Monday, April 29, 2013

THE POWER OF A BOOK





Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband Norman and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored fourteen books and is currently at work on a new series for Bethany House Publishing. The first book in her Road to Kingdom series, “Inescapable,” came out in July of 2012. The second book, “Unbreakable” released in February of 2013. The final book in the series, “Unforeseeable,” will be available in September of 2013.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Web site: www.nancymehl.com. She has a newsletter located at: www.nancymehl.blogspot.com, and is a part of another blog, The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.
 
THE POWER OF A BOOK
 
It’s hard to remember when my passion for books began. I recall being absolutely crazy about Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys when I was in grade school. My father, who willingly fed my growing addiction, carted volumes home to me as fast as I could read them.

Probably in an attempt to remain financially solvent, my parents introduced me to my school library. It quickly became my very favorite place. I even volunteered after school so I could be near all the wonderful stories that lined the shelves. There’s something special about a library or a bookstore. The possibilities are almost endless – adventures, mysteries and strange worlds wait to be plucked up and enjoyed. In fact, it’s the memories of my school library that helped to shape a very special place in my Ivy Towers mystery series. Miss Bitty’s Bygone Bookstore was fashioned from those early library experiences.

At my very first book signing, the mother of my best friend in grade school showed up. She told me that she wasn’t the least bit surprised I’d turned out to be an author. “I still remember when you’d stay the night,” she said laughing. “I’d come in to check on you two and find a big, glowing lump on the bed.” No, it wasn’t aliens, nor was I radioactive. It was me, under the covers with a flashlight, reading. I’d check out five or six books at a time and then stay up all night so I could finish them. Made for some rather sleepy days at school. For a while, I think my parents were afraid I was suffering from some kind of vitamin deficiency. 

By junior high, I’d read all of Charles Dickens and Shakespeare. In high school, I even read War and Peace – not because I thought it would be interesting. It was for the challenge. I was so glad when I finally closed the cover. I can’t remember much about it. Except there was a war. And some peace.

I’ve read so many books it’s hard to pick just a few that had an impact on me. Black Beauty stoked my love of horses. Charles Dickens taught me that fictional characters can be so real they stay with you forever. Edgar Allen Poe showed me that words can illicit sadness – and fear. And Louisa May Alcott made me cry.

In one of my Ivy Towers’ novels, There Goes Santa Claus, I use one of my favorite books to paint a picture of a young woman with a painful past. When a love-struck man presents her with a copy of a beloved book, misplaced from her childhood, it helps to break down her self-made barriers. Miss Jellytot’s Visit, by Mabel Leigh Hunt, is about a little girl who isn’t comfortable being herself. She soon discovers that trying to be someone you’re not only leads to unhappiness. A lesson my character had to learn.

Books can make us laugh. Make us cry. Teach us. Affect us. As an author, there is nothing that means more to me than getting an e-mail or a letter from a reader who tells me that something in my story leapt off the page and touched their life. Whether I’m reading or writing, that’s what it’s really all about, isn’t it?

 
Have you read IN THE DEAD OF WINTER? Leave a comment, along with your contact information, and you could win an eBook copy!

12 comments:

  1. Hi Nancy, I dont do ebooks so dont put me in the drawing but saw your face and just wanted to say Hi and let you know I too as a kid loved those nancy drew books along with the Hardy boys. I am a nut about reading and read often, one now is in my mind and I can't wait to get back and see how it is going to end. Love you authors that make reading so much fun....
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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  2. Hi Nancy, I also read all the Nancy Drew books as a kid as well as Trixie Beldon books. I didn't read any of the Hardy Boy books but my son did and loved them. I haven't read any of your books yet but they do sound very interesting and would love to read them. Thank you for the opportunity!

    Blessings,
    Jo
    azladijo(at)aol(dot)com

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  3. Hi Nancy , no I have not read this book . Would love to be in the giveaway . I read Nancy Drew books back in my younger days. Love a good mystery.
    Elizabeth
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)

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  4. I have not read In the Dead of Winter but would love to! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  5. I have not had the privilege to read "In The Dead Of Winter". I'm sure it's a great book and I would love to read it. I have read other books you've written. Thank you for entering me in the contest.
    barbmaci61@yahoo.com

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  6. I was not the avid reader you were, but I am growing in my love of sitting down to read right before going to bed. Thanks for reminding me of all the avenues that are available and why each has its importance.

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  7. Your post took me back memory lane. Loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys! Thanks so much.

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  8. Would love to win! I love to read!

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  9. Love your books. Grew up reading Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon, etc. My favorite book growing up was Anne of Green Gables. Still love to watch and read her stories. rackylemaire(at)gmail(dot)com.

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  10. I haven't progressed to e-books, yet, so don't enter me in the drawing, but I LOVE your books. Reading has also been my passion. In school, staying up late reading, then faking illness the next day (when I could get away with it) so I could stay home and continue reading was common...until my folks caught on. :) Black Beauty, The Black Stallion, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Treasure Island, Elsie Densmore, Green Dolphin Street, Gone With the Wind, When Knighthood was in Flower, any kind of science fiction, romance, suspense, cereal boxes, bread wrappers... Anything with writing on it was fair game. And, I do love your stories. Keep up the great work.

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  11. I love books!! Stories help me to make sense of things. It's the way my brain works. Most times, I don't get the point until I hear an illustration. Books do this for us :)
    I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on, still do. :)
    My email address is on my google profile.

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  12. I have nor read this. I have read her series on Mennonites and love them!

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