Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Love Finds You in the Wild West!

Today's guest is Elizabeth Ludwig, author of Love Finds You in Calico, California! I just love the history of the Wild West, and California is my home state, so needless to say I'm excited to be talking about both today!

Enjoy this interview with Elizabeth, and read on to see how ya can wrangle yerself a copy of her book! ;)

Amber: What, in your opinion, is the best part about writing a book for the “Love Finds You” series?

Elizabeth: For me, researching the site for Love Finds You in Calico, California was the best part. I love that these stories are set in real places—where real people lived and walked. I think it adds a touch of whimsy to the stories, makes people feel more in touch with the characters.

Amber: I agree with what you said about the series--I love that they are set in real places! Could you share a couple of fun facts you learned while doing research about the place where your “Love Finds You” book is set?

Elizabeth: I discovered Calico, California quite by accident, while on vacation with my family. While there, I got to tour the Maggie Mine—the setting for the final, climatic scene of my book. The emotions I felt—the feeling of suffocating darkness and the weight of the mountain overhead—are translated to my heroine, Abigail Watts.

Visitors are still allowed to tour the Maggie Mine, so be sure to stop by if you’re ever in California!

Amber: If you were planning a party in the town where your book is set, what would it be like? Please describe some of the details of the party planning, such as the guest list, catering, decorations, etc.

Elizabeth: It would definitely by a costume party! I’d require all of my guests to dress in period clothing and speak the Wild West lingo. It might even be fun to make it a Murder Mystery party, where all of the guests are suspects and their job is to figure out who the murderer is by the time dinner is over. LOL!

No getting lost in the mine, however…that would be too much for my poor nerves.

Amber: Love it! Murder Mystery Parties are so much fun, and combined with the Wild West--awesome! Do you have any thoughts on love and humility in general that you would like to share with us?

Elizabeth: Sure!

I had surgery recently. It was very unexpected and SO scary! Fortunately, my dear husband took very good care of me. Every night, he walked me to our room and gently helped me to bed. Because I couldn’t lie back on my own, he’d slip his arms around me and slowly lower me down. So sweet! Then, when I was ready to get up, he’d come and lift me to the floor.

Now, this is just one way he took care of me. I would fill up an entire page if told you about the meals he cooked, the dishes he washed, and everything else he did. Still, his care for me while I was sick showed me much more than his words ever could how much he loves me. As for me? Well, I fell in love with him all over again!

I think that’s why I write Christian fiction—because I want to translate to readers that this is the kind of love that lasts a lifetime…not the superficial physical attraction so many other books talk about. Most of all, this selfless love is the very thing that our Savior demonstrates toward us. What better kind of love could there be?

Amber: Oh, that is so sweet and beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing about your real life love story and how humility plays such an important role. I'm so glad you could join us for the "Love Finds You" blog party!

Readers, as some of you may recall this past summer I returned to a mining town called Virginia City, Nevada, for another visit. (I've been there several time now and love it!) Let's make this a real Wild West party today, and join me through these pictures from my trip on a stagecoach ride!

Take a seat and hold on to your Stetson hat--it's going to be a bumpy ride!

And we're off! Just look at those sagebrush-covered hills and that silver-blue sky: bliss!

(Just a note before you watch the video: It might get a little loud, so I recommend turning the volume down unless you really want the full effect! ;) And in case you're curious, that's my mom up there with the stagecoach driver!)

Was that fun or what?! If you would like to learn more about these stagecoach rides and TNT Stagelines, click HERE.

And now that we've settled back down again (although probably still a bit jostled on the inside!), here's your chance to win Love Finds You in Calico, California! (Note that this giveaway is for U.S. residents only.)

Just leave a comment for Elizabeth with your valid e-mail address for your first entry. And if you would like 2 extra entries, tell us what your favorite Western show is. My favorite is Bonanza, which is set in Virginia City, Nevada!

Thank you again to Elizabeth for her generosity in giving away a copy of her book and for taking the time to join us!



Lady DragonKeeper said...

Wow, an interesting look into a author's life (and the researching process). "Calico, California" sounds like the perfect town name for a western. =) I love historical fiction, so I'd love the chance to win!


+2 entries = Does the "Little House on the Prairie" t.v. show (with Melissa Gilbert) count as a western? =)

Joy Tamsin David said...

That stagecoach ride looks like so much fun!

