Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Modern Molly Giveaway - Annette Lyon New Book

From Modern Molly:
"You may have noticed all over the bloggernacle a certain author has released a new book! Yup! Annette Lyon is here with us today! We are so blessed to be featuring this amazing author!

Modern Molly: Alright, let's just go ahead and jump in this! I know you're a reader of Modern Molly Mormon, do you consider yourself a Modern Molly?

Annette Lyon: According to my own definition, yes. I'm not like the old definition of a Molly (someone a bit over the top on being prudish or whatever), but I certainly like to think that a Modern Molly means I'm devoted to the gospel while simultaneously trying to find the best way to navigate through the contemporary world we live in. Being in the world but not of it, as we're taught.

Modern Molly: I know you've previously written books about places you've been or things that have sparked a passion inside. Do you go places or do things with books in mind, like for research?

Annette Lyon: I do go on research trips, but I usually already know I'll be writing about the area before I go there. When my husband and I took a day trip to Manti, I'd already written more than half of what became Tower of Strength, but that trip helped enhance the story and even changed a few elements. As I walked the streets, I got feel the area and a sense of the "personality" of the place. It was a ball picking out locations for the story and recognizing that I'd need to rewrite a couple of scenes because of how some landmarks were really laid out.

Modern Molly: Please tell us about your new book!

Annette Lyon: Tower of Strength is my sixth novel but my fourth old Utah temple book, taking place in Manti during the construction of the temple there. It's about Tabitha, a woman who was widowed at 19 and left to raise an infant son alone. She move away from Manti to leave the wounds of that time behind, but now, six years later, she's going back and has to face the past--including her difficult mother-in-law, a new business, and the very real fear of letting her heart get close to someone again.

I found Tabitha very easy to relate to--she tries to do everything all by herself because she was forced to as a young widow. But she has to learn to let go of that control, to let someone else carry part of the load.

I think a lot of Modern Mollies try to do too much and don't realize that there are others there waiting to help. And that letting others help isn't a sign of weakness.

The book isn't a sequel to any of my others, so readers can pick it up and read it separately.

Modern Molly: I know Tower of Strength takes place in the late 1800's in Manti. What was it about Manti that drew you in?

Annette Lyon: I loved the stories about the first settlers and how their lives centered around Temple Hill before it was ever the spot for the temple. The settlers nearly died from their first--very harsh--winter, so they huddled near the hill for protection. Then when spring came, they nearly died again when rattlesnakes came out of the hill by the hundreds. The hill later became a place for children to play and couples to court.

I loved the idea of the future temple grounds being such a focus of the community years before the ground-breaking.

Modern Molly: What was the most difficult part of writing the story? I know you did a significant amount of research.

Annette Lyon: : For this book, the horse scenes were the toughest to write. I am not a horse person. At all. Yet a horse became almost a main character in the story. That made me go back and do a lot of research--and then lots and lots of revisions after I sent the scenes to people who do know horses. There were times I wanted to throw the manuscript against a wall in frustration, but in the end, I think it really worked, and some of the horse scenes are my favorites.

Modern Molly: How have your books affected your faith?

Annette Lyon: One thing my historical books have done is giving me a greater appreciation for the temple and the people who sacrificed so much to make them possible. I have a temple only minutes from my house--do I take advantage of it as I should? I've learned many spiritual and life lessons based on the temples and the inspiring stories behind them. I've even put together a presentation about some of those stories so I can share them with others.

I personally have no ancestors who crossed the plains (I come from a line of relatively recent Mollies!), so the process of writing about the people who settled Utah and Arizona and especially what their children's lives were like has made me feel more connected to the history of Church than I ever did before.

Modern Molly: Thanks again Annette! As for the rest of you, don't forget to check out Annette's website to learn more about her other novels, purchase a copy of Towers of Strength for yourself, and check out her personal blog!

Check out this great video preview of Tower of Strength!

Annette is also offering free copies of her book to FOUR of our readers! So if you want to have a chance at winning this fantastic novel, leave a comment below!
For extra entries:
  • Follow Modern Molly Mormon
  • Subscribe to Modern Molly Mormon (either through a Feed Reader or Email)
  • Post about this giveaway on your own blog linking back to Modern Molly Mormon.
  • Twitter this giveaway, linking back to Modern Molly Mormon.
  • Then when you've done the above, come back and comment and let us know that you've done so. For each entry you need a comment. The comments are your actual entries!
This contest will end Friday March 27th, and a winner will be announced Saturday morning!

** For a special extra entry (and another chance to win this great book) head over to Life is Sweet Reviews and enter in her contest. Then come back here and let us know (in another comment) that you did so. That's a total of at least 6 possible entries!"



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