Lyles

Is there a story behind Winds of Freedom?
The idea for Winds of Freedom was sparked years ago when the relative of a neighbor walked into an airport restroom and never came out—as far as her husband and children knew. Although they didn’t see her exit the restroom, she must have slipped past them wearing a disguise, because they later learned she’d snuck away to start a new life. Several weeks after her disappearance, she returned to pick up her clothing and other personal items. She didn’t tell her husband where she was living or what she was doing, only that she no longer had to clean house or take care of children. To add to the mystery, she was wearing a collar around her neck.

What started you on your writing journey?
Although my high school English teacher encouraged me to go into journalism, I earned a Church Education degree from a Bible college. Before I had a chance to use the degree, I got married and started having babies. When our first child was just beginning to walk around furniture, I saw a notice in the local paper for a community service writing class. Intrigued, I signed up for the class, found a babysitter and ended up writing a couple feature articles for the local newspaper, thanks to the reporter who taught the class. I’ve written articles and stories for a variety of publications over the years and published two nonfiction books and two fiction books. I also edit fiction and nonfiction for authors as well as publishers.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
My favorite authors at the moment are Kristen Hannah, Charles Martin and Gina Holmes. I enjoy complicated and unpredictable yet believable plots, characters with depth, and stories with a touch of humor.
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
That character would probably be Amy because she gets herself into such horrific trouble with no hope of escape, all the while trying to figure out how God fits into the picture.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Wow, that’s a hard one. I’m sure others could remind me of strange things I’ve done, but all I’m remembering at the moment is that when I was young, I used to sit in the big cottonwood tree on the corner and watch the world go by below me. That was a rather odd habit; however, maybe seeds were planted then for creating interesting characters. Our neighborhood was full of ‘em!
What is your strangest habit?
You’ll be glad to know I no longer climb trees to spy on the neighbors. At my age, I’d probably be arrested – if I didn’t fall out of the tree first, ha. A habit I’ve developed since hot flashes invaded my life 15 years ago is to kick off my shoes and fling away as many layers of clothing as is socially acceptable when a warm moment overtakes my being. If I’m in bed, I throw back the covers, toss my pillow on the floor and scoot to the cool edge of the mattress. My poor hubby has learned to stay out of my way, day and night. J
What is your favorite season of the year? 
I’m partial to fall and am especially thrilled by the gorgeous colors we’re seeing in Idaho this year. In addition to beautiful trees, I enjoy the crisp air and the smell of dry leaves. Autumn feels like a season of new beginnings and possibilities to me (maybe that’s because I liked school).
What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
I’m very fond of the West, especially Wyoming, where I grew up. I’ve also lived in Colorado and Arizona and currently live in Idaho. What do I like most about the West? Fresh air, sunshine, far-flung vistas, mountains, lakes, rivers, deserts and plains, four seasons, friendly down-to-earth people, outdoor activities like hiking, biking, camping, skiing, snowshoeing… I could go on and on.
What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
I loved church camp, for a number of reasons. I was able to meet new friends and learn new songs, like Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus. Camp Grace was located in the mountains, so we got to hike and climb, learn how to shoot a bow and arrow and rifles, play tug-of-war in the mud along with capture the flag and other rough-and-tumble games, and sleep in rustic cabins. Plus, we had great Bible teaching and campfires each evening. I think every child should have the privilege of attending church camp while they’re growing up.
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
I suppose my key theme is “hope.” No matter how dire the circumstances, God is there, and He will redeem the situation. I write about women who were previously incarcerated to show that God loves everyone and is anxious to work in all our lives.
Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)  
My favorite verse ties in with the hope theme in my books. “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.” (Romans 15:13)
Yes, salvation has much to do with spending eternity with Jesus. But in the meantime, I’m grateful to know the joy, peace and hope God grants his children. As I wrote above, no matter how awful the circumstances, we have hope, and hope never fails us (Romans 5:5).
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

The next book in the Kate Neilson Series, which will likely be titled Winds of Change, should debut in late 2014. That book will feature the Whispering Pines gang of the first two Winds books, but this time they’ll take on a new venture in addition to running the guest ranch.

Back Cover Blurb

Winter storms blast across the Whispering Pines Guest Ranch, and a cold wind blows through Kate Neilson’s soul. Despite her pain, Kate’s well-being takes a backseat to the needs of loved ones: her best friend, who’s been ensnared by evil; her failing great-aunt, whose dementia care keeps Kate guessing; and Laura and Mike Duncan, whose ranch and livelihood are threatened by a land-grabbing neighbor.

To buy her book:

About Rebecca:
Rebecca Carey Lyles grew up in Wyoming, the setting for her Kate Neilson novels, Winds of Wyoming and Winds of Freedom. She and her husband, Steve, currently live in Boise. In addition to writing fiction and nonfiction, she serves as an editor and a mentor to aspiring authors and as a transition coach for women transitioning from prison to “the outside.” Becky’s articles and stories have appeared in magazines and compilations. Her nonfiction books, It’s a God Thing! Inspiring Stories of Life-Changing Friendships and On a Wing and a Prayer-Stories from Freedom Fellowship, a Prison Ministry, are now available in ebook as well as print formats.

To connect with Rebecca:
Facebook: Rebecca Carey Lyles
Twitter: @BeckyLyles
LinkedIn: Becky Lyles

Rebecca Carey Lyles is giving away a copy of Winds of Freedom. 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 may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)

Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


squiresj said...

This book would fit todays sitting with all the snow storms in US. I have never read any of your books. Would love to win, read and review this.
jrs362 at hotmil dot com

Jackie McNutt said...

Rebecca's book sounds so exciting. Would love to read it. thank you for review and post

Susan Johnson said...

What an intriguing back story. If the book is that good, I'm sure I will really enjoy it.

susanmsj at msn dot com

Cindi A said...

The interview and cover blurb have me intrigued. Please enter my name in the drawing to win this book.

Patricia Bradley said...

Great interview. I'd like to know the rest of the story of the neighbor who left her family...
pat at ptbradley dot com

Patricia Bradley said...

Great interview. I'd like to know the rest of the story of the neighbor who left her family...
pat at ptbradley dot com

Deb R. said...

Hope is such a great theme to write about. I would like to read your book. djragno [at] hotmail [dot] com

Becky Lyles said...

Thanks for all the great comments! I, too, would like to know the rest of the story about the woman who disappeared. As far as I know, she never contacted her family again. Very sad.

On a happier note, I wish each of you a wonderful Season of Celebration, Becky

Anonymous said...

Hello to you ladies. Great give-away. This book sounds so good and a beautiful place for the setting. I loved Wyoming. Lived there for 5 years. I lived in Jackson Hole and loved looking at the Tetons and Lake Jackson. Loved the way the mountains reflected in the lake. Please put my name in the drawing. Thanks.
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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