Johnnie Alexander: A Writer & Her Book (plus giveaway)

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Back to regular programming here, dear readers, with some catchup to do! There’s still time to enter a number of the anniversary giveaways and you can check them out in my sidebar.

Today, I’m chatting it up with Johnnie Alexander (the guinea pig for my new interview format – thanks Johnnie!) about her latest contemporary romance. her favourite season, a book she always recommends, what she is currently binge-reading, and what didn’t make it to print in her novel! Thanks to her publisher, Revell, I’m giving away a copy of When Love Arrives so be sure to enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

The Writer…

Please describe yourself in three words

Consensus from my three grown-up kids: kind, quirky, objective.

What’s your favourite season, and why?

I love spring’s sunshiny days and gentle breezes. Green, my favourite color, returns to the world, butterflies emerge from their cocoons, and the daffodils bloom on their long slender stalks. Adorable baby chicks and ducks scamper around in huge metal tanks at Tractor Supply.

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What is the best part of your day?

It’s evening, and the house is quiet and dark. The day’s tasks are done, and I’m either thinking about tomorrow or reading or writing or watching TV. Rugby, my papillon, snuggles beside me while Griff, my collie, stretches out beside the bed and makes these strange sounds that I think are deeply satisfied sighs. All seems at peace.

What do you miss most about your childhood?

The first thing that popped in my mind was climbing treehouses. I think it’s more than that, though. I think I miss the soul-stirring belief that the future is filled with endless possibilities and unanswered questions.

Which TV talk show host would you like to be interviewed by?

You know, I don’t pay much attention to those types of shows so I couldn’t say. It’d be fun to do a TV interview though—I love radio interviews.

You are at a fruit market – what do you reach for first?

The strawberries!

What was the first Christian Fiction novel you read?

Christy by Catherine Marshall. Still a classic!

What is one author and/or book you always recommend?

I love Ann Tatlock’s Once Beyond a Time.

What book character has stuck in your mind from a book you have read this year?

I’m binge-reading Winston Graham’s twelve Poldark novels. With number 11 close to an end, most of my reading time lately has been spent with Ross and Demelza Poldark. These books were written at a time when it was okay to slide from one POV to another and even be omniscient. The approach works for these stories, and Graham shares deep insights into the characters’ thoughts, conflicting motivations, and inner struggles.

Her book…

When Love Arrives

Dani Prescott came to the children’s hospital to spy on Brett Somers–so how did she end up on a date with him? Weeks earlier she’d seen an interview in which he blamed her mother for the plane crash that had killed his parents. But the crash had killed her mother as well, so Dani can’t believe the story Brett’s trying to sell to the media.

Vowing to find a way to discredit the privileged–and maddeningly handsome–Brett, Dani has been following him and taking photos, hoping to find something she can use against him. But when she catches his eye instead, she quickly finds herself offering up a fake name and agreeing to a date. Brett knows this mystery girl is hiding something–but he’s got his own secrets to keep. What will happen when he discovers who she really is? Will Dani and Brett look beyond their own heartaches to discover a love that could heal their deepest pain?

What was the working title?

Love’s Deeper Season—this was inspired by an e.e. cummings poem, “yes is a pleasant country” which includes the line “love is a deeper season than reason.” The hero in this story, Brett Somers, is surprised to fall in love. He’s always been the calculating one, the “in-charge” one. But for him, this surprising love is deeper than reason—thus a deeper season. But I love the new title. It fits with the titles of the first and third books respectively, Where She Belongs and What Hope Remembers.

Describe your book in 5 adjectives…

The novel is a hopeful, compassionate, and redemptive story of two broken people. One reader wrote me to say the story captured her heart.

Which character took you by surprise?

Since I do little plotting beforehand, I often find myself saying, “I didn’t know that” to a main character. But seven-year-old Elizabeth, who is (stay with me here) the hero’s cousin’s fiancée’s daughter, surprised me most when she showed up to comfort Brett, the hero, in his most broken moment.

What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

I don’t remember pulling any all-nighters with this one. I may have stayed up past midnight a couple of times.

Which character’s name was the hardest to choose?

Dani’s name was both the easiest and the hardest. She’s the heroine of the story, and I knew she was Dani from the get-go (though I can’t tell you why; the name just fit). However, I didn’t want her name to be short for Danielle because I thought that’s what readers would expect. So I searched for just the right name for her. I think I changed her surname a couple of times too.

What’s something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

A couple of scenes with Dani and Brett’s former girlfriend were cut when the focus of the story changed. At one time, I considered having them team up to find a way to get back at Brett for his indifferent treatment of women. But that wasn’t the “true” story.

