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Friday, February 5, 2016

5-Year Blogoversary Celebration! Day 5 | Interview with Liz Johnson & Giveaway!


Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Liz! Will you share a little about yourself and your latest book?
Thanks for having me! I love stories with heart, humor, and happily ever afters. By day I’m a marketing manager for a nonfiction team at a Christian publisher in Nashville. I find time to write late at night and always have stories to tell.

My newest book, The Red Door Inn, tells the story of Marie Carrington, who is broke, desperate, and hoping to find sanctuary on Prince Edward Island while decorating a renovated bed-and-breakfast. Seth Sloane moved three thousand miles to help restore his uncle's Victorian B and B—and to forget about the fiancĂ©e who broke his heart. He wasn't expecting to have to babysit a woman with a taste for expensive antiques and a bewildering habit of jumping every time he brushes past her.

The only thing Marie and Seth agree on is that getting the Red Door Inn ready to open in just two months will take everything they've got--and they have to find a way to work together. In the process, they may find something infinitely sweeter than they ever imagined on this island of dreams.

Have you visited Prince Edward Island, the setting for your new series?
Yes! I’ve been to PEI four times. It’s my favorite place in the world. Many years ago, I told my mom that I would take her to PEI when I sold my first book. She got me hooked on Anne of Green Gables when I was young, so I thought it would be a fitting way to celebrate my first book contract. But no one told me that I wouldn’t make much money on my first book, so we had to wait for my second contract. We went the first time for five days in September of 2010. And immediately started planning our next trip. My sister joined us for the second and third trip, and on our last trip, my oldest niece joined us.

I fell in love with PEI the first time I set foot on the island, and I hope that I shared a little bit of that in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series.

What do you hope readers come away with after reading your newest story?
I hope that readers will be reminded that God is present in our lives, especially during the hard times. He is our good Father, who loves us more than we can imagine.

Do you find it more fun to write stand-alones or series?
I love writing both stand-alone books and series. Single titles are fun because they often stretch me out of my comfort zone. I generally build a series around secondary characters. I love getting to tell each of their stories and catching up with characters from previous books. In my new series all the characters meet through the Red Door Inn, and I love reconnecting with them in each book.

Who are some of your favorite authors whose books have never disappointed you?
I have a number of favorites, including Julie Klassen, Karen Witemeyer, and Meg Cabot. I always look forward to their new books and have reread their backlist titles many times.

What's the last thing you celebrated, not including birthdays or holidays?
This last year has been filled with numerous writing deadlines, and I try to celebrate every milestone—even the little ones. When I met my last deadline in November, I celebrated by taking a day off of work and inviting some friends over for pizza and one of our favorite movies. We laughed and talked and just enjoyed a low-key day. It was a simple celebration, but very encouraging after a long lineup of deadlines.

Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what was your favorite book growing up?
I LOVED to read as a child. When I was in junior high, my mom would often have to tell me to turn my light off well after midnight because I wanted to read just one more chapter. I couldn’t stop. My favorite book then—and still—was The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. I’ve always loved the story of an outsider joining a Puritan community in the late 1600s and the Quaker woman she befriends.


Do you have any card/board games that you like to play? 
I adore board games. My family plays them often, especially when I’m visiting them in Arizona. Clue is one of my favorites. Perhaps it’s because I’m a suspense writer, but I love figuring out the killer. For as long as I can remember, we’ve also played the card game Phase 10. I enjoy Boggle, but I always lose to my brother, who hasn’t read a book since high school. I guess his mathematic mind sees the patterns faster than I do. But one of these days I’m going to win a game. :)

Some this-or-that questions:

Snowstorms or Thunderstorms? Snowstorms (as long as I don’t have to venture onto the roads)
Brownies or Cookies? Both!
Call or Text? Text
Early-bird or Night-owl? Night-owl
Introvert or Extrovert? Introvert
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
Mystery or Romance? Romance

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint? 
I’m working on a few things at the moment, including Where Two Hearts Meet, which is the second book in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series, and it releases in October. When a bed-and-breakfast chef mistakes a guest for a visiting travel writer, the future of the inn she loves is on the line—and so is her heart.

Thank you so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?
Thanks again for having me. I love hearing from readers. You can find me online at www.LizJohnsonBooks.comwww.Facebook.com/LizJohnsonBooks, and www.Twitter.com/LizJohnsonBooks.

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Enter to win a copy of The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson! Giveaway is open internationally and ends 2/15/16.

How to enter: Sign into the Giveaway Tools form below (it might take a moment to load) and submit each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!


Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Giveaway Tools or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

40 comments:

  1. This book looks like awesome read! I agree with you, Anne of Green Gables was also one of my favorites and I also fell in love with Prince Edward Island! :) Can't wait to read it! Thanks so much for this giveaway for your readers!! Have a Blessed day!

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    1. Thanks, Wenona! I'm so glad to know another AoGG fan, who fell in love with PEI! :)

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  2. I've not yet had the pleasure of visiting PEI, but I have been to Niagara, Banff, Jasper and Calgary. They were great as well!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, LuAnn! I'd love to go to Niagara at some point. Pictures of it are gorgeous! I hope you do get to make it to PEI some day!

