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Monthly Archives: November 2008

Bonnie Leon’s final thoughts

It’s been an awesome week with Bonnie Leon. Even through some Internet issues, we’ve managed to get have her visit several days this week. Unfortunately, this is her last day with us officially, though I hope she’ll be stopping in and out through the rest of the tour.

Today, we’ve got some final questions for author Bonnie Leon. bonnies-photos-july-2007-025-022

Katrina:  Hi Bonnie. Welcome back. We’ve heard about your latest release Longings of the Heart. Tell us a bit about some of your previous works.

Bonnie:   All my books are historical and range from Alaska in the late 1800’s to Russia during Stalin’s reign in the 1930’s to Europe and the Pacific during World War II. Some are strongly historical, others contain more romance, and several of my books were born from my own family’s history. All of them represent real people facing real problems and contain God’s truth of love, forgiveness and strength.

Katrina:  Do you have any future plans or hopes of writing a book for film?

Bonnie: Many of my books would make good movies and I’d love to see that happen. Presently The Journey of Eleven Moons has been transformed into a screenplay and is in the hands of a Hollywood agent. I have hopes of seeing the story of Anna, Eric and Iya on the screen one day soon.

Katrina:  Do you plan on branching out to nonfiction?

Bonnie:   I can’t rule out anything. My mind is always active so a non-fiction book might just happen one day. But my great love is writing fiction. I have lots of ideas and can’t wait to write the stories.

Katrina:   Will any of your characters ever have their own site/blog as some characters have been known to?

Bonnie:  I don’t presently have plans of creating a site just for a character but I certainly won’t rule it out, especially if a character sparks the kind of interest that would fuel a website of its own. I do think I have a character in mind that just might do that, but we’ll see.

Katrina:  Where can the readers find Longings of the Heart? leon-small2

Bonnie:  My books are available online through my website at Bonnie Leon ,  Amazon  or Christian Books or many other online sites as well as local bookstores including Barnes and Noble and Borders.

Katrina:  Thank you so much for being here with us this week. We’ll take a few more questions if anyone has them and then announce the winner of your autographed book.

To read the previous portions of Bonnie Leon’s interview, go to Day one, and Day two.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on November 29, 2008 in encouragement

 

At home with author Bonnie Leon

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Back with us today is author Bonnie Leon! Boy, do we have a treat for you. Bonnie is sharing a some photos and things with us today from home allowing us a closer glimpse into her life. I am so excited to be able to bring this to you today and just one more thing to add to my gratitude journal. So, let’s get started.

Katrina:  Thank you sooo much for joining us here again today. It has been such a blessing to really be able to get to know you this week. We heard a bit during your first visit about your home and your family. Today, I’m so excited that you’ll be sharing some photos of home and of your beautiful grandchildren.

Bonnie: Yes. Katrina, here is a picture of my four grandchildren taken this Summer.

olivia-corey-gabe-ezra1From the left is Olivia (4), Corey (9), Gabe (5), and Ezra (6).  Gabe’s really tall for his age. His mother is 5’10 and his father is 6’3. They’re all sweet, fun kids.

Katrina:  Beautiful kids. Thank you so much for sharing. You also have pictures of home as well, correct?

Bonnie. Yes I do.

bonie11This is taken from the road where I live.

bonie2This is a picture of our house. We’ve been putting on an addition, but now it’s for sale because my son-in-law has enlisted in the Army. We already have another piece of land to build on once this sells. It’s not far from here. I’m so grateful of that. I love it here!

Katrina:  I can see why.  It is absolutely beautiful out there.

Bonnie:  This is another picture taken from our road on a cloudy day. bonie31

Katrina: Thank you so much for sharing pictures of your home with us today.  Now, I have a few questions about how you came to be an author. At what age did you realize you wanted to be an author and what influenced you?

Bonnie:  I was nearly forty when I decided writing might be more than a hobby. I’ve always been a reader and over the years I’ve written snippets—poems, personal stories, vignettes, but in 1989 I was gripped by a compulsion to put my thoughts down on paper. I wrote whatever came to mind, filling up legal pads with my thoughts. It was great fun!
 Reading has been the greatest influence on my writing. I’ve been in love with books since I can remember. And it’s been great writers who introduced me to the wonder of storytelling.
 However, the bottom line is God. He is my greatest influence. He’s the one who sparked my interest and opened every door and provided opportunities for publication.
 