I love western books, but I hate westerns on tv. I think the difference is there was never much romance on Bonanza was there? Or maybe I didn't watch it long enough to find out.

Joy G Lee G@aol. com

Project Journal said...

GREAT interview, Amber and Elizabeth!!

I've never had much experience with Westerns, I think it's partly location (in New England we are much more contemporary and demure, Amber LOL) and partly my mom's a little more contemporary? I mean she used to watch Bonanza I know because Grandpa did, buttttt we didn't as much. Lol...we watched Little House on the Prairie (as Lady said above, if that counts) and like Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman. Oh man, we loved that show but I can't remember it very well anymore!! LOL! *sigh* thoughts of my childhood days that are long gone : (

You guys look mighty fine in that stagecoach! Looks and sounds like you three had bunches of fun!!

Thanks for hosting this party, Amber! It's really great. Crossing my fingers that I might win something so I can finally try one of the LFYI books : D

Renee Ann said...

Thanks for sharing your exciting stagecoach ride, Amber! And also for sharing this interview. I loved many of the TV westerns, like Bonanza and Gun Smoke. Probably my favorite was The Big Valley--it was about the Barkleys, a family of handsome sons and one feisty daughter and they had lots of adventure! Yeeee-haaaaw! reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Bluerose said...

Elizabeth, that was soooo sweet of your husband to take such good care of you!! I love stories like that! :)

My favorite western(thanks to Hannah for reminding me) was Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman. My whole family watched that show. We tried to never miss an episode.

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

Thanks, Bluerose! Just looking at my husband, you wouldn't think he's a softie...I mean, the guy rides a Harley! Still, he's one of the sweetest, most compassionate people I know, and romantic to the core. LOL! I count myself blessed.

Did anybody ever see the movie Silverado with Kevin Costner? I laughed out loud during that movie, especially the scene where Kevin is on the stairs and getting shot at, but when he reaches the top, he turns around, puts his finger to his lips and says, "Shh..." LOL!

Good luck to everyone in the drawing, and Merry Christmas, too!

Anonymous said...

Great interview, please include me in this giveaway.

Ariel Wilson said...

Hm... I don't think I even watch any Western shows :P


Casey said...

Good morning! (Amber, please don't enter me, as I already have this book! :)

Elizabeth, that is such a beautiful story that you told about your husband. How selfless and sweet! :)

When I was in CA this summer, I took LFYI Calico to read, I mean, how could I NOT?? Turns out I was only about an hour from Calico and really wanted to go and visit the town, but it just didn't work out for time constraints. But I thought that would be such fun to do that! Great interview ladies, I enjoyed reading it. :)

Giveaway Lady said...

Well, I already have this book and loved it so I would like to win a copy for my sister and pass it on to her:)

My favorite western would be Roy Rogers:) I know, it is old but they were good:D I like LadyDragonKeepers answer though! Does Little House on the Prairie count? LOL! I am a fan of that series as well:)


Jen U. said...

California is my homestate too, Amber. ;-) I have memories of visiting Calico ghost town as a young girl with my bluebird troup. From what I have heard it has changed a lot since then. All of my family is still in CA and we are taking a cross country road trip this next Spring to see them and plan to take our kids to Calico. It will be their first time to see a ghost town or the west.

Anyways- please enter me. I would love to read this. One of my favorite things about this series is that it is set in real places.
~Jen Unsell

Jen U. said...

My favorite western show would be anything with John Wayne. ;-)
~Jen Unsell

Renee Ann said...

Yes, Silverado is a great western! It's filled with quirky characters and dialogue--very enjoyable.

Emma said...

GREAT interview. My favorite Western show is Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman.The love finds you books are wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.

Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

Hehe Gunsmoke and Bonanza are two shows that I can't help but watch on a daily basis because my brother LOVES both shows. I've never seen Silverado but it does sound great! I'll have to look it up!

Please don't enter me I already have a signed copy of this book, I just wanted to stop by and say HI!

XOXO~ Renee

MJ @ Creative Madness Mama said...

*not an entry*

I'm very excited about this book. It's in my pile to read as soon as I have a moment to breathe!

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

Ah...Gunsmoke! I never watched that show growing up, but I catch it now on XM Radio. Love it!!

