Meet the Characters in Women of Valley View: Callie by Sharon Srock with Give-away

Obedience to God sometimes means getting out of your comfort zone, as Callie Stillman learns when she senses there is something disconcerting about one of her Sunday School students that draws her to the child. She’s suffered for a year over the outcome of the last child she thought she was helping. What would happen if she reached out to this child? Meet the main characters in this wonderful story of faith, healing, forgiveness and redemption:

Callie Stillman – Although she blames herself for the tragic death of a small child, Callie knows she must obey God and find out what’s happening with Iris Evans, even though her husband has well-intentioned objections to her becoming involved.

Benton Stillman  wants to protect his wife from more pain. But once he sees the courage and determination of this little family struggling to stay together, he not only relents, he offers his support.

Samantha “Sam” Evans has the tenacity to do whatever it takes to keep her family together. Trusting no one, she keeps her younger sister and her daughter out from under the radar and out of range of “the system,” which has already failed them once.

Iris Evans is wiser than her eleven years, yet she is a little girl who has a desire to enjoy the benefits of childhood. However, her love for her sister and her niece prompt her to keep the secret and care for little Bobbie while Sam works to support the family.

Steve Evans – Since he left the family ten years ago due to his drug use, he’s accepted the Lord into his life and become a best-selling author. He speaks at shelters and halfway houses in hopes of having a part in redeeming other souls. When he hears of his ex-wife’s death in an automobile accident, he determines to find his daughters. But, will he ever find them? And if he does, can he make up for all those lost years?

***

Sharon Srock lives with her husband, Larry, and two dogs in Rural Oklahoma. She is a mother, grandmother, and Sunday School teacher. Sharon has one and three-quarters jobs and writes in her spare time. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her grandchildren. She is a member of the ACFW and currently serves as treasurer for her local chapter. Sharon’s writing credits include numerous poems and short stories published in science fiction fanzines.

Learn more about the author:

Sharon, how much of yourself do you write into your characters?

I don’t, intentionally, write any of me into my characters. That doesn’t mean you won’t find a little piece of me in all of the women. Callie teaches Sunday school and loves her guacamole, Terri is looking for God’s will in her life and arguing the whole way, Pam is learning lessons in forgiveness. Yep, there I am.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

Believe it or not, I went to bed one night, a normal person, and woke up the next morning determined to write a book. I know, now, where that came from. It was more than a little weird at the time.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I love a good courtroom drama. Fantasy when it’s well done. By well done, I mean it has to completely draw me into a different world. Mysteries, and Romantic suspense are devoured at my house like chocolate covered cherries.

How do you keep your sanity in this crazy fast paced world of ours?

I guess I’m a product of our environment. I like being busy. Even on a vacation I have to consciously tell myself to slow down and enjoy the moment. Sanity…I’m a writer, that option took a hike a few years back.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I’m going to assume you don’t mean raising terrific daughters.  Really? This book. Not just for the validation or a sense of “I can really do this”. But because I feel like it represent me, finally finding God’s place for me.

What is your favorite food?

I have two rules when I cook. If it’s sweet add chocolate. If it isn’t sweet add cheese.

Why do you write the kind of books you do?

It has to be a God thing. I wake up with these stories in my head, things I would never see or think of on my own. He gets all the credit.

In what ways has being published changed your life?

Besides making me busier that I used to be? The jury is still out on that one. Ask me again in a year or so.

 What is your current work in progress?

I’m working with my editor to get Terri’s story complete. Pam’s story is close to being at the word count I want. Then I’ll start the serious editing process for her. Samantha is knocking…

If you could invite a fictional character to dinner who would it be and why?

Oh, can I pick two? Merlin and Spock. Merlin because I’m captivated by the whole knights in armor, Arthur, slaying the dragon thing. Spock because…well…because the idea of extraterrestrial life interests me. If we ever find life out there, I’d hope they would be wise and beneficial sort like Vulcans. Not the I’ve come to destroy your world we see portrayed 99% of the time.

Of all the current technological marvels, which is your favorite and why?

My GPS. I don’t navigate. Now I don’t have to.

If you could have a do over on one day in your life what would you pick?

Fourth of July, 1996. It was the last day we spent with our little grandson before he was murdered. I wish I’d spent more time with him that day.

Where was the location of the best vacation you ever had?

Now you’ve opened the flood gates. For the last 7 years I’ve taken one of my grandchildren on a special vacation. We’ve been on cruises, been to Hawaii, visited The Grand Canyon and Vegas, Spent a week in Cozumel, Done the whole Disney thing in Orlando…God has placed a special blessing on these trips. They’ve all gone off without a hitch and there is no way to just pick one.

If you could travel back in time when and where would you go?

King Arthur’s court. I wouldn’t want to stay forever, I’d miss my hot rollers, but I think there was a elegance to life then that we don’t have any more.

What is your favorite season of the year? What’s special about it for you??

I only have three seasons to my year. Summer, Spring, and SWEATER. I have a serious sweater addiction, so Sweater is my favorite.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

That sometimes we spend too much time beating ourselves up for something God has already forgiven and forgotten. That we do a disservice to ourselves and others when we indulge in those feelings.

