Monday, October 6, 2014

Author Spotlight + GIVEAWAY: Victoria Bylin


I am thrilled to welcome Victoria Bylin to The Power of Words today! Vicki is not only a very talented author, but a fun person as well. I enjoyed her recently published contemporary romance, Until I Found You, so much that I wanted to introduce her to my blog readers (click on the title to see my review). Until I Found You is one of my favorites in this genre and I highly recommend it.

Victoria is also graciously sharing a copy of this book with one of you, so please read on for further details.


Q:  Please share briefly about yourself, Victoria. Married with kids? Full-time or part-time writer?

        Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Carole! My husband and I met in high school and have been married for thirty-four years. We have two sons, both married. Our oldest son and his wife just made us grandparents for the first time. Our twin granddaughters arrived this summer and we’re loving it.
        Writing is a full-time occupation for me, but I don’t spend eight hours a day at the computer.  Some of my best ideas come when I’m walking the dog or folding laundry.  I also work part-time job in a doctor’s office. It gives me structure, which I like.


Q:  You've written both historical and contemporary romances. Do you have a favorite and is it difficult to transition from one style to the other?

This is one of the great ironies of my career.  My first love has always been contemporaries. I knew I didn’t have the chops to write the big book of my heart, so I decided to practice on a short western historical. To my amazement, that book sold. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was working on multi-book contracts for Harlequin Historical and Love Inspired Historical. I’m focused on contemporaries now, but I have a couple of ideas for westerns.  Maybe someday!


Q:  A few fun short-answer questions . . .

Describe yourself in one word:  Loyal
Favorite indulgence:   Cheese Danish
Favorite ice cream flavor:  Kroger Brand Caramel Swirl
Book are you currently reading:  Anne Mateer’s Playing By Heart
Favorite hymn:  Be Thou My Vision
Favorite movie:  Witness



Q:  Tell us a little about the book we're featuring today, Until I Found You.

Until I Found You is both a faith journey and romance. The heroine, Kate Darby, seems to have it all . . . until she swerves her car to avoid hitting a California condor and ends up dangling off a cliff.  Nick Sheridan, a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, comes to her rescue. As a new Christian, Nick has taken a vow: No dating for one year. He’s determined to keep that promise but then meets Kate.  I had a blast with these two characters!


Q:  What is something that will draw readers to Nick and Kate?

I’ve been told that Nick and Kate are realistic and relatable. They live in the real world full of choices, conflict and challenges. My hope is that readers will be encouraged by how Nick lives his faith, and how Kate puts her whole heart into the search for a faith of her own.


Q:  Until I Found You seemed different from some other contemporary romances that I've read, Vicki. What do you think sets it apart?

I’ve thought about this a lot, because Until I Found You doesn’t quite fit the mold. It’s a romance,  but Leona and her journal add some women’s fiction elements.  It has some humor, but it’s not a romantic comedy. There’s a little bit of danger, but it’s not romantic suspense. It comes down to this:  The core of the story is Kate’s spiritual journey.  That’s what makes Until I Found You  a little different in both tone and structure.  As much as I love writing romance, my writer’s heart gravitates to the spiritual side of life.


Q:  Quoting from the book, Nick knew that "human strengths often signaled spiritual weaknesses. Independence could turn into lonely isolation." I think this is something many readers can relate to and would love for you to expound a little on those words.

One of my biggest challenges as  Christian is to “let go and let God.”  There’s a song that says, “It’s not in trying, but in trusting.”  I think that’s true.  How many times do we charge ahead in our strength rather than wait on God?  Waiting on God vs. running ahead on my own steam is one of my personal challenges.


Q:  What do you hope your readers will take away from Until I Found You?

First, I hope readers simply enjoy the story.  We can all use a little escape from the ups and downs of life.  Secondly, and most important, I hope readers are encouraged to explore and grow in their faith.


Q:  What stories can we expect from you in the days ahead?

My next book for Bethany House is called Together With You (April 2015).  Like Until I Found You, it looks at the consequences of our modern dating culture.   I had a ton of fun with the heroine.  Carly Mason is a Kentucky woman transplanted to Los Angeles.  Easy research, since  I’m a Californian living in Lexington!  The hero, Dr. Ryan Tremaine, made a mess of his first marriage and wants desperately to reconcile with his sons and daughter, a little girl with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.   The last thing he wants to do is fall in love with nanny . . .


Q:  How can we support and/or pray for you, Victoria?

Prayers for good health, the discipline to get up early, and to stay focused on the story are deeply appreciated.  It’s amazing how tempting it is to wander around Facebook and play games.  I’m so fortunate to be able to do what I do.  It’s a dream come true, and I’m grateful.



