Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sit-Down with Johnnie Alexander #Giveaway

Howdy y'all! Crystal Barnes here and I've got another fun interview lined up for you. Johnnie Alexander is with us today and she brought a book to giveaway. Let's here more about it.

Welcome to Stitches Thru Time, Johnnie. For those of us who don't have the privilege of knowing you, tell us a bit about yourself.
I believe that God can grant even the most outlandish dream in an unexpected way, and that life—my life anyway—is a series of seasons.
For many years, I joked (and my children teased me) about wanting an alpaca. A pipe dream for someone living in Florida suburbia. But life shifted, and I moved to Tennessee and a few months later I co-owned not one alpaca but twelve.
While settled here, a four-acre secluded place we affectionately call The Keep, I’ve done things I’ve never done before: pushed a hog into a dog crate, discovered newborn baby bunnies, disposed of a chicken carcass, witnessed my eight-pound papillon Rugby tree a raccoon, cleaned up the afterbirth of an alpaca baby.
Now I’m preparing for a new season. The alpaca herd has been sold, and sometime next year I’ll return to the Sunshine State. One of my daughters is there with her family—including three growing-up- too-fast grandsons. Another daughter is in Arizona with my two adorable granddaughters. And I have a son who is a youth minister in Tulsa.

That's so cool. :) Don't you love how God's plans far exceed our own?
All that and a new book releasing! Congratulations by the way! What is your story about?
When Love Arrives picks up shortly after the first novel in the Misty Willow Series, Where She Belongs, ends. The second story features Brett Somers, the handsome rival for the affections of the heroine in the first story.
Tired of meaningless relationships, Brett wants to live a different type of life, but he’s not sure how to go about it. Enter Dani Prescott, unemployed and practically destitute, who is unlike any of the voluptuous blondes Brett prefers. Dani is stalking Brett because she knows something he doesn’t—her mother piloted the plane that crashed when they were children, killing all on board including Brett’s parents.
Neither expects to fall in love, but despite his best intentions Brett can’t stay away from Dani. But will he be able to forgive her for not telling him the truth?
“The theme of redemption from regret is written well,” said the Romantic Times reviewer who awarded the story 4 stars.

Where did you get the inspiration for your story? 
It’s so easy for me to answer this type of question about my first two novels, but not for this one. At first all I knew was that Brett would be the hero. Certain events were already in motion, of course, since this is the second book in a series. Those events deeply affect Brett so that he wants to change.
In brainstorming a “meet cute,” I decided the heroine wanted to get back at Brett for something. But what? My first premise didn’t work at all, then I wrote about 70,000 words with a second premise even though I knew it wasn’t working either.
I was walking the pasture, praying and thinking, thinking and praying, when the obvious solution appeared. Dani’s mom died in the same plane crash as Brett’s parents—her mom was the pilot—Brett had publicly maligned her mom in an interview that went viral—Dani wants to humiliate him.
Here’s the odd thing. I established in Where She Belongs that Brett’s parents died in the plane crash. So did the parents of that story’s hero. Why? Because I didn’t want their parents around to clutter up the pages and dying in an automobile accident seemed a cliché. I never dreamed how important that plane crash would be!

What do you hope folks will take away from your story?
We can’t change the past but thanks to God’s grace and His steadfast love, our past doesn’t have to define us.

Amen to that. A wonderful point. Do you have a favorite scene in the book? If so, can you tell us a bit about it?
This has been such a hard question to answer because I love so many of the scenes. I’ve finally settled on this one:
Brett is deeply hurt and angry when he discovers Dani had secretly photographed him the evening they met. After throwing her camera to the floor, he storms out and confronts his own failings. His cousin’s seven-year-old stepdaughter-to-be joins him. She helps Brett memorize a verse she learned a couple of years before after her father died.
It’s such a sweet and tender moment, and we see a vulnerable side of Brett that he doesn’t show too often.

Sounds like a lovely scene. Thanks for sharing with us. What do you plan to work on next? 
What Hope Remembers, the third Misty Willow novel, is in the editing stage and will release in May 2017.
My next writing project may be a historical or a contemporary—I just don’t know yet! I also have a great idea for a screenplay, and I’d like to devote time to it.

