Monday, July 17, 2017

Name Reveal + Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer

by Andrea Renee Cox


Two things have me really excited today.

1. Character names

2. Kim Vogel Sawyer's newest book

Hang in there with me today, because I've got a lot to say. Hopefully you're just as eager to hear it all as I am to tell you about it.


Let's tackle my own news first.


Last week, I asked for help naming three characters:


Father
tall, elderly, quirky, sense of humor, fading memory

Son
serious, too busy for love, trouble deciding what's best for dad

Stranger
quick wit, optimist, romantic, world traveler

Y'all chipped in with some really great names. Thank you! The decision was really tough, but I finally have names to give these guys.

Before we get to them, though, I want to tell Tina, Bess, and Caitlyn thank youThank you so much for helping me out! Since this story is a screenplay, there won't be an acknowledgements page. So this is my note of gratitude. I am truly and completely grateful to have friends like you who offer names, encouragement, and your hearts to inspire me along my writing journey.

Here are the names I chose from those offered:

Father: Harold

Son: Curtis "Curt"

Stranger: Griffin "Griff"


I've now got the job of switching to these names in my mind as I'm writing rather than using the ones I had previously used, which were the first names of the actors who are my inspiration for the roles. Only two of the characters have shown up in the story yet, but I know that third one is lurking in the shadows and waiting for the optimum moment to make his grand debut. I can hardly wait, because I'm sure that moment will carry along a burst of fireworks since he's a really quirky, fun guy.

Let's move on to Ms. Kim Vogel Sawyer's news.

Her newest book might not come out until September, but trust me on this: It will be worth the wait.

I received an early copy of Bringing Maggie Home (thank you, Kim!), and it was such a blessing to me that I pre-ordered a second copy.

Here are my thoughts on the book:

Pre-order now!
Release date: September 5, 2017
I've been a fan of Kim Vogel Sawyer's for a long time now. When I found out she was stepping into new-to-her territory with Bringing Maggie Home, I was immediately excited. It can sometimes be a rough transition for authors when they branch out into different genres from their normal ones, but with Ms. Sawyer's talent for storytelling, I had a feeling she'd knock it out of the park. I've been telling people about this book for weeks, even though I hadn't yet read it, and the feedback has been encouraging.

I'm here to let all of those people -- and anyone else who will listen -- that this book is a must-read novel that is certain to dig deep into your soul and emotions.

As always, Ms. Sawyer did a fantastic job creating complex characters that feel real and as if they could leap off the page and into my house for a dinner date. This time, though, the focus was not on a romance -- there was a hint of romance, so keep your eyes open for that. Instead, it was a raw and gritty yet amazing and realistic multi-generational story of the bonds between mothers and daughters and sisters. Sometimes these relationships get broken along the way, but it's in the mending of these bonds that mothers and daughters and sisters come to truly understand each other and become great friends. I particularly liked this quote: "What kind of mending might they be able to accomplish if they had six weeks together...?" That line gave me lots of hope for the characters that were butting heads like mountain goats jockeying for alpha-male status.

The story was intricate and unfolded like fitting together pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. At first, it didn't seem like a full picture would be formed by the tiny clusters that began to take shape. But patience prevailed and a beautiful portrait of hope and redemption revealed itself. Whatever you do, please do not skip ahead to find out early what happens. The journey discovered through each chapter is well worth every minute it takes to read. Ooh, I wish I could fully express the emotional impact of the book! I wept on more than one occasion, but then, I am a bit of a weeper. Still, I have to believe it was mostly -- if not in total -- due to the brilliant writing in Bringing Maggie Home.

One of the most impactful parts of this story was the faith thread. It was naturally infused throughout the pages, and I especially loved the plentiful amount of Bible verses that fit perfectly into the story where they were inserted. I got the good chills several times when reading these wonderful scenes when the characters discovered something about their faith. I love it when this happens when I read a good book!

There was also encouragement for singles who are still waiting on God to send that right-for-them person into their lives. Take a look at this tidbit: "He knew the biblical passages about not being unequally yoked, and he'd never forget his mom's admonition about dating -- 'Don't let yourself fall in love with a girl who doesn't love the Lord.'" And this one: "If he was meant to have a family someday, God would bring a faithful woman into his life." These lines lifted my heart and renewed my hope that God does indeed have amazing plans for my future, as it is told in Jeremiah 29:11. Holding onto hope through the challenges of life and the unknowns of our futures is one of the most precious parts of faith in God. I'm glad for every reminder to hold onto hope that I find in my daily life, and this book is definitely one of those.

Bringing Maggie Home is a book I'll be rereading several times in the coming years. It's a must-read, five-star keeper. Are you planning on reading it? It's now up for pre-order, and I've seen some really great prices out there. Check your favorite online retailers for more information.


About the book:

Pre-order now!
Release date: September 5, 2017
Decades of Loss, an Unsolved Mystery, 
and a Rift Spanning Three Generations

Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.

Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can’t understand her mother’s overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother’s inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan—a cold case agent—cherishes her grandmother’s lavish attention and affection.
 
When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel’s painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that’s been lost?


I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, authors, and sites like Netgalley, Litfuse Publicity Group, and Blogging for Books. They do not require me to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.



What books have touched your soul lately?

Have you ever helped someone solve a mystery?
What type of adventures did you have along the way?


Remember, if you're participating in my Autumn 2017 Reading Challenge, visit this page to let me know which book you've read for each category.

Haven't signed up yet? No problem! Visit this page to sign up. This challenge goes all the way through December, so it's not too late to join in the reading fun!



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8 comments:

  1. Yay!! It's taking form... can't wait!!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, it is definitely taking shape. I'm so excited about the new names too.

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  2. So honored and blessed to have my Dad's name as one of your characters. My heart is smiling big! <3

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    1. I'm glad I could make your heart smile! I never had a free moment to comment last week, but my heart wept for your losses, Tina. Big hugs going your way!

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  3. Like your names. My life got so busy I can't seem to find myself these days so I missed getting my ideas to you, but you have not disappointed with the names you have chosen. So excited for this adventure of yours.
    Now I have been seeing all kinds of reviews for Kim's latest book, but your review has convinced me I need to order it and get my local Christian bookstore to add it to their shelves too.

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    1. Rebecca, I am so glad my review inspired you to get a copy for yourself and also ask your library to order one. That's exciting! I hope you enjoy it.

      Life gets so busy sometimes! I hope you find some time to rest in there too. Thanks for encouraging me on my writing journey! That means the world to me.

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  4. Thanks so much for the kind review, Andrea. You definitely blessed my heart today. Blessings on your new writing project!

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    1. Thanks, Kim! My new writing project is filled with witty dialogue, which has been a challenge for me in the past. I'm hoping to master it this time. Blessings for the release of Bringing Maggie Home! I hope you gain buckets of new readers from this book. It's a great one.

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