Monday, October 22, 2012

Joanne Bischof: Does God Make Mistakes?


I'm truly honored to have debut author, Joanne Bischof here! Her book Be Still My Soul recently released and let me tell you, it's amazing! Today she's sharing with us about how her story came to life and answered the question: Does God make mistakes?

Do you ever look around you and wonder… “How did I get here?” As a new author, I have this thought every single day. I’m amazed by the blessing of it all.
I never planned on writing Appalachian Romance. I never woke up and thought “today is the day I’m going to write a book about romance in Appalachia.” It just sort of happened. I was listening to this song by Alison Krauss and instantly, Lonnie’s character came to me. I saw her sitting there, this question filling her heart—would she ever be loved? Right then, Gideon’s character came to me as well. And while at first, the possibility seemed unlikely between the two of them, I knew that God works miracles and that this love story had to be told. In this moment, Be Still My Soul was born.

The story took off from there and true to its musical origins, it begins with a dance, deep in the mountains, one autumn night. As I thought about it, I knew that Lonnie, the shy wallflower of Rocky Knob would want little to do with singing on stage. But of course, that’s exactly where she ends up. Right next to cocky bluegrass musician and handsome ladies’ man, Gideon O’Riley. While they knew one another from afar, this is the first moment they are thrown together. Gideon who has a reputation as being the town rebel, ends up walking her home—almost stealing more than a kiss—and ends up changing her life forever.
My heart breaks for Lonnie, but I see redemption on the horizon and pray that hope will breath it’s peace into her spirit.

Isn’t life funny that way? We find ourselves in a situation and we’re questioning if maybe God made a mistake. Maybe He fell asleep at the wheel for a minute and didn’t hear our pleas. We think, “God you know my needs and this is NOT what I need right now.” I think God just listens. Because He knows what He can build out of nothing. What he can build from a flurry of broken hopes. Broken dreams. But do we? Do we forget that God is so mighty that nothing is too big for Him? No distance too far. No heart too cold. There have been moments in my life when I’ve forgotten this truth. But then it fills my heart with peace and healing begin. Because nothing is impossible for God.

Let’s chat! Has there been a time in your life when you felt this way? A moment when you thought “no good can come of this” yet down the road, God’s blessings unfolded in a surprise way?

 Here's a sneak peek at Joanne's historical romance:

 Night’s chill tickled her skin. Lonnie pressed her hands together and glanced up. He was even more handsome up close. Having grown up the shy, awkward daughter of Joel Sawyer, she’d hardly spoken to any boy, let alone the one who had mothers whispering warnings in their daughter’s ears and fathers loading shotguns.
 
Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith.  But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate.

Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing  Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.

Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life.  What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?


Married to her first sweetheart, Joanne Bischof lives in the mountains of Southern California where she keeps busy making messes with their home-schooled children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, writing, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life. Be Still My Soul is her first novel.
Connect with Joanne at her website/blog, facebook, and twitter @joannebischof


*I loved all your names! Thanks for entering the contest. It was a toughy. Here's my Top 4 Names I battled with for the Sailboat contest:
4. I Promise it's Safe
3.Early Inheritance
2.Sinking Feeling
1. Parayoso (Paradise in Spanish) 

But the winner goes to...

Seas the Bay by Katelynn Evans! Perfect for a guy in Tampa Bay!

*photocredit: freedigitalphotos



29 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your debut novel, Joanne. Sounds like an incredibly sweet story! God took the darkest time in my life and flooded it with the Light of His Grace...I've been a changed woman since. I know God can use those dark times, even if we don't see what good can come of it.

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    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! Isn't it amazing how God does that? I love the song about how the trials of this life may just be blessings in disguise. It sounds like He was at work in an incredible way through your situation.

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  2. I love this:
    "I think God just listens. Because He knows what He can build out of nothing. What he can build from a flurry of broken hopes. Broken dreams. But do we? Do we forget that God is so mighty that nothing is too big for Him?"
    I spent the morning reading about how He's made perfect in our weaknesses. It's so hard to believe that in the middle of those moments, but He's at His best then. We only need to remember that.
    Congrats on your debut novel!
    And Jess, I love the boat name:)

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    1. Hi, Susan! I'm so glad that the post spoke to you. He truly is made perfect in our weaknesses and you hit the nail on the head--"He's at His best then." So very true. Thank you so much for your sweet words about the book!!

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  3. I love that nothing is too big for God, thank you Joanne.

    Fun boat name!!

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    1. Thanks you Lisa! Nice seeing you here on Jessica's blog!

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  4. Love the boat name, Jess! So cool.

    And Joanne, loved your devo. I've definitely wondered how God could possibly bring good from certain situations (like my mom dying), but He takes what has been broken by this world and heals it.

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    1. Oh, Lindsay, my heart hurts over this news. I can't even imagine what you've been through. A blessing beyond words that God has been with you through it all and has been holding and working on the broken bits and healing it. Hugs!!

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  5. I'm so glad God led you into writing Appalachian romance, Joanne!

