Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Guest Author: Sherri Sand

I just finished a great book! Sherri Sand's "Leave it to Chance" was a delectable read. Devouring fiction is a part of this writer's life, so I go through a lot of books. But this one stands out. Why? Sherri's characters are well drawn, her plot well paced. I enjoyed the romance thread most (of course), but I'd have to say the other elements joined forces to advance the story so well I could barely tear myself away. If I had a rating system, five being best, this book would get all five stars. Her prose was fresh and her story well-handled. Great job, Sherri!

Here's an interview:

How did you come up with the characters in your book?

They came to me. When I saw Sierra, I knew she was a mom who deeply loved her kids and wanted the best for them. Elise was so fun to write with her over-the-top ways. When she drove up to Sierra's and pushed her ooga horn, I knew I was going to love her. And Sid is such a dear and reminds me so much of my father-in-law, Art. And Ross, how could you not love him?

Do you have a horse?

No, but I love horses, and desperately wanted one as a child. I did end up with a little Shetland pony named Sundance that I would gallop through the mint fields around our house. I spent countless hours sprawled across him backwards reading books. One time he'd apparently had enough of the dead weight on his back and he lay down. It was a shocking end to my reading time.

Did the theme of forgiveness/unforgiveness that Sierra deals with come from your own life?

In a way it did, though I didn't consciously implement it into the novel. Just like most of us living in this fallen world, there have been a couple significant events in my life that I had difficulty forgiving. I finally realized that if I waited until I felt like forgiving, it would never happen. And I desperately needed to forgive. The bitterness was choking the life out of me. So with God's help and through His grace I made the choice to forgive and forgive and forgive. I wish I could say that there was instant peace and joy. Though I think that can happen for people when they forgive, I'd lived in unforgiveness for so long that I had to continually make a choice to forgive until the freedom came. And when that freedom came, it was a wow moment for me!

In the story, Sierra has three young kids, you have four children. How successful are you at trusting God with their lives?

It's been an ongoing process for me. Maybe because I'm a writer and have such a vivid imagination, I can always come up with the most gut-wrenching conclusions to the most innocuous circumstances involving my kids. That makes it hard to let go and trust. But how much control do we actually have over every day life? I had to learn that before we can trust God with ourselves or our children, we have to get to know him first. It's only in knowing God and His character that trust can develop. And when we truly know the God of the universe, we can trust him with everything.

Ross worked hard in his landscaping business in an attempt to prove his value. Do you struggle with that?

It's difficult not to get caught up in that. Our world is performance driven. How often do we praise others without attributing it to something they've done? Even with our children, we praise how well they unloaded the dishwasher or drew a picture or minded us. It's difficult to find the words to value people for who they are, apart from anything they do. For most of my life, performance colored my relationship with God. I could not wrap my mind around the concept that He loved me despite less than perfect behaviors. Recently I glimpsed His grace from a new angle. Sin does create anger, but God's anger was satisfied at the cross. So rather than His anger at our sinfulness, we have His pleasure in us. That has done wonders with my ability to be myself with Him, to honestly let His light shine on all parts of me—the good and the unsightly. When you bring your faults to God and discover He isn't angry, you can fully experience His compassion and love.

I have to agree. Thanks for visiting, Sherri!!

Hey readers--leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of this fantastic book! I'll have a drawing on June 3rd. Happy reading!


Miralee Ferrell said...

Wahoo!! I'm so glad I saw this on Shoutlife today. Sherri is a wonderful gal and a gifted author. She's a member of my critique group, so I had the privilege of working on this manuscript for a while and the parts I got to read were great! I'd love to win a copy, sign me up. Miralee Ferrell, www.miraleeferrell.com

Annette M. Irby said...

Hi Miralee. Good to see you here. How fun that you're in the same crit group! You're in the drawing. Tell some friends to sign up and I'll enter your name more than once. :) That goes for other comment-makers, too! :)


Sherri said...

I'm glad you saw it to, Miralee! This was such a fun book to write and I had such great help in doing it. Thanks for hosting me, Annette!

Annette M. Irby said...

Hi Sherri, and welcome once again. Glad to have you here. Tell us a bit about your next project, when you get a chance. :)


Rick said...

Sign me UP:) Hey Net, as you know I LOVE Christian Fiction and this one sounds very fun! Karen

Annette M. Irby said...

Hi Karen, glad you signed up. :)

:) Annette

ChristyJan said...

This sounds like a wonderful book.
If I'm not too late please enter me.

Annette M. Irby said...

Not at all too late, ChristyJan. Glad to see you back.

Okay, time for the drawing....


Annette M. Irby said...

Okay, I put your names on scraps of paper, shook them up in a bowl, looked the other way and drew one!

And the winner is... Miralee Ferrell!

Congrats, Miralee! Please contact me at annette at annetteirby dot com with your mailing address and I'll get the copy out to you. Then, please come back and let us know what you thought. :)

Thanks for reading, everyone!! See you next time.