Interview with Johnnie Alexander & GIVEAWAY

Interview with Johnnie Alexander & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted Word


Johnnie Alexander writes inspiring stories that linger in the heart. Where Treasure Hides, her debut novel, won the ACFW Genesis Contest (2011) and Golden Leaf Award (2014). The first of her three contemporary romances, Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series), releases from Revell in January 2016.

She also has won Best Novel and Best Writer awards (Florida Christian Writers Conferences), and Bronze Medalist (My Book Therapy Frasier Contest).

A graduate of Rollins College (Orlando) with a Master of Liberal Studies degree, Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, road trips, and stacks of books. She lives in the Memphis area where her morning chores include feeding dogs, cats, chickens, and a small herd of alpacas.

For more, visit her at


Savanna:  Welcome to the blog, Johnnie. I’m so honored to have you here today. Congratulations on your new release, Where She Belongs. What a beautiful cover!! 🙂

Who do you most relate to in this story and why?

Interview with Johnnie Alexander & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordJohnnie: In a way, Shelby fulfills my dream. I lived in an old brick house as a teen which stood empty for several years after my parents moved. As a young woman, I hoped to someday live in the house again but that never happened.

In the story, the house was built by one of Shelby’s long ago ancestors. The current owner has let it fall into ruin, and Shelby buys it so she can raise her daughters there. (I still wish I could go back in time and raise my family in that house.)

Savanna:  Oh how neat! Do you have a favorite setting, a particular place, in this book that you enjoyed spending time at with your characters?

Johnnie:  I truly enjoyed setting this story in a house I love. We used to roast hot dogs and marshmallows in a fire ring made up of large stones on chilly autumn evenings. The story’s hero, AJ Sullivan, hauls stones from the creek to rebuild the stone circle Shelby remembered from her childhood. It was important to me to include those kinds of details in the story.

Savanna:  Which is easier for you to write – historical or contemporary? Can you tell us why?

Interview with Johnnie Alexander & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordJohnnie: Historical is more time-consuming because of the research and the double-checking, sometimes triple-checking, for accuracy. But I’m not sure there’s much difference in the actual writing. I am a slow and deliberate writer, and I learn a great deal about my characters while sharing their stories.

My hope is that all my characters, whether historical or contemporary, are so engaging that readers miss them after they finish the story.

Savanna:  I loved seeing pictures on your website of you and your farm animals. Looks like you have a lot of great company! 😉 What would you say is your favorite part of living on the farm and what’s the hardest part about it?

Johnnie: My wish for an alpaca turned out to be one a crazy pipe dream that actually came true. However, you can’t have just one because they’re herd animals and need a friend.

I love early mornings—the birdsong, the tranquility, the alpacas crowding around for their feed. The hardest part is death. Several months ago a fox family brazenly dined on our chickens. We don’t raise chickens anymore.

Savanna:  Ohhh, I’m sorry. I know that feeling. My parents have chickens and occasionally one will just disappear. 🙁

You’ve won several awards in your writing career so far. What’s something you’ve learned along the way as you’ve entered in these contests?

Interview with Johnnie Alexander & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordJohnnie: A hard judge can be your biggest blessing.

Because of one judge’s comments, I wrote a different opening chapter to Where She Belongs so our first introduction to Shelby is from AJ’s perspective. When I wrote that judge a thank you note, she wrote back, and we still stay in touch.

Naturally, I love the positive and encouraging comments, but it’s the harder (yet helpful) feedback that helps the most. Only once did I think a judge was totally off base.

Savanna:  That’s just what aspiring writers need to hear. Authors never stop learning. 😉 Thank you so much for sharing with us today! Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?

Johnnie: I’m very excited to have two more stories releasing in 2016. When Love Arrives, the second book in the Misty Willow Series, comes out in September. AJ’s cousin and rival, Brett Somers, stars in that story.

My first novella, The Healing Promise, will appear in The Courageous Brides Collection which releases in July. This story is based on true events that occurred during the Ponca Trail of Tears in 1877 Nebraska.

Savanna:  That sounds great, Johnnie! Can’t wait to read your upcoming books. 😉


Johnnie has graciously offered to give away a copy of Where She Belongs to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering! Contest is valid for US residents only. Contest ends February 2, 2016.  The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!

81 comments on “Interview with Johnnie Alexander & GIVEAWAY
  1. Kathryn Voss says:

    I grew up on a farm, and my favorite animal was the barn cats – especially the tiny kittens.

  2. Ann Ellison says:

    I enjoyed the interview with Johnnie. I really enjoy her books. I have read and loved Where She Belongs.

  3. Sonnetta Jones says:

    I have never lived on a farm but we had chickens growing up. I can not say they were my favorite since I knew they were a part of my meal.

  4. Heather Olsen says:

    I have never lived on a farm, but both of my grandparents on my mothers side were raised on the farm. If I had to pick a favorite farm animal, I think it would be the horse. I have only ridden on one a few times in my life, but I think they are so beautiful.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      I agree, Heather. I didn’t grow up on a farm either, but my mom grew up on a dairy farm. I’ve always enjoyed horses. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Hi, Heather. My horse-riding adventures never went well–I was thrown off once and another time I just sort of slid sideways right off the pony I was riding. So I’m not too keen on horses. However, I’m now researching them for my next book which has a horse-riding hero. (I’m not sure how that even happened but I blame it on a brainstorming session with friends.)

  5. Donna B says:

    I haven’t lived on a farm but I do live in the country. My next door neighbor has had chickens in the past but like yours the foxes showed up and that was the end of them. I would love to win a copy of your book.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Poor chickens! Living in the country is so nice, though isn’t it, Donna? 🙂 Thanks for joining us. Good luck in the drawing!

    • Donna, there is solace in knowing we’re not alone! We had snow here last Friday and saw a fox for the first time in months. He was wandering around the front yard and along the driveway without a care in the world.

  6. Bonnie Roof says:

    I grew up on a farm – my parents still live there, although they no longer have crops and animals. When I was young we had pigs, cattle, ponies, mules, chickens. My fave was probably my pet hen “Ole’ Ripe”, we had no roosters then, however. Before moving to the farm, a rooster spurred my face, nearly putting my eye out – a scar & effects from the trauma still!!

    Really enjoyed the interview, Johnnie and Savanna – thank you!! I love the story line of “Where She Belongs”, have read wonderful comments about it and would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

    Shared post!!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Bonnie! It’s great to have you here. Wow, your family’s farm had a big variety of animals. 🙂 Cute name for your pet hen. 😉 Though I’m sorry to hear about the rooster incident. Ouch!!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing the post. I hope you get to read Johnnie’s book real soon!

      • Bonnie, I am so sorry about that rooster. My childhood experience wasn’t that traumatic–I was merely chased–by I had to confront that fear when I moved here. Fortunately only the banties were aggressive and I learned to keep an eye for them. And to wear thick boots!

        Did you like your mule?

  7. Melanie Backus says:

    I love country life. My favorite animals are horses.

  8. Karen says:

    Nope. Nuh-uh. No way. I’m a proud city slicker right here! I love most animals but don’t particularly care for the farm-fresh smells that come from the cow pasture near my home. (Yes, it’s even “in town.”) haha

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Haha, Karen, your comments cracked me up! I definitely understand your feelings toward the cow pasture. 🙂 City life does have its benefits, I”m sure! So glad you could stop by.

    • Karen, believe me, I understand. Some smells you never get used to! Though honestly, the alpaca manure isn’t bad. Not like pigs. (Which are yuck.)

      I would like to live in a city or small town someday–a place where I could walk to the library, post office, a diner, and a park.

  9. I have never lived on a farm but my favorite farm animal are horses.

  10. Staci says:

    This is my second blog contest to enter for a chance to win Johnnie’s book. May the second time be the charm. 🙂

    I read Where Treasure Hides and enjoyed it very much.

    I’ve never lived on a farm. I’m a morning person so the early to rise lifestyle would work well for me.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Awww, Staci, here’s hoping for a giveaway win, right?! 😉 So glad you could join us. I used to be a morning person myself, but then I married a night-owl and now I’m much slower to rise in the mornings than I used to be. 🙂

    • Staci, I’m so glad you enjoyed Where Treasure Hides and I appreciate your participating in the giveaways. Thank you!

      One positive about having chickens–I got up early to let them out of the coop and got a start on the day. In this cold weather though, I’m glad to stay in the house a while longer before tending to chores. LOL

  11. Sarah says:

    Hi! I’d really love to read this book, so thanks for the giveaway!
    I’ve never lived on a farm, though I’ve visited a couple. My favorite animal was the horses, I think. Though they kind of frightened me a bit at first (being so much larger than I), but once I got past that, I was fascinated. 🙂

  12. Becky B says:

    I lived on hobby farm at my grandparents years ago. I think I would have to choose a horse.
    Becky B

  13. Patty says:

    I have never lived on a farm, but growing up did have some family friends with a farm. We loved to go visit and see the chickens and cows. We loved to go to the barn and play in the hayloft.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      That sounds like such fun, Patty. Living here in Missouri, I grew up around a lot of cows even though I didn’t actually live on a farm. 😉 My grandpa was a dairy farmer for a long time. Appreciate you stopping by!

    • Patty, playing in a hayloft brings back memories. We used to do that, too. Actually it was a huge pole barn where the hay was stacked and stored. We’d move the bales around to create rooms and tunnels. So much fun!

