Monday, July 23, 2012

Joanne Bischof

It's my pleasure to introduce a dear blogging friend and debut romance author, Joanne Bischof. Married to her first sweetheart, Joanne lives in the mountains of Southern California where she keeps busy making messes with their home-schooled children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, writing, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life. Be Still My Soul is her first novel. 

                      Be Still My Soul

Gideon only ever cared about himself. Now that Lonnie is his wife, will he ever be worthy of her heart?
Night’s chill tickled her skin. Lonnie pressed her hands together and glanced up. He was even more handsome up close. Having grown up the shy, awkward daughter of Joel Sawyer, she’d hardly spoken to any boy, let alone the one who had mothers whispering warnings in their daughter’s ears and fathers loading shotguns.
Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith. But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate.  
Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob. 
Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life.  What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?
Welcome to Ink Dots, Joanne. Tell us where you're from and who you live with. I’m from the mountains of Southern California and I live there with my wonderful husband, three homeschooled children and a handful of troublesome chickens.
Congratulations on your debut novel, Be Still My Soul. Tell us how you came to write this book. As the idea for the story unfolded, I was faced with the challenge of a love story between two mismatched people—a marriage between a shy, innocent girl with a strong faith, and a cocky, confident bluegrass musician who hasn’t given God much thought. By throwing them together in a shotgun wedding, how would their story unfold? Could true love rise from the ashes of broken hopes? These were the questions I asked myself as Lonnie and Gideon’s journey began. Sounds like a great read. I can tell you love a good old fashioned love story, like me.
If you could have lived in another time in history, what would it be and why?  I would love to go back in history and live at the time that I write about, which is the early 1900’s in the Blue Ridge Mountains. To sit on the front porch with my loved ones and listen to the sounds of evening unfold—without the distractions of modern day life. It would be so lovely to experience life then, when times were simpler. I hear you. Ditching the distractions sounds very appealing, even to a girl who's only heard of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I'd love to join you there...
Have you been to Australia?  The closest I’ve ever been to Australia is watching The Man From Snowy River. I’ve never been, but I would love to! My cousin lives there with my two beautiful nieces, so visiting them would be at the top of my list and then, I’d love to drive around and get to know the country and the culture. It looks like a gorgeous place! You won't be disappointed if you ever get the chance. I'm sure between us, your cousin and I will show you the best of what's on our doorstep. 
How has writing this book changed you? Wow, good question. I think I have a better understanding of people. Writing my character, Lonnie, wasn’t too difficult. We share a lot of the same characteristics, so she was like listening to a kindred spirit. On the other hand, writing Gideon was a new experience all together. We’re so different, but surprisingly, it was quite fun to get to write from his point of view. He’s cocky and confident and keeps God at arm’s length, certain redemption wasn’t meant for him. Working through Gideon’s character, from his sins and struggles, to his hopes and fears, was quite an adventure.  

Where can we find you on the internet?  I can always be found on my website, where I have a weekly blog on my writing and country living journeys. Also, I love keeping up with readers on my Facebook page, We do fun giveaways and chit chat about books, family and more!

Thanks for being my guest, Joanne. I know you're in the middle of your summer holiday right now, and I appreciate the time you took to share some of your writing adventures with us. Dorothy, thank you for having me at Ink Dots. You and your blog are a delight and it’s been a pleasure!


This is a good read, people. I should know - it's on my bedside table right now and I'm not putting it down! If you'd like the chance to win a copy of Be Still My Soul, please leave a comment below and I'll announce the winner on Friday in the comment thread. 

Tell us if you're a shy one, like Lonnie - the heroine of the story, or if you're a born talker.