Katrina: At what age did you come to know the Lord personally? Could you share a bit of that experience with the readers?

Bonnie:   I was twenty-three, truly lost and very unhappy. Most of my life I believed I was of no real value. There’s a long story that goes along with why I felt that way and maybe one day it will end up in a book, but there’s not time to tell the story here. 🙂
 God is so good. He used a string of tragedies to draw me to Himself. In four months time, my father died, my godfather died, I lost a baby and my husband said he didn’t love me anymore and wanted a divorce. Considering that I already felt like trash, these hardships drove me to my knees, which is exactly where I needed to be. For many years, God had tried to get my attention, but I refused His offer of grace. I’m grateful that He loved me enough to allow “whatever it took” to get my attention.
 The moment I met Christ and believed, I became a new creation and understood that God loved me and that I was His precious creation. I’ve never been the same since.
 
Katrina:  How has your relationship with the Lord affected your writing?

Bonnie:  He’s the one who led me into writing. There are times when I wonder what He was thinking, but mostly I’m just grateful. I write knowing that I’m one of His representatives, and I pray that my words and my life honor Him. Always when I write I think about the person who has never met the Living God and who may discover the truth in one of my books.  
 
Katrina:  Are any of the characters in any of your books modeled after you or any of your emotions?

Bonnie:  Absolutely, yes. There are pieces of me in all my books—lessons learned, heartaches and joys experienced. I write from my heart, which means that I write about what I know. I’ve lived a good many years and have traversed deep valleys and climbed lofty mountains just as my characters do. Sometimes I’m faithful and strong and then there are times when I’m weak and I fail, just like all of mankind.
  But there is always faith. God never abandons us. He knows every detail, every tear and offers us strength and courage and never reneges on his promises. 
 
Katrina:  During your writing, are there ever characters that emerge uninvited?

Bonnie:  Although I plan out my plots and know my characters before I begin writing there are always surprises. Characters emerge that I don’t count on. And sometimes I’m compelled to tell their story.
 In To Love Anew an endearing character, Lottie, didn’t exist until my protagonist was loaded on board a prison ship. And then suddenly there was Lottie. I fell in love with her as did my heroine, Hannah. She added so much to the story, in ways I’d never imagined.
 I recently received a letter from a reader who told me how much she loved Lottie and asked if I’d consider writing another book that would follow her story. I’m thinking about it.

Katrina:  I can’t wait to read that one. I think it would be a wonderful addition to your already fascinating collection. Thank you for stopping in today on Kat Logic, especially on Thanksgiving Day. What a wonderful thing to be thankful for.

To our readers, be sure to stop back in tomorrow for the final thoughts from Bonnie Leon. Be sure to add a BLOG post if you’re interested in winning her latest release Longings of the Heart.

To read the first part of Bonnie Leon’s interview, click here.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on November 28, 2008 in encouragement

 

A bit of well deserved chaos

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So, we’re gearing up for the holiday season. As if the Wampler household wasn’t in enough shambles on a good day, we have chocolate from one end of the house to the other. Oh yes, chocolate. I do a lot of baking this time of year. Under the business name of Chocolate Covered Chaos I make platters, gift baskets, desserts…you name it, I bake it, sell it, eat it, and keep right on driving past the gym throwing my money out the window as I speed by.

I got a big shipment in today with all my chocolate, decorations, and other supplies. Headed out to Wal-Mart to get a few more items so I could get right on it as soon as I get up tomorrow morning.  I have a party I’m doing the desserts for and I am way behind the 8-ball.  I retreat to my room for just a moment of silence in this crazy house and I hear laughter…lots and lots of laughter. The kind that makes you wonder who has taken over your home. I go to evaluate the situation and I realize that my little hellions (can I say hellion here?)…my little hellions ( and every other hellion in the neighborhood) are in the dining room digging through my box of goodies like it’s already Christmas and they’re at a homeless shelter or something! My head’s spinning..I’m ready to scream …. all their friends are ducking for cover and my monsters smile with those chocolate grins.

