Congratulations to Beth who won Peggy Blann Phifer’s book To See the Sun.
Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?
I was born in Yakima, Washington but spent my youth in Kent, Washington back when it was a small town surrounded by farms. It was a wonderful place to grow up.
When the Northwest was discovered and towns turned into cities, my husband and I decided we wanted our children to grow up in the country so we moved to Southern Oregon. That was in 1980 and we’ve been here ever since. We live in the Cascade foothills on a small property nestled in the forest and are thankful to be here. Our children are grown now with families of their own. Our youngest daughter lives on the property right next door to us and we’re thrilled to be part of her family’s life.
In 1991 a loaded log truck slammed into a van I was driving. My injuries made it impossible for me to return to work and so I turned to writing instead. I published my first book, The Journey of Eleven Moons, in 1994. Since that time I’ve published nineteen novels and I’m working on number twenty.
How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?
I was blessed to grow up in a good home with family that loved me, but that didn’t mean the world couldn’t touch me. A speech impediment that required two years of speech therapy brought out the meanness in the children I knew. I was deeply wounded by their taunts and teasing. I came out of those years believing I was strange and somehow less than others. Already feeling like an outcast a sexual assault drove home a sense that I was bad and unlovable. I never said anything to my parents so they weren’t able to help me. I silently carried that guilt for many years and even as a young adult I felt like a worthless piece of rubbish. I longed for a savior, but I didn’t understand that my heavenly Father had provided one.
Throughout the years, God tried to get my attention, but I refused to listen until I was hit by a series of tragedies. In a matter of months, my father died, my stepfather died, I lost a baby and my husband told me he didn’t love me and wanted a divorce. I was broken.
During that time, an old friend showed up at my house. She told me that she’d found Jesus and explained how much He loved me. I didn’t fully believe her, but I felt a glimmer of hope. Maybe someone did love me. Two weeks after our visit, I turned on the television to a religious program she’d told me about—The 700 Club. I was just in time for the salvation prayer, and I knelt in front of my television and prayed with Pat Robertson and placed my life in Jesus hands. I cried and cried . . . out of joy. I’ve never been the same—I am a new creation.
A couple of months after that, God restored my marriage. My husband and I will celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary this August. God is amazing!
Yahoo!!! That just gave me chills. My husband and I celebrate marriages that are restored. Praise God!
Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?
Joy Takes Flight is book three in a series that takes place in 1930’s Alaska. Kate Evans and Paul Anderson are finally married and Kate is living her dream. They are settling in, and when they learn she is expecting a child they rejoice, but soon it is clear that they have hurdles ahead of them. Demons from Paul’s past haunt him and Kate is unable to break through the barriers he’s erected. Kate wonders should she continue in her dangerous profession as an Alaskan bush pilot? Can she really fall into the role of a wife? When tragedy strikes, life begins to unravel, and Kate fears she may have lost Paul for good.
When readers finish the last page and set down the book, I pray they will have a sense of hope and a fresh understanding that we each have our own path to walk, and that ours doesn’t look like anyone else’s. God has an individual plan for each of us and He has a purpose for our lives. If we want to live within His will we need to begin with Him. If we surrender our lives to Him there is nothing we can’t do and even though life may throw darts it can still be filled with meaning and joy.
How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?
My goal is to blog three times a week. Depending upon my schedule, that can vary. For instance I am in the midst of launching my new book and I’m so busy I’ve been neglecting my blog. I hope to get back to it next week.
On Monday’s I share Quiet Moments With God. These blogs are taken from my personal time with God and whatever he has laid upon my heart to share.
Wednesdays it is Books and Writing. I speak to readers about books that I’ve read and loved or I share writing tidbits that might be helpful to other writers.
Friday is all about Relationships . . . of all kinds. It is something I’ve experienced or seen that God has lain on my heart to share.
Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?
With all the wonderful books in the world, how can I pick just one? I can only say that one that I’ve read recently was a great read. It was written by Laura Frantz and is called The Colonel’s Lady. It was a fabulous blend of history, romance and story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life
My accident in 1991 comes to mind first. I was traveling up a winding road near my home when a loaded log truck barreled around a corner from the opposite direction. It tipped over and hit my van, which was left teetering on the edge of a cliff. My daughter, who was with me, was uninjured, but I was left with permanent injuries to my back and now live with chronic pain.
I lived through a couple of really bad years where I fought to find a new life. I was afraid, depressed and angry. I’d lost everything (or so I thought). I was an active and involved mother and homemaker. And after the accident I couldn’t do even simple things like fix meals for my family, clean my house or even buy groceries. I felt worthless.
One day, in a desperate state I asked God to please give me something to do that mattered. The story is too long to share here, but He brought writing into my life in a miraculous way. He threw open every door and what the enemy meant for evil, God used for good. Life is not easy, but it is very rich.
Truly a Genesis 5020, I love it!
Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?
I love God’s Word. There are so many verses I cherish. However, I especially love Isaiah 40:26-31. I return to it again and again. Each time, it encourages and uplifts me. I am reminded of the beauty and power of God.
Where can we find you on the web?
You can find my website at www.bonnieleon.com (access to my blogs is on my home page).
My twitter address is @Bonnie_Leon
My author page on facebook is at http://www.facebook.com/BonnieLeonAuthor.
Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?
Thank you. I appreciate this opportunity to share with readers here on your blog. I love to connect with people. I hope they will feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.
Grace and peace to you from God.
Readers, Bonnie is giving away a paperback copy of her book Joy Takes Flight to one commentator. Just leave a comment by July 31 at 5:00 PM.