Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Interview with ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Tricia Goyer about her new book Beyond the Gray Mountains (A Big Sky Amish Novel) and #giveaway!!!!

Interview with ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Tricia Goyer about her new book Beyond the Gray Mountains. (A Big Sky Amish Novel)

Tricia is very graciously giving away two copies of Beyond the Gray Mountains! Be sure to leave contact information and there must be at least five commentors so tell your friends!!!

 LVH: Glad to have you stop by, Tricia.  Tell us about the book:

TG: Beyond the Gray Mountains takes us back to West Kootenai, Montana, where readers once again meet up with Marianna Sommer. Marianna is a young woman who found herself in an Amish community very different than the one she grew up in near Shipshewana, Indiana. In my previous three books, Marianna must decide whether to follow the strict Amish ways she’s always known, which includes getting married to Aaron Zook, or opening her heart to new possibilities.

This book begins with Marianna planning her wedding to musician Ben Stone, trying on Englisch dresses. Yet a struggle wages within the hearts of both Ben and Marianna. Are they too different to make this marriage work? 

When Ben goes on a horseback trip into the Rocky Mountains with Marianna’s father and uncle, the couple must face their greatest fears when something goes terribly wrong. It’s a story of coming to the end of yourself and discovering the life of freedom that God had planned for you all along.

While this is Ben and Marianna’s story, the setting of the Rocky Mountains of Montana is dear to my heart. Here is a quote from Ben from the first book, Besides Still Waters:

“The place is special, but mostly because how it turns my thoughts.” [Ben] looked around them. “When I look at mountains like that, I have to believe there is a God who is caring, artistic, and a bit on the wild side. I wanted to get to know more of His heart and knew this was the place to do it.” ―Tricia Goyer, Beside Still Waters

 Yes, this is a sweet romance, but I want readers to see a caring, artistic God on the wild side within these pages, too.


LVH: I can't wait to read it! How did your interest in writing originate?

TG: My interest in writing started in 1991 when I was sitting in the church nursery with a friend. She told me she was working on a novel, and something inside me lit up. I wanted to do that! After that, I started attending writers conferences, and as a mom of three little children, I got my first novel published in 2003. Exciting! I’ve had over 80 books published since then.

 As for my interest in this topic, my family lived in Montana, and I met an Amish couple, Ora Jay and Irene Eash, and they told me their true story of moving from Indiana to Montana. As a couple who lost two daughters in a horse and buggy accident, they came to Montana broken and feeling very distant from God. The friends they met in the West Kootenai community changed everything when they shared their faith in a new way. This couple’s life was transformed when they discovered a relationship with that God could be closer than they ever imagined. This is my desire with these books … and every book I write: to help readers discover God even as they are swept away within the pages of a novel.

 LVH: What does your writing process look like?

TG: Well, let me see. John and I have ten children, four of whom live at home. My grandma lives with us, and I homeschool. Plus, I have two podcasts, and I mentor writers through WriteThatBook.Club.

 That being said, I have to be very diligent when I sit down to write. First, I write down a basic summary and outline for each book. I understand the theme of the unique story, and I plan scenes that will be exciting yet also go deeper, as my characters struggle with matters of the heart.

 Next, I start writing some of the chapters. Since I’ve been writing for so long, I can write a little in this chapter and that chapter and hop all over the book! At the same time, I’m researching. For this book, I read books and watched videos on pack trips deep into the Bob Marshall Wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. Also, one of my dear friends, Rebecca Ondov, was an outfitter for over twenty years. We talked about EVERY little detail of this trip.

 LVH:  If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

TG:  Oh, I love this! I’ve been working with well-known producers to create these novels--set in West Kooteni, Montana) into a Television show for a few years. The pandemic slowed things down, but just last week the conversations started again with a network. So we’ll see!

