Friday, May 24, 2013
Fire Storm by Mackenzie Dare ~Interview, Review and Giveaway!~
I am pleased to feature Mackenzie Dare on my blog today. Welcome to Just Your Average reviews Mackenzie. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m just a country girl who loves running down gravel roads surrounded by walls of corn, baking harvest pies and made-from-scratch bread, getting down in the dirt to plant a garden, or ridin’ my horse though the open fields. I love to write, and I take my notebook everywhere. I’m always looking for a likely place to relax and be transported into the lives of my characters… a thick patch of grass under a willowy, flowering crab apple, a place amongst the clover next to my horse as she eats in her pasture, a spot near a large, picture window on a rainy day with the pane slightly cracked to hear the rhythmic patter of water droplets while feeling the chilly breeze, a cozy spot on the fireplace mantle with a hot cup of tea, feeling the warmth and hearing the crackle as I gaze outside at the swirling snow and the blowing pine branches. I like studying life. It comes in so many forms. It’s everywhere you look, from the golden dandelions and purple violets scattered among the grass to a tiny chick-a-dee and golden finch singing high atop a tree. It’s in the thunderous ocean waves and the song of a gentle brook bubbling over rigid, moss-covered rocks. I cherish my family and consider them the most important people in this world to me. Most of all, I love my Lord and Savior, the Creator of life, the Father of justices, honor, purity, and goodness, the friend of sinners, the giver of love… everlasting love and life.
What is your book, Fire Storm, about? Fire Storm is about a couple of young families living excessively normal lives in a small-town, farming community in Northern Illinois. Wade is a paramedic. His wife, Mellissa, works in a lawyer’s office, and they are expecting a baby very soon. Their best friends, Jim and Jessica, live on a small horse farm out in the country. Jim is a fireman. Jess is a stay-at-home mom with her recently born little girl. Life is fun and carefree till… Jess starts running into threats at every turn. Are they even threats or just accidents? The thought of a killer being after Jess just seems so ridiculous though… not so much… when she comes eye to eye with murder! Who and Why? What about Wade ‘n Mellissa? Will they remain safe in their young existence as they embark in the beginnings of life’s journey, or will the epidemic of murder spread? How far does it reach? What are the secrets?
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? I don’t remember a conscious decision. I think that’s just the way the Lord made me. I’ve always loved writing and making stories up in my head for as long as I can remember. Every once in a while, I’ll find a page of an ancient second or third grade short story and chuckle as I read it and try to decipher the context.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I love life! One of my favorite things to do is to run outside, especially on a dew-glistening, bird-singing, spring morning… just to run toward a painted sunrise and feel absorbed in the beauty of God’s creation! I love riding my horse down the gravel road or through the cornfields. I love chilly fall days… a cool breeze floating in a slightly open window and feeling the warm apple-scented steam as you slide a crusty, golden, apple pie out of the oven just as a drip of cinnamon syrup bubbles out and sizzles. I like a crisp, breezy walk through a pumpkin patch or a swim in a Wisconsin lake. I like camping in the North Woods or browsing souvenir shops. I’ve enjoyed climbing cliffs in the Blue Ridge and drivin’ by buffalo in Yellowstone. I love findin’ deals at garage sales and hangin’ out with my family… cookout style or pizza and popcorn movie nights. My favorite time is Christmas… It’s A Wonderful Life in the DVD player, a fire crackling in the corner, the pop of popcorn, and the sweet aroma of hot chocolate as we hang ornaments and wrap lights around our Christmas tree and nativity scene. I love seeing the Lord work in my life and teach me new things. I love Him because He first loved me. He’s shown me this sooo many times in my life! One of my favorite verses is “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” He’s the giver of life… the One who makes daffodils smile and the thunderclouds clap. I love life, love, loyalty, and laughter. What do you want readers to take away from your story?
A few laughs… some exciting rushes of adrenaline… moments of curiosity and bewilderment… entertainment and enjoyment… a feeling of genuine friendship, love, and forgiveness… and most of all, a better understanding of an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving God.
Do you have a favorite author (Or several!)? I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read of the left behind series by Jerry Jenkins and Tim Lahaye. They are probably my favorite, right now.
What do you love most about writing fiction? I like the surprises! I like it when my characters stray away from the outline and suddenly reveal to me a hidden trait or a deep dark secret from their past. I like it when a good guy turns out to be not everything I thought he was or a bad guy turns out to be not so bad. I love to laugh through my characters or be taken away on the wings of imagination into a heart-racing adventure.
Do you have a favorite... Book: Left Behind Series by Jerry Jenkins and Tim Layhaye TV Show: I like old time shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, ect… Song: “Immortal, Invisible” or “I’ll Never Forsake You” sung by the Steve Pettit Evangelistic Team Movie: Facing the Giants or Fire Proof
A few this or that questions. Sunrise or Sunset? That depends. I think sunsets are prettier with their pink, purple, and orange brushstrokes against God’s heavenly canvass, but you don’t get the dew drop, songbird, misty morning that comes with a sunrise. Hardcopy or e-book? Both, but there is something special about the look and feel of brand new hardcopy in your hands, just something about turning those crisp new pages. Clue or Monopoly? Haha… I love Monopoly! My family won’t even let me pick the game we play anymore. :( :) Classic or contemporary novels? God-honoring contemporary. Cake or ice cream? Oreo ice cream! … with chocolate syrup… and Oreo pieces… yum :) Dog or cat? Horse :) Car or truck? Well, I really do like my little, red car, and she’s probably a lot better on gas, but I’d love to have a truck someday. Watermelon or cantaloupe? Watermelon. Hands down. No argument. :) Anything else you would like to add? Just that I hope all you who decide to get a copy of Fire Storm enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Where can readers find you online? Anyone can find me on my blog at: poemsofprayerandpraise.blogspot.com/ or on Goodreads at: www.goodreads.com/author/show/6951145.Mackenzie_Dare You can read the first chapter of Fire Storm on either blog.
Oh. My. Gosh! I absolutely, completely, totally loved this book! I don't know if I can put into words how much I loved it, but I will try! As a Christian, small town, horse crazy, farm girl, I was thrilled to find a Christian suspense book that was set in a small town where the main characters live on a horse farm, needless to say I found myself completely relating to so many aspects of this book! The romance, true love, and devotion between the married couples was so sweet, their were times that it made my heart swell and my stomach flutter! I loved Jim and Jessica, Wade and Mellissa, and through the skillful writing of the author I grew to love Derrick as well! And of course Morgan was just oh so adorable. Fire Storm grabbed me on page one and didn't release me until I reached the end! I usually am able to guess who the killer is, but with this one I had no clue who it was, so it was a big surprise for me when the killer's identity was revealed! And the suspense, oh my goodness it was SO amazing, just when I thought it couldn't get any crazier (In a good way!) it did!!! There is one thing I would like to point out and that is that Fire Storm is told from a number of different characters view points, while this did not bother me and I personally feel that it helped to tell the story perfectly, I know that there are people who don't like this way of telling a story, but I would highly recommend that they read it anyway because it is so worth reading!!! Fire Storm has touched my life and my heart and I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to read it! It is now on my list of all time favorite books and I know I will reread it many times in the future! And I highly anticipate this author's next book! In closing, Fire Storm is an amazing read, which I highly recommend to anyone and everyone!!! It is one of those rare finds that as soon as you finish it, you desire nothing more than to start it again, it's that good!!! :) I received this book from the author, in exchange for my honest review. The above is my honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.
Mackenzie is giving away a paperback copy and three PDF copies to four lucky winners. Enter via the Rafflecopter below. US only, sorry. Giveaway ends June 4th
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