Tag Archives: Alice J. Wisler

Donate Comfort for Sandy Hook Parents and Families

 

Hello all, Katy Lee here with a very special way you can help the families of Sandy Hook. Our author friend and past guest, Alice J. Wisler, has just released a comforting book for parents who have lost a child called Getting Out of Bed in the Morning, and she would love to get a book in every victim’s families hands. I personally don’t believe in coincidences, and Alice’s story of her own loss and grief of losing a child–and then her new book–sprang to mind when I was wondering how I could reach out to the families. Then I learned she was one step ahead of me. Here is her post from her blog:

OOn December 14, 2012, a tragedy too awful to believe could happen, did happen. Twenty-six people were shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty children died. Six adults died.

I know the devastation of having a child die.

My cousin in Maryland asked if I’d donate one of my novels for an auction to benefit the survivors—those lost in the anguish and sorrow. I signed one of my novels and put it in a mail to her.

Later today, a Facebook friend, Lisa Schorp, wanted to know if my new book, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache, could reach the hands of those devastated. Her message: To tell them that God is near.

Suddenly I realized that maybe I should act on this desire of Lisa’s.

People could sponsor my new devotional, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache and a batch of books could be sent with a note to the elementary school for each family who lost a loved one.

My book is written as raw and real; I know the pain of loss. There are also passages of hope, love and comfort. This book has been called a companion through grief. Eugene Peterson writes about it:

“Believe me, you will be changed as you read this book—a book of grief and comfort. Written without easy answers, but with gritty, courageous prayer, wrestling like Jacob with God’s angel.” ~ Eugene H Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Recent College, Vancouver, B.C.; translator of The Message

“Hope stirs fresh in Getting Out of Bed in the Morning as Alice Wisler tenderly challenges the remnants of our grieving hearts to a healing journey. This book is a safe place to reconcile painful losses; a graceful guide through the uncharted and often complex landscape of grief and loss. Alice’s heart whispers an understanding that comes only from one who has tasted consuming heartache yet uncovered the hope of God’s sustaining grace.” ~ Jo Ann Fore, Author, Founder of WriteWhereItHurts.org

(Read more about Getting Out of Bed in the Morning here.)

If you like this idea and would like to make a donation, please send a check made out to me using the snail mail address below. If you want to stay tuned in and have updates on the amount contributed as well as when the books will be sent, etc., email me at info@alicewisler.com with the subject: “Comfort to Sandy Hook”. I will send out periodic updates.

Let’s make Lisa’s wonderful suggestion come true!

Mail your donation to:
Daniel’s House Publications
201 Monticello Avenue
Durham, NC 27707 USA

OR

Donate via Paypal on her site at: http://www.alicewisler.blogspot.com/2012/12/donate-book-for-sandy-hook-parents-and.html

Thank you, Alice, and thank you everyone who has helped in some way, from prayer to time and everything in between. You are blessed to be a blessing, and Merry Christmas to you all!!!

Still Life in Shadows Author, Alice J. Wisler visits the Scribes!

Happy Sunday! Katy Lee here with Author, Alice J. Wisler. Last week I spoke on my thoughts of her latest release, Still Life in Shadows, and now today I am excited to have Alice here to share more about herself and her fascinating EX-Amish story.

Alice, as authors who have moments of doubt, we always like to ask other authors how they battle their doubt monster. How do you handle that monster?

Thanks for having me, Katy, and that’s a tough one.  Reading about how well other authors are doing while working on a new project can make me feel the doubt.  I try not to compare myself to others.  God made us each as unique vessels and I aim to do my part of being the only Alice like this Alice.  I read some verses on how I’m loved and made by God and then go on a walk (I like to walk 3 miles each day) and that’s when I’ll remind Him that He gave me this desire to write, so please, please, encourage me today.  Encouragement follows—a fan letter, a new idea to my plot, etc. 

Perfectly said. You write like Alice and no one else. But have you thought about writing something that is completely different for you?  Perhaps writing in a new genre or just taking a story someplace that you haven’t done before.

My recent release, STILL LIFE IN SHADOWS, is a new venture for me—it’s my first published novel that is written in third person with two POVs. My other four novels with Bethany House have been written in first person from a single female POV.

Well, you did fabulous with this new venture into third person. I loved all the characters and what each brought to the story.