And I think, where have I gone wrong? These darn youngins can’t leave none of my things alone. I tell them not to and they do it anyway. I warn them of the consequences and it never seems to sink in. Now, thankfully they seem to have good judgement when it comes to the big stuff but these little things make me nuts.  So, no friends over tonight. No movie night…those things they love. Why can’t I trust them with the big things? I couldn’t trust them with the small things. At least not today.

I wonder how God feels when I blatantly ignore His warnings. Looking back, there have been so many. Not so much the life altering moments but the small minute things. Tiny warnings that prove whether or not He can trust me with the big things.  Time and time again, I fail the test. He holds out on the blessings…the really big things He has for us to see how much we can be trusted. He has such amazing things in store (Jeremiah 29:11) if only we obey the small things. Problem is, all too often we sneak in to take a bit of the candy we’ve been told to leave alone. We bring it on ourselves.  We struggle financially, we suffer through bad relationships, we hurt. Why? Not always, but many times because we don’t do the little things He asks.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on November 26, 2008 in encouragement

 

Bonnie Leon

bonnies-photos-july-2007-025-021  Joining us today on Kat Logic (as well as during the week) is Bonnie Leon, author of Longings of the Heart.  I have to tell you, of all the interviews I’ve done, I am just enthralled with Bonnie. You’ll see why. Grab a cup of coffee (the kind with cool whip and chocolate syrup on top) and pull up a chair. You’re going to want to stick around a while for this one.

Let’s get started.
Katrina:  I want to thank you so much for joining us today. I can’t wait for the readers to learn all that I have about you. I’m sure they will be as impressed as I am.  Tell us a bit about yourself.

Bonnie:  I’ve been married thirty seven years to a guy my brother dragged home from the Kitty Hawk Aircraft Carrier, which was in dry dock in Bremerton for repairs, back in 1969.  I was only seventeen. Greg was nineteen. It’s hard to believe we’ve been a couple for so many years, thirty-nine in all—guess that means I’m REALLY old.

Katrina: Thirty-nine years! That’s a long time to be married. What a blessing. Especially in this day and age. It seems no one stays together too long.  I’m guessing you have kids and maybe some grandchildren at this point. Tell us a bit about it.

Bonnie:  We have three children. Our oldest, Paul, lives in Central Oregon with his wife and our two daughters are married to men in the Army. Kristi also has a son, Gabe and Sarah, our youngest, has three children—Corey, Ezra and Olivia. I so love my grand-babies. Well, they’re not really babies any more. The youngest is four and the oldest is nine. But they’re irreplaceable, funny, beautiful children.

Katrina:  Four and nine are still babies. My twelve year-old is still my baby.  Where do you guys live?

Bonnie:  My husband and I live in southern Oregon in the same home where we raised our children. We love it here in the Cascade foothills among towering cedar and fir trees where all sorts of wild critters frolic. We have so many deer they’re viewed as pests. But I enjoy them—they’re beautiful creatures.
 
Katrina:  That sounds absolutely beautiful. Perhaps you can share some pictures of that this week to give our readers a bit of an image of what you see when you look out your kitchen window. What is a typical evening like in your home?

Bonnie:  While my daughter waits to join her husband at his new post, she and her children are living with us. So sometimes it’s boisterous when the grandchildren visit our part of the house. Usually in the evenings it’s just my husband and I. We usually have work to do, me in my office and Greg often has projects to do around the house.
 We love to read together when we go to bed. Actually I read and my husband listens. Right now we’re reading In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day. And our next book is one written by Ed Underwood. When God Breaks Your Heart. I’ve already read it and it’s a fabulous book.
 I’m a night person so after reading I often get up and read a novel, or answer emails or watch something on television.
 Fridays are date night so my husband and I try to do something fun together or with friends.

Katrina: Well, no wonder you’ve been married thirty-nine years. Friday nights is date night! 🙂  How do you juggle your writing career and family?