Screen play? Wow. Where can readers connect with you? Where can readers buy your book(s)?
I hang out most on Facebook but I’m around other places, too. Please join me!

Visit my Bookstore page for links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors, and other online retailers. table/

Last but not least, apart from writing, what is your favorite creative outlet?
I have none. I read. And I write. That’s it.
Sure, I have unfinished cross-stitch projects, a crocheted string, a knitted mass of yarn, a barely begun latch hook rug. Do I stick with any of these endeavors? Nope!
And yet! God has blessed me with the renewing of a dream I’d given up on—to compete in dog obedience and agility trials. My one-year-old collie, Griff, and I are taking our first basic obedience class. And it is so much fun!

That's so cool. Thanks so much for sharing with us today.

All right, folks. Johnnie has graciously offered to give away a copy of When Love Arrives to one of this post's commentors. (The winner to be announced in the Weekly Windup post.) So, since Johnnie has mentioned multiple dreams God has brought to fruition in her life, let's talk about your dreams. What great things has God done for you and your families?


  1. The 'meet cute' is always a favorite part of mine to read.

    All the best with the dog obedience and agility trials.

    1. Hi, Mary. Thanks for the good wishes. I think Griff and I have the sit and down commands mastered, but he still has way too much fun pulling the afghan off the back of the chair. Good thing that's not part of judging!

  2. Johnnie, thank you for sharing. Yes, God does work in mysterious ways. God has protected our family at various times, especially one member who is in law enforcement. God provided over and over when He directed me to return to college for my MS in counseling. I'm so thankful for God's grace, mercy, love and blessings daily. I look forward to reading the Misty Willow series.

    1. Hi, Marilyn. Thank you for sharing about God's protection and provision. He prepares our path before us--and it's so humbling and wondrous. Are you still working on your degree? Wishing you the best in your studies and your career.

  3. Thank you for sharing, Johnnie. It sounds like you have a very full and exciting life and isn't it wonderful that God is with us every step of the way!

  4. Crystal, thank you for having me as today's guest. This was a fun interview for me, and I love the discussion question.

  5. Just a clarifying note: When Love Arrives releases on September 20th so I'll mail the giveaway winner a copy as soon as I have one.

  6. Enjoyed the time with Johnnie. I love her books and I am really looking forward to reading this one. The latest thing of many things that God has done has opened the way for me to retire from full time employment and opened up the part time job I now have in my church office.

    1. Hi, Ann. Your encouragement and support are so precious to me. I'm glad we've connected. And yay for retirement! I just know you're a blessing to your church office.

  7. This was wonderful! Thank you!
    The Lord has done great things in my life this year! I'm comfortably settled in my job and I am reconnecting with family after years of estrangement.

    1. Aw,Tiffany. Praise God for those blessings. Saying a prayer for you right now.

  8. Such a nice interview. I really loved the first book in this series and am so happy the second one is releasing soon. Raising four children into young adulthood has been a journey, but one with so many blessings. I never dreamed an almost empty nest could look so good!

    1. Rebecca, your comment made me smile. It's been a few years since my youngest left home, and it's such a bittersweet time. Sad and yet delightful. Enjoy!

  9. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband of 47+ years, a loving daughter and a 2 1/2 year old granddaughter that I never thought I would have. I enjoyed brinco a farmwife and then, a career as a públic librarian. My life hasn't always been easy and it hasn't been perfect but, through it all. I have known that I was never alone.

    1. Connie, I love what you said--you were never alone. God's steadfast love surrounds us always (and that's a promise I hold onto). Congrats on that darling toddler. Grandchildren are such a joy.

  10. I wanted to be a Bible teacher when I was younger, but God didn't just give me that dream but a publishing company too. His dreams are bigger than we can imagine. My family and I publish the books we write and we have an online magazine. Some dreams are still tucked away in my heart, but I trust God to make them come true. So grateful for what He can do in our lives!