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Winner of Mind Over Madi

>> Friday, November 11, 2011

Quick posting today as I head out the door for a whirlwind Christmas shopping trip with the girls. We’re talking nine women, no kids and plenty of chocolate. Sha Zam!

But I haven’t forgotten about the Mind Over Madi giveaway. No sirree.

The randomly chosen commenter who has won a copy of Mind Over Madi by debut author Lynda Lee Schab is…


Super cool. I’ll be in touch to acquire your snail mail address, Laury. And you can await a delivery from Amazon around November 15th, the official release date of Lynda’s novel.

Thanks to all who commented. Now off to pack and make sure the fridge is stocked with quick fix dinners for the hubby and kiddos.

Ciao Bellas,


Ice Cream and Coffee and Mind Over Madi

>> Sunday, November 6, 2011

We’re always on the lookout for fresh new fiction to devour here at Thistle. Nonfiction works too, although it needs to be chewy and light that flame of passion inside our soul. Most of us have had enough of textbooks.

What would you say to a story that delves into a sensitive and meaningful area of nearly every woman’s life, but does so with humour, faith and sass? I’d say pass the paperback (or download the ebook). And I’m confident that you’ll agree.

Here to talk with us today is debut author Lynda Lee Schab. I’ve had the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with Lynda through Faithwriters (shout outs for FW!) and let me tell you, this girl’s the real deal. Uber talented, fun loving and kind to a fault.

And she’s got sass, too. Just read the interview.

DDD: Your novel "Mind Over Madi" fits nicely into the "inspirational women's fiction" category. Why did you choose to explore that genre, instead of say..."super hot supernatural time-travel romance with a twist of theology and a dash of violence?"

LLS: Well, let's just say that "super hot supernatural time-travel romance with a twist of theology and a dash of violence" is not my thing. I'm all about real life, real issues, and real solutions. With a dose of humor, of course. 

DDD: Are you suggesting that time travel is not real? That there’s no chance of heading back to 18th century Scotland? Humph. Speaking of this century, you mentioned that Madi (the main character in y
our novel) has quite a few endearing traits. Namely bad eating habits, a love for coffee, a tendency to waste hours of time playing computer games, and an insane fear of spiders. Um, have you been reading my diary?

LLS: Darn! You weren't supposed to find out. I also saw that shocking thing you wrote about… Oh, wait. I probably shouldn't tell. Don't want to embarrass you.

DDD: Um, yes. I can do that quite well without any help from you, Miss Lynda. Your debut novel (pause for cheers, high fives and a happy dance or two) deals with one woman's insecurities and how the infinite love of God changes her. Heavy stuff, eh? How did you go about handling such a vital subject with the gentleness your readers want? I heard something about Disney Princesses?

LLS: Yes, well, I am all about honesty and realism. We all have issues and that's nothing to be ashamed of. It's how we deal with them that counts. Insecurity is what Madi, my main character, struggles with the most. From the time Madi was a little girl, her mother told her that all men cheat, and she saw how badly her mother was hurt by her dad's affairs. That caused major insecurity, but Madi has never really dealt with it. She prefers to shove it under the rug indefinitely. But supposed evidence of her husband's affair forces her to deal with the issues she's tried to avoid for so long. 

It's Madi's counselor who brings up the whole princess (you know, daughter of the King, realizing just how much God loves us!) idea. Throughout the story, Madi tries to figure out which Disney princess she most relates to. Sorry, you'll have to read t
he book to see which princess she decides on. I had fun with the theme. Even the antagonist, the "other woman," is aptly named Fawn Witchburn.

DDD: Oooooh, brilliant name. I’m convinced that all of us dealing with insecurities will benefit from this story. And that I would pick Belle. Love the cover pic for Mind Over Madi! Do you often wear a tiara? And if so, does it hurt? Can you wear it in the shower?

LLS: The cover is great, isn't it? OakTara did a fabulous job with that. I, like Madi, am NOT a fan of tiaras. They're just, I don't know, a little too "showy" for me. And yes, I'm thinking they must cause huge indents in the head. So not attractive. And I definitely don't feel like a princess in the shower, so I would leave the tiara on the bathroom counter. If I wore a tiara, that is.

DDD: Huge indents in the head sound very painful. Talk to me about something (hopefully) less painful, the publishing experience. What has been the biggest surprise? And do you have a mentor?

LLS: My publishing experience so far --not actually published yet -- has been a whirlwind. That's the only way I can describe it. It's been much more hectic and stressful than I imagined. It's all fun stuff, of course. It's just that the timing of my release is coming at the busiest time of the year for me, and I just wish I had time to enjoy the process.

I wouldn't say I have one specific writing mentor, but I will say many wonderful and amazing authors have offered me their time and wisdom over the past few years. Authors --especially Christian autho
rs -- are the most generous, genuine, and encouraging people I've ever met and I thank God for each one He's brought into my life.

DDD: Amen to that sista! I’m constantly amazed at how close-knit the writer’s community is. Now you. If your life could be summed up in a string of movie titles, what would they be? Warning, this is a test. Extra points for including coffee somewhere.

