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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blog Tour - Sherri Sand and Leave it to Chance

I had the privilege of "meeting" this author via email and through my husband after she visited David C. Cook one day a little over a month ago to see the office of the publisher for her book. As Cook rebuilds their fiction line once more, they are developing some new talent and unique stories through the books they're acquiring. Sherri's first book is one of them. And you'll learn about it today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sherri Sand is a wife and mother of four young children who keep her scrambling to stay ahead of the spilled milk. When she needs stress relief from wearing all the hats required to clothe, feed and ferry her rambunctious brood, you'll find her sitting in a quiet corner of a bistro reading a book (and surrounded by chocolate). Then to elude that calorie consumption you might see her running on the trails throughout Eugene, a city considered to be the running capital of the world. Sherri is a member of The Writer's View and American Christian Fiction Writers. She finds the most joy in writing when the characters take on a life of their own and she becomes the recorder of their stories. She holds a degree in psychology from the University of Oregon where she graduated cum laude.

Sherri's blog: http://sherrisand.blogspot.com/

LEAVE IT TO CHANCE
by Sherri Sand
Published by David C. Cook

ABOUT THE BOOK

Single mom of three, Sierra Montgomery is desperate to find a new job to keep from having to move back home and be smothered to death by her mother's good intentions and overbearing love. So when Sierra inherits Chance, a quirky old gelding she doesn’t have a clue what to do with, she thinks her best bet may be to sell the horse to cover another month's rent—a decision that devastates her children.

Enter Ross Morgan, a handsome landscaper who just happens to have an empty barn and fenced pasture...perfect for an old horse to live out his days as the pet of three wounded kids. Ross develops a soft spot for eldest child Braden...and he just might have one for Braden's mother. But what he doesn't have is time for distractions—he's got a landscaping business to run.

But Sierra has a secret. She's terrified of horses and—thanks to her past—wary of attractive men. Yet seeing the way her angry son idolizes Ross and adores that old horse forces Sierra to confront her fears. Will she remain distrustful and self-reliant, or will she seek help from God and those who love her?

PERSONAL REVIEW

From the moment I saw the cover, I knew this was a book I would love to read. And I was right. At first glance, it appears that Chance is the man on the cover, when in fact it's the horse! The antics of Chance kept me laughing all the way through, and I suspect any woman reading this who loves horses will feel the same.

Sierra's plight with her three children will be one that grabs you from the start. You struggle along with her as she faces financial difficulties and decisions that might devastate her children. Then, Ross Morgan enters the picture with what appears to be the perfect solution. Trouble is, Sierra can't get over her past...or her fear of horses.

Sherri has established an engaging and heartwarming story with a writing style similar to that of bestselling author Karen Kingsbury or Deborah Raney. With perfect blend of humor and genuineness, this story will keep you turning the pages to the very end. Even then, you'll want to read more. Here's hoping for a book 2 to be out soon!

Buy your copy of Leave it to Chance today!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

I have four children of my own, and as a writer, I have such a vivid imagination. I can always come up with the most gut-wrenching conclusions to the most innocuous circumstances involving my kids. That makes it hard to let go and trust. But how much control do we actually have over every day life? I also love horses, and desperately wanted one as a child. So, I set out to write a story about children, a mischievous horse and trusting God.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What traits became theirs and theirs alone?

They came to me. When I saw Sierra, I knew she was a mom who deeply loved her kids and wanted the best for them. Elise was so fun to write with her over-the-top ways. When she drove up to Sierra's and pushed her ooga horn, I knew I was going to love her. And Sid is such a dear and reminds me so much of my father-in-law, Art. And Ross, how could you not love him?

