The Reading Habits of Liz Johnson (with giveaway)

Liz JohnsonAre you a re-reader? Why, or why not? And if you are, what are some of the books you have read over and over?

Oh, I love to re-read books. Or more specifically, parts of books—favorite scenes and swoon-worthy moments. Whole books that I re-read regularly include The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Witch of Blackbird Pond. And I’ve re-read several of Karen Witemeyer and Julie Klassen’s books.

When is your optimal time to read – do you prefer to read in one long block, or do you also read for five minutes here or there when you can?

I love to read for an hour or so before falling asleep. I’m not opposed to snagging a few minutes here or there and always have a book with me, but I prefer a longer span of time.

I’d love your thoughts on novellas. Are you thumbs up or down? Or does it depend?!

I’m thumbs up on novellas! I love a long read, but I also love a shorter one sometimes, too. Great novella writers develop rich characters in a short span, and I’m so impressed that. I’ve written a few short stories and novellas, and I have huge respect for others who write these shorter formats. I think it’s harder than writing a full-length novel. Every year, I treat myself to a handful of Christmas novella anthologies, which always helps me get in the Christmas spirit.

Are you faithful to a genre, an author, or simply quality writing?

I’m all about quality writing. I’ll read historicals, contemporaries, short, and long. I’ll try new authors, and when I find one I love, I’ll devour everything by them I can find. I read fiction and nonfiction in a variety of genres. But I do enjoy a good romance—that’s why I write it.

Which factors most influence your selection of a book?

Favorite authors, intriguing/unusual storylines or settings, recommendations from friends. And I’m a sucker for a gorgeous book cover. If I’m picking up a paperback at a bookstore, I always read the last lines (unless it’s a mystery) to make sure that it’s going to be worth my time.

Your fiction pet peeve?

Hmm… I suppose a novel drives me crazy when I feel like the author painted her characters into a corner and then has to wave a magic wand to get them out of it. I love it when it seems like a character is beyond help and then something that was only hinted at before suddenly comes back to the forefront, and I realize that the character has had everything she needs all along. It shows careful plotting, which is really appealing to me as reader.

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Liz’s TBR stack

What book have you read this year that you could not put down, and why?

Oh, dear! This year? They all kind of flow together in my memory. One of my recent favorites was Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham. I listened to the audio on a road trip and couldn’t stop. It was so inspiring and encouraging.

How do you mark your spot – folded page corner, bookmark, dollar bill, whatever is at hand?

Whatever is at hand, as long as it won’t harm the book—nothing that will stretch the spine. But I’ve been known to use a clean tissue, shopping list, or junk mail.

Whose debut novel impressed you more than you anticipated?

I’m trying to remember what debuts I’ve read recently. Perhaps that’s the rub. If I can’t tell it’s a debut, it must have been wonderful! I know that I thoroughly enjoyed Jill Kemerer’s debut, Small-Town Bachelor, a couple years ago, but I knew I would.  I’m really looking forward to reading Mikal Dawn’s debut too.

When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you?

I love a unique story—something that twists what I think I know and surprises me. I love characters that are easy to relate to—flawed but trying to overcome those. I have a hard time finishing books where I don’t care about the characters or what happens to them.

What are some of your favourite CF reads from around 10 years ago, or further back?

I was first introduced to Christian Fiction for the adult market with the House of Winslow Series by Gilbert Morris. Then I picked up his Appomattox Saga, set during the American Civil War. I still re-read books from those series because they were such an important part of my younger years. In college, I picked up books by Lori Wick, like The Princess, and Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love and The Atonement Child. After reading those, I realized what I wanted to do with my life.

Snack/drink of choice while reading?

I tend to reach for a Diet Dr. Pepper and peanut butter m&ms. But I don’t usually need a snack when I read. It’s plenty fun on its own.

What book cover has really caught your eye?

I think the cover of The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill is stunning, so lovely.  And Christmas at Carnton by Tamara Alexander is GORGEOUS! I’ve been to Carnton a half dozen times, and the cover is as beautiful as the actual property. Perhaps my very favorite cover of all time is Beth Patillo’s Jane Austen Ruined My Life (the book is pretty great too!).

Which author makes it easy to turn off your internal editor?

I like reading authors in genres other than what I write because my internal editor isn’t quite as loud. Julie Klassen is definitely one that I can read with pure enjoyment.

What book do you wish you had written? Why?

There are so many! The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is enchanting, and I’d love to write a story so completely engrossing.

Thanks Liz!

