1. What struck you about Pierce, Idaho that inspired you to write this book? Was Rocky Mountain Oasis the original title for this book? If not, what was your working title?

I actually had started a story about a school teacher that came west for the first time and ended up in Pierce. Pierce was an old gold-rush town. Historic buildings still stand there to this day. The library has a large display of mining tools from the early days. Life is just a little slower there and it just seemed like the perfect setting for a historical book. But as I started researching into the history of the town, I learned of the murder that took place there in 1885, so I wrote out the school teacher and the story became what it is today. Yes, Rocky Mountain Oasis was the original title of the book.

2. Can you give us a sneak peek at what you have cooking up next? Can you tell us something about it? Do you have a release date?
I’d be happy to! High Desert Haven, is book 2 in The Shepherd’s Heart series. Tentative release is summer 2010. Each book in the series is a stand-alone book, but secondary characters from each previous book become the main characters in the following ones.

SNEAK PEAK - Here is a brief synopsis of High Desert Haven.

When her husband is killed in a strange riding accident Nicki Trent is left with a toddler and a run-down ranch. Determined to bring her ranch back from the brink of death, Nicki hires handsome Jason Jordan as a ranch manager. But when her neighbor, William, starts pressing for her hand in marriage, the bank calls in a loan she didn’t even know about, bullets start flying, and a burlap dummy with a knife in its chest shows up on her doorstep, Nicki wonders if this ranch is really worth all the trouble.

To make matters worse, terrible things keep happening to her neighbors. When her friend’s homestead is burned to the ground and William lays the blame at Jason’s feet, Nicki wonders how well she knows her new hand.

Where is the God who promised to be a comfort in the Valley of Death? Does he even remember that Nicki exists? And can she believe Jason’s assurances that he had nothing to do with the fire?

3. I read in your bio that your parents were missionaries in Malawi, Africa. How was life for you growing up in Africa? What was a typical day for you like?

Yes, I was actually born while my parents were on the field. So the first time I saw any of my grandparents, when we arrived back in the US, I was 3 years old. I suppose growing up in Africa wasn’t much different for me, than growing up in the US was for other kids. We lived in a nice house with cement floors. I had friends in the neighborhood – they were just a different color and spoke a different language. But the language barrier was never a problem for me. I spoke Chichewa fluently. The difference, I suppose, was that while kids in the US were watching cartoons and playing Atari, I was playing at herding cattle and learning to stay away from the hedges because that was where the snakes liked to rest.

Our electricity came from a generator – we ran it for about 2 hours at night. We raised our own chickens, goats and rabbits for meat. Dad kept bees for honey – African Killer Bees that, one time, got into a frenzy and killed our entire flock of chickens.

Injured people showed up at our back door at all hours of the day and night because my mom would help them and if they needed it, we had a truck that could take them to the hospital.

It was a good way to start life; gave me a wider perspective on cultures and social mores. I’m convinced that most Americans have no idea the struggle much of the world goes through each day just to get one meal on the table.

4. My BFF was a missionary in Africa, near Kenya for several years. When she came back to the states she said she was overwhelmed by the choices she had to make. For example she would go to the store and the choices are 2%, low fat, Lactose, Fat Free, etc. She was mind boggled at the selection. In Africa the choice was milk or no milk. What are three things that boggled your mind when you came to America for the first time?

Well, the first time I came to the states I was just 3 years old, so I don’t remember much about the choices, but I do have a story.

In Africa, we had some HUGE bumble bees called Wood-Boring Bees. For size, think a large thumb width and about an inch or more long. My Dad kept a special tennis racket that he used to kill these bees – because they would bore into the beams of the house and destroy them. When we arrived in the states we took a trip to a sports supply store. On the wall they had a large display of tennis rackets and I asked my mom, rather loudly and much to her embarrassment, why they had so many “bee hitters” hanging on the wall.

5. How old were you when you moved to the States? I read in your bio that you went to boarding school at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya. What two things can you tell me were the biggest adjustments for you there? What things did you like best there?

I was in the US off and on growing up. But I graduated from high school in 1990 and moved back here permanently then.

I started going to boarding school when I was 8 years old, in 4th grade. I think the biggest adjustment for me, was probably simply being away from my parents. Also, it was a mini culture shock to go from living with my parents out in the bush of Africa to living with a bunch of other American children on a school compound. Life as a missionary kid is full of mini and major culture adjustments.

Once I adjusted to life at boarding school, I would say the thing I like best about it is the friends I made there. I’m still friends with many of the people I went to school with – rather like a very large extended, but close, family.

6. I LOVE the cover of your book. Were you involved with the process? Can you explain how the book cover selection process worked for you?

Thank you. I’m glad you like it. My publisher was very accommodating about the book cover. They are still small and so are using stock photos to create the covers. First, they sent me a cover – which looked very similar to the current cover except there was a different model posing as the woman – and asked for my thoughts. I just wasn’t drawn to the first model’s face. I guess she just didn’t seem to match, in my mind, the image I had of my character Brooke. So I asked for them to change her face and they did. Not all publishers would have been so obliging, and I’m very thankful for OakTara’s willingness to make sure their authors are happy each step of the way.

