Victoria Bylin: Discover more…and a giveaway

Victoria BylinDiscover more about

Victoria Bylin

and her contemporary romance

Together With You

Bethany House

*********

A book character that sticks in my mind is… Why?

I will never forget Johnny Cain in Penelope Williamson’s The Outsider. When the wounded gunslinger staggers  onto widow Rachel Yoder’s front porch, he’s on the edge of death. He’s the polar opposite of Rachel, a Plain women with a fragile young son.  It’s the most perfect clash-of-culture story I’ve ever read. I discovered this book years ago, and Johnny’s spiritual journey still leaves me breathless.  It was made into a movie, but the book is a million times better.

The last book that made me cry was…

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers. There are several moments that touched me deeply, but the end in particular sings with joy.

The last book that made me laugh out loud was…

The Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman! I picked it up for research and couldn’t put it down.  Kevin had me in stitches with stories about his family.  That bossy older sister? That’s me.  I am such a first born!  In Together With You, Ryan is an only child and Carly is the baby of her family.  He’s a serious guy who needs to learn to laugh, and she’s the perfect teacher.

I’m completely immersed in their storytelling, whenever I read a book by…

Francine Rivers amazes me in ways no one else does.  She writes about risky subjects, and that appeals to me. Plus her writing style is both elegant and evocative.

The first person who encouraged me to pursue my writing was…

My grandmothers each get a nod here. Nana Bylin gave me a book every time we visited her.  Thanks to her efforts, I read Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books, Nancy Drew, and a host of other titles. Grandma Vickers inspired me to actually write.  She moved about 400 miles away when I was twelve. This was pre-internet, so we wrote letters.  A lot of letters! I had boxes of pretty stationery and oodles of felt-tip pens.

If I wasn’t a writer, I would be…

A medical office manager.  Boring, huh?  But I’ve worked part-time in doctors’ offices for 15 years now.  I love people, and working part-time gives me a chance to be social.  It’s also a great way to research.  In Together With You, Carly is a social worker. You won’t be surprised to learn I currently work in a behavioral health practice with wonderful men and women who inspired Carly’s deep compassion.

I write stories because…

It’s just who I am.  Someone defined fiction as the marriage of logic and emotion.  I love that!  Writing a book is a lot like solving a jigsaw puzzle. The 95,000 pieces (or words) have to fit just right.  I also give credit to my mom for giving me a hunger to understand people and the forces that make us who we are.  She was an amazing person.

Together With YouTogether With You

Sometimes the most unexpected love can be exactly what a heart needs…

When a Lost Child warning blares over the mall’s PA system, Carly Mason finds the little girl playing with a stuffed rabbit. Something about Penny Tremaine is different. An ex-social worker, Carly recognizes that the child suffers fetal alcohol effects, and a piece of Carly’s past suddenly confronts her. Never again will she become personally involved with a client. The risks are far too great. But something about Penny–and Penny’s handsome father–tugs at Carly’s heart.

Dr. Ryan Tremaine is trying to put his life back together. With his ex-wife remarried and on a trip far away, his two teenage sons and Penny are living under his roof full time. Ryan has put his faith in his Sink-or-Swim list, a plan to reconnect with his children. The first step: recruit Carly Mason to be Penny’s nanny.

Ryan never anticipated being so drawn to Carly, an attraction Carly seems to fight as much as he does. Could Carly be the missing piece that helps his family stay afloat, or will their blossoming romance only complicate things further?

My latest novel can be described by these 5 adjectives…

Poignant. Compassionate.  Funny.  Real-life.  Triumphant.

My main character is… 

Carly Jo Mason is a Kentucky girl pursuing a Ph.D.  at UCLA when she encounters Dr. Ryan Tremaine and his three kids.  She’ll take grits over granola any day of the week, but she’s determined to earn her degree and return to Kentucky to work with kids suffering from fetal alcohol exposure. It’s a serious issue–the one birth defect that’s 100% preventable–and Carly is committed to her cause.

