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Donna Westover Gallup-----

author of the frontier fiction series:

Mysterious Ways

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Donna is the mother of three grown daughters and the grandmother of two wonderful boys, with another grandbaby due in 2010. She lives in Fort Collins with her two boxers, Harley and Cheyenne. In her free time, Donna enjoys riding horses, visiting friends, and exploring parts of Colorado as research for future books. Her desire is to convey God's love through her writing.

The Mysterious Ways series of frontier novels:

White as Snow (Book 1)

Rock of Refuge (Book 2)

In Green Pastures (Book 3)

Interview with Donna ...
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Donna, you've written a story set in the great state of Colorado. Have you lived in Colorado all your life?
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Actually, I was an army brat, born at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. (My father was a 30-vet who served three tours in Viet Nam.) I first lived in Colorado 1982-83. My middle daughter, Melissa, was born at Fort Carson. We moved back to Colorado in 1993 and lived in Aurora for 12 years and I worked for a cable company. Then in August 2004 I was awarded a position at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where I'm currently employed.
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Is there a cattle drive in the future for your character, Charlie?
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As a matter of fact, there is! In the next book of the Mysterious Ways series, Charlie will help drive a herd of cattle up north through Colorado. He'll be a few years older by then, and eager to see more of the world outside his grandfather's isolated farm. Romance will enter the picture, also, and new challenges of faith and manhood.
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Do you relate personally to Charlie?
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I am Charlie, or should I say Charlie is me. This first book in the series depicts the simplicity of God's plan and of Charlie's accepting faith. Later, as Charlie grows up and faces life's complex challenges, he lives my spiritual battles. The scenes are different because of the era, but the problems are the same. Good, bad, or indifferent, he is human, just as I am. He struggles to do what is right and pleasing to the Lord. Sometimes he fails miserably, other times he's victorious, but each time he grows in his faith.
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Charlie learns life lessons from his Grandpa and from Jess, the mountain man. What lessons have you learned from your parents or grandparents?
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I never knew my grandparents on my father's side, since they died fairly young. My mother's parents lived in Pennsylvania and we saw them each summer, but we never really formed a bond. As for my parents and what they taught me, I could write a book. To summarize, I would say my father taught me to strive for excellence. And my mother -- one of her favorite sayings is, 'Let go and let God.' It's taken me years to learn how to heed that advice, but I've finally come to understand it. So many times we Christians ask the Lord to do something and then we stand in His way and hinder His work. In letting go, one also has to move out of the way and 'let God' work.
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Charlie ventured into some daring experiences in WHITE AS SNOW. What is the most daring thing you've ever done? And would you do it again?
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I've done many interesting things, such as observing both quadruple by-pass surgery and brain surgery while standing right beside the surgeon. And interning for Senator Bill Armstrong (Colorado) in Washington, DC at the age of 34. But the most daring thing I've done was to have the nerve to submit what I considered to be a completed manuscript to a publisher, only to learn that it was far from being complete, but still worthy of consideration. As you know, she considered and accepted it, we've worked together on it, and it will be published this fall (Sept. 2006). Would I ever do it again? You bet I would, and I will.
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Your readers will be glad to know that. After reading WHITE AS SNOW, they'll want more of Charlie and the mountain man, Jess. Not only is it a delightful frontier story, but it's also a meaningful Christmas story to share during the holiday season. Perhaps we need to reclaim the simplicity and joy of Christmas as the pioneers and frontiersman experienced it.

What are your personal favorite Christmas traditions?

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Caroling! I especially love caroling in the snow. I love being in a large group of singers, holding candles, bundled to the Nth degree, and harmonizing together ... then topping it off with hot chocolate!
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One more question: Why do you think WHITE AS SNOW will interest readers?
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It's a compelling story about a child facing uncertainty, who through miraculous circumstances overcomes the odds and faces his own fears. It offers hope when all hope seems gone. It talks to children and adults alike. It has mystery, intrigue, humor, and a happy ending. Even a little romance.
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Thank you, Donna, for using your talents for the Lord and for sharing with us the story of Charlie. Happy writing! And happy riding!

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