7. I read in your bio that you have four children. What are their ages? And when do you have time to write? When do you do your best writing?

Yes, I have 4 children. They range in age from 16 on down to 6. My 16 year old is learning to drive, right now, while my 6 year old is still learning to read. So we do have a wide range of things going on in our family, lately.

I’m often asked when I find the time to write. The truth is, it is hard. With 4 children, being the wife of a pastor, running a business out of my home, and teaching Sunday School and Bible Study on Wednesdays there simply isn’t a lot of left over time. But we all make time for what we are passionate about. I write when I can. I take my son to basketball practice and sit in the car writing while I wait for him to get done. I hide out in my bedroom with my laptop when everyone else is otherwise occupied and sneak in a few hundred words. When the passion for a scene really strikes and I know I need to get something written or lose it, I might go to the library or over to the church and find a quiet room to work in. Also, working for myself has its benefits. So, right now, I’m answering these questions in the middle of my work day. (Shhh! Don’t tell my boss!)


1. What are your THREE Favorite books of all time?
Hmmm, that is not an easy question. I will stick to modern day fiction, because that is my favorite leisure time reading.

a. A Voice in the Wind – Francine Rivers. A very moving story about a Christian slave girl assigned to serve a very worldly Roman socialite.

b. The DMZ – Jeanette Windle. Perhaps the fact that I grew up in the wilds of Africa makes me enjoy Mrs. Windle’s tales about the jungles of South America, but she writes some very engaging stories. Suspense with a touch of romance.

c. Maire – Linda Windsor. I love Mrs. Windsor’s sense of humor and ability to create tension between her hero and heroine.

2. What THREE things would you not want to live without?
a. White chocolate b. Milk chocolate c. Dark chocolate

Oh… that wasn’t what you meant? Hmmm… How about…

d. Clean running water

e. My local grocery store

f. The ability to quickly get to medical services.

3. What THREE movies could you watch over and over again?

a. The Last of the Mohicans (Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, 1992)

b. The Patriot (Mel Gibson)

c. Gladiator (Russell Crow)

4. If you had the opportunity to hang out with any two people in the history of the world—alive or dead; who would you pick and what would you do? (someone other than Jesus)

Wow. Hmmm… Honestly it is so hard to decide.

a. I’m always fascinated by women who are willing to try new things. So I think I would like to meet the first European woman who set foot on US soil. I don’t know her name, but she must have had an adventurer’s heart. Or maybe not. Maybe her husband dragged her here. We’d talk about what she was thinking, her hopes for the future, and why she came here.

b. David Livingstone explored all over the lower regions of Africa. Much of that exploration took place in Malawi, where I was born. In fact, Mr. Livingstone died in what is currently the country of Malawi. I think I would like to join him on his explorations – but he’d have to let me wear my jeans and hiking boots, no traipsing through the wilds of Africa in hoop skirts, for me!

5. A friend of yours has a time machine that they are letting you use. But you can only witness two events in this history of the world. What to events would you experience? Why?
Oh cool!

a. I think I’d like to be in the stable on the night of Jesus birth – what occasion could be more momentous than that?

b. The day the Pharisees found out the Jesus’ body was missing from the tomb. I’d just like to catch a glimpse of the looks on their faces and hear a little of the political uproar that had to be going on that day.

6. What were THREE of your favorite children’s books?

a. I read all of Thornton W. Burgess’ books over and over. (Peter Cottontail books.)
b.Hardy Boys
c. Nancy Drew

7. Name Three places you go on the web every day?



c. Ebay – for my business.

LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT THE INTERVIEW for your chance to win a SIGNED copy of this book. Drawing will be MARCH 20th. -- PLEASE Also leave a way to contact you if you win.

CONGRATS GOES TO LINDA WAGNER--You've won the drawing. THANKS to everyone that stopped by to encourage this authhor and myself. I APPRECIATE YOU DOING THAT!!

This winner was chosen using

****DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open U.S. residents and Canadian residents only, odds of winning depend on number of entrants *****


  1. I enjoyed several of those movies too. My favorite is the Patriot with Mel Gibson. lol


  2. Thanks for having me on your blog, Nora. :) You did so great at getting all the pictures! Even real pictures of RVA! Way cool!

  3. I was a huge Nancy Drew fan when I was a teenager. My mom bought me the entire set because she loved Nancy Drew when she was young. This was a wonderful interview and I would love to win a copy of this book. Thank you very much.

  4. Great intrview. It was interesting to hear what growing up in Africa was like. I loved Nancy Drew books too. The book sounds really great. I would love to win. Thanks

  5. What an interview, and what a unique childhood, living overseas. For being a mystery reader, I'm not sure how I missed Nancy Drew. I would love to be entered for your book. Sounds great! Please enter me.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  6. Wow, after growing up in rural Africa, America must have been quite a culture shock. Please enter me in the book draw. Thanks


    wyndyc at gmail dot com

  7. FACEBOOK COMMENT 11:09p.m.

    Great interview. I wanted to comment on your site, but the verification wouldn't work for me. You've had an interesting life, Lynette. Looking forward to reading your book. Be nice to win a copy.