    I definitely have felt that God let me the wrong way at times...I was sure my paranormal novel was straight from Him (prayed over it the entire time I wrote it), but for now, it's shelved. I think writing is the trickiest thing I've ever done, and the hardest thing to have faith about, hands down!

    Yet I know that each time I step out on faith, sooner or later, God will make it all work together for good. The key is to keep sacrificing and stepping out and not get jaded and resentful! Hard to do.

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    1. Hi Heather! I'm so glad he led me into it too :) It was quite a pleasant surprise! You put it so well that the key is to keep stepping out in faith and sacrificing. It is hard to not get resentful. I SO know! I've had to ask myself at times if I was doing the Lord's work or my own. I've muddled the two many times in my life and I think it's something I'll always be working on!

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  6. This is the first time I've seen the premise of your book and it sounds SO good!!! I just love that kind of story and am going to be definitely reading this book!!!
    Thanks for featuring her and her story, Jessica!

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    1. Thank you, Jessica! I'm so glad the book sounds like one you'd enjoy. That means a ton coming from another writer! So great seeing you here. Take care!

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  7. Okay, I can't say this enough: I loved your book!

    Yeah, I think I've been there before, when it seemed like the road God was leading me down couldn't possibly be right. Like, dude, really, God? But looking back, I can see He totally knew what he was doing and actually saved me from doing something really dumb in the process.

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    1. You are so stinkin' fun, Melissa! I keep thinking about your soon to come book and I am already excited!! He always knows what he's doing, doesn't he :) It's so wonderful when he saves us as you put it. So true!! I can't tell you how many landmines I almost walked into but for His goodness, He pulled me back. :)

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  8. The book sounds amazing. I look forward to reading it!

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    1. Thank you Julie! I have yours in my TBR pile and I'm so looking forward to it!

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  9. 'll be honest: I'm in a season right now where there's something going on and I'n wondering if God can bring good out of it. I'm walking it out, according to his will, with pray, with counsel ... but oh, it seems to go from bad to worse ...
    Life's like that, I know. It's not the first time I've been in this kind of season ... so I know God is faithful to the truth of his word. And I have faithful friends who hold out hope to me.
    And those two things make all the difference.
    Love the theme of your book.

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    1. Those two things really do make all the difference, Beth. Well said. I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through one of those seasons right now, but in a sense, know that God is going to bring you full circle in His perfect way and timing. Blessings are on the horizon and I pray His strength for you as you walk this path. So great seeing you here! I absolutely loved Wish You Were Here :)

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  10. It seems that I equate everything back to our journey with having a chronically ill child. That was a long, seemingly neverending season, but it grew my faith walk.

    Thank you, Joanne, for sharing! Congratulations on your debut!

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    1. Cythia, I can't even imagine what your journey has been like. As it grew your faith, I know God was at work as He always is. A blessing to hear that you felt His presence through it all!

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  11. Congratulations, Joanne! I enjoyed reading about the idea spark for your book. Alison Krauss has such a unique, haunting voice--I'm a big fan!

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    1. Hi Jill! It's so fun to meet another Alison Krauss fan. Doesn't she have the most beautiful voice? I'm so glad you enjoyed the post on Be Still My Soul and how it originated. Blessings on your own writing!!

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  12. Congratulations on your book, Joanne!

    I remember watching The Hatfields and McCoys this summer. Alison Krauss had the perfect voice to capture the theme and atmosphere of that movie. I have a few of her albums that I listen to when I'm writing.

    Jessica, thanks for introducing us to Joanne!
    This year has brought many challenges my way (husband deployed, major surgery, etc.) that left me to wonder whether God would restore the broken pieces of my life. I'm in a period right now where I'm waiting to see what God will do about an important situation. I don't understand why it happened or how the timing came about, but I believe God is teaching me a lesson in patience and what it means to have priorities that truly matter.

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    1. Thank you, Brandi!! I remember that song she sang for the H & M show. Her voice is amazing. That show seemed hauntingly eerie :) I missed it but from what I know of Appalachia, those hills were often laced with heartache.

      Wow, just thinking about your husband being deployed makes me wish I could give you a hug. Thank you for what you do and a special thanks to your husband for all that he does for our country. Great meeting you here on Jessica's blog!

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  13. I loved your book!! Congrats on your success!

    There were times when I was young that I dealt with many challenges. Even when I ran in the opposite direction, God chased me down - stood in front of me, and didn't budge. He didn't give up on me. I am so thankful for that. I trust Him. I love Him.

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad to hear it, Loree! And thank you :) God has been amazing as He's led me on this journey. I love the image of God chasing you down. He's so faithful like that. Your comment is a blessing.

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  14. Thanks everyone for showing Joanne so much support!

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    1. thanks Jess! I missed the reply button on this one. So fun hanging out with you and your readers!

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  15. wow, am I late or what?! Look at all these great comments. I can't wait to read each one and join in the discussion. Thank you so much for having me, Jessica!!

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