Monday, June 23, 2014

Author Spotlight + GIVEAWAY: Judy Christie

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to the talented Judy Christie - author, consultant, and fellow southern girl! Some of you may already be familiar with Judy's Green stories, a five-book series which began with Gone to Green. She has started a new series set in a small Louisiana town, and the first book is Sweet Olive (please see my review here). I loved the small-town setting and storyline - and the characters were wonderful! Judy excels at small-town settings and characterization, and I highly recommend her writing. I also think you will learn some very interesting things about her in this interview.

Judy is graciously giving a copy of Sweet Olive to one of you; details are at the bottom of this post.

Q:  Now, Judy, share a little about your life and family with us.

Greetings from Louisiana! I confess I’m a word nerd but didn’t write my first novel until I turned 50. I’ve kept a journal since sixth grade and still have all of them. I was the editor of my elementary-school newspaper and grew up to be a journalist, was the state champion typist in high school, went to the White House for lunch with Nancy Reagan (ate off the Eleanor Roosevelt china), write snail-mail letters almost daily and drove to the library the moment I got my drivers’ license. I’ve been chased by a monkey, gone piranha fishing on the Amazon, enjoy seeing movies with my middle-school teacher husband and adore my four grandchildren.

Q:  You've been described as "author and coach." Please tell us a little about the coach part.

I help busy people slow down and enjoy life more—whether they are in the midst of a job transition, a family change or any other convergence of stressful circumstances.  My work is as varied as my clients but the common thread is helping folks step back and take a fresh look at life and work and how to make needed changes, setting and meeting goals. I also help businesses and nonprofits go from “ideas to implementation.” I coach one-on-one and at retreats.

Q:  As a resident of Georgia, I have long enjoyed southern fiction and love your writing. How do you "write fiction with a Louisiana flavor"?

Thank you so much!  Louisiana is a fascinating state, rich with characters, settings and its own intriguing personality. I enjoy weaving those things into each novel, all set in fictional Louisiana towns. I take a few beignets or biscuits, a porch swing, the scent of a southern flower and mix with the quirks, tension and love that flow through most of our lives.

Q:  Tell us about the Trumpet & Vine series and how the book we are featuring today, Sweet Olive, fits in with its characterization, etc.

At the corner of Trumpet & Vine in Samford, Louisiana, lives intersect. “Sweet Olive” features a group of rural folk artist, a  rundown duplex on the corner and an oil-and-gas exec who must convince the artists to lease their mineral rights—but finds herself more interested in their artwork … and their attorney.

Q:  Describe Sweet Olive in five adjectives.

(As a word person, I LOVE this question—could be used in planning a book or in life coaching.)


Q:  I loved the artists' community and its "quirky" characters. Did any particular artist tug at your heart?

I’m so happy you liked the artists’ community. I had such a good time creating those colorful houses and the artists who live there. Ginny Guidry is a favorite. She has such a good heart and is a creative leader. I like the symbolism in her whirligigs--inspired by art I saw in Wilson, N.C., years ago, by the way.

Q:  One of Sweet Olive's themes seems to be the contrast between greed and trusting God to provide, illustrated by the offer of oil company cash.  Any thoughts on that, and is this a frequent problem today in areas where the land is rich with oil?

Living in an area rich with oil, I’ve been struck by how hard it is to know the right thing to do. Many people need the money, and it’s not a clear-cut decision, no matter how much they love their land. I’m drawn to generous people and to people who struggle to do the right thing. The artists in “Sweet Olive” are like that.

Q:  What type of books do you write in addition to contemporary fiction?

The “Hurry Less Worry Less” nonfiction series, including “Hurry Less Worry Less for Families” and “Hurry Less Worry Less at Christmas.” These books are filled with tried-and-true tips about how to slow down and enjoy life more—from my own journey and interviews with ordinary people with great ideas.

Q:  Many people struggle with too much "busyness" in their lives. What are three of your favorite tips on how to hurry less and worry less?

1) Don’t be afraid to say “no.” When you say “no” to one thing, you say “yes” to something else.
2) You can’t do everything. Use your time and energy on What’s Most Important to you. Don’t overschedule.
3) Expect things to go well and deal with snags if they come along. (Say “goodbye” to Murphy’s Law!) You’ll find yourself much happier.

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

My 8th novel, “Magnolia Market” releases on September 23 from HarperCollins Christian Publishing, and I confess I really like the main character, Avery Broussard. She finds that fresh starts aren’t all they’re cracked up to be when she tries to buy a fancy boutique and winds up running a bedraggled grocery store at the corner of Trumpet & Vine. Love and friendship help her find her way.

Q:  What are some ways we can support and encourage you, both personally and as an author, Judy?

Blogs like this are such a generous gift. I love readers and will hug you if you’ll recommend my books to a friend! I enjoy visiting with readers in all sorts of ways—to book clubs in person or on Skype, on my blog at (please leave a comment). We’re celebrating the 3rd annual Kitchen Couch Summer Reading Club on my blog with prizes! You can also email me, tweets @judypchristie and say hi on Facebook (judychristie). Reader reviews on Amazon, and other book sites are very helpful to all writers, too. Prayers are always welcome too!

That’s it for now! Thank you so much!


Judy, it has been so good to have you with us this week! You're very warm, outgoing, and funny, and that definitely comes through in your writing. I hope you will gain many new readers and I pray God's continued blessing on you and your family as you share what God puts on your heart.