She also has a good sense of humor, loves people and is a life-long Christian. You can imagine the conflict when she starts to fall in love with Ryan, a cynical agnostic who wants to be a good dad but doesn’t know how.

My main characters resemble….

Ryan and Carly look just like the couple on the cover.  Her hair was originally shorter and curlier, so I changed it at the revision stage.  Ryan looks a lot like actor Sullivan Stapleton. Carly started off looking like KimberlyVBchar Perry from the Band Perry.

My story’s spiritual theme is…

Grace on steroids!  We all make mistakes, and Ryan Tremaine has a boat-load of them.  Carly has a big one of her own.  It was pure joy to take these two characters from a mental landscape full of guilt and regret to true peace.

The most recent movie or tv show I loved was…Why?

Saving Mr. Banks  with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.  It’s the story behind the making of the movie Mary Poppins and the battle between Walt Disney and author P.L. Travers.  The movie pulls back the curtain on a writer’s mind and gives the story behind the story. I loved it.

The story I’m currently working on is…

The third book in the “You” series is a reunion story. Zeke Monroe and Julia Dare were together in college. Back then, he was a Christian and she was an agnostic.  When they meet six years later, his faith is in tatters and she’s toting a brand new Bible. She also has a four-year-old son, and the father is Zeke’s college rival.  Let the sparks fly!

You may not know this about me, but I…

My favorite candy is toffee, with butterscotch coming in second.  I like chocolate too, but I’ll reach for the toffee or butterscotch before I’ll go for the Hershey’s Kiss.  Not that I’ll pass up the Hershey’s kiss . . . I definitely have a sweet tooth.

I might go all fan girl if I met…

Fun question!  There’s a scene in my current manuscript where the heroine’s mom meets the bad-boy country music star who was her teenage crush.   She doesn’t go all fan-girl, but she’s pretty blown away.  I’d be blown away by Bruce Springsteen.

If I could travel back in time, I’d go to…

The Old West.  My first 14 books were westerns, and every so often, I get a hankerin’ to write about gunslingers, cowboys, sheriffs and the women who love them.

I get lost in the music when I listen to…

Adele, The Piano Guys, Gary Allan.

A long held dream of mine is…

I would love to live near the beach. My California blood craves the sound of crashing waves and the feel of sand under my feet . . . not to mention sunshine!   Every once in a while, my husband and I think about moving to Baja California.  We won’t do it because of family ties, but it’s fun to dream!

Thanks Victoria!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Nick & Kate (Until I Found You)
Visit Victoria’s website
Buy at Amazon: Together With You or Koorong

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53 Responses to Victoria Bylin: Discover more…and a giveaway

  1. I am the baby of the family. :)

  2. I’d love to read this!

  3. I am the oldest!

  4. I’m totally into birth order right now . . . I added siblings to a ms so that the hero could be a first born son. I’m also writing about sisters who are 10 years apart in age. Now that’s an interesting relationship!

    It’s fun to see where we all fit in :)

  5. I was the baby for 12 years, then had 3 younger siblings.

  6. I am the oldest of 6. I borrowed Together With You and loved it! It’s one of those books I’ll reread every year or two so it would be awesome to win my own copy!

    • Awww Kristen! You’re making me blush. I’m so glad you loved the book. It’s special to me for a million different reasons, but mostly because the story is about grace, love and overcoming the past. Good luck in the drawing!

  7. I am the youngest daughter but the middle child.

    • Hi Karen! Isn’t birth order interesting? Kevin Leman’s book said that middle kids tend to be the most social and easy going, same for the youngest of two. That’s true with my sons.

  8. I am the oldest. TOGETHER WITH YOU sounds like a great read! :)

  9. I am the oldest of three. I’d love to read this book. I’m just starting to really enjoy contemporary books; I’ve always been a historical reader. This one sounds really good!!

    • Hi Amanda! The first inspirationals I wrote were westerns for Love Inspired Historical. I really enjoyed writing about the Old West, especially outlaws and preachers. As a reader, I mix up historicals and contemporaries. And then I mix it up again with women’s fiction and some of the detective novels my husband enjoys. Variety rocks!

