I’m so excited to welcome Joanne Bischof here! I connected with her online and can’t wait to get to know her a little better today. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about her debut novel, Be Still My Soul. For details on how you can win yourself a copy, keep reading. 🙂
Married to her first sweetheart, Joanne Bischof lives in the mountains of Southern California where she keeps busy making messes with their home-schooled children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, writing, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life.
You can connect with her on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Welcome, Joanne! Let’s go straight to the questions so you can get back to home-schooling your kiddos. 🙂
Opener Question: What seven words best describe you?
Shy. Curious. Homespun. Clumsy. Messy. Dorky. Chocoholic.
1) Country mouse or City mouse?
Definitely country mouse. I live in a tiny town with no stop lights, no fast food restaurants, and we give one another directions by saying things like, “Head that way and when you get to the sleeping dog, take a left.” I tend to get lost and overwhelmed in the city…though I do love visiting for all the sights and sounds…and Trader Joes.
2) Gourmet chef or Chef Boyardee?
I have to confess that lately I’ve been a lazy chef, but that’s gotta be my pick. I love baking and discovering new recipes. We have a garden, so we’re always out there gathering fruits and vegetables. We also keep chickens which make the best fried eggs and quiches. With 3 little ones, including a 9 month old, I don’t find the time to cook as much homemade lately, but I’m hoping to get back in the swing of it.
3) Indoors or Outdoors?
Ooh that’s a hard one! I’m gonna say outdoors. Our house is only 900 square feet for 5 people, which is pretty cozy, but we picked it for the amazing back yard. I love the outdoors, especially up here in the mountains with all the trees and autumn colors. It’s worth having a smaller inside space, and a little more room to roam beneath the sky.
4) Fast and furious or Slow and methodical?
Can I say both? There’s times when I dive in head first without thinking, like my crafting life or a new story idea. But I’m learning to be slow and methodical. As a homeschooling mom of three, I’ve had to teach myself organizational skills, but we still have a ton of fun being spontaneous.
5) Sweet silence or Blessed noise?
Sweet silence sounds heavenly, but blessed noise is my normal. There’s always a little one underfoot and all the noise that three kiddos can make. Plus, when I write, I tend to listen to folk music which helps me get into my world and drown out the sound of the dryer, the dishwasher and all the other things calling my name.
6) Apple pie or Pumpkin pie?
Pumpkin hands down! Fall is my favorite time of year and just one more reason to indulge in all things pumpkiny.
7) Hike in the Alps or a day at the beach?
Day at the beach! Though we’re in the mountains, we’re just a few hours from the coast and a beach day is one of our favorite retreats. I’m a champion boogy boarder. Ok, I’m not really, but the kids and I have fun in the waves.
Wow, a boogy boarder…I’m impressed, Joanne! I can relate to you on so many of your answers. Sweet silence does sound heavenly, but it’s a rarity in my house too. I’m also a gourmet chef wannabe who barely has time to fix grilled cheese sandwiches. Someday we’ll get our kitchens back, right? 🙂 How fun to learn more about your household and the small town where you live. As a city dweller, I can only imagine how peaceful it must be to live away from the hustle and bustle.
Thanks for being my guest today! It was a treat to have you here.
Be Still My Soul
Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith. But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate.
Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.
Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life. What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?
Blog Readers: Let’s talk…Are you a city mouse or a country mouse? If you lived in a town with no stoplights and no fast food restaurants, how would you keep yourself entertained?
*frame photo by Twigy Posts
Mary Preston says
I am most definitely a country mouse. Even though right now I do live in a country town, I grew up pretty much out in the wilderness. No cow tipping, I did laugh, but I enjoy my crafts, reading & walks.
I would love to read BE STILL MY SOUL thank you.
Joanne Bischof says
Always nice to meet another country mouse 🙂 There are always things to do, right? We love to go for walks too and I’m so thankful for the fresh air. It sounds like you have great ways of keeping busy! Thanks for entering the giveaway!
Jessica Nelson says
How interesting to learn this about you!!! I love that your house is so small. Big houses are overrated (trust me, I know, lol).