____________________


Victoria, it has been a pleasure to have you with us today and I hope many new readers will discover your writing. Please come back when Together With You is published.

Until I Found You can be purchased at CBD, DeeperShopping, Amazon, and B&N.


GIVEAWAY

To enter the drawing for Until I Found You, simply answer ONE of the short-answer questions that I asked Victoria. E-mail address are required for the drawing and be sure to leave them in a safe format - [at] and [dot]. If you're willing, it's also helpful to share about this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter.


Entry question (choose one) . . .
Describe yourself in one word -
Favorite indulgence -
Favorite hymn -

Please "like" my Facebook page, ThePowerofWordsBookReviews, if you haven't already. And new followers of this blog are always welcome!


  • E-mail required, one entry per person. Odds of winning are based on number of entries.
  • Contest ends at midnight PST on Monday, October 13. No purchase necessary.
  • Winner will be chosen by Random.org and contacted by e-mail by Wednesday, October 15. Respond within 48 hours of notification or another winner will be chosen.
  • Eligibility: US/Canadian residents, 18 and older

57 comments:

  1. I've been wanting to read this book! I'd love to be entered in the giveaway.

    My favorite indulgence is chocolate. Anything chocolate really.

    dawn(dot)janis(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I don't think you'll be disappointed when you read this story, Dawn. I also think your answer is going to be very popular! Thank you for visiting today.

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  2. Until I Found You has a title that pulls you in and from this interview, it won't let you go. Sounds like a must read to me!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. I thought the book was very well named, Melanie, and I hope you get to read it soon. Be sure to answer one of the entry questions above. Thanks for visiting today!

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  3. It is so hard to name just one favorite hymn. The Old Rugged Cross is one of them. Amazing Grace is another.
    teachinmomma123abc at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thanks for sharing those, Linda. I've been a church pianist for almost 50 years, so while I love much of today's worship music, I still treasure hymns like the two you mentioned. Thank you for visiting today, Linda.

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  4. Book are you currently reading: Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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    1. Linda, I hadn't heard of that title and looked it up. Wow, I don't believe I could emotionally handle reading it. Would love to know your thoughts when you finish.

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  5. Favorite indulgence - Anything with chocolate, yum!

    This sounds like an awesome read! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy!

    breleeport[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. You and our first commenter have the same taste in indulgences, Bree. I figured there would be a lot of you! Thanks so much for visiting.

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  6. My favorite hymn s Amazing Grace. Favorite indulgence: chocolate. Describe myself in one word: loyal
    My email address is cspicuzza83@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Christina. Great choices! There are many hymns that I treasure, but Amazing Grace just might be my very favorite. And "loyal" is a much-desired characteristic. Thanks for visiting today, Christina.

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  7. This sounds like a great book. My favorite indulgence this time of year is anything pumpkin. More specifically, pumpkin pie blizzards.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

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    1. Excellent choice, Susan - although I'm not sure about a pumpkin pie blizzard! I don't even like pumpkin spice lattes, but I do love pumpkin flavor. My husband has to eat sugar free and I found a crustless pumpkin pie recipe that we enjoy so much that I make it the year round. It's always good to see you here, Susan.

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  8. My favorite hymn is The Lord Will Provide.

    sw33ps0nly at att dot net (that is a 'zero' not an 'O')

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    1. Now that's one I'm not familiar with, G, but I can tell it would be beautiful from the title alone. Thanks for visiting.

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  9. My favorite hymn is I'll Fly Away
    sonflower277 at gmail dot com

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    1. I love I'll Fly Away!! We sang this recently at church when our pastor did a sermon series on heaven. I had a ball playing it on the piano!

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  10. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing stephiek1984 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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    1. Beautiful hymn, Stephanie, with such meaningful words. Thank you for visiting.

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  11. My favorite hymn recently is 'In Christ Alone'.

    I'm normally a historical fiction reader, but have read some great contemporary books recently and am looking forward to Until I found You.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I read a lot of historical fiction also, Patty. However, I've discovered some jewels in contemporary romance recently, and Until I Found You is definitely one of them. Thanks for visiting today.

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  12. My favorite indulgence would be reading and chocolate. A book in one hand & a bag of peanut M&M's in the other.
    Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I knew chocolate would be a favorite answer, Janet. I like M&M's too, but plain for me. Thanks so much for visiting!

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  13. My favorite indulgence... I have to choose one? I really only have a couple, books, and fabric. I love to read, usually on a couch cuddled in a blanket and drinking tea or hot chocolate. Fabric is for my other fun, quilting! :)
    Thank for including me in the fun.
    michellecorning(at)live(dot)com

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    1. Michelle, I love quilts! Replacing a button is as far as my sewing ability goes, but my grandmother loved to quilt and I treasure one she made for me. Quilting bees seem like so much fun, which is probably one reason I enjoy Amish fiction so much. So glad this giveaway includes your area and I appreciate your visit.