    Mary Ann Hake

  8. I would love to win a hard copy of this book! One of the best western romance books I read in a long time! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

  9. I have read this book and enjoyed it very much. I've given it as gifts too and would love to have one more to give.

    Lynette evidently read lots and lots as a missionary kid. Her love of books shows by her writing.

  10. Hi all you wonderful Ladies! :) Thanks everyone for your encouraging comments. Yes, I have had a very blessed life. Wyn, I think my toughest adjustment period was when I came home for college. I would not repeat that time of my life for anything in the world! :D Incidentally, I have a historical romance series in mind, set in Africa. One of these days it will be on the front burner.

  11. I would love to read this book. The cover is beautiful, too. Lynette just answered what I was wondering. I was really hoping she will write something set in Africa...can't wait to read that, too when it comes out.


  12. this sounds like a great book and would love to be entered into the draw thanks

  13. What a fun interview! I thoroughly enjoyed this. Rocky Mountain Oasis is a great story (I've read it). I'm looking forward to High Desert Haven!

  14. I love the movie Last of the Mohicans! I would love, love, love to read this book! Thanks for the chance. :)


  15. This book,sounds like just the type of thing I would love. We used to live in the mountains, in Arizona, and I really miss them. I would love to be entered into the free drawing.

    Thank you,

  16. This was a great interview. I have been on the mission field myself and agree that a majority of Americans probably have no idea how blessed we are. I would love to win a copy of Lynette's book.

    Thanks so much.

  17. I enjoyed hearing about Lynnette's upbringing in Africa. Being separated from parents at such a tender age must have been a huge adjustment.

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

    susanjreinhardt (at) gmail (dot) com

    Susan :)

  18. It must have been tough at first living at an boarding school-age8. I was at an boarding school for six years. They will always be your friends especially living with them 24 hours a day. I enjoyed the interview about living in Africa. Betsy

  19. Hi Lynnette! I would love to read your Rocky Mountain Oasis and I think High Desert Haven sounds terrific too!

    My mom was a missionary to Brazil with her family when she was a kid so I know she can relate to some of the things you had to go through in Africa like living with really no electricity and modern conveniences! Whew that must have been some experience!

    XOXO~ Renee

  20. Oh, I know this is going to be another great ready. Can't wait!

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. I was a huge Nancy Drew fan growing up and had a large collection of her books. Please enter me in the giveaway.


  23. Great interview. I love to hear the missionaries talk when they come back and visit our church. I've yet to hear one talk about swatting bees with tennis rackets though ~ that's unique!

    Thanks so much for sharing. I think the book sounds amazing. Please enter me.

  24. What a wonderful interview. I loved hearing about her childhood in Africa. How wonderful to actually live in a different culture. You do see how good we have it here. Thanks for the interview!

    Gail Mundy

  25. I really enjoyed the interview, its fun learning about an author and her books. Thank you! I'd love to read this book, please enter me in your giveaway. Thank you!



  26. I loved the interview and how you ask their 3 favorite ... Made me able to relate to the author better.

  27. Lynette, I don't know what the original model looked like, but the expression on this one's face draws me to your book. I'm glad your publisher was willing to work with you. And I was also a Nancy Drew fan, but liked the Judy Bolton series even better.

    I look forward to reading your book and appreciate the chance to win a copy.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  28. Ok trying this again... please enter me for the drawing... Blogger giving me error code. Great interview! Can't wait to read the book!


  29. Loved the interview. The part about the "bee-hitters" made me LOL. I'd love to enter the free book contest. Thanks for the invite!

  30. Thanks, everyone! It's been a tiring, busy day, and what an encouragement it was to drop by and see all of your kind comments.

    If any of you would like to be my friend on FaceBook feel free to send me a request.

  31. Great interview! When I was little, my family farmed. Here in the states, though, not in Africa. But we raised chickens & rabbits & the occasional goat. My dad also kept bees. Sure does give you a better appreciation for food when you know what it takes to get it on the table.


  32. Please count me! This book sounds wonderful! Loved the interview!

    Mollydawn1981 AT aol DOT com

  33. Great interview. I couldn't live without chocolate too. I am very fond of favorites books you mention is Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew and Francine Rivers. I would love to read Lynnette's book Rocky Mountain Oasis.. It sound like to good book to read.

  34. Enjoyed the interview, Nora! What an interesting life Lynnette has had. The book sounds great. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks. Tisha

  35. Sounds like a great book! Please include me in this giveaway.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  36. Thanks so much for the interview. (I love Francine's books, too:) It was encouraging to me as a writer, and the book sounds great-- I'd love to read it!

  37. CONGRATS GOES TO LINDA WAGNER!! You've won the drawing.

    THANKS to everyone that stopped by to encourage Lynnette and myself. I APPRECAITE Each and everyone one of you.



    NORA :D