Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fabulous Friday Feature-Lorna Seilstad

Today we welcome author:
Lorna Seilstad

One commenter will win a copy of
Lorna's book:

 As Love Blooms

Scroll down to see how.

Mary here. I have quickly learned what an amiable person Lorna is. After only a few emails we've become great friends and found similar things to talk about. You'll see this same spirit in her post below. I asked Lorna to tell us how God led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said: 

Excuses! Excuses!

Moses and I have a lot in common. Oh, I haven’t led any Egyptians out of bondage, but I have looked at the path God laid out for me and rattled off excuses that would rival those of the great spiritual leader himself.

You’re probably familiar with the story. God gets Moses’ attention with a burning bush, and then when He begins to disclose his plans for Moses’ future, the excuses start.

(My paraphrase of the story:)

“Moses, I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people out of Egypt.”


“I’ll be with you.”

“Who says I can do this?

“I do.”

“But God, what if they won’t believe me? They won’t listen to a word I say.”

“I’ll make sure they do.”

“But I’m not a good speaker.”

“Moses, I made your mouth! I know what you can do!”

“Please, Lord, send someone else.”

“Fine. I’ll send your brother with you. I’ll give you the words to say and teach you what to do.”

Did you notice Moses’ excuses? He doubted himself, he was scared of the reaction of others, and he even begged God to not put him in that position. Finally, God gives him a partner. We humans do like backup.

Now, how Moses-ish have I been in my writing?  A bunch.  When I realized that God wanted me to take the passion He’d placed within me for writing onto a new level, I was terrified. I’d been writing fan fiction on a wonderful site for several years, but I felt a tug that it was time to work toward publication. 

My prayers mirrored Moses’. “What if I can’t do this? What if no one wants to read it? What if I fail?” and I felt God’s answers just as surely.  He even sent me dear friends as backup. Finally, I had to come to a point where I said I didn’t care if I never became a published author, I was going to write because that was what God wanted me to do. I developed a new mantra of “God’s words. God’s will. God’s timing.”

Mary here: that is a great mantra for all of us not matter what the calling. Thanks, Lorna!

God should have just said, “Hold on! I’m going to take you on the ride of your life.”

And He even provided me with an Aaron. Only my Aaron was one of my best friends named Dawn who went with me to my first American Christian Fiction Writer’s (ACFW) get together. She went because she knew I’d never go alone. It was at this first meeting that God led me to my dear friend and mentor, Judy Miller.

I wanted to go to the ACFW conference in 2008, but didn’t have the $500 for the fee. Out of nowhere, we received a check from a credit card for $500 with a note that said we’d overpaid them and this was discovered during an audit. I can assure you that there had never been a time in our lives that we would have paid an extra $500 and not noticed, but God had it covered.

When I went to that first conference, I didn’t expect to land a contract, but I did feel prepared. I had my one sheet in hand, proposal written, and pitch polished. And I’d prayed so hard I was afraid God was tired of hearing from me. I remember singing this little song as I rode down the elevator, “I’m yours, Lord. Everything I am and everything I’m not.” I placed a heavy emphasis that day on the “not.”

I stepped up to my assigned Revell’s senior acquisitions editor, and introduced myself, praying she didn’t see my legs shaking. Then, the worst thing happened. I forgot every word of my pitch.

Blank. Empty. Gone.

What popped into my head was a Seekerville post by Myra Johnson. She’d explained that she'd often handed her one sheet to the editor and sat quietly while they read it.  After all, she said, they were used to making decisions on what they read. Bless you Myra! That’s exactly what I did.

When Andrea finished the one sheet, she asked me a few questions and then asked to see my chapters. I again sat silently while she read two of the three chapters. Thank goodness she laughed at the right places. I knew I was in trouble if she didn’t.

She then set it down, complimented me on my fresh voice, and asked me to send the full manuscript to her. Within the year, I had a three-book contract with Revell.

I’m so glad that God didn’t take my excuses any better than He did those of Moses. God had a plan for me, but fear almost kept me from realizing it.

Are you letting excuses keep from reaching your goals?

Today, I encourage you to give them up.

Lorna Seilstad brings history back to life using a generous dash of humor. After her first child was born, she quit teaching and became a professional wiper. She says she wiped noses, tears, skinned knees, and baby bottoms, but at naptime, she wrote. She is the author of the Lake Manawa Summers Series and the Gregory Sisters Series. She and her husband have three children and call Iowa home.

To find more information about Lorna and her books:
Facebook Twitter


Tessa Gregory is nothing if not tenacious. Denied a position as a horticulturist at prestigious Como Park in Saint Paul, Minnesota, she is not above a little benevolent deception in order to get the park superintendent to change his mind and hire her. She plans to infiltrate the world of wealthy and influential people in hopes of drumming up financial support for a world-class conservatory. But before she can put those plans into action, she meets Reese King, a handsome gardener at Como Park--and a major distraction. Still, Reese might be the key to achieving her dream. But is his goal to help her . . . or to capture her heart? 

