Let's get this interview started! :)
Tell us a bit about yourself and your writing. (How did you get started? How many books have you written? Where are you on your writing journey?)
I think I’ve wanted to write since I took my first breath, but I lacked the confidence to do more than dabble for way too long. One of my first major milestones occurred when I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org) in 2003.
I discovered how much I loved creating characters and the thrill of having characters do things I never expected. I was hooked, but several more years passed before I did much more than dream of someday being published.
Another milestone was attending the 2007 Florida Christian Writers Conference. I made lasting friendships, learned about craft, and knew I had to keep trying.
Then in 2011, I won the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest in the historical category. That manuscript, Where Treasure Hides, became my debut novel. Tyndale released the ebook in 2013 and the print edition a few weeks ago.
Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series), the first of three contemporary romances, releases from Revell in January. My historical novella, tentatively titled The Healing Promise, will be included in Barbour’s Courageous Brides Collection which releases next July.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
I have more than one so it’s always hard to answer a question like this. I’ll go with one that’s a little more obscure: Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun (Ecclesiastes 11:7).
I love the poetry and imagery of that Scripture.
What have you read lately that you would recommend?
I’ve read two of Ann Tatlock’s novels in recent weeks that were almost impossible to put down: Once Beyond a Time and I’ll Watch the Moon. Ann has a lyrical and gifted voice, and her characters pull you into the story.
What book are you featuring today?
Where Treasure Hides is about a talented artist who protects art and children from the Nazis while the man she loves must fight his own battles against Hitler’s evil regime.
Dutch-American artist Alison Schuyler lives in Rotterdam, Holland with her grandfather who owns the family’s art gallery. While in London, she meets British Army officer Ian Devlin after he protects a Kindertransport boy at Waterloo Station and she draws a sketch of the two of them.
Though the attraction between them is instant, Europe is on the edge of war. August 1939 is not a good time for romance. Circumstances bring them back together but Ian is recalled to duty when England declares war on Germany.
Alison assists her family in protecting Dutch art from the Nazi looters while Ian is wounded and captured at Dunkirk. She’s almost glad he’s a POW—at least he’s out of the war. But Ian chafes under the confinement and eventually escapes.
As the story unfolds, Alison and Ian are reunited then torn apart again. Will they ever find the happiness that eludes them? You’ll have to read the story to find out!
If you could tell people who are going to read/have read your books one thing, what would it be?
In the story, my heroine’s go-to Scripture is Proverbs 31:25 which, in the KJV, reads: “Strength and honour are her clothing, and she shall rejoice in time to come.”
Alison faced an unlikely trial and a difficult loss. But by holding onto this promise, she could rejoice in the blessings God had given her even as she mourned all that the war had taken from her.
This is also one of my favorite verses, though I prefer the NASB version: “Strength and dignity are her clothing and she smiles at the future.”
As daughters of the King of Kings, we can clothe ourselves in strength and dignity no matter what difficulties we are facing. Even in sorrow, joy can be ours as we claim the promise of an eternal future with our Savior.
A graduate of Rollins College (Orlando) with a Master of Liberal Studies degree, Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, road trips, and stacks of books. She lives in the Memphis area with a small herd of alpacas and Rugby, the princely papillon who trees raccoons.
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Link to Chapter One: