Monday, July 18, 2016

LAND OF MY DREAMS TAKES READERS TO SCOTLAND



Land of My Dreams
by Norma Gail

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Christian romance

Norma Gail will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

Norma Gail has graciously granted an interview I know you'll enjoy. 

Share with readers about your life:


I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico with three younger sisters and over 20 first cousins, aunts, uncles, and we gathered at my grandparents’ house every Sunday afternoon. Built during WWII, I think the builder saved money on the foundation by using a concrete swimming pool as the basement. However, the house only took up about half the pool, leaving a big concrete hole in back with huge steps leading into it. It provided a safe place for little kids so they couldn’t wander into the irrigation ditch that ran alongside. It had a spooky old basement where the older cousins took delight in scaring those of us who were younger.

Norma Gail's extended family at her grandparents' old home

Every other summer we visited family who lived in Idaho, near Yellowstone, and in Montana near Glacier Park. We camped, hiked, fished, went swimming, and waterskiing. It was a perfect childhood.

I have been a bookworm from the moment I learned to read. No one ever wanted me on their team for anything, except possibly spelling. During the summer, my mom constantly had to send me outside because I sneaked in and sat in my favorite chair with a book. I sometimes took my book and crawled under the overhang of a large climbing rosebush where I could escape detection for a while.


I have been married to my very best friend and the love of my life for 40 years. We have two adult children and a daughter-in-law. 

Dirk and Norma Gail's family


Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?


I love classic literature! I still read books that everyone else in school hated, Charles Dickens, the BrontĂ« sisters, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Louisa May Alcott. We visited The House of Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts a couple of years ago and found it fascinating. I love romance and romantic suspense, either historical or contemporary. Some of my favorite Christian authors are Susan May Warren, Dani Pettrey, Liz Curtis Higgs, and Michael Phillips.  

What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?


Reading is probably number one. I led women’s Bible studies for 21 years, and individual study is still one of my favorite things. I love researching my family history, and have gone back 14 generations on one side. We live in the mountains, but we also love to vacation in mountains, especially with one of our Jeeps and some 4x4 trails.

Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?


The quote that means the most to me came from my own book, LAND OF MY DREAMS, perhaps because it sums up a truth I have experienced in my own life.

Sometimes the greatest blessings come when you leave the familiar behind and take a step of faith.”

How long have you been writing?


I have been writing since I learned to write. I have always made up stories and poems, most of which still exist in a box that was buried somewhere in the attic when we moved. I didn’t write much when my kids were growing up. I was too busy being a homeschool and soccer mom. When the kids left home and I ended up in a wheelchair with a broken foot, I began to write my first novel. That was in 2008 and I have enough ideas in my head to last the rest of my life.

Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?


I prefer the songs of birds, squeaking of squirrels, and trickling of the fountain in the yard to music when I am writing. However, there are times when I need to increase the emotion I experience in order to write well. Then I find the songs on the playlist I have created for that particular project and play it to help me delve deeper into the mood. I love taking my laptop out on the patio and writing outside. 

View from Norma's desk
(I'd never get any writing done for
staring out the window) 


Are you a plotter or a pantster?


I am a total pantster who is sometimes forced into plotting to make the conflict come in the right places and ensure that the events are in the best possible order. I love sitting down at the computer and letting ideas flow.

Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?


I often choose actors to help me visualize my characters. One of my favorites came from a woman I saw in the grocery store in the small mountain town where I shop. I have a historical trilogy floating around in my mind and real family stories, as well as photos of my ancestors, which hang above my desk, are the inspiration for that.

Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?


I am a rather undisciplined writer. The daily goals I set have more to do with getting household chores and shopping done, along with minor details like fixing meals. If the ideas are coming, I’m writing. I have been known on occasion, to be in my pajamas at the computer with no lights on and no dinner fixed when it’s time for my husband to arrive from work. I usually manage to get dressed before he gets home, but it’s no secret.

What do you hope your writing brings to readers?


I want my readers get so caught up in the story that they can’t put it down. I also hope to show my readers how God works through the circumstances of our lives to reveal His love and care and direct our steps. I want my books to draw readers closer to God.

What long-term plans do you have for your career?


I am working on the sequel to LAND OF MY DREAMS. It’s taking longer than I intended because life gets in the way sometimes. I am writing a romantic novella, which I hope ends up being part of an anthology with other members of a blog group. I have the historic trilogy I mentioned earlier. It is based on real-life stories of my pioneer ancestors. There is no shortage of ideas. 

No, there is never a shortage of ideas. The shortage is time to write them.What advice would you give to unpublished authors?


Attend writer’s conferences. Network with other writers. Have critique partners. Learn your craft. Don’t automatically assume that because a couple of friends or family members liked your story that it is good enough for publication. Start a blog and grow a platform, a group of people who read your blog, authors on Facebook and other social media, who will help promote your book. Have your book professionally edited before you submit to a publisher or agent and take their advice. Don’t assume you have the next bestseller.

Poster promoting LAND OF MY DREAMS


Share a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.


I love Jeeps. We have owned 6 over the years and there are two in our garage now. I have health problems that prevent me from taking long hikes but I can go places I could never walk to on 4x4 trails. If there is a sheer drop off on one side of the road and it’s impossible to see beyond the front of the Jeep, the more I love the challenge. I drive; my husband rides and reads signs and maps. One time, we topped the 13,000-foot high Imogene Pass in Colorado as a thunderstorm hit. On the downhill side, we came upon two women hiking toward the summit in spite of the storm. They were quite amazed to discover I was the driver.

Norma Gail's children and husband Dirk
at Imogene Pass, Colorado


Share something about you that would surprise or shock readers.


I was an RN on a 64-bed orthopaedic unit. One Sunday, when I was charge nurse, I refused to take an order from the medical director of the hospital. I felt it would not be in the best interest of my patient. He insisted he would have my job, but instead, they placed him on a leave of absence and I kept my job.

Is your book a series? If so, how long? Family saga, other?


LAND OF MY DREAMS is an approximately 400 page contemporary inspirational romance. The sequel is in progress. It is a romantic suspense with the same characters as the first book. I don’t have a contract for it yet, but I do have an invitation to submit it to the publisher. 

Can you give readers a blurb about LAND OF MY DREAMS?


Alone and betrayed, American professor, Bonny Bryant longs for a haven of peace. She accepts a position at a small Christian college in Fort William, Scotland, craving escape from her painful past. The passionate love which develops when she meets fellow professor and sheep farmer, Kieran MacDonell, is something she never anticipated.

Kieran harbors a deep anger toward God in the face of his own devastating grief. When Bonny’s former fiancĂ© reenters her life, Kieran’s loneliness draws him to a former student.

How will Bonny decide between her rivals? Can they set aside the past to make way for a future, or will it drive them apart?

LAND OF MY DREAMS spans the distance between New Mexico’s high desert mountains and the misty Scottish Highlands with a timeless story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.

How about an excerpt of LAND OF MY DREAMS?


Misty’s hooves slogged through the mud and wet grass as fast as Bonny could make her go. Four days of heavy rain left everything dreich and drookit. The gray clouds hung low and heavy. The snow had begun. Heavy, wet flakes, sticking to the ground as the temperature dropped. A blustering wind raced across the pasture, rippling the grass and heather in its wake. The sheep turned their backs to the impending storm.


She stopped, wondering which trail he followed, when a gunshot sounded from due north. Stifling her fear, she headed up a hill where they had seen the old stag a week ago. Within a mile, she saw blood in the fresh snow and the signs of a large man dragging himself.

“Kieran! Kieran! Where are you?” She began to call his name, frantically, the shotgun ready in case the poacher still lurked in the area.

She stopped to listening, hoping, hardly daring to breathe.

The mist-shrouded hills were silent. The snow fell harder now, and she knew that soon any tracks would be covered. She walked further up the trail where they had spotted the stag a few days ago.

At last, she heard a weak voice calling her name. Rounding a thick stand of trees, she saw him lying in the snow at the end of a trail of blood.

“For once I’m thankful you don’t follow orders.” His voice sounded weak, punctuated by quick, shallow breaths. “It’s in my abdomen, love. I grazed his leg as I fell to the ground. He scared Storm away and headed east on an ATV toward the A87. I need help fast.”

Running to his side, she unzipped his coat and opened his shirt to see the wound, her stomach turning as she realized how much blood he had lost. “Don’t you die on me, Kieran MacDonell. We have a wedding in four weeks and nothing will stop me from marrying you this time.” She ran to her saddlebags for the first aid kit.

“Can you ride?” She noted the ashen gray of his skin. He was shivering, whether from pain, shock, or cold, she wasn’t sure. If only she had remembered a blanket.

He shook his head. “I can’t get up. I used my strength shoutin’ to get your attention. How did you find me?”

Bonny tore open the packages of gauze and pressed them against the wound, propping him against the rock to wrap an ace bandage around him. “When I reached the big rock where the trail splits, I heard a shot and began looking in this direction. I followed the trail we were on the other day. I’m going to bring Misty over and see if we can get you up on her back.”

“I shot into the air—I think I’m going to pass out.”

He felt stronger after she urged him to take deep breaths. With her help and a large stick for a cane, they succeeded in getting him up on a large rock, enabling him to drag himself onto Misty’s back.

“Hold onto my saddle horn. You’ll be grateful for my Western saddle.” Bonny took the reins and led Misty back toward the house. With his strength ebbing fast, his eyes were sunken, his stare blank, and he had trouble staying on the horse.

“Honey, we’re getting close, hold on tight.” When he made no sound, she turned, horrified to see him lying forward on Misty’s neck. What would I do if he fell off?

Bonny exhaled with relief when the house came in sight with the constable’s car in front. “Call for the rescue helicopter. He’s been shot in the abdomen.”

One constable came running to help as the other got on the radio. By the time the copter arrived, Kieran was unresponsive, his breathing shallow. The constable took over putting pressure on the wound after Bonny packed it with as much sterile gauze as Maggie and Eleanor had. She didn’t know how much blood someone could lose and still live, but he must have reached a critical point.








Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?


My husband and I spent our 30th wedding anniversary in Scotland. From the moment the plane landed, I felt as if I belonged. I did not begin the book for two years, but the dream that sparked the story came while we were researching and preparing for our trip. I have Scottish ancestry from three sides of the family and my love of all things Scottish was sparked by a note in a family tree indicating my heritage when I was very young. We stood at the Loch Garry overlook for a total of about 15 minutes, marveling at the amazing likeness of its shape to a map of Scotland. Had I known it would become the setting for a book, I would have spent much longer. My dream is to return and sit on the porch of a guesthouse, watching the place where I have spent so much time in my dreams.

Dirk and Norma in Scotland on their 30th anniversary


Book Links:
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas Bookstore: http://store.lpcbooks.com/product/land-of-my-dreams/

LAND OF MY DREAMS will be $0.99 during the tour.



   
Norma  Gail, Author


Norma Gail is the author of the contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 40 years. They have two adult children.
Connect with Norma:


GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:

Norma Gail will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



77 comments:

Nikolina said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

Mary Preston said...

I'd love to travel to Scotland. Love the photo.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

DanieX said...

I can't wait to read this!!

Peggy Hyndman said...

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

Norma Gail said...

Thank you for hosting me, Caroline! I enjoyed your interview more than any others I have done!
Nikolina, it's nice to see you following me along on the tour!
Mary, I hope you do get to travel to Scotland. It's an amazing place.
Once agai, thank you to Marianne and Judy at Goddess Fish for arranging the blog tour!
Danie, I hope you'll read LoMD and let me know how you like it!
Thanks to all of you for stopping by!

Lisa Brown said...

Congrats on the tour and I enjoyed reading the blurb.

Robin Bunting said...

This is a fantastic interview. It has stirred my memory reminding me how great your book is. Loved reading about you. Thank you for sharing. rebunting@yahoo.com.

Robin Bunting said...

This is a fantastic interview. It has stirred my memory reminding me how great your book is. Loved reading about you. Thank you for sharing. rebunting@yahoo.com.

Norma Gail said...

Thank you, Robin!

Carol G. Stratton said...

It's so much fun to hear more about your background and how your book came to be published. I have Scottish in my background (McCrary) and am looking forward to reading your book.

Victoria Alexander said...

Really great post - I loved the pictures, you have a beautiful family. Thanks for sharing :)

Rita said...

I liked the interview.

Ally Swanson said...

Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

Becky Richardson said...

Do you write full-time or part-time?

Norma Gail said...

Thank you, Carol! I enjoyed this interview more than most. It was a lot of fun. It's also fun to find out a little about our family backgrounds, isn't it! I look forward to reading your book too!

Rita, I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment!

Ally, thank you for stopping by also!

Becky, I wish I could say I write full-time. I try, but life kind of gets in the way, even with the privilege of staying home. I often only manage to get the blogging, social media, and marketing done for this book. I am working on the sequel, and also on a romantic novella. Hopefully, before too long, there might be another book. Then I would like to do a historical series.

Norma Gail said...

Caroline, forgive me for being a little tardy in thanking you for hosting me today! I really appreciate it. Your blog is beautiful!

clojo9372 said...

Thank you for sharing the pictures of your family! I wish you all the best as you continue your book tour! :)

Norma Gail said...

Thank you! What a great interview! I learned a few things.

Nikolina said...

Shared on G+, have a great day!

Norma Gail said...

Thanks for sharing, Nikolina! I appreciate it!

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Norma Gail said...

Welcome, James!

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Nikolina said...

Shared on facebook to help spread the word! :)

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