Bonnie:  Wish I had profound truth to share with you about this, but as long as I’ve been working I’ve struggled to find balance. Writing and marketing takes a lot of hours and if I’m not disciplined time just seems to evaporate.
 For me discipline is key. I need a plan and then I’ve got to stick to it. Course my problem isn’t the planning, it’s the sticking to it. :-]  I try to prioritize—turn off the television, don’t answer the phone, stay away from my email and all the other distractions that call to me. I have my days divided into different types of tasks. I work this out according to how awake my brain is. I’m not a morning person so mornings are set aside for the “easy” stuff. I try to use the afternoons for manuscript writing and editing. And if I’ve been disciplined my evenings and weekends are mostly free.
 I’m also the deacon of the women’s ministries at our church, so I’m careful to set aside Bible Study time first thing in the morning and some evenings and weekends I spend time on church ministry.  I teach workshops and speak for women’s groups so I squeeze preparation for those things in where they best fit. And they require me to be away from home several weekends a year.
  As much as is possible, I try to save some weekends for fun. A perfect Saturday morning for me is to stay in my PJ’s with a cup of coffee and watch a movie, usually a chick flick. Going to garage sales on a weekend is fun too. And occasionally I get to join my family for outings to the beach or the mountains. And I love to fish the mountain lakes.
 
Katrina:  Aahhhh, fishing. I knew I liked you for some reason. That has to be one of my favorite past times. With kids and work, it’s real hard to squeeze that in. I’m sure you can relate to that. Does your family read any of your work?

Bonnie:  Not everyone in my family reads my work, but most do. My mother is my greatest fan. She never misses an opportunity to tell someone about me and my books. My sister is also very supportive. And my two daughters have read everything I’ve written and love the stories. They’re proud of their Mom. My husband is more of a non-fiction reader, but he likes me to read my books to him. 
 
Katrina:  Tell us a bit about your current book, Longings of the Heart.

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Bonnie:    Hannah Bradshaw reaches for a new beginning.  But will secrets from her past destroy the present? John Bradshaw trusts in a new life.  Instead, he discovers deception. One evil heart lies waiting to tear their lives apart. Will evil triumph? Or will their longing hearts find joy?

In the early 1800’s, the wondrous land of Australia is full of possibilities as settlers stake their claims. Hannah and John settle their own piece of land in New South Wales and have hopes of starting a family, but their dreams for the future are clouded with trouble. 

As they try unsuccessfully to have a baby, Hannah suffers from guilt over her past. What she hasn’t told her husband about this chapter of her life haunts her and threatens to destroy their relationship.

Don’t miss this heartrending second book in the Sydney Cove series! 

Enter the Longings of the Heart Australian Outback Contest.

Katrina:  It sounds wonderful. I for one can’t wait to read it. One of our lucky readers will have the opportunity to win an autographed copy of Longings of the Heart.  I encourage our readers to stop by your site and read more about you and then stop back by Kat Logic and ask some challenging questions. This week, I’m asking the readers to post a blurb about our interview on their BLOG encouraging their readers to join us on Kat Logic for thought provoking questions.

To the readers….  if you’re interested in winning a copy of Longings of the Heart, leave a comment here to let us know you’ve posted a portion of Bonnie’s interview on your BLOG encouraging your readers to stop by Kat Logic to ask some questions of their own. Bonnie and I will be visiting your BLOGs to decide who wins the autographed copy.

Bonnie will be back with us Wednesday and Friday of this week. Don’t miss the rest of this intriguing interview. She’s not only an amazing author, but an incredible woman of faith!  I look forward to checking out your BLOGs and hearing your questions for Bonnie.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on November 25, 2008 in encouragement

 

Kimberli Renee Campbell’s last thoughts

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Kimberli Renee Campbell is back for one last visit on Kat Logic as she makes her final stop with the Christian Author Tour.  What a pleasure it has been to get to know this incredible mom, wife, and author. It is my honor to call her my friend and sister in Christ.