Against the lush backdrop of manicured gardens and greenhouses full of the exotic, Lorna Seilstad weaves a sweet and sassy story that is sure to delight.

As a graduate of Fannie Farmer's School of Cookery, Charlotte Gregory is thrilled to have the opportunity to travel, lecture, and give cooking demonstrations on the very latest kitchen revolution--the gas stove. And she certainly doesn't mind that the gas company has hired the kindhearted Lewis Mathis to entertain at her lectures.

Lewis encourages Charlotte's work, especially her crusade to introduce fresh, appetizing, nutritious food to those convalescing in hospitals. But young Dr. Joel Brooks is not convinced any changes should be made--especially by this outspoken young woman.

When Charlotte and Joel are coerced into planning a fund-raising gala for the hospital, will this combustible pair explode?

Follow the second Gregory sister as she looks for true love and makes her way in a rapidly changing world in this breezy, lighthearted love triangle that will keep you guessing

Enter the contest to win a copy of Lorna's book:
As Love Blooms

here is how:
leave a comment (and email address)

AND sign up to receive posts by email

AND/OR sign up to receive my newsletter
(subscribers to my newsletter will receive a special Christmas gift)

if you aren't already

The winner will be announced on my Facebook page

Thank you, Lorna, for joining us this weekend!

We enjoy chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, or hey.

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!


Unknown said...

Thank you Mary for another interview and giveaway.

Kate said...

I really enjoy Lorna's books. This one os on my TBR list! Thank you for the giveaway!

I receive your posts by email. kathrynlvoss(at)gmail(dot)com

Morgan said...

That's awesome, Lorna! I'm so glad that we have a God who we can trust to come through for us, despite our excuses. As Love Blooms sounds SO cute and unique!! I'm definitely adding it to my to-read list! Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

I receive your posts and newsletter by email: Mdp94 (at) bellsouth (dot) net

Abby B said...

Thanks for sharing, I can't wait to read this book for myself!! alander87 at allcom dot net

Lorna said...

Good morning, ladies!
Welcome, ANN.
KATIE, it makes my heart glad to hear you enjoy my books.
MORGAN, thank you for putting As Love Blooms on your TBR list. It was a really fun book to write.
ABBY, hope your enjoy it!

Lorna said...

Good morning, ladies!
Welcome, ANN.
KATIE, it makes my heart glad to hear you enjoy my books.
MORGAN, thank you for putting As Love Blooms on your TBR list. It was a really fun book to write.
ABBY, hope your enjoy it!

Wendy Newcomb said...

I love Lorna's books and these two covers are beautiful! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of "Love Blooms".

wfnren at aol dot com

P.S. I am signed up for both posts by email and your newsletter.

Mary Vee Writer said...

You are definitely an early riser, Ann. Thanks for helping me set out the virtual pastries for the gang and chatting with Lorna and me. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

So glad you came. We have the fire going in the fireplace, and Lorna here to chat with. Who could ask for more?

Mary Vee Writer said...

Morning Morgan!
This is a great weekend to talk about cute stories, don't you think? A bit chilly, fireplace going, awesome friends with Christian fiction in common AND Lorna to chat with. I'm king a virtual mocha? Want some?

Mary Vee Writer said...

Morning, Abby!
So many great friends here this morning. What could we ask Lorna?

Mary Vee Writer said...

Morning Wendy!
Haven't seen you in a bit. So glad you had a chance to stop by. I totally agree with you. I saw the covers of these two books and felt invited to open the page right away! So good to chat with you again.

Jackie said...

Lorne, it's great to meet you.

I hope you and Mary have a great weekend. Thanks for the inspiration. I'm trying to get energized to participate in NANOWRIMO. I'll try to remember not to let excuses slow me down from the goal. Thanks!

Mary Vee Writer said...

You are one brave soul, friend. I am so excited for you. Nano fries my brain, but it is such a fantastic motivator. I'm cheering you on, Jackie. And, I'll shoot for the 50,000 for myself from the sidelines.
No excuses. Let's do this. Like Lorna.

Unknown said...

I am looking forward to reading Lorna's book. I like stories that take place in Wisconsin or Minnesota because I live in Wisconsin close to the twin cities. Plus this story seems to have a greenhouse theme and I am very into gardening so it looks like something I would really love to read.

Unknown said...

Such beautiful covers on Lorna's books! :) And another nice interview--thanks!! miraclewelsh at gmail dot com

kim hansen said...

Nice interview and thanks for the giveaway. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom.

Stella said...

Wonderful interview and the book sounds fantastic. I love books with a setting in the northwest. The mountains somehow call to me. Would love to read this book. spotts06 at comcast dot net.