 Also, I already have a document with “Casting Notes” from one of the producers. I hope this doesn’t get me into trouble sharing this. But these are some of their ideas:

 Marianna: Chloe Grace Moretz

Ben: Sam Palladio

Uncle Ike: Josh Lucas

 LVH: Who was your favorite character in Beyond the Gray Mountains :

TG: It’s a tie between Marianna and Ben! This Amish young woman thinks she wants to play it safe, but her love for Ben (and God!) pushes her out of her comfort zones. And Ben is a well-known musician, but Marianna reminds him of what’s most important in life. Together their hearts heal in beautiful ways.

 LVH: What are you working on now? What is your next project?

TG: Oh, there are so many! I’m writing multiple novels this year, but one of them continues with this series. It’s another “unlikely romance” between Marianna’s bachelor uncle, Ike Sommers, and Annie Johnson, former outfitter and owner of West Kootenai Kraft and Grocery.

 LVH: Share your bio:  Tricia Goyer is the author of more than 80 books. She writes both fiction and nonfiction related to family and parenting. This USA-Today Best-selling Author has won two Carol Awards and a Retailer’s Best Award. She was also an ECPA Silver Medallion Winner and a Christy Award Nominee.

Tricia is also the beloved author of World War Two fiction. She’s also written the bestselling Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Amish series. She has spoken at events such as MomCon, Raising Generations, and Teach Them Diligently conferences. She hosts two podcasts, The Tricia Goyer Show and the Daily Bible Podcast. Tricia loves teaching others how to write and get published through WriteThatBook.Club.

A homeschooling mom of ten, including seven by adoption, Tricia is also a grandmother to many and wife to John. With a busy life, she understands the importance of making every word count.





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Wednesday, January 25, 2023


Our guest today is Gay N Lewis, a Texas pastor’s wife, author, speaker, and mother. 

A New Year is here. Yay!  We can put away the decorations and look forward to a fresh beginning. Right?

But wait a second—what about the old feelings?  You know what I mean? Those emotions of anger and sadness because someone hurt our feelings last year. Yeah, those.

We experience domestic times at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those two holidays occurred just a few days ago and were a nerve-racking, merry-go-round for countless folks. Did you suffer disappointments with relatives during those recent festivities?  Does the irritation, anxiety, or pain still linger? Will it last forever?

For many, the discord goes on. I work with an architect whose daughter hasn’t spoken to him in four years. He didn’t know she had moved back to Texas until I told him. He misses her and the grandchildren. I have a friend whose son never sees or visits his ill mother. She cries and prays for him to call her. Another friend hasn’t said a word to her mother in ten years! I have a cousin who was disowned by her immediate family fifty years ago. She left town, and none of us knows where she is to this day.

A famous twin sister duo, Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren, each wrote newspaper columns. They gave advice to the brokenhearted, but they themselves had separated from each other. Letters poured in to each of them—asking Dear Abby or Ann Landers how to fix a relationship with an alienated relative. The ladies gave excellent guidance, but they never took this advice themselves. They loved each other, but competition had driven them apart. Abby once commented she had a hole in her heart, but I guess it wasn’t a big enough hole for her to mend the situation. After twenty-five years, the sisters had a partial reconciliation, but they never fully regained a closeness.

Why is it family members are toxic and refuse to see each other? Is it personality conflicts? Political opinions? Religious beliefs? Jealousy? Money matters? Rivalry? Control problems?

Whatever the issue, a kinship divided is a painful situation, and families should work at resolution. As we all know, life zooms by at a rapid rate, and our missed opportunities can’t be recovered. A shaky association where people work to connect is usually better than no association at all. Thanksgiving and Christmas will come again. Let’s get the extended family together.

In my book, Family Secrets, Rebecca’s folks wounded her deeply with their deception. Rebecca’s mom and siblings thought the secrets they kept would prevent hurt. When Rebecca heard about her birth, she ran away. (Kind of like my cousin) Anger then kept her from the ones she loved. Rebecca met Marshall, and he along with neighbor Sam, tried to convince Rebecca to reconcile, but Rebecca was stubborn. Did she listen?

I hope you’ll read Family Secrets. It’s a historical novel, and it may help you reconcile relationships.

 You can visit Gay's blog at   Her novels are on Amazon and other online booksellers.