Monday, October 19, 2015

Interview + GIVEAWAY: Christine Johnson


I am delighted to welcome Christine Johnson to The Power of Words today! Christine is a new author to me and her first book in the Keys of Promise series, Love’s Rescue, is a delight. Key West in the 1850s provides an intriguing and unusual backdrop for a story featuring adventure on the seas, strong family dynamics, and star-crossed lovers. (Please click on the title, Love's Rescue, to see my review.)

Christine is graciously sharing a copy of Love’s Rescue with one of you and the giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian addresses (details at the end of this interview). Now please welcome Christine as she shares a little about herself and her writing.


Q. Please share a little about yourself, Christine.

First of all, I’m delighted to join you here today. Thank you for inviting me!

        I have always loved the water. I grew up looking west across Lake Michigan, seeing the storms approach on the horizon. I now live on Lake Huron part of the year and in the Florida Keys during those months when Michigan lakes are frozen. My husband is a ship pilot, which means he gets on board foreign-flagged ships and directs them safely through his district in the Great Lakes.
        When he worked as a mate aboard a laker (an American ship that stays in the Great Lakes), I made a few trips with him. It’s interesting but definitely not a cruise! He and the rest of the men were busy doing their jobs. I was expected to stay out of the way and entertain myself. Much reading and sewing got done during those trips.


Q. When it comes to ministry, what is your passion?

Definitely women’s Bible study. It’s so important to get in the Word. It’s our guide through this life, our consolation and our encouragement. Studies help develop consistent time with the Lord, something we all need. Studying the Word with my sisters in Christ is a great joy and blessing.


Q. I understand that you split your time between northern Michigan and the Florida Keys. What are your favorite ways to enjoy the beauty of God's creation in each place?

I kayak and bicycle in both places, but I hike mainly in the north. The heat in south Florida can make hiking a bit too taxing. Even when I can’t get outdoors, the songbirds delight me as they hop around in the little wooded area just outside my study window in Michigan. In Florida, I love to look into the ocean at the enormous variety of sea creatures. Sunrise and sunset are spectacular in both locations.



Q. Please tell us a little about the book we're featuring today, Love's Rescue.

After four years away in Charleston, Elizabeth Benjamin is returning to her beloved Key West after her mother’s passing. Driven by guilt that she never lived up to her mother’s expectations, she intends to reform her tomboy ways and take over as mistress of the house. That plan hits the rocks when her ship runs aground on the reef and her rescuer is none other than the man her father despises—and the one her heart can’t forget.


Q. Where did the idea for this book or series originate?

I have long wanted to write a book about the wreckers that operated from Key West back in the 1800s. That industry was a huge part of the area’s history. I tossed around a variety of ideas for years before settling on Rourke and Elizabeth’s story. Creating an honorable wrecker in the midst of a profession that often drew villains was great fun! 


Q. What is there about Rourke and Elizabeth that will draw readers to them?

        Wrecking followed on the heels of piracy in the Keys, and thus drew many of the same types of men. Rourke insists on a strict moral code aboard ship, based on Biblical principles. He takes men into his crew who are discarded or dismissed by society. He will do what is right, even if it goes against the desires of his heart.
        Elizabeth is a feisty woman who hasn’t quite shaken her tomboy childhood. Though she now dons beautiful gowns and the required number of petticoats, she would rather run barefoot through the sand. There’s a bit of that desire for freedom inside all of us.


Q. What faith elements did you weave into this story?

Forgiveness—especially when those closest to us wound us deeply—is the deepest thread. Some characters extend mercy and grace, some struggle to forgive (as do many of us!), and some desperately need forgiveness. When I think on all that Jesus endured for my sake, I’m brought to my knees in gratitude.


Q. What’s on the book horizon for you?

I’m currently in the midst of the second book in the series, Honor Redeemed, and am looking forward to the third book. I’m also beginning a 4-book mail-order bride series with Love Inspired Historical. It’s going to be a busy year or so!


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

Prayers are always welcome. I covet prayers that the Lord will put these stories in the hands of those who need a word or encouragement. Also pray for the Good News to reach into the deepest dark places on this earth.