Readers, to enter the drawing for Sweet Olive, simply leave a meaningful comment based on the interview or a question for Judy, along with your e-mail address in a safe format (simply commenting "I'd like to read this book" does not quality!) If you're willing, it's also extremely helpful to share about this interview/giveaway on Facebook.

Please "like" my Facebook page, The Power of Words Book Reviews, 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 on Sunday, June 29. No purchase necessary.
  • Winner will be chosen by and contacted by e-mail on Monday, June 30. Respond within 48 hours of notification or another winner will be chosen.
  • Eligibility: US residents, 18 and older


  1. Thank you for your comments on too much "busyness" in life. It is a constant struggle, & most times people look at you very weird when you say "no". Your "Gone to Green" series was encouraging in that the characters were very "real". Thank you!

  2. Thank you for your interview comments on the busyness of life & the importance of saying "no". My husband & I try to limit extra curricular activities but are often pressured to say "yes" instead of "no". Learning to balance life is a constant learning experience! Your "Gone to Green" series was so "REAL" & thus enjoyed greatly by me. Thank you!

    1. Jojo, I share with you in that struggle to maintain the right balance, as I figure most people do. I'd like to read Judy's non-fiction writing now. Thank you for visiting and commenting, but please leave your e-mail in order to be entered in the drawing.

  3. Being an Artist at Heart, this sounds interesting to me. Many lessons in trusting the Lord for sure.
    Linda Finn

    1. Linda, I think you will enjoy the characters in Judy's book, especially the artists' community. I hope you get to read it soon. So glad to see you here!

  4. Having never read a Judy Christie book I find myself drawn to this one. I love books with characters who are a bit "off the wall" and I like the theme she talked about of when does trusting God's provision spill over into greed. I look forward to reading this!

    1. Pam, I think you will love the artists' community in Sweet Olive. And their conflict between holding on to their land vs. selling for much-needed money is so very real. Thank you for visiting, Pam.

  5. Your Southern living sounds so neat I love your enthusiasm
    Please have a terrific week
    God bless you

    1. Good to see you, Chris! There's just something special about southern fiction when it's written by a southern gal like Judy.

  6. Hurry less, worry less... What a great idea! :) I like the idea behind the group of artists already. And your cover is beautiful. :) Thanks for the giveaway!


    1. Most of us seem to stay too busy, Anna! Judy has some great tips, and simple to follow. Thank you for visiting today.

  7. I like books set in the south! I'm also at an age when I'm having to say "no" more often. The books sounds great. jarning67athotmaildotcom

    1. Joan, the older I get, the easier I find it to say "no"! Maybe it's an age thing, LOL! Thanks for visiting today and please come back.

  8. Such a fun interview, Carole. Love "meeting" new readers. Hope you're all having a great week! Judy

  9. Being a small-town girl (town of 700, 11 of them in my family) I am always enchanted reading about other small towns. And if there is a small town church involved, so much the better. I believe that it is in the small town where a person can flourish, be nourished like no where else. Am looking forward to reading this.

    1. You remind me of my dad's family! He lived in a small north Georgia town and had 8 brothers and sisters - whereas I'm an only child and live in the metro Atlanta area. Maybe that's why I'm drawn to small-town stories!

  10. a great posting///thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  11. I enjoyed the "Gone to Green" series. Will be reading the new series also. I love Louisiana. My husband has a cousin near New Orleans and we love to visit.

  12. I appreciate your comments on saying no. That has always been one of my faults. I loved your Gone to Green series and look forward to reading the new one. I love book set in Louisiana.

  13. I enjoyed your "busyness" tips. I have found that saying 'no' isn't as hard as it used to be, for me.
    I must admit that I have not read any of your books before. Would you please recommend which one I should start with?
    Thanks in advance.


    1. Cindi, I'm not sure Judy saw your comment. I would recommend either starting with Sweet Olive or Gone to Green, as they are both first in a series. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

  14. I loved the EEERS (adjectives) that you used to describe Sweet Olive and I agree that they could be used for motivation. I also love the setting for this new book. Judy, thanks for letting us get to know you through this interview and thanks also for this giveaway.
    Connie Saunders

  15. Yes, we are all too busy and need to know when to say no. It would be nice to smell the roses once in a while!

  16. I love the "Green" series. I can't wait to read the new series.

  17. After reading this interview I realize that I definitely need to read this book! I love that Judy describes herself as a "word nerd". I feel that I certainly fit into the same category. I've always been fascinated with the idea of southern culture (maybe because I'm from Ohio).

    I also like the concept of the nonfiction book, "Hurry Less Worry Less at Christmas". I feel that people often get caught up in being busy during the holiday season and they lose track of the real meaning behind the holiday. Every year I try to step back and pace myself because I want to enjoy the true spirit of Christmas.

    Thank you for a lovely interview and an introduction to a "new to me" author!


  18. Thanks for the enjoyable interview, Judy and Carole!! I loved learning more about you, your writing journey, and your books, Judy!!

    I love small towns - was raised on a farm just outside a small town and have lived in large cities in other states, but am once again residing in that small town only 2 miles where I was raised. I also love books about small towns - haven't read any of your books, Judy, and appreciate the opportunity to read "Sweet Olive"!!


  19. P.S. I shared this post on Facebook!!

  20. Great post! Thank you!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  21. Congratulations to our winner, Bonnie Roof! I'm glad you will have the opportunity to discover Judy's writing, Bonnie.

    Thanks also to all who entered. I hope those of you who haven't read any of Judy's books yet will pick one up soon.

    And Judy, it has been a pleasure to have you with us this week! I love your writing style and the type of stories you write. Please come back soon.