Thanks Johnnie!

Johnnie Alexander imagines stories while raccoons and foxes occasionally pass by her window. Her debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, was a CBA bestseller and has been translated into Dutch and Norwegian. Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series #1), her first contemporary romance, was a Library Journal Pick of the Month. Recent releases include The Healing Promise (Courageous Bride Collection) and When Love Arrives (Misty Willow Series #2). She lives near Memphis with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, the princely papillon who trees those pesky raccoons whenever he gets the chance. Join Johnnie at www.johnnie-alexander.com to experience the charm of country living, the love of random travel, and the joy of treasured memories.

Relz Reviewz Extras
Johnnie’s The Inside Scoop!
Visit Johnnie’s website
Buy at Amazon: When Love Arrives or Koorong

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45 Responses to Johnnie Alexander: A Writer & Her Book (plus giveaway)

  1. Hi, Rel! I am so honored to be the “guinea pig” for your new format. What fun! Congrats on ten years of highlighting authors and their novels. We all appreciate you!

  2. Well, I think it was probably “Love Comes Softly” by Janette Oke. I still like that series.

  3. Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn

  4. One of or maybe the first Christian fiction books that I read was This Present Darkness and it Freaked Me Out! I was a teenager when I read it and I can still remember the parts that made me uneasy. haha I read that book around when it first came out and if I’m in a place where I feel uneasy, imagery from that book still comes to mind.

  5. I’ve read and enjoyed both Where Treasure Hides and Where She Belongs. Would love to win Johnnie’s latest novel!

    The first Christian Fiction book I remember reading is Vienna Prelude by Brock and Bodie Thoene. I LOVED that series!!

    • Staci » Me, too. Read it so many times over though not for years. Might need to do it again soon.

    • Hi, Staci. I’m so glad you enjoyed my first new novels. Since they’re so different (genre, tone, mood), it’s always a “yes” feeling in my heart when a reader likes both.

      I think I’ve read a couple of books in that Thoene series, too, but it’s been so long ago I’m not sure which ones. I’ll have to find them again!

  6. I really can’t remember the first Christian book that I’ve read. I bave read many Amish books and books by Karen Kingsbury.

    • Hi, Dianne. Both Amish books and Karen Kingsbury are so immensely popular. I haven’t read any of Karen’s books in a few years, but she’s also shining star in the Christian fiction world. Thanks for sharing.

  7. It was either one of the House of Winslow books by Gilbert Morris or a Janette Oke book.

  8. My first Christian novel was probably one of the Love Inspired books. I can’t remember the specific one but that’s what got me hooked & from there have discovered MANY more Christian reads & authors :-)

    Thank you for the giveaway! I have Johnny’s first book and would love to add this to the collection.

  9. Like. Johnnie, my first Christian book was Christy. Love this interview.

  10. What a fun interview! The first Christian fiction book I read was The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen. I just picked it up because I liked the cover. It turned out to be a sweet read!

  11. Lori Wick’s Kensington Chronicles. I was hooked!

  12. I can’t say for sure but probably Love Comes Softly and the House of Winslow series.

    • Hi, Patty. These books certainly created a foundation for the rest of us who followed in these authors’ footsteps. Even though I haven’t read the Morris books, I am thankful for them and their popularity. I couldn’t remember how many books there are in the Winslow series (I have a friend who has several of them) and there are FORTY! Wow! Have you read them all?

  13. I read an Amish book, The Letters by Suzanne Woods Fisher

  14. Jeannette Oke was my first answer but in reading everyone else I had forgotten Robin Jones Gunn and the Christy Miller series and Sierra I think was the other one…. :)

  15. The first Christian fiction I read was so long ago and there have been so many I really can’t remember. It could have been Grace Livingston Hill followed closely by Jannette Oke and Gilbert Morris. And then Beverly Lewis. It goes on and on.

    • Oh, wow! Grace Livingston Hill is a legend! I recently read a sweet story she wrote–I think it’s called “The Story of Whim.” It takes place in historic Florida and since I lived there for about twenty years and love the history, the story was even more special to me.

  16. I believe my first Christian Fiction read was one of Janette Oke’s Women of the West series The Calling of Emily Evans. :)

  17. The Left Behind series was the first time I read Christian fiction. A friend loaned me the books.

  18. I honestly don’t remember the first Christian fiction book I read…possibly something from Lori Wick?

  19. I think Terri Blackstock’s books in the series Newpointe were probably some of the first Christian books that I read.
    Thanks for sharing this post about Johnnie.
    Connie
    cps1950@gmail.com

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