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Monday, February 5, 2018

7-Year Blogoversary Party - Character Interview with Cecily from Looking Glass Lies (Varina Denman) + Giveaway!

Hey everyone! Today we have a fun post, as I was able to interview the main character from Looking Glass Lies by Varina Denman -- Cecily. You can check out the character interview below, along with a giveaway. First, though, I'm going to share the book's blurb and a few links to where you can find it. :))

About the book:

A poignant and relatable novel, Looking Glass Lies captures the war women wage against themselves, and the struggle to see beauty reflected in a mirror not distorted by society’s unrelenting expectations.

For most of her adult life, Cecily Ross has compared herself to other women—and come up short. After a painful divorce from her emotionally abusive husband, Cecily returns to her hometown of Canyon, Texas, looking to heal.

But coming home isn’t what she expects. In a town as small as Canyon, her pain is difficult to escape—especially with her model-perfect ex–sister-in-law working at the town’s popular coffee-shop hangout. With help from her father, a support group, and an old friend who guides her to see her own strengths, Cecily may have a shot at overcoming her insecurities and learning to love again.

The true test comes when tragedy strikes, opening Cecily’s eyes to the harmfulness of her distorted views on beauty—and giving her the perfect opportunity to find peace at last.

Find the book on: Amazon, Christian Book, B&N, Goodreads


Welcome, Cecily, to Christian Bookshelf Reviews! I'm so pleased to have this time to chat.

I heard that you moved back to your hometown. What is the best thing, and worst thing, about living in a small town?

Well, the worst thing is that everyone knows everything about me. Oh. My. Goodness. There’s just no getting away from it, no matter how much I try to hide. And to tell you the truth, sometimes people use that knowledge against me, and since I’ve got a tender heart, it hurts. Really badly.

On the other hand, the best thing about living in a small town is … that everyone knows everything about me. It works both ways. Even while there are some people using my past against me, there are many others who love me in spite of (and often because of) my failures and foibles. In a small town, you have no choice but to be transparent, so I’ve chosen to embrace the situation, and roll with it.

Craziest thing you've done or place you have ever been?

Once, when I was living in Los Angeles, my husband took me to a New Year’s Eve party on the roof of a downtown nightclub. I’m embarrassed to tell you the details, but things got pretty wild, and he refused to take me home. It may not sound that crazy, but this small-town girl was way, way, way out of her comfort zone. I get jittery just thinking about it. That night is one of the many reasons he is now my EX-husband.

What's your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is when people lie about insignificant stuff. It’s bad enough to lie about important things, but when I hear people tell lies that don’t even matter, it just seems so pointless. And shallow.

What are three non-essential things you wouldn't want to be without? 

  1. Paper and pen - I like to doodle and journal, and writing down my thoughts helps keep me sane.
  2. Coffee - I wasn’t always a coffee drinker, but in the past few years, I’ve become addicted to caramel honey latte. (Specifically, caramel honey latte from Midnight Oil, the coffee shop in my hometown. Yum yum.)
  3. My bicycle – I can’t even believe I’m saying this, but I love riding my bike. Exercise is a new (very new) thing for me, thanks to my boyfriend, Graham. Our favorite place to ride is Palo Duro Canyon which is like … I don’t know … the MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE ON EARTH, so that might actually be more of a draw than the bike and the exercise. If you haven’t been to Palo Duro? You guys. Go there.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. I Peter 3:3-4

Some this-or-that questions:

Call or Text? Definitely text
Early bird or Night owl? Night owl
Books or Movies? Both
Coffee or Tea? Coffee, or course
Cats or Dogs? Dogs

Thanks so much for being here, Cecily! Is there anything else you'd like to share - maybe a life lesson you've learned?

I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what you’ve been through (or what’s been done to you), you can still love yourself, like yourself, and be a good friend to others. But oh my goodness, it took me a long time to get to this point!

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Melanie. I’ve enjoyed being here!


Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. Her award-winning Mended Hearts series, which revolves around church hurt, is a compelling blend of women’s fiction and inspirational romance. Her latest novel, Looking Glass Lies, released in May. A native Texan, Varina lives near Fort Worth with her husband and five mostly grown children. Connect with Varina on her website or one of the social media hangouts.

Website: https://varinadenman.com 
LGL Amazon link: http://amzn.to/2EDiNuV


Enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Looking Glass Lies, which features Cecily! Giveaway is open to the US and ends February 19th.

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.

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.


  1. Thank you for the great interview! And thanks, too, for reminding all of us that no matter our past, God still loves us and can use us for His glory. And we can rejoice in that!

    1. So true, MH. God loves us for our insides, not our outsides. :)

  2. I’m glad Cecily has found the value of excercise. A bike would give her a chance to see some beautiful scenery or interesting sights! I’m trying to get back into excercises myself. It’s easier if you keep at it rather than pick it up again. Consistency is the key! Thanks for the character interview, they are always fun!

    1. Personally, I fight a constant battle with exercise. I'll be diligent for a short while, then lapse back. Lol. But I always feel better (physically as well as emotionally) when I'm more active. :)

  3. Your book looks so good! Would love to read it!

    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

    1. Thank you, Faith! I hope you enjoy Looking Glass Lies.

  4. I've always lived in my hometown and have no plans to do otherwise. Our town used to be small but living in central Florida, it has grown by leaps and bounds.
    Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
    Janet E.

  5. Fun interview! I liked Cecily's favorite Bible verse. I had to read it twice to make sure it was the character answering the questions, not the author. Are the author's answers similar to Cecily's, except for the wild night, of course?

    1. Hello, Becky, it's good to meet you! Actually my answers would be quite different than Cecily's. Here are some of the differences: My greatest pet peeves are mouth noises of any kind, especially smacking food or gun. UGH! I can't stand it! Also, I'm sensitive to caffeine, so I'm not a coffee drinker (even decaf). I don't ride a bike (too uncomfortable); I prefer typing over pen & paper; I'm an early bird (though I was a night owl when I was younger); and my favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:8-9. I hadn't really thought about how different Cecily is from me. :)

    2. Melanie, thank you so much for inviting Cecily (and me) to visit Christian Bookshelf Reviews. We had a lot of fun with the questions, and it's been nice to get to know some of your beautiful readers. Best of luck to everyone who enters the giveaway!


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

Some of the links in my blog posts, tweets, social media posts, etc. contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
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