Actually, I listen to a lot of the old westerns on the Radio Classics channel, like Have Gun, Will Travel, Hop-Along Cassidy, The Rifleman, etc. (XM 164 if you're interested).

They also do a lot of old mysteries. Did y'all know they are releasing a remake of The Green Hornet? I laughed out loud when I saw that, because I listen to it regularly on XM.

Amanda Stanley said...

Oh, I just loved this interview! Elizabeth, it’s wonderful to meet you! That beautiful story about your dear husband is so very moving and definitely put a smile on my face at the end of a long day :) Thank you so much for sharing it with us here. And, I love your reasons for writing Christian fiction, may the Lord bless and guide you as you continue to write for Him!

I would love a chance to read this great book and get to know this sweet author better through her writing! Thank you Elizabeth and Amber for giving us the chance!

Amber, your excitement is contagious, my friend!! :D Those pics of you and your family are so cute! Such fun memories! Now, where have I heard Virginia City, Nevada mentioned before… hmmm… ;)

Blessings to you both!
Amanda Stanley

Unknown said...

Enjoyed the interview with Elizabeth. My viewing or listening to western shows goes a long way back to The Lone Ranger that my brother and I listened to on the radio. Then on tv there was Gunsmoke, Maverick, The one with Barbara Stanwyck (can't remember name) all the way down to Bonanza. The one with the wagons traveling West...oh these senior moments can get embarrassing! Thank you for this great interview about Elizabeth's Western themed story; and for the chance to win it. I hope I do.

Blessings of Joy,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Amber Holcomb said...

Wow! I am so, so late to the party--sorry! :(

So happy to see you all here, though! :D

LADY DRAGON KEEPER: I love Elizabeth's responses, as well! And I agree that "Calico, California" is a great name for a Western setting--and it's a real place! How cool is that? ;)

And sure, Little House on the Prairie counts. :) You have 3 entries in this day's drawing!

JOY: I've ridden that stagecoach several times, and I LOVE it! It's quite bone-jarring, but such a fun, wonderful experience. ;)

And oh! There's plenty of romance on Bonanza! Of course, it's a different romance every episode, because the boys never actually settle down and marry anyone. My family and I made the observation that the female love interest always has to go back East or dies by the end of the episode... But still! ;) There are some really sweet episodes, some really funny ones, and some really thought-provoking ones. However, it was such a long series that not all of them can be top-class, I suppose. ;)

Anyway, you have 3 entries in this day's drawing!

HANNAH: Awww, thank you! :)

And you Eastern people--sheesh! We're rough and tough out here in the West, and we like it that way! ;) Just kidding!

We definitely had a lot of fun riding that stagecoach, and I'm hopeful that I'll get to ride it again!

I'm so glad you're enjoying the party, and I hope you get a chance to read an LFY books soon, too! You have 3 entries in this drawing. :)


Amber Holcomb said...

RENEE ANN: You're welcome! :) Glad you enjoyed it!

And I'm so glad to meet another Bonanza fan! :D I'll have to keep "The Big Valley" in mind--that sounds right up my alley! ;)

You have 3 entries in this drawing!

BLUEROSE: Isn't that such a sweet story? *sigh* Just beautiful! :)

I haven't seen Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman, but with all these recommendations I'll have to keep this one in mind, as well!

You have 3 entries in this drawing. :)

ELIZABETH: First of all, thank you again for your time and generosity! We're so happy you are a guest at this party! :D

Second, your husband sounds so, so sweet! Thank you for sharing your love story with us. :)

Third, I love the way you describe that scene from Silverado! Another Western I'll have to add to my list! Sounds super funny--kind of like some scenes from Bonanza. ;)

Merry Christmas to you, as well!

ANONYMOUS: Thank you! You have 1 entry in this drawing. :) Glad you could stop by!

ARIEL: The horror!!! Just kidding--you're still welcome here. ;) For your honesty, you can have the 2 extra entries, for a grand total of 3 entries in this drawing. :)


Amber Holcomb said...

CASEY: I'm glad you enjoyed the interview and Elizabeth's sweet story. :) You're so sweet to stop by even though you already have the book!

It's too bad you didn't get to visit Calico, but maybe another time. :) Perhaps you could stop by my hometown in northern California on your way, when I'm home of course... ;)

CHARITY: That's sweet! :D I love how these blog giveaways can work for Christmas "shopping," as well, as Renee Ann suggested on her blog a little while ago. :)

I don't think I've seen any Roy Rogers, but I like the Coca-Cola and cherry-flavored drink called Roy Rogers! ;) And I think "Little House on the Prairie" has to count!

