Friday, November 19, 2010

LETS CHAT FRIDAY with Loree Lough

A few days ago I received a book entitled, "Beautiful Bandit". The author? Loree Lough. I have never read a book of Loree's before and wow, was I missing out. This girl can write my friends! If you have not picked up a book of Loree's as of yet, do so soon. I must share with you, Loree, reminds me of a friend of mine. Her name is Denise. They even look alike! Personality? A perfect match!  Loree is really funny. She seems as though she is just one of those girlfriends you call first with any news. When I asked Loree to be a guest I was so tickled when she accepted my invitation. I have taken away many nuggets from our chat as I pray you too grasp a gem that will give you a new perspective or just add a new blessing to your life. It is an honor to get to know Loree a little better. Who knows, one day we might just get to meet!

May this Friday's chat make your day a little sweeter and brighter as Loree shares her heart.

(Robin)  Loree, tell me a little about yourself.
(Loree) Whew. Is that a loaded question, or what! Let me get the “shameless self-promotional” stuff out of the way first:

There are more than 2,000,000 copies of my books in circulation

There are 78 “Loree Lough” books on the shelves

Most titles have won industry and “readers’ choice” awards

Some have been nominated for the Rita

Some have made the CBA bestseller lists

One was optioned for a TV movie

Whew. I’m glad THAT’s out of the way. Why is it the thing I do worst is the thing I’m asked to do most: Promote myself! But you know what? It’s actually a tossup between PR and PATIENCE. hehehe

Personal stuff: I used to sing for my supper (literally)! I’ve been married forEVER, have 2 daughters and 7 grandkids. Just lost my beloved dog . Love to bake, garden, paint and sketch, read … and of course … WRITE!

(Robin) Since you have walked with the Lord has there been a time you struggled in your faith? If so, would you please share?
(Loree) Several years ago, I survived what I call “The Summer from Hell.” Illness, deaths in the family, the kitty I’d had for 19 years died … I won’t bore you with the whole list. Suffice it to say, that 4 month time span was aptly named.

At one particularly low point, when my energy was next to nothing and my mood was lower still, I wondered why—since I was a devout follower—I couldn’t seem to get a handle on all the “stuff.” My husband was out of town on business and it was just me, all alone in the house.

One afternoon, I’d been resting on the family room sofa and got up to use the bathroom … and passed out cold! I banged my head on the hall doorway hard enough to split the skin at my temple and raise a lump the size of a REAL goose egg. When I came to a good ten minutes later, I realized how things MIGHT have turned out … if I didn’t have a loving Father looking out for me!

From that point on, I quit feeling sorry for myself. The aches and pains (physical and emotional) were just as real, and yet they didn’t seem nearly as severe. It took another 3 months before I was “all the way” better, but the time went way faster in my new “What’s the point in feeling sorry for yourself!” mood.

(Robin)  Has there been an "aha" moment in your life that has changed your perspective?
(Loree) When you’ve lived as long as I have, it’s only natural, I think, for there to be a whole bunch of “Ah-ha!” moments! But if I had to choose just one, I’d have to say it was that moment in time when I realized how well and how completely the Lord knew me! He understood I wasn’t cut out to be a missionary, carrying His word into the deserts and jungles. So He called me to use the talents he HAD blessed me with, then opened the doors necessary to allow me to reach fallen-away Christians (and many who didn’t know Him at all) through the characters who people my novels.

(Robin) Do you have a favorite bible story, verse, song or hymn that gives encouragement when struggles come?
(Loree) One of my all-time favorite hymns is “The Old Rugged Cross,” and I find myself singing it when times are a little tough … and when there are joys to celebrate.

(Robin)  What is one thing you look for in a close friend and what is one quality you hope others see in you?
(Loree) Trustworthiness is imperative. I want to know, without a doubt, that if I share something with a friend—whether good or bad—it will remain between us. Period. If I feel compelled to preface things with “Now, please keep this to yourself, okay?”, then I know this isn’t someone I can trust, wholly and completely, no matter what. I make a point of keeping the secrets shared by friends, and I think that’s why they so often share them!

(Robin)  What are a few of your favorite books you have in your collection you would share with a friend?
(Loree) I have shared my tattered copy of “East of Eden.” But it isn’t easy! hehehe

(Robin)  When life seems to go crazy, what is one thing you do to bring comfort and peace?
(Loree) I like to go for a walk. There’s a park about a mile from my house, and the walking path circles a big man-made lake. The wooded areas are home to deer, fox, coyote and a dozen other mammals. At any given time, I might see swans, herons, egrets, geese and a wide variety of ducks. Bluebirds, Orioles, owls, and the usual “yard birds” nest in the trees. When life gets crazy, a leisurely walk through the park always reminds me that HE is the maker—and the ruler—of every living being.

(Robin) What is one thing about yourself you admire?
(Loree) I don’t make promises I can’t keep. When I give someone my word to do something, it gets done.

(Robin) What are a few of the things you love surrounding you?
(Loree) I love the photos of my husband, kids and grandkids. I love knowing they’re all the type of people who, if I needed them, would drop whatever they were doing and come to my aid. I guess that’s why I so rarely ask for their help! hehehe

(Robin)  What are your deepest passions?
(Loree) Living a life that shows others that I am a servant of the Lord. That is the reason I keep a spotless house and tidy gardens, why I prepare meals that look pretty while being wholesome, why I put everything I have into my artwork and my novels.

(Robin)  What is the best advice ever given to you?
(Loree) It’s either “You are not responsible for what others say or do to you; you are only responsible for your reactions to these things” or “Do or do not; there IS no ‘try’.”

(Robin)  In the legacy you leave, what is one thing you hope out shines before all others?
(Loree) “She loved her family and friends more than she loved herself.”

(Robin)  What are you currently working on?
(Loree) Several novels will be released soon, and I’m working on various stages of each:

Accidental Family (#3 in my Love Inspired “Accidental Blessings” series)

Maverick Heart (#2 in my “Lone Star Legends” series from Whitaker)

From Ashes to Honor (#1 in my “First Responders” series from Abingdon)

Love Finds You in Folly Beach, South Carolina (my 3rd LFY title)

Thy Grace is Sufficient (but Decaf is NOT) (my 2nd contribution to a Summerside devotional)

(Robin) How do you define success?
(Loree) I guess for that I’ll cite Deuteronomy 5:33, which says You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you. My humble translation: God’s requirements for success are pretty straightforward … stay the course HE has chosen for you!

You can connect more with Loree at these sites:

My two favorite questions are, "What is the legacy you wish to leave behind" and "How do you define success"? I think you can tell a lot from a person just by these two questions. This is where we see where one's focus lies. Is it toward ourselves or others? Do we find success in a worldly view or do we hold our success in our walk of faith? Those are tough questions to answer. I love how Loree shares her actions of being a good steward of her gifts and giving her all in everything she does. Through these chats I learn more and more how much we all struggle. Although our struggles may all be different, we can relate in one way or another. I think we all have those seasons of hell. We can grasp blessings through others that were once blind to us. It is through the journey where we find ourselves in Christ.
Loree, thank you for stopping in and sharing your heart. Thank you for your kind spirit and laughter through your words. I think you could turn any frown upside down;) Blessings to you sweet friend and may the Lord gain glory through your continued success as a woman of God.

Wait, there's more!! Loree is giving away a copy of "Beautiful Bandit" to a lucky visitor!! All you must do is leave a comment on why you love stopping by the Nest!! It's that easy!! Loree will choose the winner out of her big floppy hat!!. Be sure to include your email address so she knows just where to contact you!! Loree will choose the winner next Friday, November 26. Happy Reading!!


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