  • Katrina:  It’s been great having you this week. We’ve heard about your brand new release The Sword of Light and its characters.  I must say, I’ve been reading your book and I’m impressed. Do you have get writer’s block?
  • Kimberli:  I don’t think I’ve experienced true writer’s block. When the words stop coming, I sit quietly and wait on the Lord. That may sound cliche’ but it works for me.
  • Katrina:  Do you have any plans of writing in a different genre?
  • Kimberli:  When the Lord is done with this series, He has given me some adult fiction stories. He may want me to start on those stories.
  • Katrina: I can’t wait to see what He has in store for you. How do you choose the names of the characters in your book?
  • Kimberli:  The Lord gave me most of the names. My best friend, Tracy, gave me some of the names. I also use the Internet.
  • Katrina:  When writing, do you already have an idea of how the story will end even as you’re beginning the book, or does it take on a life of its own?
  • Kimberli:  The Lord gave me The Sword of Light in a dream, start to finish.
  • Katrina:  Aaahhh. Yes, isn’t it amazing how that happens? I’ve had that experience as well. God always knows what we need and He always provides…even (especially) in the details of the work He’s called us for.  What advice would you give aspiring authors reading your book?
  • Kimberli:  As this is my first book, learn from my victories and mistakes (many many). Learn to develop a writing skill that suits you.
  • Katrina: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
  • Kimberli:  I would have to say – write!  There should be no excuses. If the Lord has called you to write – write.
  • Katrina:  Very good advice. And that’s very true…if that is God’s plan for you, you have no reason to be doing anything else! Tell our readers where they can get a copy of The Sword of Light.
  • Kimberli:  You can read a portion of my book at here.  It is also available at Amazon , Target, and The Sword of Light.  Hopefully, more in the future.
  • Katrina:  Oh I’m certain there will be more.  I look forward to hearing more and having you on Kat Logic again.  You’re an amazing woman. Thanks for stopping by.

For our readers, this is your last chance to leave a question for Kimberli. She’ll be choosing one by the end of the day to receive an autographed copy of the Sword of Light. Be sure to stop by her site and let her know Kat Logic sent you.

Don’t miss Modern Day Mary  tomorrow as I bring a story from the bible to life in today’s struggles.

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3 Comments

Posted by on November 22, 2008 in encouragement

 

Chocolate Covered Chaos

Well, as promised Friday’s will be called Chocolate Covered Chaos and you’ll hear all about the Wampler household.  There’s always something crazy going on around here.

Tomorrow we are starting a new tradition. Pancake Saturdays. Now, we aren’t just going to have pancakes and run out the door to start the weekend. Big breakfast….eggs, toast, grits (yeah we’re in the South), pancakes, bacon… the whole nine yards. And of course I’ll have my nice big mug of Pumpkin Spice coffee. More than having a nice big breakfast that we don’t get to share during the week, we are starting a tradition of gratitude.

Being thankful shouldn’t just happen once a year. I look around at the sinking economy, the loss of jobs, and the depression that is quickly surrounding us. I tell my kids each day, “we are all we have. We have to stick together and we have to make the most of every day.” So, we are starting a tradition of gratitude and I challenge each of you to do the same in your homes around your kitchen table. Every day we’ll write things we’re grateful for on slips of paper. Not just things we have like our health, each other, a home. But things we are praying and trusting God for. He tells us to pray boldly and to pray believing He will provide. Mark 11:22.  So with that being said, we will be writing things we’re thankful for even before we receive them. On Saturday mornings, we’ll take turns reading our tiny bits of gratitude.  We’ll start each morning with at least one thing we’re grateful for and begin each day on a positive note. (A much needed addition to our lives).

Tonight as I was headed into work, my youngest son said to me, “you can use my lucky stone. If someone starts yelling at you on the phone, you can just rub the stone.”  He was so excited to give me his prized possession. He found it on the school yard and couldn’t wait to bring it home to me.  I said, “What happens if they keep yelling?”  With an even bigger smile he said, “then use this one!”  That’s how I know I’m doing something right.  When they gladly give of themselves. When they have the faith that such a small act of kindness can change things. And it can.

