Thursday, January 8, 2009

The 5th Most Life Changing Book of 2008 is...

The 5th Most Life Changing Book of 2008 is

"John 3:16"

by Nancy Moser

Nancy Moser is the author of three inspirational humor books and eighteen novels, including Solemnly Swear, Time Lottery, a Christy Award winner, and her latest historical, Washington's Lady.

Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Said So Sister Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included.

Find out more at Nancy and Sister


Five people looking for a reason to keep living are about to find it in the last place they expect... In my usual "big cast" style comes a story of what happens when one man puts his faith on the line and holds up a John 3:16 sign at a sporting event. Roman Paulson's life revolves around his son, Billy, a University of Nebraska football hero with a promising life ahead of him. But when Billy's coach encroaches on Roman's relationship with his son, Roman fears he'll lose Billy forever. Roman isn't the only one whose world turns upside down. He's one of five unsuspecting people whose lives intersect on a bright fall day.

If you would like to read the first chapter of John 3:16, go HERE


I was drawn to this book just by the cover and the idea of an ensemble cast in the book. So I didn't read the back of the book before starting it and imagine my surprise when the book not only takes place in Lincoln, Nebraska with an emphasis on UNL (Go Huskers!), but one of the characters is the UNL concessions organizer and Runzas are mentioned mutiple times! To top that off, Mom and I had lunch with Nancy Moser at ACFW and didn't put that together so Nancy knows what Runzas are and Mom owns 4 of them... I thought that was funny.

Anyway, this is an amazing book - an eye-opener. A "can one person really make an impact" kind of book. Nancy lets us follow 5 different main characters (at least) as we see their lives and how they start intertwining. There are twists and turns and even some - oh my gosh! moments. I don't want to say anything that would spoil this wonderful book for any of you... I would like to say that if you haven't read this book yet, make it a point to read it in 2009!

1) One of the amazing things about "John 3:16" is that it has this incredible ensemble cast with many of the characters getting equal "page time" instead of the standard one person point of view. How was it getting into the minds and hearts of that many different people and keeping everything straight as you were writing?

The truth is, I've always written "big-cast" novels so I don't know any better. I keep a file on "facts" that helps me keep the details of each character straight, so that helps. But the truth is, a lot of the plotting and interweaving of the stories occurs as I'm writing the book. I'm not an outliner. I jump in and let the characters take over the story. At that point it's like I become a mere typist with them calling the shots.

2) What made you decide to call the book "John 3:16"? I know the pivotal act in the book is when someone holds the "John 3:16" sign up at a football game, but my mom mentioned after she read it, "I would love to give my sister and brother copies of this book for Christmas, but I'm afraid the title would turn them off and they'd never read it." She just thought it would make a great witnessing tool with a less "religious" title. What plays into the decision for a book title?

The publisher has the last word. I thought about naming it, "The Sign" but was vetoed.

3) Without giving too much away, you had some wonderful threads going at the beginning of the book and then suddenly you'd weave one together with another and I'd go - "Whoa! No way!" Do you get a special delight from leaving clues in plain sight but knowing that the reader is going to have an "A-ha!" moment at a certain point in your books because I know that I'd get a total rush from doing that to someone :-)

It was a thrill to have that happen! It usually occurs when I realize a role I had an additional character play could be filled by someone who's already in the book. Indeed, I also get the "Whoa! No way!" reaction when I think of a way to interweave the stories. Then I go back and insert a few clues for the savvy reader to recognize—or not. :o)

4) I have to admit that when I started reading this book and realized that it takes place in Lincoln, Nebraska I got very excited! But when you started talking about Runzas you became one of my favorite authors ever! My dad has been in the Runza restaurant business since I was 7 (that's a long time) and I have basically grown up with them, so I have to know - when you come back to Nebraska are you one of the people that has to head for the nearest Runza and get your Runza and homemade onion rings fix?

Absolutely! I also get them at the Nebraska games (that, and ice cream from the UNL Dairy Store booth.) Now that Runzas have Miller & Paine cinnamon rolls, we are truly in heaven! Both my husband and I graduated from the University of Nebraska—as did my siblings. My dad was the Associate Dean of Engineering for years… We still have season football tickets and try to make as many games as possible. I was born in Lincoln and grew up there (went to Eastridge, Millard Lefler, and East High.) Didn't move away until I was 36. Our families still live there so I will always be a Nebraskan at heart.

5) I found out that you have been involved in Community Playhouse Musical Theater - what was your favorite production, role and costume?

I liked any show where I could wear a pretty costume. I was always in the chorus (I was too tall to play a lead across the main male leads at the time) and loved to dance and play whatever bit part they needed. I especially like "My Fair Lady" where I could wear a fancy dress for the ball scene and the Ascots, and also "Brigadoon." Speaking of . . . one evening the girl who was playing the part of Jean (the sister who gets married) couldn’t get there on time from a trip out of town. I was pushed into the part with only a few minutes notice. I was fed my lines off stage, literally pulled through my blocking, and even ad libbed a solo dance! The friendships I made during those plays were priceless. . .

6) You are a prolific writer with many, many books published... what are you working on now - I need to know what to be on the lookout for next!

The next book out is another historical novel based on the life of a real woman of history, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the poet. It's set in 1850's London, and is called "How Do I Love Thee?" She was basically an invalid and a hermit, and lived in a household where her father forbid any of his children to marry. She met Robert Browning through letters at age 38, and they fell in love. He virtually saved her from death through his love. She wrote the famous poem, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…" for herself, during their courtship. She never planned for it to be published and yet it is the poem she is known for today. As a bonus Bethany House is going to publish all her "Sonnets from the Portuguese" in the back of the novel. It comes out late spring.