Thank you for visiting with me today. May the Lord’s light shine upon each one of you.

Carole:  Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today, Christine. And I think all of us avid readers are excited about the books you will be working on over the next year or two. Please come back and visit us again.

You can also connect with Christine online at www.christineelizabethjohnson.comFacebook, and Twitter

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GIVEAWAY

To enter the drawing for Love’s Rescue . . .

1) If you're on Facebook, please go to http://on.fb.me/1XghPYa and share about this giveaway ("likes" to my FB page are not required, but very much appreciated).

2) I asked Christine something that I don’t believe I’ve ever asked any of you, so please answer this question or leave a comment for Christine:

When it comes to ministry, what is your passion?

BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Monday, October 26. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and contacted by e-mail.

Eligibility: US and Canadian addresses

70 comments:

  1. My passion is children. I especially lean towards those that are seen as "at-risk" or unlovable. I so long to show God's love and help them see their worth.
    kathrynlvoss(at)gmail(dot)com

    Shared!!!

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    1. Welcome, Kate! And thank you so much for sharing.

      What a wonderful passion you have, and I can tell that you are gifted for that. My son is grown now, but he has learning disabilities and those childhood years were extremely difficult for him. Bless you for caring, Kate.

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    2. What an awesome ministry, Kate! May God rain blessings on those children. They are much loved and cherished by their Heavenly Father.

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  2. My ministry passions are (1) my children and (2) marriage. I feel it is very important to raise my children up to be vessels for God. I am also part of a blended family so I feel purpose in ministering to remarried couples. I am looking forward to reading Christine's book. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!
    momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

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    1. Hi Loraine! Yes indeed, begin at home. God has placed us where we are for His purposes. I love how you are ministering to those entrusted to our care.

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    2. What a wonderful ministry, Loraine, for children and marriage are the very foundation of society. And blended families are a special need with potentially great rewards. May God continue to bless your ministry, Loraine.

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  3. My passion is my children too. I am homeschooling or unschooling my oldest now next year I am going to have my youngest homeschooled too. I want them to know that they can learn a different way then the schools. Have fun doing their studies. They don't need to have a cut and dry curriculum. We go out to learn about science. Go to museums for history. Either this year or next we are going to learn about Shakespeare and go to see one of his plays.

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    1. Hi Tammy! I love museums! And Shakespeare. Then again, I was an English major in college. Thank you for stopping in today.

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    2. Tammy, you have a wonderful ministry, exactly what's needed by your young ones. And I love the way you are creatively making learning fun! Thank you for sharing today.

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  4. I forgot to do my email mommystuck1(at)optonline(dot)net

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  5. My passion at this stage of life is raising and homeschooling our children and encouraging other mommies. We learn so much about depending on the Lord and the sufficiency of His grace through these years of life with littles.

    Shared on FB... betherin02 {at} gmail {dot} com

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    1. Hi Beth! Very cool that you are encouraging other moms. This is so needed during these years. Together you are stronger. :)

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    2. Beth, I think God uses us in different ways during various seasons of our lives. Your children and the other moms you encourage are of utmost importance during this season, because these years are so fleeting and foundations for life are being laid. May God continue to bless your ministry, Beth.

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  6. "When it comes to ministry, what is your passion?"
    Watching what God is already doing and joining Him ~ putting "Experiencing God" in action. One positive ~ I have been learning to listen. Very beneficial, after years of "hold that thought." Finally, seeing it flow rather than what I might have interjected! God is so awesome. One example is ~ actually two, giving; the Holy Spirit told me I was to give my attic reading room two-seater love seat and two rockers. The other was to pay for the person ahead of me at the grocer. I was so thrilled that I was nudged in advance and was willing ~ the okay tither, but a little stingy offering? Instead, the Lord added to the lady's card when she said she didn't have enough ~ the clerk said she has a balance left over on her card! So awesome to see when she had already said there wasn't enough. God is more than enough! I watched to see who needed the furniture and was able to give. And... looking back that was my word for this year, giving. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

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    1. Our God is amazing! I love to see Him at work, bigger and better than we can imagine. That listening skill is one I still need to hone. Praying on it...

