Monday, August 27, 2007

Interview with Allison Bottke

As promised, I have Allison Bottke with me today discussing her new novel One Little Secret, so grab a hot cup of something, and join us as we find out some secrets behind the scenes of this boomer-lit novel with an attitude!

Allison, welcome to Living Life Passionately. I finished One Little Secret in one sitting; I just couldn’t put it down. For those of you who don’t know by now, One Little Secret is about no ordinary housewife and mom who is surprised by an opportunity to pursue her passion. It was such a fun read with unexpected humor and tears. Was this a dream come true for you and what prompted you to write this book now?

Thanks, Connie, it’s great to be here with my boomer sister. You probably already know part of the background for this book, but the original idea was for a movie screenplay. I had the cast of characters—especially the lead actress already plotted in my mind. Then, when Bethany House requested a second novel as a follow up for A Stitch in Time—my debut novel—I dusted off the unfinished screenplay and the rest is history. Of course, I had to add a few more subplots and think how each scene would play out in a movie—so there was more creativity involved—but it was all a dream come true!

I have to say, Allison, I loved your first novel, A Stitch in Time, but I fell in love with One Little Secret. There’s a clear message that resonates throughout the entire book—that we as boomer women have all felt at one time—that our dreams aren’t taken seriously! What do you have to say about that?

Yes, you’re absolutely right, Connie! So many “boomer babes” are complacent about living out their dreams. They have held them under a bushel along with their God-given talents. We have taught our children to strive to be the best they can be—right? We have told our children they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up—correct? Yet, when it comes time for us to pursue our dreams and passions, we hold back. I think the healthiest thing we can do as parents is to allow our children to see us working toward our dreams. When those we love see us fulfill life-long passions and desires of the heart, we will be taken seriously!

Allison, tell me a little bit about the author behind One Little Secret. What things do you love to do when you’re not writing and what’s the one quality you hold most dear in a friend?

As you may know, I’m quite the homebody—I love being home, working in my garden or spending time with my husband. One of my favorite pastimes is, of course, reading and watching movies. I could stay all day at the cinema—starting when the doors open and watch back-to-back movies until midnight. As for friendships, unquestionably it would have to be loyalty and confidentiality. Privacy is extremely important to me!

Allison, you and I have never “officially” met; however, my story “Living the Passionate Life,” was published in God Allows U-turns for Women. Later I blogged for one week on the U-Turns blogsite, and then you asked if I would like to take part in the “Boomer Babes Rock” blogsite. It’s been quite a ride! Can you tell me what makes you so passionate about the U-Turns ministry?

Wow, Connie, that’s a loaded question! The only reason why I’m here is because of God’s amazing mercy and grace in my life. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe that my life could make a U-Turn. I was 35 years old when I finally came to the end of myself and willingly gave my heart over to a relationship with Jesus. I’ve never looked back. My purpose is to share with others who are lost and searching how they can fill that God-shaped void in their life. As my friend Michelle says, “Every test is a testimony and every mess is a ministry.” My life has been filled with so many tests and messes that I have to believe that God wants me to use my testimony as a life ministry.

It’s been such a great pleasure to have you on Living Life Passionately. Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers that I haven’t asked you about?

I guess one of the main things I’d like to ask is that your readers please pick up a copy of One Little Secret and read it—and then let me know what they thought of it. I really want to grow as a writer and obtaining reader feedback is vital for that to happen. Also vital is the word-of-mouth recommendations readers can make about books they enjoy. If your readers like One Little Secret, I pray they will share it with others—and encourage their local bookstores to carry my work. I’d also like to invite your readers to visit my web sites where they can sign up for our free monthly Dream-zine, see my Blog Tour schedule, and read the Writer’s Guidelines for the next volumes in the God Allows U-Turns series. Here are the web site URL’s: , and

However, more important than that is my final word of the day…and that is for your readers to take the risk and reach for their dreams! God has placed a desire in your heart—He has given you special gifts—and he wants you to use them. No matter how old we are—there is still time to discover God’s purpose for our life—and to make the choices that will change the story of our life.

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to interview here at Living Life Passionately. And be sure to check out my review of One Little Secret at

Thanks so much for having me!