7) Where can readers find you online? and


Okay, readers Nancy has offered a copy of John 3:16 for our drawing! You don't want to miss out on a chance for this book - Here is what you do...

leave me a comment (with your email address or way to reach you) telling me what your favorite sport is (in John 3:16 it's college football) and you will have 1 entry in the drawing!

If you tell someone else about this interview with Nancy and they enter and put your name in the comment then you will have 3 extra entries

If you link to this interview from your own blog then you will get 2 extra entries - Good luck!


Anonymous said...

I must say that I still am going for the Boxcar Children as some of my favorite mysteries but then I just remembered reading the whole Mandy series and she always solved mysteries. Definitely still is my #1 mystery books!
Sarah Catlett

darbyscloset said...

For some reason, I love boxing...not sure where or how that came about, yet there you have it! ; )
Would love to read this book!!!
Thanks so much
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Jo said...

I would love to read this book. Please enter my name in the drawing.


Anonymous said...

My favorite sport is baseball. I attend as many Husker and Saltdog games as possible.

Laurie Kilzer

valerie2350 said...

fav sport - bmx :)

valerie2350 said...

blogged it entry 1

valerie2350 said...

blogged it entry 2

Alyce said...

My favorite sport to watch on tv is college football, and that's just because my husband is so enthusiastic about it that he makes it very easy to get into the game and root for the team he likes.
akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Mary said...

I enjoy watching gymnastics. Add me please!

bigguysmama said...

I enjoy watching baseball. Since my boys play and we've made it a few Twins games, I've enjoyed it a lot more. Please enter me to win. I also put a link to your blog at the top right of my blog. Thanks for the chance to win this book!

Mimi B

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

wovenbywords dot blogspot dot com

Christy Janes said...

I love, love, love watching college basketball! Not really into the whole NBA thing, just college.

Nancy Moser is one of my favorite authors. I really enjoyed your interview. :o)


orca0024 at yahoo dot com

hippmom said...

My favorite sport would probably be what ever one my kids are currently involved in. I did go to a Red Sox baseball game at Fenway Park this summer - that was fabulous!

I would love to read this book.

Tammy said...

I grew up in Canada, so I'm a die hard hockey fan!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy playing volleyball and watching it professionally. Also enjoy pro baseball and football.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank-you so much for the chance to win this exciting sounding book.

Gayla Collins

Gin said...

I love college football!
I'd love to read this book.

Jayme said...

this sounds like a good read and i'd love to win this!! my favorite sport is swimming. i swam competitively for about 11 years and i just love watching it on tv as well.


Anna W. said...

This sounds like an interesting read! My favorite sport is baseball. Go Braves!


Lora Lease said...

I enjoy watching the Denver Broncos play (my home-town team), so my favorite sport would have to be football- if the Broncos are playing. :)

Stacie said...

My favourite sport is Hockey!

Patty said...

My favorite sport is baseball and also girls fastpitch softball. I have been wanting to read this book, so hopefully I win.



windycindy said...

Hi, This books sounds very inspirational! My favorite sport is watching our two sons play on their high school team. Thanks, Cindi

Anonymous said...

I've ready every nancy moser book i can find!
I'd love to read this one :)
I don't really have a favorite sport, i love seeing my cousin's play baseball and gymnastics though!

B said...

I like to watch some of the NCAA Final Four. Last year the KU won (go Jayhawks)! I would love to win this book.
sbsalzer at gmail dot com

The Giveaway Diva said...

my favorite is watching hockey!! =)


The Giveaway Diva said...

i am a follower1

Susan Stitch said...

My favorite sport is probably basketball -- any age, although I love watching the kids play Upwards Basketball. I also like kid soccer up through high school.

Please enter me in the drawing for this book -- it sounds like a winner!


Thanks for having so many great giveaways!

kate said...

my sister, thegiveawaydiva told me about ur giveaway! I love ice skating!


Kaycee said...

I love watching tennis and I start lessons (that hubby got me for christmas) next week!

kayceewilliams AT gmail DOT com

ddurance said...

My favorite sport right now is probably tennis.

deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

Sarah said...

Swimming. Love Swimming!
Please enter me in the draw

Carole said...

My favorite sport is figure skating - watching, that is!

I've enjoyed every book that I've read of Nancy's so far. Thank you for the chance to win John 3:16.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

MJ said...

I love any high school sport...I've lived through baseball, basketball, football, soccer and tennis! I loved them all!

Ruth Dell said...


Many thanks for an interesting interview.

My favorite sport is gymnastics- as a spectator!

Please enter me for the book drawing if it's open to international readers.

Thank you

Ruth Dell

Anonymous said...

My favorite sport is basketball :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!


Anonymous said...

I blogged about the giveaway :

wendy said...

My favorite sport is kite flying!

madamerkf at aol dot com

Becca Dowling said...

My favorite sport is figure skating. Please enter me in the drawing. I fell in love with Nancy Moser through the Mustard Seed series and then Sister Circles series.


liane66 said...

I like college basketball.

Thanks for the giveaway.

Carolynn W. said...

My favorite sports are soccer and volleyball.
Thanks for the chance to win!
carolynnwald at hotmail dot com

Donna said...

I like basketball.

JamericanSpice said...

I'm at present an NFL nut. The husband did this to me :)

I hope to win.

Anonymous said...

Football and soccer are my two favorite sports (to watch, not play).
sarahnwoodill at hotmail dot com

Janna said...

this book looks like something I would love!

Sue R.

Janna said...

And the winner is...