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    2. I'm so blessed - and challenged - by what you shared, Kathleen! That phrase from "Experiencing God" has stuck with me through the years, for we often try to make the process complicated when we just need to open our eyes to needs around us. Thanks for challenging me, Kathleen.

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  7. Forgot to leave my contact ~ lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net Kathleen

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  8. My passion in life, besides my family, is feeding the hungry and working with older adults. I serve on a Hunger Purpose Group and also, volunteer with a local community group that helps those in need. I also believe that our older adults have many stories to share with us and many words of wisdom. We just need to ask them. :-)

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    1. Hi Melissa! You are so right about our elders having stories that need sharing. We can learn so much from them if we just slow down and ask. Bless you for taking the time to listen. Maybe record or write them down??

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    2. Melissa, working with older adults is something my husband and I have enjoyed through the years - and now we're in that precious age group! I just finished a book where senior adults were treasured as "family jewels," which is not always the case. I love Christine's suggestion about recording their stories.

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    3. Great ideas about recording their stories. Before my Daddy passed away in 1998, he started writing down life stories for our son. These are precious memories.

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  9. Women's ministry, to be able to help them in areas of their lives that I can relate to, so they know they aren't the only one that has been through whatever storm they are in or to connect them with someone who has been where they are now.
    karenskrayons(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. This is so important, Karen. We all have a story to tell, one that can help others through tough times. Thank you for sharing today.

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    2. My church has a very good women's ministry, so I know how effective it can be. May God continue to place women in your life who need help and then work through you, Karen.

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  10. I really enjoyed the interview. Thanks so much for the giveaway. Interesting question and one that I've been recently thinking about. As one of your elder readers, I have been called through the years to work in many different areas of ministry. For the past several years my passion has been for those in early adulthood. It's so easy for these people to drift away from God at such a crucial time in their lives. Blessings...
    may_dayzee(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Kay, I love that your passion is for young adults. So often we see teens who have been raised in a Christian home drift away from God after graduation and only come back when they marry and have a child - if they come back at all. I pray God's blessing on your much-needed ministry, Kay.

      And thank you so much for sharing. I have a Pinterest giveaway/bargain board also, so maybe we can follow each other.

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    2. Great ministry, Kay! Those are the years when I had a crisis of faith. Praise God that He drew me back to Him and never gave up. I have no doubt that He spoke through people like you, who have a heart for Him.

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    3. Thanks for the comments, ladies. I was watching Charles Stanley on TV last night. He was talking about how we can so easily miss the opportunities that God gives us, because we aren't paying attention. So true, and so easy to do in our busy lives. Carole, I checked out your Pinterest boards. I am following you :)

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    4. Great reminder, Kay. We are such a hurry-up society. I have certainly been guilty of getting caught up in the rush. For me it takes prayer and constant re-focusing on Jesus throughout the day. Still, there are days...

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  11. I meant to mention that I shared on my Pinterest Book giveaway board :)

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  12. I went to put this book on my wish list and found that I already own it - it is definitely going to the top of my reading list! Kim

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    1. I often find books that I didn't realize I already had, Kim! That just goes with avid readers like us, I guess. Hope you enjoy Christine's book.

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  13. We have a small congregation in our church. Our missions committee consists of me and 2 other ladies. I'm the Treasurer and make our quarterly checks to 12 missionaries. I know that our part is small but I have a passion for wanting to make sure we have enough in our Treasury each quarter for each of them!

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    1. Missionaries are so important in Kingdom work, and they depend on our support. Bless you for ensuring they can continue to spread the gospel around the world.

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    2. Beth, I hope you know how much your passion is appreciated by each of those 12 missionaries you support, for your support is a huge part in their ability to spread the gospel wherever they are. This is something to which I can especially relate because my daughter leads a campus ministry in Germany, starting her 7th year this month, and while she hates the support raising process, God has blessed her through people like you, Beth. May God continue to bless your ministry.

