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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

All For A Song

  Author Bio
About the Author...Award-winning author Allison Pittman left a seventeen-year teaching career in 2005 to follow the Lord’s calling into the world of Christian fiction, and God continues to bless her step of faith. Her novels For Time and Eternity and Forsaking All Others were both finalists for the Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction, and her novel Stealing Home won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Award. She heads up a successful, thriving writers group in San Antonio, Texas, where she lives with her husband, Mike, their three sons, and the canine star of the family—Stella.  Visit Allison at her website, www.allisonpittman.com .
All for a Song
 Book description: Dorothy Lynn Dunbar has everything she ever wanted: her family, her church, her community, and plans to marry the young pastor who took over her late father’s pulpit. Time spent in the woods, lifting her heart and voice in worship accompanied by her brother’s old guitar, makes her life complete . . . and yet she longs for something more. Spending a few days in St. Louis with her sister’s family, Dorothy Lynn discovers a whole new way of life—movies, music, dancing; daring fashions and fancy cars. And a dynamic charismatic evangelist . . . who just happens to be a woman. When Dorothy Lynn is offered a chance to join Aimee Semple McPherson’s crusade team, she finds herself confronted with temptations she never dreamed of. Can Dorothy Lynn embrace all the Roaring Twenties has to offer without losing herself in the process?
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Romance:A few kisses and some flirting. While Dorothy is drunk she kisses Roland. Language:0 Violence: None apart from yelling & arguments. Other:Smoking and drinking (drinking only in one chapter),  Time period:1920s and modern times.
Thoughts:I think that my first interest in this book was the cover. Then the description intrigued me a bit, but I didn't really get what it was about until I started reading. For the first part I was a little confused about what it was supposed to be about. It seemed a little slow. Just meandering along. After the first...6 or so chapters it started to pick you and I could see the plot-line forming. By the middle or so I was reading at a faster pace and enjoying the journey Dorothy was on. One of the things that I really liked about this book was how it cut to 2010, to Dorothy then. It was very unique and a great addition to the story. The ending was very very beautiful and almost had me crying. It was so sweet and I LOVED it.  I thought it was really well written, I could see the people and cities. I could see the outfits. I could see the movie set. It was so easy to look back and have everything click once you've finished it. Overall I really liked this book and would recommend it to several of my friends and YA+ girls who enjoy historical fiction :)
Characters:At the beginning I wasn't sure if I liked Dorothy all that much. She seemed unhappy and it didn't seem that she wanted to do anything about it. But by the end of the book I thought she was a lovely character. I could feel her emotions and the entire last quarter of the book was just beautifully full of sad/sweet moments. So overall I really did like Dorothy and felt that she was a great main character :) I thought many of the other characters were really well done, but I didn't really have any favorites among them.
Cover:It's beautiful. I love the shades of brown and yellow mixing. The dress is beautiful too. And I love the font for the title.
Stars:4
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I was provided with an interview that was done with the author, (not me interviewing her, someone else)
so please enjoy learning a bit more about the book :) 
1. What was your inspiration for this book, All for a Song?
There were so many different pieces that came together with this book; it’s hard to name just
one. First, I was introduced to, and then became fascinated with Aimee Semple McPherson,
and while I wasn’t ready to take on her story, I knew I wanted to create my own characters to
somehow come into her sphere. She was a woman who embraced both ministry and fame,
and I wanted to create a character who had that same opportunity. With that, I am so
inspired by the decade of the 1920’s—such sweeping social changes, shifts in moral
centering, an explosion of choices and opportunities for women. It was a time to test one’s
faith—to go against the new norms in pursuit of righteousness. Such a challenge!
2. Tell me about your main character Dorothy Lynn. Was her character based upon anyone in
particular?

The young Dorothy Lynn, no, not really—not beyond any other singer/songwriter out there.
She’s a young woman with a message and a voice, so maybe she’s a mash-up of every
musician I know. The older Dorothy Lynn, Miss Lynnie, is somewhat based on the mother of a
friend of mine. His mother went to be with the Lord while I was in the final stages of writing  this
novel, and at her funeral, I learned that she had a stroke years before her passing, during
which she had a glimpse of Heaven, and had spent her intervening years longing to return. I
remember going home from that celebration of her life and re-writing just about every Breath
of Angels scene, incorporating that into Dorothy Lynn’s story. It was exactly what the story
needed, and brought about a depth I couldn’t have imagined in the initial draft.
3. What lessons or truths will your readers find in the pages of this novel?
I hope that they learn that it’s good to take a chance, to take hold of opportunities that
come your way, even if it doesn’t always make sense to do so. Yes, there are times that
require periods of prayer and reflection and guidance-seeking, but then there are times when
you have to hop on the next train and trust that God has the details well in hand. Along with
that, I’d want them to know that while there is breath, there is opportunity for grace and
forgiveness, but we might need to humble ourselves. There’s a theme of a longing for home,
no matter how enticing the alternative seems. 
4. Although this novel is set in the 1920s, how does Dorothy Lynn’s story still resonate today?
The world today wants nothing more than to entice young women to exploit themselves in
some way, and the enemy wants nothing more than to make us think that we are beyond
redemption. We all make stupid, thoughtless, reckless decisions; we all get ourselves into such
unbelievably embarrassing messes; we all disappoint our loved ones. The world tells you to
move on; God tells you to go back.
5. As a writer, what did you particularly enjoy about crafting this story?
Oh, my goodness. As a historical writer, I loved the time period—that sort of new, innocent
fumbling with innovations of the time. One of my favorite scenes was when the 107 -year-old
Dorothy Lynn experiences her first iPad. (By the way, I had to make her that old in order to
make all the history “fit.” I spent every day for a month watching the Willard Scott segment on
the Today show making sure that her age would be believable. Wouldn’t you know? Every
week there’s somebody that tops the 105th birthday!)
6. What is your hope for this story? How would you like it to impact readers?
I would love it if this book would prompt a reader to reach out to somebody they feel they
have lost. Reconciliation is hard—whether you’re the perpetrator or the victim of whatever
“wrong” that happened. But life is short, even if you’re going to get more than a century of
living, at some time that final day will come. Close those gaps in your life.  Offer and ask for
forgiveness. Leave a legacy of grace.
7. How has this novel helped you to grow as a storyteller?
My tendency (a very purposeful one) is to leave my stories with a bit of an “unfinished” edge.
I like my characters to leave the page on the cusp of fulfillment, so that my readers can have
the pleasure of imagining those final, satisfying moments. A good friend (and, coincidentally
a fan) of mine said, “I love your books. I hate your endings. I’m just going to have to accept
that this is what an Allison Pittman story does.” So—how fun was this to write the most definitive
ending, ever! To open a story on the last day of a character’s life—so totally new for me.
8. What is the best advice or encouragement that you have received?
It goes back to a conversation I had with James Scott Bell back when I’d written
approximately 7 chapters of what would become my first novel, Ten Thousand Charms. The
whole conversation is chronicled in Chapter 16 of his fabulous book The Art of War for Writers.
(I’m the “young woman” – which I was, at the time, sort of…) Anyway, I was frustrated and
discouraged, and he explained to me that this writing thing was like a pyramid. At its base,
you have everybody who ever thinks they maybe might want to try to start writing a book
someday. At the top is Max Lucado. The rest of us are somewhere in-between. “Your job…is
to keep moving up the pyramid. Each level presents its own challenges, so concentrate on
the ones right in front of you.” I love and welcome every new challenge.

Love, Sierra
Tyndale Blog Network
I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher and the views I have expressed are my own.

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