Don’t miss the Liz’s latest novel…


Fifteen years after she left Prince Edward Island, Natalie O’Ryan had no plans to return. But when her fiancé, music producer Russell Jacobs, books their wedding in her hometown and schedules a summer at Rose’s Red Door Inn, she sets out to put the finishing touches on the perfect wedding. But she can’t possibly prepare for a run-in with Justin Kane–the best friend she left behind all those years ago after promising to stay.

Justin’s never forgotten Natalie or the music career he always dreamed of pursuing. He’d been prepared to follow her off the island until his dad died and he was left to run the family dairy farm. He’s done the best he can with the life that was thrust upon him–but with Natalie back in the picture, he begins to realize just how much joy he’s been missing.

After Natalie’s reception venue falls through, she must scramble to find an alternative, and the only option seems to be a barn on Justin’s property. As they work together to get the dilapidated building ready for the party, Natalie and Justin discover the groundwork for forgiveness–and that there may be more than an old friendship between them.

Liz Johnson fell in love with Prince Edward Island the first time she set foot on it. When she’s not plotting her next trip to the island, she works as director of marketing for a Christian radio network. She is the author of several novels including The Red Door Inn and Where Two Hearts Meet, a New York Times bestselling novella, and a handful of short stories. She makes her home in Tucson, Arizona.

Relz Reviewz Extras
All Things Johnson @ Relz Reviewz
Visit Liz’s website and blog
Buy at Amazon: On Love’s Gentle Shore or Koorong

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26 Responses to The Reading Habits of Liz Johnson (with giveaway)

  1. Thanks for the interesting interview! I have the 1st 2 books in Liz’s PEI series and would love to have this one to complete the set. Such a lovely setting and equally lovely covers to match! 😀 Thank you for the opportunity to win this one!

  2. I have never visited PEI in person, only through Anne of Green Gables. Liz is a new author to me, and I would love to win a copy of her book. Thanks for the chance. 😊

  3. PEI is now on my wish list of places to visit. Liz’s covers are so gorgeous and intriguing that they make me want to grab the book and start reading!

  4. I haven’t been to PE Island personally but definitely through Anne of Green Gables. My daughter did go to PE Island because of her love of all things Anne of Green Gables. I would like to read Liz Johnson’s books that are set there.

  5. My parents took me to PEI, but I was only about 4 years old. I would love to go back again so that I could remember the beauty of the place! :)

  6. I really enjoyed this interview. And I liked her books. I need to find a copy of her newest.

  7. My college roommate introduced me to the Anne of Green Gables books. Love PEI!

  8. Loved this series so much!

  9. I have not been to PEI. I love peanut butter M &Ms also! Yum!

  10. Thank you for the fun interview! I love Liz Johnson’s books and love the chance to get to know her a little better.

  11. The only way I’ve visited is Ann of Green Gables! Loved those stories and they made me want to visit in person.

  12. I have only been to Prince Edward Island visiting Anne and her Green Gables, but it sounds absolutely lovely and I would like to visit it in person some day.

    Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

  13. danielle hammelef

    I’ve never visited in person or in fiction, but someday I will as I want to travel from coast to coast through Canada.

  14. I have never been to Prince Edwards Island, but it’s been on my list of places to visit for some time. “On Love’s Gentle Shore” sounds like an interesting read.

  15. I haven’t visited PEI in person but it’s on my bucket list! I love the Anne of Green Gables books :)

  16. I’ve not personally visited PEI, but I’ve always wanted too thanks to Anne of Green Gables. I’ve enjoyed re-visiting the island through Liz’ books.

  17. I’ve only visited PEI through L.M. Montgomery’s work. Mostly through the Road to Avonlea series Disney did several years ago. But I’m looking forward to a revisit through Liz’s new release.

  18. I haven’t visited Prince Edward Island. Never really heard of it until reading the description these books! Sounds wonderful.

    Thank you for the chance win a copy of “In Love’s Gentle Shore”

  19. I’ve not visited PEI and don’t remember reading Anne of Green Gables.

    Rel, thank you for the chance.

  20. I’ve never been to PEI, but I absolutely loved ‘visiting’ there via the Anne of Green Gables books/movies!

  21. I have never been to Prince Edward Island, but think it would be lovely. The Anne of Green Gables series is one of my favorites and I have read them several times. So good.

  22. I have only been there through arm-chair traveling! I would love to read On Love’s Gentle Shore. Thank you for this giveaway.

  23. No I have never visited Prince Edward Island, but it sounds like such a lovely place.

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