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  3. What a fun interview! Boggle is my absolute favorite game, but my family will hardly play it with me because I beat them so badly. Usually they will play 2 or 3 rounds before they call it quits. :) Like you, Liz, I LOVED reading growing up, so much so that my mom would often use the prohibition of books as a punishment. The friendly people who worked at my local library could not believe that my mom would actually ground me from reading. :) And...The Witch of Blackbird Pond was always one of my favorites as well!

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    1. Kiah, I hope your family will play Boggle with you soon. :) I played with mine on my last visit to see my family, and we had a wonderful time! I read The Witch of Blackbird Pond last year and was so pleased that it holds up after all these years. :) It's still as enchanting as ever! And oh, that Nat Eaton!

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  4. It's a dream to visit PEI. Credit that to Anne Shirley and crew. :)

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    1. I hope you get a chance to visit PEI soon! It's delightful!

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  5. Your books look really good. Red Door Inn looks like somethings I would really enjoy.

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    1. Susan, I hope you'll read and enjoy it. :) I had so much fun writing it!

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  6. Thank you so much for the great interview and the giveaway. I would love to visit PEI but probably it will have to be through your book as I can't travel much anymore. I also love Philippians 4:8.

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    1. I love to travel through books too, Stella. I've been to all sorts of places on the pages of my favorite novels.

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  7. That's the area where I was born, although I've only been to PEI once. It was pretty nice. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

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  8. Great interview! My family and I always love playing board games. We'd rotate out games but some of our favorites include Trouble, Pay Day, Skip-Bo and Wii Bowling.

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    1. Liz, my family used to play Skip-Bo as well! Such a fun game! I haven't played Trouble in years, but now you've got me wanting to play next time I'm with my family.

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  9. Oh my goodness, you are a PEI lover! I lived on PEI for a few months & it was SO amazing!!!

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    1. Bekah, I'm terribly jealous! I wish I could live on the Island. During the summer. :)

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  10. A book about Prince Edward Island? That's awesome! I lived in Nova Scotia for six years and visited there several times. Lovely place! I'm a big fan of Anne of Green Gables and I am always looking for books with Canadian settings.

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    1. I'd love to visit Nova Scotia! Every time we got to the Island, we say we'll take the ferry to Nova Scotia too, but we haven't made it yet. Maybe next trip. :)

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  11. I live in Maine. I'd love to get over to the island one day. My family always played games when we were kids and young adults. Poor Mom would doze off playing Monopoly with us sometimes. More books for me to get my hands on. Thanks for another interesting interview.

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    1. Susan, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Maine is so close to PEI, I hope you'll make it up there some day.

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  12. I love the game Phase 10. So many memories of game night at our house. I haven't read your Prince Edward Series yet but will look for them at my local library. The Red Door Inn sounds like a delightful read. Thank you for sharing this book with us and for the giveaway.

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    1. Kathy, Phase 10 is one of our favorites, but it can go on for hours. My family gets competitive with those Skip cards, but we have a lot of fun. The Red Door Inn officially releases March 1, so if your library doesn't have it yet, they can order it. :)

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  13. Thanks for opening up the giveaway to internationals ~ I really appreciate that Liz!

    How lovely that you were able to visit Prince Edward Island. It is a place I fell in love with through Anne of Green Gables, and I would love to visit it someday. For now, I visit it through books!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Wendy! I love to visit new places through books, too!

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  14. I liked your comment. "God is present with us especially during the hard times. I need to put that on the fridge and in the palm of my hand.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jan! I've found that to be true in my own life, and I want to share it with others. God is with us. Always.

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  15. I love Anne of Green Gables and I have always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island. Maybe someday! The Red Door Inn sounds like a great book and I would enjoy adding it to my collection! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Kim! I hope you'll get to visit PEI someday.

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  16. Looks great - I love a good suspense and this is a new author for me and I love playing games! truckredford(at)Gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Eliza! The Red Door Inn is a contemporary romance (no suspense). It's still a lot of fun! :) But I do write suspense for Love Inspired Suspense.

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  17. As a child I remember enjoying the Boxcar children series and also the Happy Hollisters books. I still love a good series, and look forward to The PEI Dreams series!

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    1. Patty, I enjoyed the Boxcar Children series when I was young as well! Great series! Thanks for stopping by.

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  18. I'm so excited for the Red Door Inn. I live in Washington State, but have lived in Montreal, Quebec for about 5 years. Although I never visited PEI, it was the supreme destination for many of my Quebecois friends. Our pastor traveled there frequently for church planting meetings, etc. And, of course, I am a Anne of Green Gables fan. :)

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    1. Yes, many PEI visitors come from all over Canada as well as the U.S. and around the world. I stayed at a B and B with a young woman from Japan on my first visit. Anne is beloved the world over. :)

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  19. My college roommate and I dreamed of having our weddings on PEI (all because of Anne of GG, of course!) I haven't heard of this author or series before. Adding to my TBR list because I must give my roomie a copy for Christmas!
    Dianna

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    1. Oh, a wedding on PEI sounds perfect! Just perfect!

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  20. These look good! I've never been to PEI, but it sure sounds like a place to visit. Thank you.

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  21. Love to visit PEI, I have been to Maine and Canada several times, but haven't made it to PEI yet. This book will want me to visit it even more.

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment - I love reading them! Comments are moderated and I reserve the right to not publish any comment that I find to be offensive (i.e. foul language, inappropriate content, etc.) or spam.

Thanks for stopping by and for commenting! =)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~ Philippians 4:8