So now tell us, what is the most surprising thing that has happened in your writing career?

Having Chip MacGregor (whom I have yet to meet) take me on as one of his clients.

He is a wonderful agent and person. I hear great things about him. Congratulations!

Now, what would you do if you couldn’t be a writer any longer?

I think I’d want to be an actress in stage plays.  I love drama!

So how do you come up with your shtick?   By shtick I mean your voice. That thing that identifies the story as belonging to only you.  Perhaps an element to your stories like small towns or a thread of equestrian-life or medieval dialogue…something that says these are the type of stories that are your brand.

I like to think my shtick is quirky, fun, food-related, Southern, humorous and solemn—all mixed into one story.

 And I would have to agree.

What is your junk food of choice?

Let’s see, that would be trail mix, which isn’t too “junky” and chocolate. Oh, and butter pecan ice cream and oatmeal cookies.

Butter Pecan … my favorite.

What’s the most dangerous or risky thing that you’ve done?

Probably that would be sneaking out of the dorm in high school.  We’d climb out windows onto the dorm roof at our dormitory in Kobe, Japan. We were usually successful, but once I did get caught and that was no fun.

Kobe, Japan! Would love to hear more about why you lived there. But first, tell us about your book!

Fifteen years ago, Gideon Miller escaped the Amish lifestyle and now helps dissatisfied youth relocate from Old Order communities. Two unexpected people enter his auto repair shop in Twin Branches, NC—-Moriah, his younger brother with a drug habit, and Kiki, a thirteen-year-old autistic girl with a knack for fixing bicycles. Based on National Geographic’s Amish: Out of Order, Still Life in Shadows (River North/Moody) is a story of running from the past only to find it again, forgiveness, and the deep desire to belong.
 
 
 
Join her on Facebook at her author page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Alice-J-Wisler/333751835453
 
 
And of course, her website:  http://www.alicewisler.com
 
Readers: Feel free to leave questions and comments for Alice! Or even words of encouragement.

Still Life in Shadows – My Thoughts on this EX-Amish Story

Greetings, Katy Lee here with my thoughts and review of an ex-Amish book. That’s right, I said EX. I typically do not read Amish books, but this one caught my eye. So much so that after I read it, I invited the author, Alice J. Wisler, to stop by next Sunday for a little chat on her call to step out and write about the other side of the Amish stories. The stories of Amish people leaving their familiar lives behind for the unfamiliar, and why they do it. But for today, I wanted to share how the story effected me. It definitely brought back some memories.

When I was a kid, I took a vacation with my family to Lancaster, PA. I, like so many other Americans, was curious about the Amish way of life. I devoured books based in Amish communities and loved movies set there. I was in awe that these simple people were able to hold onto their peaceful existence amongst a harsh world.

So, when I had a chance to visit one of these communities, I took notice of the people whenever we encountered them along our travels. Some welcomed us into their homes. One even allowed us to take their picture from behind. I saw a woman mowing her lawn with an old-fashioned blade push mower. I saw young girls in bright colored clothing at amusement parks. I saw beautifully made quilts and fine woodworking. And all along the way, I kept thinking how lucky these people were.

Something I didn’t realize was that my mother was snapping pictures, capturing these people and their simple way of life when she thought no one was looking. It wasn’t until we returned home and developed the film that we saw every picture had come out black. You see, these were the days when your 35mm came with a removable lens cover and the camera didn’t alert you when the cover was on. Whole rolls of film could be snapped without the photographer ever knowing that the cap hadn’t been removed.

I can remember saying to my mother, “It serves you right, sneaking pictures of people like that, especially people who are trying to separate themselves from the sin of this world.” It wouldn’t be until years later on an afternoon talk show that I got an eye-opening glimpse into the Amish life. And from there, more truth began to filter out into the world that even the simple Amish had battles to fight. As green as that grass was that that woman was mowing, it was no greener than my own side of the fence.

Alice Wisler’s latest book, Still Life in Shadows, captures a clearer glimpse into the Amish life, more so than my own mother’s camera ever could—even with her lens cap off. Every beautifully placed word written on Alice’s pages has a purpose for being there. Each scene leads up to the overall meaning of the story, which I believe is the cleansing power of forgiveness. She is in no way devaluing the Amish way of life, but rather shedding light on the pain that some endure.