  14. Bonnie says:

    I have never lived on a farm, but growing up we had a big vegetable garden and my mother canned most everything. I always had pets, usually more than one, dogs and cats!

  15. kim amundsen says:

    Never did. I did visit a beef ranch were they would go out in the cold winter and get the dead calfs. Interesting.

  16. Laurie Bergh says:

    I grew up on a farm and my favorite animals were always the barn cats! But the favorite farm animal I guess would be the lambs in spring, sooooo cute.

  17. MS Barb says:

    I have not lived on a farm, but I am surrounded by farms & live in a rural county–I am partial to dogs! (grin)

  18. Joanne Keith says:

    I’m stuck in a place between the city and the country…I have been wanting chickens for a long time…not too sure if the town would allow it!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Joanne. Awww, that is so frustrating you may not be able to have them and you want them. I’ve never lived close enough to a city for that problem. Hope you can get it worked out and have some little chickies. 🙂

    • Joanne, some towns allow chickens but they frown on roosters. And a couple of chickens don’t take up a lot of space. Check into Danvers–they’re so round and cute.

  19. Stella Potts says:

    I grew up on a farm but really liked the horses and dogs best. Wonderful and inspirational interview.

  20. Emilee says:

    Nice interview. I will add this to my to-read list! Lokks good!

  21. Karen R says:

    I’ve never lived on a farm, grew up in the suburbs of L.A., then moved to the Seattle area, but we live now in a rural area and I love it. Wouldn’t move back to the city unless I’m forced! The book sounds really good. Thanks for doing a giveaway. 🙂

    • Karen, I lived in bedroom communities of Orlando but I have a feeling those areas weren’t as congested as LA or Seattle. I love rural life but I’d like to try town life for awhile–as long as I could walk to all the places I want to go. I’m not sure how long I’d last though because I really enjoy the quiet of the country.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Karen! So glad you’re enjoying your place in the country. It’s hard to beat the quiet. 🙂 Good luck in the drawing!

  22. I grew up in the city (Indianapolis) and my husband too (Boston), but we have a little hobby farm now. Our 50lb tortoise named Turbo is my favorite pet. He’s very low maintenance. The hens are a close second.


  23. Trixi says:

    I’ve never lived on a farm, but my cousin, her husband and kids are farmers. I know it’s a hard life, but very rewarding. They just love doing it 🙂 I’m almost jealous of all the fresh produce they have each year!

    Thanks for the interview & chance to win a copy of your latest book Johnnie! And Savanna for featuring you!

    • Hi, Trixi. Like I said before I never got into gardening though I did help pick green beans and ears of corn on occasion. I agree with you–farming is hard but the reward is worth it. Thanks for being here.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      So good to see you, Trixi. Hope you’re doing well. Yeah, the fresh produce off the land is one of my greatest joys of summer. It is hard work, but it’s worth it! 😉 Good luck in the drawing!

  24. Joan Arning says:

    I lived on a farm as a child. We raised ducks for a while and I liked them.

    I hate to see an old farmhouse sit empty and fall into ruins.

    • Joan, I hate to see abandoned farmhouses, too–especially one that I’d lived in! I’m so thankful that the house featured in Where She Belongs has been restored and is home to a family again.

      We’ve never had ducks. I imagine the foxes would enjoy them, too. (Eek!)

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Joan! I always thought ducks would be fun to have too. 🙂 I agree, there’s something so intriguing, yet sad, about an old farmhouse now vacant. They each look like they have such a story to tell. Thanks for visiting us!

  25. Savanna Savanna says:

    Thank you SO much, Johnnie, for taking the time to chat with us in the comments here. It’s been such fun having you!! 🙂

    • I have loved reading and responding to the comments. Thanks to you, Savanna, for hosting the giveaway, and thanks to everyone who stopped in to talk about their favorite animals and farm life. This is great!

  26. Merry S. says:

    My uncle had a farm and we would take a road trip to visit him every summer. My favorite animals were the cows.

    • Hi, Merry. What kind of cows did your uncle raise? This reminded me of a time when a herd of cows chased my brother and me to the fence. I quickly climbed over but wouldn’t let my brother climb over until he’d lifted the dog–a lanky retriever–over the fence first. We laugh about it now but he didn’t think it was funny then.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      That sounds like such fun, Merry! I’ve always enjoyed my grandpa’s cows. Our neighbor also has some and they pasture right out my backyard. 😉

  27. Vicki G says:

    I have never lived on a farm, but always wish I had. My great grandfather worked in a mill when he came from Hungary until he saved enough for a farm. That farm stayed in the family almost my entire life and I was able to visit often. 🙂

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