I have another challenge for you and I hope to hear from any of you joining. The kids and I are embarking on a year long gratitude and kindness journey. Our country is facing tough times ahead and we’ve made it our mission to look for the good in each day and show kindness to at least one person each and every day. We’ll log it on our Wampler journal. At the end of the year, we’ll each write a letter of what we’ve learned. I’m going to purchase a fire proof box and bury our Wampler journal as a “time capsule” of sorts. We’ll have a plaque made to cover the spot where we’ve buried it. Perhaps one day in the future someone will find our journey. Someone that needs it desperately.  Now, we’ll log things we’ve done here on Kat Logic and keep you all up to date, but we want to leave something behind.

Won’t you join us?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 21, 2008 in encouragement

 

Fighting mad!!!

I’m angry!!!  Now, I do tend to have a bit of a temper. Usually it comes from irresponsibility on the part of my children or a disrespect from them towards me or each other. But other than that, I’m pretty even tempered. Usually care free and chipper. Not today!  Today I’m just angry.

This has been brewing inside me for a few days now and today I’ve decided to voice my opinion. I rarely watch the news. In fact, I can’t remember the last time there was cable in the Wampler houseshold. We have too many other things to be doing than camping out in front of the tube. And my kids would much rather be running and playing out side. We don’t have video games. Well, that’s not entirely true. We have one…still in the box from 4 Christmas’ ago. My kids just have no interest. But I do catch the news online.

Have you been watching the story of the 8 year old accused of murdering his father and friend? There is still a decision to be made of whether to charge this 8 year old a an adult!!  Are you kidding me? An adult??

I’ve spun this around in my blond head over and over thinking of all the reasons, all the scenarios. Anyone have an 8 year old out there? I have a 9 year old. He’s happy, good kid in school, bit of a temper if you push him…but at 9 to think he has the capability to understand “Forever”. To know that life can end quickly and that’s it. There’s no coyote come back. No return from the dead for another round. He doesn’t get that. In fact when our cat died last year, he kept waiting for her to return. We buried her, dug the whole, covered her up, flowers, cross…the whole nine yards. He didn’t get it.

My first thought is…what the heck was going on in that home? Now, I don’t mean abuse at all. There aren’t any signs and I really don’t think that was the case…who knows? But where is the mother of this 8 year old? She doesn’t have custody. I’ve said a million times…when a child’s mom can’t keep it together, they are lost. Dad maybe. Tough but kids learn to deal (even with emotional damage), but mom?

How in this situation can the parents NOT be held completely responsible. I’m not even just talking gun safety, though that certainly has to be a factor. I’m all for guns. Got a couple myself. That’s another story. What does the 8 year old watch on TV? Who watches him after school? He said, “after school I walk around the block but I don’t tell my parents.” Where are the parents? Is he a latchkey kid? What? What was going on that the parents weren’t 100% engaged and present (in the sense of responsibility) .

As a society, parents have dropped the ball. It infuriates me. Parents are checking out. Blame it on a two family income, blame it on the economy. Whatever you choose. But as parents, we’re turning our kids loose into an insane world and leaving them to the wolves.

I know the woes of a dusty wallet. I gave up a $33/hr job for a $10/hr job. Stupid, I know. Why? Because as a single parent I was going off to work at 6am. My little ones were getting themselves ready to school, walking themselves to school, getting themselves home, and waiting a good hour or so for me to finally arrive.  I was looking down the road and all I could see were three angry, out of control, emotionless children. I then suffered from a third heart attack.  It was a wake-up call.  It was time to make a change.

I look around at the kids in my neighborhood. There’s a 7 year-old girl mooning my boys. A 13 year-old dressing provocatively and cursing like a sailor. What’s going on? When as parents will we make the commitment to be completely involved in all aspects of our children’s lives. When will we as a whole stop medicating our children and start mentoring them and training them in the way they should go?

My heart aches for this 8 year old. I want to wrap my arms around him and rock him. I want to laugh with him.  Do I think locking him away for life will solve his ‘issues’? I don’t believe they are HIS issues. They are ours. Now, I’m not one to trust in the rehabilitation of criminals…depending on the situation. I believe murderers and rapist should be put to death. No questions asked. But a child? An 8 year old?

Who do we point the finger at and how do we turn our children around? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on November 20, 2008 in encouragement