Patty said...

I think I do let excuses keep me from reaching goals, or fear keep me from even trying something new!

Thanks for the interview and giveaway ladies.

I receive your post via e-mail


Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Laurie!!
Lorna's book seems like a win win for your. There always is something special to read a book that takes place where we live. That alone adds a coziness to the story. I can't wait to hear what you think about the book!!! Thanks so much for stopping by and chatting with us today!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Good morning, Samantha!
Good to see you again. God has blessed our gang with some awesome authors, I agree. The testimonies are so touching, downright inspirational. And then...the book blurbs call us to read the books. Life is good. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Good morning, Kim!
Glad to see you, today. Please, help yourself to some virtual coffee or tea, and a pastry. Lorna is going to answer any questions.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Stella, so nice to see you again!!
The northwest is an amazing part of our country, I'll be the first to agree to that. I can get lost in the mountains. Hubby and I drove on so many mountain trails rarely repeating one. is a beautiful place. Thanks for chatting with Lorna and me today!

Mary Vee Writer said...

So, Patty, I am going to be your secret prayer partner, asking God to give you a nudge when He has an awesome task for you. :)

Lorna said...

Hi, Wendy! Revell's art department does such a great job on covers.

Lorna said...

You can do it, Jackie!

Lorna said...

Laurie, I hope you enjoy the St. Paul history in the book. I'm sure you'll enjoy the gardening aspect. :)

Lorna said...

Hi, Samantha! They let me choose the dress the model wore for this cover. That was the extent of my part in it.

Lorna said...

Hi, Kim. Thank you for stopping by!

Lorna said...

Stella, it seems like a lot of books are set in the south, but since I live in the north (Iowa), I wanted to share a little about my part of the country.

Lorna said...

Patty, I soooo understand, but God is bigger than our excuses. I'll be joining Mary in praying for you on to whatever He has planned.

Trixi said...

Hi Lorna! I really enjoyed your author interview, because I've often compared myself to Moses too! All those "But God" moments when He's told me to do or say something. All my "but what about" or "Are you sure you want me to do/say THAT?"...and the circle goes on :-) I've seen a motto a time or two that says this "If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it" ....and amazingly He has! Every. Single. Time. Even His word says that not to worry about what we will say, because He will give us what we need for that moment (my paraphrase). And again, He has! It may not be what I had planned to say, and most often isn't, but it's always right on. So I'm learning to not be a Moses so much & just say "ok God, you want me to do/say this thing, then I'll trust you to have Your way in my words/actions". And He does :-)

No need to include me in the giveaway as I have this book sitting on my shelf and the other two on my Kindle. I just wanted to chime in because you really inspired me Lorna with what you said here! What a blessing you are to me today :-) So here's to being less Moses like & more Paul like!

Myra Johnson said...

Lorna! I'm so honored to be mentioned in this inspiring post! And thrilled my "appointment tactic" worked so well for you! Congratulations!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hey, Myra!!
So awesome to have you join our chat with Lorna. Talk about being honored! I have the both of you here.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Awww, Trixi, what an awesome word from you. You said what we are feeling. I'm so glad you stopped by today.

Jackie said...

Thanks Mary and Lorna. I told my husband today, and you should have seen his face. Wish I'd taken a picture.

Seriously, I appreciate your encouragement!

Regina Merrick said...

What a great post, Lorna! You may have had reservations going into this writing thing, but I know you have the gift of encouragement, and I love you for that! Thank you for letting God use you in so many avenues!

Mary Vee Writer said...

That's what friends do. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Can you imagine what would happen if everyone followed through with God's plan for them? Wow! I imagine the great and might things. So many people have followed through...I think of Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael....and maybe you, too! I don't know what God has called you to do, Regina, but here's to you having the inner strength to take the journey. :)

Lorna said...

Trixi, you blessed me so much! I love your attitude of trusting God to give you the words and actions when you need them. I'm going to steal that prayer, too.

Lorna said...

Oh, it did, Myra! Andrea Doering, who I met with that day, said it was a good thing I just handed my one sheet to her without talking, too, because she was so tired she couldn't think. However, she could read. :)

Lorna said...

Regina, God had a special way of bringing our little group of friends together--through fan fiction of all things. Who would have thought we'd grow so close to people we'd not even met in person at that time? I can't wait to see where God takes you next.

connie said...

What a lovely story about your writing career, Lorna. God uses all of us in different ways. Thanks to Mary for sharing these interviews with authors.

Mary Vee Writer said...

You are welcome, Connie.
I really love chatting with you. So glad you were able to stop in before Lorna left. I totally agree with you that God uses us in all different ways. If you stop back, tell me one way God has used you. I'd love to hear your blessing.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

I am several days late reading this over my morning coffee, but I am so very glad I did. I love Lorna's mantra and I plan to post it over my kitchen sink.