Monday, October 11, 2010

Welcome Bethany House author Lisa Wingate!

by Lisa Wingate
It’s hurricane season again.

Here in Texas, we’re hurricane veterans, although Central Texans like me are on the receiving end of hurricane chaos, not the evacuating end. During the crazy, disorganized evacuations that followed Rita and Ike, literally thousands of evacuees made their way here.

In the Wingate family, we became the recipients of numerous family members, traveling on what we have lovingly come to call “hurrications.” There simply is no easy and orderly way to move thousands of people inland and no way to ensure that evacuees abandon homes and businesses on the coast in time to reach shelter before the storm closes in. During every evacuation, some people are trapped in their homes, and some are simply trapped on the road, at the mercy of strangers and the storm. These exoduses of people, pets, and belongings have been frightening, frustrating, challenging, and at times oddly wonderful. When so many are on the road seeking shelter, the worst, but also the best qualities of humanity come to the surface.
In our own family, we’ve enjoyed amazing moments of friendship, family reunions, and chances to share a food and space with strangers from other places. We’ve traded stories and recipes, laughter and tears.

The idea for my February, 2011 book from Bethany House, Never Say Never, literally blew in on the wind with evacuating Wingates. One thing we have learned about hurricanes is that the paths are never predictable. Storms waver, hesitate, speed up, slow down, and sometimes change course unexpectedly. Evacuations can change and develop quickly.

What better way for my three favorite girlfriends from the fictional town of Daily, Texas to break out of a rut, than for a trip to the coast to land them smack in the middle of a sudden and chaotic hurricane evacuation?

If that doesn’t break the girls out of their rut, nothing will!

There’s an underlying theme in Never Say Never that applies to more than just hurricanes. The book is not only about the fact that we really are, at times, our brother’s keepers, but it’s also a story about letting go of plans and preconceived notions about who we are and what our lives should be. Sometimes when a storm blows us off course, when we think we’re completely lost, we’re really not lost at all. Often we find that we’re right where God wants us to be.

For more information about Never Say Never or any of my books, stop by my e-home away from home, I’m also on Facebook and Youtube, of course. Isn’t everybody? By signing up for the newsletter on, you can enter a monthly drawing for a free autographed book and receive occasional notes about upcoming happenings, new books, speeches and appearances, contests, and anything else that’s newsworthy in Daily, Texas or in the real world.

I love sharing my cyber-porches with friends who also know the joy of living within a story, then sending it out into the world. To see all 15 books and purchase books go to

Right now, I’m also running a really fun Ultimate Girlfriend Getaway contest, in which a lucky reader will win a getaway weekend for two in the lovely, historic riverboat town of Jefferson, Texas. The best thing about this getaway is that it happens during the wildest, most exciting book event of the year, the Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend, AND the getaway package includes two passes to Girlfriend weekend.

This year Pat Conroy, Fannie Flagg and Rick Bragg will be the keynote speakers, and they’ll be sharing space with over fifty other authors, including, of course, Lisa Wingate!

I’m thrilled to 2011 Girlfriend Weekend author and a selection for the massive Pulpwood Queens network of book clubs, which now includes over 350 chapters from all over the world. To find out about the contest, or to enter, go to!
Happy reading and writing, everyone!


SERIOUS QUESTION OF THE DAY: What crazy thing caused you to break out of a rut?

NON-SERIOUS QUESTION OF THE DAY: If you were trapped in a house for an extended period (let's say, three days) without electricity, what three people would you want trapped with you? Besides good-tasting non-perishable foods, what three items would be on your "must have" list? Leave a comment with an e-mail addy (your name at e-addy dot com)  for a chance to win a copy of NEVER SAY NEVER.

Lisa Wingate is a magazine columnist, inspirational speaker, and the author of fourteen mainstream fiction novels, including the national bestseller, Tending Roses, currently in its thirteenth reprint. Her books have been featured selections for Doubleday and Literary Guild book clubs, selected for The Reader's Club of America, have garnered LORIES Best Fiction and Reader's Choice Awards, and been nominated for the ACFW Book of the Year Award. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. Her most recent books include The Summer Kitchen (Penguin) and Never Say Never (Bethany House).