What is something that very few people know about you?

I’m a serious Trekker. I have my own uniform.

What is the hardest part in writing a story?

Editing and Editing and Editing….

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?

That I don’t like research. Does that count? Seriously I write contemporary fiction so I don’t have to do a lot of research. I’d never Googled anything til about a year ago.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: iPod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)

My Kindle. It’s just the most amazing machine.

Do your characters ever give you surprises when you are writing? Can you give us an example if they do and if they don’t do you know why?

My characters constantly surprise me. Their individual determination to be front and center in my brain is relentless. I’m a SOTP writer. I don’t work with an outline, so I can’t give you an example of where I planned to go one way and they insisted on taking their own way, but I continue to be amazed.

Do you have a favorite scene in this book and what would it be?

I think where Pam, Karla, and Terri come to Callie’s house with groceries and stuff for the girls. That is exactly like it would happen, has happened, in my life. Our church family is so generous. I have been on the giving and the receiving end of help.

What three things about you would surprise readers?

My favorite pet of all time was an iguana.

I hate reality TV

I love to mow the grass

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who  would it be and why?

Nora Roberts. I would pick her brain completely dry.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

A lack of time. I don’t think there is a way to overcome it until I retire. I just have to deal with not enough hours in the day.

Which character in your book are you most like? What have you learned about yourself in writing this story?

For this book. Callie, of course. I didn’t really need to learn the life lesson that Callie had to learn, but writing the story taught me so much about persistence, trust , and patience.

If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?

Australia. It’s on my bucket list. I’ll make it someday, God willing.

What was your favorite book as a child and now as an adult? Is there a connection between the two?

That is an impossible question to answer. You’ve heard about being born with a silver spoon in your mouth? Well, my mom must have had a terrible time giving birth to me with a book clutched in each hand. I can’t remember a time when reading wasn’t a priority. Picking a favorite out of 50 years worth of books…impossible.

As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?

You are looking at it. Learning the craft, editing, and revising were easy compared to putting myself in the path of perfect strangers and begging for their attention. I’m a pretty solitary person. If I had my way, I’d write the book and pay a look-alike to go out and face the public.

***

Sharon is giving away a wonderful basket including the following items: A copy of Callie’s story, a certificate for Terri’s story when it releases in April, a 6 piece Cherry Blossom bath set, a cosmetic bag, a bath wrap, a Cozy pink eye mask, a pair of aloe infused booties, a hair turban, a tennis bracelet, a 25.00 Amazon gift card. 

The rules are simple:  For every reader that comments on my feature, he/she gets an entry into the drawing. Be sure to include your contact information!  A winner will be drawn Monday November 19th. (The items add up to well over 100.00 in value.)

 

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18 Responses to Meet the Characters in Women of Valley View: Callie by Sharon Srock with Give-away

  1. Sharon Srock says:

    Pat, thanks for hosting me this week.

  2. Sharon Srock says:

    That means a couple of good reviews…right? 🙂

  3. Pat Dyer says:

    You betcha! I’m in NC right now, but will be home in Nov. and will do.

  4. Jackie Smith says:

    Callie told me to come! I am so glad I did….found a new and fun blog!
    I can’t wait to read your book, Sharon…..congrats!
    thanks for the giveaway.
    Jackie Smith
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

  5. Sharon Srock says:

    Jackie, Glad you stopped by to visit Pat’s blog!

  6. Pat Dyer4 says:

    Jackie, Thank you for visiting my blog. We’re home now, and looking forward to posting more awesome book reviews very soon. Sharon’s book is a really awesome read and I love the book and the characters.

  7. KayM says:

    Patsy, I enjoyed your book review. Sharon, you probably shouldn’t count on having a lot more time, when you retire. It seems our to-do lists are longer than ever!
    may_dayzee(AT)yahoo(DOT)com Callie told me to come.

    • Pat Dyer says:

      Kay, Thank you for visiting my blog. You are so right. Retirement gives us so many more opportunities to do the things we’ve put off all our working lives, that we’re busier than ever!
      Pat

  8. Pat, I’m glad I listened when “Callie told me to come.” This is a nice blog and I just signed to be a follower by email. I am anxious to read Sharon’s book, and hoping I can by winning this wonderful gift basket. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

    • Pat Dyer says:

      Maxie, Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and thank you for following. Glad Callie led you this way. 🙂 Yes, indeed, I believe you will really enjoy this book. Pat

  9. The more I read about Callie, the more I want to read Callie. The book sounds like one that will reel me in and keep me hooked. Thanks for this opportunity.
    Just in time for Christmas, too.

    clSwalwell@gmail.com

    In Him,

    Cheri 🙂

  10. Looking forward to reading Callie, whether I win or not. 🙂 I’m right with you on the editing, editing, editing aspect of writing. It’s so much more fun to world build and get to know the characters. Your cast sounds great.

    • Pat Dyer says:

      Bethany, Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m sure you will really enjoy reading about Callie and getting to know the other characters. Pat

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