LLS: No fair. You're making me use extra brain cells with this question. It would take me months to research movie titles, so I'm not going to come up with a bunch. I'll just say the one title I think describes my life best is, "A Walk to Remember." I've walked some pretty memorable hills and valleys. If there's one word to describe my life, it would be "memorable." Not always in a good
way, but every step led me to who I am today. And I'm okay with that. I guess I lose out on the extra points because I cannot think of one movie about coffee. 

DDD: Fairness is a myth, dear girl. But in all of that myth, there are NOT many movie titles with our fav beverage in the title. I like your choice – creative and a great movie. Speaking of coffee, how do you take yours?

LLS: With both hands, at any time of the day or night! I spoil myself by buying flavored coffee, but really, any ol' coffee will do. I love specialty lattes from Starbucks and Biggby (a Michigan coffee chain), but I'm good with my Folgers French Vanilla. Just cream, no sugar.

DDD: Love to buy you one next time I’m in MI. Any time of the day or night! I heard a rumour that, if you hadn't followed your dreams and become a writer, your career of choice would have been a psychologist… or an ice cream tester. Does that mean you're constantly analyzing people and working to uncover their favourite ice cream flavours? Is there any chance you'll open up a clinic where ice cream is a central part of therapy?

LLS: Studies prove that ice cream is the mental health cure-all. It does wonders for relieving stress, anxiety, and depression. Especially when drenched in Hershey's syrup.

DDD: Since I am constantly in need of a mental health cure-all, ice cream is a medical necessity. Thanks, Dr. Schab. So what's ahead for Lynda Lee's writing? When can we expect Madi's story to continue? And how much will I have to bribe you to embark on a Canadian book tour? Four words - maple walnut ice cream.

LLS: Just booked my flight to Canada! Honestly, I would love to do a Canadian book tour. Just as soon as I earn that first six figure royalty check. 

I have been contracted for two more novels in the "Madi" series, so I will be spending the next few months working on book #2, Madily in Love, followed by book #3, Sylvie and Gold. My publisher wants each book to be 6-9 months apart, which means I have a deadline to meet. Which means I have a lot of work to do. Which means "Stress Zone" ahead. Which means I really need to stock my freezer with Edy's French Silk ice cream!

I hear ya. And we’re all thrilled to hear that more Madi is on the way. Today we’re having a giveaway to celebrate the November 15th release of Mind Over Madi. All those who leave a comment, stating their favourite ice cream flavour, will be entered in the random draw. The winner will get a FREE COPY of Mind Over Madi by Lynda Schab! YAY! All comments left before midnight EST on November 9th will be entered. Check back here on November 10th for the winner.

Thanks for visiting Thistle, Lynda. Loved chatting with you. For more info about our sassy ice cream fan, check out her blog and website.

Lifting a Cup of Java to Lynda Lee,


My Favourite Section of the Bookstore

>> Friday, November 4, 2011

Despite the swelling momentum of e-publishing (love that Kindle for iPad), bookstores still exist. And I can honestly say that a few hours in the local Chapters, latte in hand and kids suitably entertained (or lost in the beanbag chairs), is blissful.

There are a few small bookshops in Stratford that draw me in, despite the lack of caffeinated beverages for sale. And I don't spend nearly as much time as I would like in the neighbourhood Christian bookstore (why, oh why can't they be open on Saturdays???). No doubt about it - these thriving retail shops still act as powerful magnets for bibliophiles worldwide.

You'll Find Me In...

We all have favourite sections of the bookstore (besides the coffee counter). Some of us head for the latest best sellers, conveniently placed on tables running through the aisles. Others rush for the romance department, the bios or the ever popular bargain books section.

My usual habit (whilst shopping sans kiddos) includes browsing a little, a quick weave through the sales and then straight for the Young Adult corner.

Yeah, I know. I'm (way) over 20 and actually have children that read books from the YA section. But there is something that draws me back to the YA shelves again and again.

I wonder if it's the diversity - there ARE plenty of other titles beyond the paranormal trend that I tend to skip. Or the fact that I can walk past the Harry Potter books, smiling fondly and whispering a hello.

It could be those bean bag chairs - unique furniture items have been omitted from the adult section... to my despair. Or maybe it's the sprinkling of childhood favourites that have been reprinted for a new generation. It's difficult to refrain from shoving Judy Blume and Lucy Maud Montgomery into the faces of teen girls nearby.

I've had love affairs with other sections in the bookstore. Mysteries still shine in my mind, I love a good action-packed thriller that doesn't involve gruesome monsters and have a passion for any fiction that covers British history with authenticity.

But YA has stolen my heart. It's where I want to see my own books sometime in the future, sure. It's also where I get to see that thrilling light in my children's eyes when they find a cool new title or a favourite author. YA is alive. It's practically pulsing with contagious excitement.

And it's where you're bound to find me at the local bookshop, loving my latte and flipping through paperbacks.

How about you, readers? What's YOUR favourite section in the bookstore? Or do you browse online?

Call Me Young At Heart (or just plain foolish),

thanks for the pic - sxc/leocub (only slightly modified... can you find some familiar names??)


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