Kai Miller floats through life like driftwood tossed by waves. She's never put down roots in any one place--and she doesn't plan to. But when a chaotic hurricane evacuation lands her in Daily, Texas, she begins to think twice about her wayfaring existence. And when she meets hometown-boy Kemp Eldridge, she can almost picture settling down in Daily--until she discovers he may be promised to someone else. Daily has always been a place of refuge for those the wind blows in, but for Kai, it looks like it will be just another place to leave behind. Then again, Daily always has a few surprises in store--especially when Aunt Donetta has cooked up a scheme.


  1. Oh goodness, I shudder to think of being in a house without electricity for three days. My aunt recently moved to Texas, and we informed her that she needed to have an evacuation plan. She had no idea. gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

  2. Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by and joining us today. Book sounds great. I live in Virginia Beach, but in 18 years, we've never had a mandatory evacuation. I think two or three times they've evacuated just the homes within a few blocks of the beach. But those storms do have a way of slowing everything down. They are good neighborhood bonding times too.

  3. My max has been 10 days without electric and the thing that bothered me the most was not being able to vacuum up the dog hair! It was in March after an Ice storm. We turned it into an adventure!

    Lisa, can I have those days alone? or do I have to pick companions? With my manuscript printed out and some candles, I could do some serious editing!
    Thanks for coming over to Inktropolis. We've never lost "power" here!
    Your giveaway is amazing! I'd never heard of the Pulpwood Queens.

  4. Even though I grew up most of my life in Oklahoma, I didn't experience many tornadoes. Of course, my child #2 loves to brag that she slept through the dreadful May 3rd tornado that ripped through Oklahoma City.

    Anyhoo, last night as I was looking at your (Lisa's) website and thinking how fun attending your get-away would be, I decided "why not enter the drawing?"

    So, Inkies and followers, I encourage you to check out Lisa's getaway page on her blog and enter her prize drawing. Who knows? You might win!

  5. Hey Lisa, talk about a roller coaster existence.

    Here on the prairies, we face tornadoes. Usually they come up so fast, though, an evacuation isn't possible and all you can do is hide in your cellar/basement.

    My only first-hand experience with a tornado was back in 95 when I was 7 months pregnant and woke at 5 am for the inevitable trip to the bathroom and happened to look out the window. There wasn't much sound, but it was so weird because about halfway up, all the trees were bent over parallel to the ground. I awoke the family and we huddled together under a blanket (to protect from glass) in a corner of our ground floor bedroom. My pregnancy was high-risk and I refused to crawl down into the cellar in case I went into labour. The wind raged for close to 20 mins. When it was over, one neighbour's garage was lifted up and moved about 40 ft away. The streets were 3 ft deep in branches and debris. Our chimney cracked and shifted. And a tree took out a portion of my FIL's kitchen. But, no one was injured.

    Because the wind sheared off the top half of all the trees, it was designated a 'plow wind' instead of a tornado. I believe the damage would've been greater had it been an official tornado with a touchdown.

    Thanks for joining us today.

    Anita Mae.

  6. Lisa, your book sounds wonderful! Thanks so much for joining us today on the Inkwell.

    I am still in shock over Anita's story. How scary! I've been in some incredible storms -- and hid under a matress during a tornado -- but that was close, Anita. Phew.

    If I were stuck for 3 days without electricity, as much as I'd like to be stuck with a massage therapist and a stack of books, I'd want to be with my family. I guarantee we'd be playing board games but I like Deb's idea of a candle and my manuscript.

  7. Okay Lisa thanks for sharing today. The serious question answer for me God has a way of shaking things up. I think that lately having a new found relationship has been the biggest thing that has gotten me out of my rut. The non-serious answer is I think I would love to be trapped in a house with Dina, my best friend Esther and my friend from church Julie. It would definitely be an interesting experience.

  8. Lisa, what a great story. Usually when you live so far away from all of the action you tend to think of Tragedy. So much lost. But you put it so nicely when you said "maybe you are exactly where God wants you to be." That is so true. Thank you for giving me that beautiful reminder that there is a plan out there for all of us, even if it's not what we think it should be. Thanks so much. Micole

  9. Really fun post!
    We lost electricity after a winter storm a few years ago. So my five kiddos plus one exchange student from Brazil and myself went over to my mother in laws's- my husband was out of town- and I discovered crocheting again. It was awesome!


Share This Post

How Our Giveaways Work: The Official Rules

We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.