Monday, February 10, 2014

Becky Lyles "Winds of Freedom"

Title: Winds of Freedom

Cover blurb:
Winter storms blast across the Whispering Pines Guest Ranch, and a cold wind blows through Kate Neilson’s soul. Despite her pain, Kate’s well-being takes a backseat to the needs of loved ones: her best friend, who’s been ensnared by evil; her failing great-aunt, whose dementia care keeps Kate guessing; and Laura and Mike Duncan, whose ranch and livelihood are threatened by a land-grabbing neighbor. 

How did this story come to you?
The idea “seed” for Winds of Freedom, the second book in the Kate Neilson series, was planted when my neighbor told me of a relative who walked into an airport restroom and never came out—as far as her husband and children knew. Although they didn’t see her exit the restroom, she must have snuck past them wearing a disguise, because they later learned she’d slipped away to start a new life. Several weeks after her disappearance, she returned to pick up her clothing and other personal items. She didn’t tell her husband where she was living or what she was doing, only that she no longer had to clean house or take care of children. To add to the mystery, she was wearing a collar around her neck.

Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
After writing my first novel, Winds of Wyoming, I thought I knew what I was doing, until I received the edits for the second book. I thank God for my amazing editor and honest proofreaders. Without them, both books would have bombed. Then I had the huge decision as to whether to pursue traditional publishing, partner-publishing or self-publishing (now termed by some “author-publishing”).

Eventually, a friend who owns a publishing company convinced me I could publish the book myself. After all, I’d republished my two nonfiction books a couple years earlier—It’s a God Thing! and On a Wing and a Prayer. Still, I had to relearn the process to create print and ebooks and research the new aspects of publishing because the industry evolves so quickly these days. In the midst of all that, we tackled a couple home-remodeling projects and helped our daughter plan her wedding. As you might guess, life was crazy around our house last summer, but good!

Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
  • When I wrote On a Wing and a Prayer for a prison ministry, I interviewed volunteers, inmates and ex-inmates. One interview was conducted in the home of a recently released murderess. She was a sweet lady who fed me a delicious lunch and shared her amazing story of redemption with me.

  • I worked for a state legislature for several years and occasionally rubbed shoulders with well-known individuals, including an Olympic champion and the Smothers Brothers. My hubby, Steve, and I were invited to the Smothers Brothers’ show and also to an on-stage party following the performance. Up close, both men looked really strange with all that makeup plastered on their faces.

  • I make my own sauerkraut and kombucha tea, partly for their probiotic qualities, but mostly because I love their snappy flavors. Steve does not share my taste for sour foods, which means I don’t have to share my K-tea and sauerkraut with him.

  • What are you working on now and what's next for you?
  • At the moment, I’m editing short stories written by my critique group for a compilation I hope to publish soon. Lots of good ones! In addition, I just finished the research for the third book in the Kate Neilson series, Winds of Change. I’m excited to get back with the Whispering Pines gang and once again stir up trouble and trauma on the ranch.

  • Parting comments?
Thanks, K Dawn, for allowing me to visit your site and talk about my passions!

Where can fans find you on the internet?
Facebook: Rebecca Carey Lyles or Becky Carey Lyles
Twitter:  @BeckyLyles

Rebecca Carey Lyles grew up in Wyoming, the setting for her Kate Neilson novels. She currently lives in Idaho, where she serves as an editor and a mentor for aspiring authors and as a coach for women transitioning from prison to life on “the outside.” Winds of Freedom is the sequel to the award-winning first book in the Kate Neilson series, Winds of Wyoming.

Winds of Freedom
Winter storms blast across the Whispering Pines Guest Ranch, and a cold wind blows through Kate Neilson’s soul. Despite her pain, Kate’s well-being takes a backseat to the needs of loved ones: her best friend, who’s been ensnared by evil; her failing great-aunt, whose dementia care keeps Kate guessing; and Laura and Mike Duncan, whose ranch and livelihood are threatened by a land-grabbing neighbor. 

Facebook: Rebecca Carey Lyles
     or Becky Carey Lyles
Twitter: @BeckyLyles

illian Duncan's "virtual gift basket"

Anointed To Write?
Christian writers are different than secular writers.
Most of us worry about whether our writing is a call from God or simply a selfish desire on our part because we love to write, but we wrap it up as Christian fiction to make it more acceptable. The worry doesn't necessarily go away after that first coveted contract. 
In fact for me, the worry intensified even more.
Writing before contract takes time and commitment. Writing after contract takes more time and more commitment and more time and more time….well, you get the idea.
I spend a lot of time writing and rewriting to make my stories as entertaining as they can be. And then there’s the time involved in marketing. Time that takes away from my husband, my church, my family, and my community. 
Perhaps, God wants me to spend my time on something else—something more serious—something more important? After all, it’s just fiction! As much as I love writing, I worried that it might not be what God wanted me to do.
I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors in 2012 and have been having all sorts of issues because of them and their treatment. I am not and most likely will never be quite as healthy as I was pre-brain tumors--unless God chooses to intervene which I pray He does. But that's up to Him.
I've had memory issues all my life. I once completely forgot about a trip to North Carolina through the Great Smokey Mountains. Now, it's even worse! I'm sure it's noticeable to others, but maybe not as much as to me as I struggle to remember the simplest of words or the name of people I know.
Along with the memory issues, I spend a lot of time in a sort of far-away-being-in-a-bubble feeling. It's sort of hard to explain, but it's there. But an amazing thing happens when I sit down to write, whether it's for a blog such as this or for the current story I'm working on. 
The fog clears--the words come-the details are remembered! I feel like my old self as I write. I have clarity about what I’ve written as well as the vision for where the story is going. The story God has put on my heart.
I was explaining to someone how I was still able to write this past weekend when it came to me like a flash of lightning on a dark stormy night. It showed the blazing brightness of God's glory and His power.
I am anointed by God to write!
What an amazing and awesome revelation for me or for any Christian writer!  I feel humbled and blessed that God still has a job for me to do in spite of all my health issues and my limitations. And not just any job, but I job I love.
Wow! God is so good!
And just to show you how good God is—a lot of the being-in-a-bubble feeling has gone away as well in the past few weeks.  Thank you, God.
BETRAYED by Lillian Duncan
Witness Protection Program claims they can keep anyone safe if only they follow the rules so Maria follows the rules--every rule. She's given up everything--her friends, her family, her past, even her name to ensure her daughter has a future. 
Reborn as Veronica Minor in the sleepy little town of Sunberry, Ohio, she struggles to rebuild their life amid the beauty of her flower shop. A life where her daughter can have a happy normal childhood. A life where her daughter will never know that her father was a monster. 
When a child disappears, Veronica prays it has nothing to do with her past, but what if she's wrong? Not knowing who to trust, she trusts no one...and that's her first mistake.

Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.
Lillian is a multi-published writer who writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.
To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit:  She also has a devotional blog at:  as well as her personal blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at