FREE GIFT: The first person to post a comment on Living Life Passionately wins a copy of One Little Secret, And if you’ve always wanted to win a free trip to Hollywood, be sure to check out the One Little Secret Casting Call Contest. Click here:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Breast Cancer Awareness

Today I'm blogging on Boomer Babes Rock about the "Pay-Off" which has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm about to say.

I am passionate about a cure for breast cancer. Why you ask? Because I'm a survivor of 11 years and I know how devastating this disease can be and what it can do to a family. So how can you help?

Today Jan Parrish made a comment to my post on Boomer Babes and I checked out her blog (best thing I ever did!). She has a great idea that combines friends, coffee, chocolate and mammograms--not necessarily in that order! To find out more about Jan's brilliant idea, log on to her site at:

Remember: October is breast cancer awareness month! My story, "Touched by a Coffee-Loving Angel" appears in the Chicken Soup for the Coffee-Lover's Soul coming out November 2007. It's really my breast cancer story rolled up into a coffee bean.

If you'd like to know more about being a breast cancer friend, check out Jan's site.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Crossing Bridges

Yesterday I crossed over a bridge…I celebrated my 52nd birthday…one I thought I would never see. After a cancer diagnosis at age 40, I have learned to celebrate the preciousness of life. While my peers lament the fact that they are growing older, more out of shape, and counting gray hairs and wrinkles, I’m profoundly thankful to be alive and pursuing my passion.

One of the things I’m most passionate about is speaking to cancer survivors because they “get it.” We understand what’s important in life, we cherish the moments in between birthdays, and we pray for many more.

Yesterday, my husband asked me what I wanted to do on my birthday and my response was to “LIVE THIS THING CALLED LIFE.” I can’t do it alone—I need God, my friends, and my family.

Read more of my thoughts on Boomer Babes Rock about “This Thing Called LIFE!”

P.S. A great birthday gift came from Dotsie Bregel, founder of NABBW (National Association of Boomer Babe Women), who reviewed my book Trading Ashes for Roses: From Pain to Passion in her monthly newsletter. You can read about it here.

Reviewed by Dotsie Bregel, Connie carefully traipses you through her cancer storm with honesty and a deep sense of spirituality that immediately makes you want her as your role model should you ever be diagnosed with cancer. While it must have been a horrendous venture, she gently unravels the bad and the good in a way that makes you trust you'd have the courage to follow in her footsteps if ever necessary. Should you know someone with a cancer diagnosis, this is the book for both you and them. In addition to sharing her perspective of what it's like to be the patient, she genuinely offers appropriate suggestions for caregivers to understand suitable ways of treating their loved ones with a similar diagnosis. She offers an attitude that may allow them to approach the disease from a healthy perspective while telling you the best actions and words to offer them. Connie also sells lovely baskets jam packed with goodies of hope for cancer survivors and caregivers at most reasonable prices and ships anywhere in the country. Each basket contains all kinds of pleasantries that any woman will appreciate. I've already sent two and the recipients were most grateful. I highly recommend anyone with a cancer diagnosis, or a loved one with the same, to visit Connie online at . I have a feeling you'll make a new friend.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

World of Messages

Do you ever feel like you're in your own little world when you're at the computer?

Sometimes I lose all track of time--like this week--when I have deadlines pressing in from all angles. It all gets done, but this week I received a clear message about how and when I should be doing my work.

I'm blogging on Boomer Babes Rock today and I'll share the message that rocked my world and made me realize...get out from behind the computer and smell the roses!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Today I'm blogging on Boomer Babes Rock about "Pen-Less Thoughts." For some reason, I can't think unless I have a pen in my hand. I've been known to grab someone else's pen to write down my thoughts and others have been known to grab my pen to write their thoughts as well (I share one such experience!).

The comptuer is great...we can get our thoughts down faster (sometimes!), but I still love the pen to paper experience. For this writer, it's essential that my thoughts first flow from pen to paper and then to my computer.

Speaking of writing, Allison Bottke is starting her International Blog Tour for ONE LITTLE SECRET and you can catch one of 40 interviews this month. Today she's on Randy Ingermanson's Blog: I'll be blogging on Monday, August 27 (right here!). Don't miss it!
If you have some "secrets" to writing your thoughts, feel free to share them.