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  14. thanks for the opportunity to read this wonderful novel.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Karen - and best wishes in the drawing.

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    2. Hi Karen! Thank you for stopping by!

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  15. I shared on my FB page. My passion is hurting women who have been abused. Thank you for the chance to win.

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    1. Hi Lucy. Reaching out to women who are hurting is so important and, sadly, so needed. I pray they come to know their heavenly Father's unshakeable love for them.
      Best wishes in the drawing!

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    2. Wow, what a much-needed ministry, Lucy! I'm sure it's heartbreaking and discouraging at time, but God is certainly using you. May God continue to bless your efforts, Lucy. And thank you for sharing on FB.

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  16. I LOVE to encourage others! Thank you for the giveaway.

    I follow via psalm103and138 at gmail dot com
    Shared on my facebook and tagged you

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    1. Hi Caryl! Encouragement is such a gift - and it goes both ways! Thank you for stopping by.

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    2. Caryl, if anyone fits the description of an encourager, it's you! You're always so cheerful and helpful too! So glad to have connected with you online and thank you for sharing like you always do.

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  17. Great interview. I always try to be an encourager and stay positive.

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    1. Hi Melanie! A positive outlook makes such a difference to those we meet throughout the day. Keep spreading the joy!

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    2. Being an encourager is probably more important than you'll ever know, Melanie. Keep being there for people!

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  18. My passion for 36 years has been volunteering in the Church Library. Check out our webpage when you get a chance. www.churchatthemall.com/library
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. What a great service, Janet. As a librarian, I'm thrilled to see libraries in churches. Thank you for stopping by today.

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    2. Janet, I know your passion well and think you're doing an incredible job. Your church is blessed to have room for a library, for I'm sure it meets many needs. Thank you for sharing, Janet.

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  19. When it comes to ministry, my passion is teaching. I love teaching younger girls in the church and working with the youth group. I come up with lots of analogies and metaphors for scripture and biblical truths that makes my lessons a lot more fun and engaging. As a college student, I'm not a whole lot older than the girls I teach, but I love forming relationships with them and being able to mentor them and teach them the things I've learned since I've been in their spot. Mdp94 (at) bellsouth (dot) net

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    1. So glad to hear about your ministry, Morgan! I also taught young teens when I was in college and I don't think the closeness in age matters. They need someone who understands and will listen - and it sounds like you're doing some creative things they can relate to. Thank you so much for sharing, Morgan.

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    2. That's an awesome ministry, Morgan! We all need mentors to help us on the journey, and they can come in all ages. I love how you're using the gifts and passion that the Lord gave you. Be blessed.

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  20. Right now we have started helping in a church that is just starting. It's wonderful to have people from all walks of life to come in and received what God has for them. My passion is praying with them in the alter.
    grandmama_brenda(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Prayer is so important! What a blessing to be part of a new church that is reaching out to the community. Praise God!

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    2. Brenda, we have people who do that at our church and it always means so much to those who come forward. I pray that God will bless the growth of you church, as well as you ministry.

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  21. I have never read any of her books before but I hope to change that soon!
    ~Charis Z.
    gracelz1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Charis! Be blessed.

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    2. If you enjoy historical fiction, I think you will like Christine's book, Charis. Thank you for visiting.

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  22. Marriage, family & the home are what I am passionate about. Also prayer. :)

    I shared on FB. I am so looking forward to reading this novel!

    sydneyjames68[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Sydney! You're always so good to help. And I didn't realize until this morning that Singing Librarian Books was your blog. You'll have to tell me where the "singing" comes in sometime.

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    2. Perfect places to hold in your heart, Sydney. Thank you for sharing on FB!

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  23. My passion is for abused children. I am a survivor of childhood abuse and know the effects it can have on children.

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    1. Deana, some of the most effective ministries come from those who have survived rough times. Thank you for allowing God to use you to bless others.

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    2. I have to echo Carole. Thank you for letting God turn the bad into something good by ministering to those who need your unique ability to understand.

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  24. Thank you for sharing with us at #JoyHopeLive!

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  25. My passion is children in foster care.

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