You have 3 entries in this drawing. :)

JEN: A fellow California girl! :D Fun!

And speaking of fun--that's so neat that you'll be taking your family back to visit California. :) And you'll get to see Calico! I hope ya'll have a wonderful time!

And good ol' John Wayne. :) I saw McLintock at one time, and remember that it was pretty funny! You have 3 entries in this drawing. :)

RENEE ANN: OK, I'm going to have to see this movie/show! :D Sounds good!

EMMA: Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) And I keep hearing about that show here, so it must be good!

You have 3 entries in this drawing. :)


Amber Holcomb said...

RENEE: You're so sweet! Thanks so much for stopping by! And yay for Bonanza! Your brother must be a man/boy of impeccable taste. ;)

And you and I will have to watch Silverado after all these great comments! :D

MARGARET (MJ): Hahaha, I know what you mean about that big TBR pile! ;) I hope you get to read and enjoy this books soon!

ELIZABETH: I've only watched a couple of episodes of Gunsmoke, but I think I would like it. I'm still partial to Bonanza, but I think maybe I should give some more Westerns a chance... ;) Of course, Bonanza will always be my favorite, though!

That sounds like an interesting channel, and yay for mysteries! Do you watch the PBS Masterpiece mysteries? If not, you have to watch their new Sherlock series!!! It's not available to watch online anymore, I don't think, but it was on the top of my Christmas wishlist this year--LOVED it! :D


Amber Holcomb said...

AMANDA: So glad you enjoyed the interview! Isn't Elizabeth so sweet? And I definitely loved that story she shared with us, as well!

I just love your comments, my friend. :) You always encourage others and leave such thoughtful responses!

And ah, yes...Virginia City, Nevada. I think that should ring a bell for you. ;) Now you have another little glimpse into why I love that town so much! I am definitely enthusiastic about Virginia City and its history! :D

You have 3 entries in this drawing. :)

BARB: I'm glad you enjoyed the interview! :D And sounds like you're a big fan of Westerns. So happy you included Bonanza on that list! ;) Love it!

You have 3 entries in this drawing. :) Thanks for stopping by!


Julia M. Reffner said...

I love this cover. So colorful and beautiful. This is one of the LFY that has been on my list.

I am an unabashed Little House on the Prairie fan. I think that's the only Western show I really watched regularly.

Amber Holcomb said...

JULIA: I love the cover, too! The colors go very well together. :)

No need to hide it--"Little House on the Prairie" fans are welcome here! ;) I know this isn't a Western, but speaking of Michael Landon, have you seen "Highway to Heaven?" It's a great show! :D I watch it sometimes when I'm at home with my grandparents and my uncle.

You have 3 entries in this drawing! :) Thanks for stopping by!


Anonymous said...

This book sounds so good! Thanks for the chance to win.

My favorite western is "The Rifleman". It's an oldie but goodie!


Amber Holcomb said...

ELLIE: Glad you could stop by! :D Thanks for sharing your favorite Western. You have 3 entries in this drawing!


Edna said...

I would love to win this book, I follow you


Edna said...

My favorite western was Cheyenne starring Clint Walker, not that was a good looking man,


Amber Holcomb said...

Edna: Again, you're still in the drawing! :) Sorry for my late response.

Thank you for sharing your favorite Western. ;) You have 3 entries in this drawing!


grannyvon said...

I love the Loves Finds You books. These will be good too. Thanks for the chance to win them.

grannyvon said...

I grew up on the Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans movies Then read every book. Saw all the Hop-a-Long Cassidy, Lone Ranger,Randoff Scott. I remember going to Sat. morning movies like these long before there wer TV's. My kids came along and Roy and Dale were on a talk show one night and I was trying to settled the kids down. I told them to sit down and watch them. They sat for a minute and then my oldest turned and said, "Who are Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans?" They missed out of so much. I love the Missy Lahaye westerns and saw all of them.

Amber Holcomb said...

GRANNYVON: First of all, thank you so much for stopping by and telling us about your favorite Westerns. :)

Unfortunately, though, this giveaway has already ended and a winner has been chosen. However, there will be more giveaways to come, so please stop by again! :)