  10. I am the second born but first girl so sometimes I feel like the oldest 😉

  11. I’m the oldest of 4 girls

    • Hi Charlyn, Kevin Leman, the author of The Birth Order Book, has five kids total, including 4 girls. I think his son is in the middle. I bet you could relate to a lot of his stories and insights!

  12. I’m the oldest of threes, I’m also the first grandchild and great-grandchild. I like to think a lot of people got excited when I was born!

  13. I am the oldest of 3 in my family. There are 9 years between me and my brother and almost 11 years between my sister and I.
    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of “Together with You”! I have “Until I Found You” so this would be great to add to it.

    • Hello Trixi! The book I’m working on now is going to have a couple of sisters who are 12 years apart. I’m looking forward to building their characters. Good luck in the drawing!!

  14. Oldest of three

  15. As a college student studying Elementary Education, I definitely was drawn to this with the child being mentioned in the plot! I feel like I could really relate with the heroine. And I’m the oldest in my family {thirty minutes ahead of my twin brother} and was supposedly on the bossy side growing up, though I think I still have to fight wanting to take charge and make sure everything is in order with my family!

    • Hello Marie! I’m the grandmother to twin girls. It’s been such fun to see them growing, and to see how different they are. They’re still babies, but their personalities shine through all the baby-ness. With your background in elementary education, you could easily have had a few undiagnosed “Penny’s” (the little girl in the book) in your classes. Good luck in the drawing!

  16. I’m the firstborn.

  17. I am the baby of the family, but my older brother was mentally disabled so there were many times when I acted like the first born. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

  18. Connie Saunders

    I am 13 months older than my brother and I’m sure I am also the older, bossy sister! I enjoyed this interviews!
    Thanks!
    Connie from KY

  19. I am the 2nd of 4. The middle of 3 girls with my brother coming last.

    I think I have pretty classic middle child tendancies=)

    Thanks for sharing today!

  20. I’m the oldest with 2 younger brothers. And yes, I’m afraid I was a somewhat bossy sister. Just checked out TWY for the library and will be starting it shortly! Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Hello Cyndi! With two you younger brothers, you would need to be a little bit bossy to survive! In the book I just turned in, the hero is the oldest with two younger sisters who have him wrapped around their little fingers.

      I’m always happy to hear about a TWY sighting at the library!

  21. Andrea Williams

    I’m an only child so I guess I fit in a lot of categories. :)

    • Hi Andrea,
      In Together With You, Ryan (the hero) is an only child born to his parents sort of late in life. I loved writing about him because he’s mentally strong and a leader. If something needs to be done, he does it. Good luck in the drawing!

  22. Sounds like a great novel, Victoria. I’ll be looking forward to eventually reading it. :)

    • Hi Rissi! I hope you enjoy the story. I know what you mean about “eventually.” My own TBR pile is sky high and growing. I need about six months to do nothing except read.

  23. I was the 1st born (11 months after parents were married).

  24. Terrill Rosado

    Victoria, I would just like to tell you that I love your book covers. I don’t know what it is, but they are very emotional and endearing. Also, I am the baby of two girls.

    • Thanks for the cover love, Terrill! My hat’s off to the Bethany House art department for all the work they do. I love the cover for Until I Found You, but I have a particular fondness for Together With You. There’s something about Carly’s expression that I just love.

  25. Deanne Pstterson

    I am an only child and grew up lonely.mi more than made up for it. I have 12 children. They don’t get lonely but may wish for a little more alone time, lol.

  26. I am the middle child of 7 children. Though we are pretty much raising two of my cousins so I sometimes just tell people that there are 9 of us. :)
    And there are only two girls in the whole bunch too! 😛

  27. I am the oldest. Thank you for this introduction to a new author!

  28. I am the oldest of 3 kids. I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

  29. I’m number five of six, a middle child and peace keeper.

  30. I am the oldest of three – one brother and one sister younger than I.

  31. I’m the oldest of two girls. Me and my sister are only a year and a half apart so we’ve always been close, aside from our customary sibling brawls of course =)

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