3. What themes exist in Leave it to Chance that you hope the reader sees?

The theme of forgiveness played a significant role, though I didn’t consciously implement it into the novel. Just like most of us living in this fallen world, there have been a couple of significant events in my life that I had difficulty forgiving. I finally realized that if I waited until I felt like forgiving, it would never happen. And I desperately needed to forgive. The bitterness was choking the life out of me. So with God's help and through His grace I made the choice to forgive and forgive and forgive. I wish I could say that there was instant peace and joy. Though I think that can happen for people when they forgive, I'd lived in unforgiveness for so long that I had to continually make a choice to forgive until the freedom came. And when that freedom came, it was a wow moment for me!

Another theme is that of proving your worth. Our world is performance driven. How often do we praise others without attributing it to something they've done? Even with our children, we praise how well they unloaded the dishwasher or drew a picture or minded us. It's difficult to find the words to value people for who they are, apart from anything they do. For most of my life, performance colored my relationship with God. I could not wrap my mind around the concept that He loved me despite less than perfect behaviors.

4. What was your most difficult part to write with this book?

The editing. I wrote and rewote and rewrote and then my agent sold it to David C. Cook who hired an amazing editor to reshape it. It was tough. Spent a lot of time sending up SOS prayers!

5. What is next in the writing line for you?

I've started a collaboration series that I'm really excited about. I met with my agent and another writer a couple weeks ago to brainstorm and do some character development. It's going to be a lot of fun to write.

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Thanks, Sherri, for joining us and being in the spotlight.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE copy of Leave it to Chance.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post. Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname dot.com/net) or that it's available for viewing in your blogger profile. Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

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OTHER STOPS ON THE TOUR

Blog Tour Spot

Camy's Loft

Chatter Matters

A Christian Romance Writer's Journey

Cliffy's Mom’s Blog

Fictionary

Flying Changes
The Friendly Book Nook

Horse Book Reviews

I Don't Wanna Blog

In the Dailies

Leap of Faith

lighthouse Academy

A Little Bit of Sunshine

Margaret Daley

Ma Space

Musings on This, That & The Other Thing

Mystery, Suspense and God, Oh My!

Net's Notes

Novel Journey

Penning Prose

Portrait of a Writer...Interrupted

Reading 'N' Writing with Patricia

Real Women Scrap

Relevant Blog

Sharon Hinck

Sips 'n' Cups Cafeteria

Smells Horsey

Toni V. Lee

Writing by Faith

The Writing Road


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12 comments:

Carole said...

I appreciated the interview and would love to read Sherri's new book. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

windycindy said...

I have read many good things about her book. The book cover is great! I appreciate all of your author interviews because I enjoy learning about the life and writing styles. Please enter me in your drawing.
Many thanks,Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

ForstRose said...

This one's on my wish list, please enter me.

forest_rose[at]yahoo[dot]com

Thanks,
Melissa

Sherri Sand said...

I thought Cook did such a great job on the cover. I'm so glad you guys like it too! I hope you enjoy the book as well! Thanks for hosting me, Tiffany!

dolls123 said...

Count me in

dolls123[at]gmail[dot]com

Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

Glad you like the spotlights, Cindy. I love putting readers in touch with authors and sharing about the new voices and books out there. It's a lot of fun.

Sherri, thanks for dropping by. We'll have a winner by next week, and a copy of your book will go out to the person whose name is selected.

Congrats again your first book!

Pamela J said...

Here is a book on forgiveness, something I struggle with myself. I love reading how people in the books get through it. How great it is when God, the One directing the writing, inserts this topic with the author not planning it them self. Please enter me. Thanks
Pam
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Carolynn W. said...

This book sounds sooo good! I can't wait to read it, thanks for the chance to win!

tetewa said...

I've heard alot about this one! tWarner419@aol.com

Karin said...

Please enter me--thanks.

ChristyJan said...

I enjoyed this interviw with Sherri.
Leave it to Chance sounds like a wonderful read.

Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

We have a winner from this spotlight, and that is:

MELISSA!

Congratulations. I've emailed you for your mailing address so your book can be sent.

Two more winners announced from last week. Check out the spotlights for Cecelia Dowdy and Cynthia Hickey to see if you've won.