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  14. Great interview and review.
    My favorite hymn is Sweet Beulah Land.
    eppersonkatrina(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Oh, what sweet memories that hymn brings back, Katrina! That was a favorite of one of my dear friends, who just happened to have a voice like an angel, and I always got emotional when accompanying her on the piano. Hymns about heaven always get to me.

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  15. My favorite indulgence is a bar of dark chocolate. It satisfies my sweet tooth without ruining my diet! And I only eat once piece at a time.
    Tonja
    Tissakay at aol dot com

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    1. Great idea about dark chocolate, Tonja. I often satisfy my craving with a small York mint. Limiting the amount is definitely important!

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  16. Great review! I just asked the library to also buy this book! My favorite hymn is hard to choose, kind of like a favorite book, there are so many good ones. I would have to say "Count your Blessings" is one of my favorites though! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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    1. It's so good to see you here, Martha! I hope the library is able to get Vicki's book because I think it would be popular. Library budgets are tight here and ours is only open four days a week.

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  17. I would love to read this book.
    Book I am currently reading: Walking on Water by Richard Paul Evans
    donvelma@gmail.com

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    1. Velma, I've been wanting to read more books by Richard Paul Evans, I just can't seem to find the time! I love his writing, though.

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  18. I am currently reading Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah Ladd. Thank you for this chance, I can't to read this one! katie07edgar(at)gmail(dot)com

    Katie Edgar

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    1. Katie, I just started that book a few minutes ago and think I'm going to like it very much. I'm definitely a fan of Regencies.

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  19. Favorite indulgence: iced caramel macchiatos from Starbucks. :) Great interview and thanks for the giveaway!

    writer_weaverATyahooDOTcom

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    1. Oh, I love caramel macchiatos, Anna - although I get mine hot. But my very favorite is the cinnamon dolce latte.

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  20. My favorite hymn is Victory In Jesus. I grew up in north Ga mountains. I love the older hymns and southern gospel music mardox(at)consolidated(dot)net

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    1. Marcy, I wish we could chat sometime because I love southern gospel music so much! And Victory in Jesus has always been a favorite of mine. We actually do an "updated" version of it occasionally during worship and I love playing the piano when we do. Also, I live in Ga and my family came from north Ga. Would love to know where you lived, Marcy.

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  21. I indulge in chocolate everyday!
    rita dot navarre at yahoo dot com

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  22. Enjoyed this interview and the book sounds great. My favorite indulgence is any kind of Blue Bell Ice Cream. Thanks for the givewaway.
    Loraine
    Lpertelt@aol.com

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  23. My favorite hymn is Amazing Grace. I was fortunate to have had it as one of our songs in this morning's service. Ü
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Victoria's book.
    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Cindi, does your church do the arrangement of Amazing Grace that includes the "my chains are gone, I've been set free" part? No matter the version, Amazing Grace is one of the most touching of hymns and such a comfort to me.

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  24. Favorite indulgence - Snicker Brizzards :)
    dkstevensne at outlook dot com

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  25. Delighted to have found your blog on Goodreads! Victoria is a new author to me and look forward to reading her books.
    Quick Answer: Favorite Hymn - It Is Well With My Soul
    sh2rose(at)cox(dot)net

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    1. I'm so glad you found my blog, Sharon! I never know how effective it is to post things there. I try to regularly post reviews and the occasional author interview/giveaway, so please come back. What a message "It Is Well" has...another beautiful hymn that ministers to me.

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  26. I am a bookworm!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  27. My favorite indulgence would be reading or baking. My favorite hymn is How Great Thou Art. I would love to read this book. Victoria is a new author to me. Thanks for having this giveaway and interview. Donna d[dot]brookmyer[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  28. This sounds like it would be a good book to read. My favorite hymn is "I'll Fly Away."

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  29. To describe me in one word is CARING and i love amaing grace

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  30. Favorite indulgence: Salted caramel mochas from Starbucks! Would love to win a copy of this book! rmaney (at)firstarpchurch (dot) org.

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  31. My favorite hymn is Amazing Grace! Shelia Hall sheliarha64@yahoo.com

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  32. To describe myself in one word......loving!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  33. This book sounds interesting! Thanks for the giveaway! :)
    My favorite hymn... well I don't know recently I love Praise You In The Storm by Casting Crowns, but I don't know if that counts.
    sbissonnettes_23 at videotron dot ca

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  34. Until I Found You sounds like such a good read. The title is so romantic! Thanks for sharing this at Mommynificent.com’s Booknificent Thursday! Always enjoy your contributions!
    Tina

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