I don’t feel her goal in writing this story was to criticize any which way of life. She shows the pros and cons of both sides of the fence. She speaks truth. She doesn’t blur the image to make it seem more perfect for one side over the other. But rather she exemplifies the need for moderation. In the end, I believe Alice’s purpose in writing this story was not to place blame, but to show how the evil on either side can destroy people when we take our eyes off the ultimate focal point—God.

Now, because I like books that are character-driven, I can honestly say Alice did not squelch in this department. I was cheering them on the whole way and really felt their plight. Their caring support of each other gave the real depiction of what a family looks like, even if it’s not what their society says. Their message of keeping their eyes focused on God rang out, and because of that, they will prosper in whatever community they choose to live in.

Still Life in Shadows is available here for preorder now! Release date is August 1st.

Be sure to stop in next Sunday with your questions for Alice. She will be here to share more on her newest release that is sure to open many eyes.

Question: Have you read a book that opened your eyes on a certain topic? Please share!

My thoughts on A Wedding Invitation by Alice J. Wisler

Greetings, Katy Lee here. Every now and then we pick up a book that catches us by surprise and alters our jam-packed schedules into an impromptu pajama day. Well, this past week, A WEDDING INVITATION invited me to do just that.

Although, I have to be honest, when I received Alice J. Wisler’s latest release from Bethany House, I took one look at the cover and thought fluff. Just another wedding romance cliché. Even so, I started the book thinking I would get through a few chapters before bed. Next thing I knew it was 3AM.

I was hooked on this genre-breaking piece. I kept flipping back to the cover, wondering if I was reading a romance or women’s fiction or mystery or something else entirely.  It didn’t fit any mold I had ever read, and I wondered why I found it so enthralling.

Obviously the deep POV (point of view) was what hooked me to keep reading into the wee hours of the morning. Wisler’s prose makes you feel as though you are right there in the story. But it was the actual story itself that had me filled with an emotion and concern for a people and topics I had never given a second thought to.

Now before I tell you about the story, let me tell you a bit about what influenced the author to write it. According to the Author Page in A Wedding Invitation, Alice J. Wisler had once received an ornate wedding invitation in the mail. Only it wasn’t for her. It was addressed to the previous homeowners. But ever since she received that invitation, she wondered what going to the wrong wedding would be like.

As cute as that plot line sounds, I don’t think the actual wedding was what this book was about. But rather, I think it was about the invitation itself. Because of her role as a former teacher of the unwanted half American/ half Vietnamese children (Amerasians) at a Philippine Refugee Processing Center in the mid-1980’s, Wisler seems to understand how people have a need to be accepted; a desire to be a part of something. The feeling of being specifically sought out and invited to something is huge. And I think she understands this well because she witnessed it from the front of the class in those dusty school rooms filled with children waiting for their invitation to belong.

Okay, so with that in mind, here’s the storyline from the back cover: After returning home from teaching in a refugee camp in the Philippines, Samantha Bravencourt enjoys her quiet life working at her mother’s clothing boutique near Washington D.C. When she receives an invitation to her friend’s wedding in Winston-Salem, NC, she’s excited to reconnect with her college pals. But the wedding turns out quite differently than Sam expects. A chance encounter leads to a reunion with Carson Brylie, a fellow teacher and the man who once broke her heart, and Lien, a young Amerasian girl who desperately needs Sam and Carson’s help. But working with Carson might put Sam’s tender heart at risk once again. Is she willing to forgive the past and take another chance on love?

A Wedding Invitation is a work of fiction, but Wisler has taken what she knows from those refugee classrooms and interwoven a heartfelt romance between two people who also share, along with many other quirky characters, that desire to belong. The heroine and hero, Samantha Bravencourt and Carson Brylie are like real everyday people, filled with strengths and weaknesses, successes and faults. I enjoyed watching their story unfold little by little, getting a clearer picture of the type of people they really were…and feeling their pain along the way. When it comes to tugging at the heart strings, Wisler has a gift for making the reader feel the same emotions the characters are. The emotions and the characters hop off the page right into your heart.

The Unlocked Secret: I’m taking a page from Alice J. Wisler’s book and giving you all a place to belong. Today I give you your very own invitation. You are invited to come back anytime and hang out with us Scribes. Consider this a place where you belong.

Question: What’s the strangest invitation you’ve ever received?