Friday, November 12, 2010

Featuring: My Gift to You by Lori Nawyn

From the back of the book:
Trish Ingram works hard to maintain the perfect suburban household—or, at least, the appearance of one. By managing her outer world with lavish attention and rigid control, she’s able to ignore and conceal the darkness of her inner world, which is plagued by traumatic childhood memories of loss. Her terminally ill sister-in-law, Jamie, sees through the façade and reaches out in love to Trish, inspiring her to seek a more meaningful life and a more authentic self. But the childhood scars run deep, and despite Trish’s best efforts, she’s unable to be the wife and mother her family needs.

Devastated by the departure of her husband and daughter, Trish faces the challenge and opportunity of a lifetime. She desires to move forward in faith, but this desire alone cannot mend her family's shattered trust. The hollow realm of denial and fear has been her safe haven. To confront pain and transcend the shadows of her past will require a level of courage she’s not sure she possesses. This gripping story of familial love and conflict tenderly reminds us that forgiveness—of self, and others—is both a difficult choice and a precious gift.
Here are some words from our lovely author:

Why I wrote the book:
“My Gift to You” is about forgiving ourselves, despite what we perceive as our shortcomings.
When we judge ourselves as less than acceptable for any reason, small mistakes can cripple us with discouragement. It becomes easy to lose sight of our potential, as well as precious opportunities for growth.

I was an only child with ample time to ponder the intricacies of human behavior. At a young age, I became fascinated by the fact that while several people in my life were happy, upbeat, and in possession of inner peace in most if not all circumstances, some seemed inherently unhappy no matter what happened—good or bad. Money and possessions didn’t seem to have a bearing, and I wondered what did.
Though I’d been baptized when I was eight, my family didn’t attend church. If I wanted to go, I had to attend on my own. It took me a while to grasp gospel concepts, and I found that most of the time I was among those who were unhappy. About twenty years ago I decided to stop asking Why me? and instead start asking What if?

One by one, I replaced negative emotions with those of a positive nature. Instead of wondering why I couldn't make everyone around me happy—and becoming despondent because nothing I did seemed to change them or their opinions—I started asking things like, "What if happiness really is a choice? What if it can be my choice, no matter what anyone else thinks or feels?"

Instead of commiserating over why my extended family couldn't accept me for who I was and what I believed in, I asked myself, "What if I could choose my own thoughts and emotions based on what I know in my heart is right and true?" In short, "What if I accept myself for who I am?"

And, "What if I forgive—knowing that forgiveness doesn't mean acceptance?"
When I began writing “My Gift to You,” I decided I wanted my main character, Trish, to discover something important about herself: I wanted her to discover her own inner strengths and worth—much like I had when I began to unravel my own life.

Some of the things I hope the book will lead the reader to consider:
What does charity mean? Why is it important we extend it to ourselves?
What can happen when we base our worth on what the world values? On what should we base our worth?
Why are women so hard on themselves? What defines true success?
What can result when we judge ourselves to be less than others? Why is important we have a clear sense of self and purpose?
Are cruelty and shallowness signs of strength, or weakness? Why can cruelty be the result of fear?
Lori Nawyn's award-winning writing has appeared in regional and national publications including Outside Bozeman, Segullah, Deseret News, CraziBeautiful Women, and Latter-Day Woman. She is also a columnist for her local paper and a former member of Utah Press Women. One of her short stories was published in the anthology Stolen Christmas. Her first novel, My Gift to You, was released in October 2010.

Lori is currently writing her next novel, Day, about a mother’s relationship with her son. She works as a freelance artist and is the illustrator of the award-winning children's picture book What Are You Thinking? which was released in July 2010 by ThoughtsAlive Publishing. She and her fireman husband live in northern Utah where they enjoy spending time with their four children and two granddaughters, plus an assortment of dogs, rabbits, and chickens.

Purchase My Gift to You!

Now a few words from the insane blogger: Wow, Lori. I truly admire you. You're such a stalwart lady and your example brings peace and happy tears to my soul. Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to have you as a guest today!


  1. Sounds like a great book, one that I would cry along with. And probably one that I would recommend to women in a similar situation, needing forgiveness from oneself.

  2. Wow. This sounds like a great book for a little self-examination. Looking past our short-comings is rough, sometimes. But to help someone else, I guess that's great motivation.

  3. This sounds so beautiful I really love the questions Lori poses. I earnestly believe in what she's trying to convey. It's fascinating how peeps tend to weigh their self-worth on irrelevant things.

  4. This sounds like a wonderful book!

  5. Thank you for an insight into how you came to write this wonderful poignant book, Lori!! I was immediately drawn to Trish's search for self knowledge and meaning through familial love and support and above all through forgiveness.

    Good luck with My Gift to You. Thanks Elizabeth for hosting!! Take care

  6. Sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thank you Elizabeth for hosting Lori. One of the easiest things in my Christian life is forgiving others. It took me years to realize and to experience the healing of forgiving myself. You touched on this and I think that's great.
    Mary Montague Sikes has stopped by my blog with her blog book tour. Nancy N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  8. I used to do book reviews and author interviews all the time. When I got started, I was amazed by how many authors agreed to send me review and giveaway copies of their books. It was really cool, but then school started getting more time consuming than it had been, and I haven't really had time to do reviews and giveaways very much anymore. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  9. I noticed that she's doing a book signing at Reflections of Utah in Brigham City sometime this month, but I don't remember the date. Sorry. :) (Anybody know when?)

    Anyways, that would be a great time to buy it.

  10. Thank you for dropping by my blog. Lori is one of the most loving, wonderful people that I've ever known. Her light and warmth shines through her work. <3

  11. Elizabeth, sincere thanks for having me as your guest! I'm deeply touched by your words and by the comments your readers have posted. Thank you.

    If anyone is interested, I'm holding a contest on my blog ( and will be giving away seven copies of my novel. There are also other prizes including gift certificates from Kitchen Kneads and The Cupcake Tower.

    Again, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be your guest.



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