I don’t know what kind of mouse I am. I think I’d like the country and would read a lot, but the city offers theaters and museums and libraries. 🙂
Hi Jessica!! Why thank you 😀 Yes, small houses are cozy! I like it thought. 900 square feet has shrunk with each kid come along and right now we are looking at something a tiny bit bigger. I’d love to have a spot to write!
I agree. There are great things about both. The city is always a treat!
Lindsay Harrel says
Can I cheat and say suburban mouse? Hehe. I could never live in the country, but I wouldn’t want to live smack dab in the middle of the city, either. But I’m in a suburb of Phoenix, so yeah, city girl here.
Lindsay, you can definitely cheat! 😉 There are great things about both and I think it’s always fun to experience the other fora change of pace, right? We’re shivering in our boots up here right now and I can only imagine the fair weather you’ve got in Phoenix right now 🙂 So glad to hear that your puppies are better!
Our little Alaskan island of Kodiak has a population of 6,000 people and 4,000 Kodiak Brown Bears. We drive “out the road” for entertainment (Yes, one road connects the 10% of our island that is populated, though there are, of course, more roads in town). People like to hunt and fish, but I’m seeing more and more photography. You can get some amazing pictures of eagles, mountains, seas and skies, and there have been several pictures of bears strolling down streets in town during this year’s foraging season. A lot of log-splitting going on in the last two months, too. (Not us…we use fuel oil for heat.) So that’s entertainment on Kodiak.
Hi, Voni! So nice to meet you. Wow, it sounds like a dream up there in Alaska. I have always wanted to visit, but have never had a chance. My husband went just before we got married and he wants to take me one day. I can only imagine the gorgeous views from your front porch! Sounds like lots of fun things to do, too 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping in for the giveaway of Be Still My Soul!
Julie Jarnagin (@JulieJarnagin) says
I grew up in a tiny town with one stoplight and no fast food restaurants. It was a great place to grow up, but now I’m spoiled with a Target right down the street.
Julie, it’s a whole different world, isn’t it? When we go into town, I just crave a burger from IN and OUT…our favorite 😀 And a Target down the street sounds heavenly. I just had to borrow pecans from my neighbor: she had a 50 pound bag and now I’ve got a hammer, ready to shell. Sometimes a story is kinda handy 😉
Karen Lange says
It’s great to meet Joanne. 🙂 Thanks Sarah, for the intro! I am more of a country mouse, but am glad the city has such nice offerings!
Karen, it’s great to meet you too! Honored to be a part of Sarah’s meet and greet!
Marissa E. says
I’m a country mouse-I think. I live in a town of about 70,000, but it’s very calm and there’s not a lot of noise. I don’t think I would like living in the noisy city. I’ve always wanted to live on a ranch! I have always wanted to go cow tipping, or make a goat faint. LOL
Can’t wait to read your book Joanne!! Looks so good!
Joanne Bischof says
I had no idea that goats could faint! My hubby walked in while I was reading this and country boy that he is told me that, yeah, some goats can. I just learned something new 🙂 Marissa, it’s great seeing you here on Sarah’s blog and I’m so glad you’re looking forward to reading Be Still My Soul!
Judy Burgi says
I’m definitely a country mouse. I grew up in a small town with a population under 500. What is so amazing the town hasn’t changed much. Still no stop lights or fast food places. I have lived in a big city before. Two years was enough! I am not cut out for city life!
Loved the interview. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to win a copy of Be Still My Soul!
Judy, that IS small. It makes our 3,000 seem big! It sounds like you’ve lived both experiences. I don’t know if I would be cut out for city life. I get lost way too easily 🙂 Thanks for stopping in for the interview! You are officially entered 🙂
Sarah Forgrave says
Hi everyone! Sorry I’m late chiming in today. It’s amazing how fast the day slips by when you’re home with two little ones. 🙂
I’m loving all the country-mouse stories. Whoever mentioned making a goat faint cracked me up. I’ve never heard of this hobby, but it sounds hilarious!
Thanks, Joanne, for being here and welcoming my lovely guests. I hope you all have a great week!
Sarah, thank you so much for having me! It’s been such a pleasure! I really enjoyed your interview, and the fun questions that you asked. I’m enjoying the country mouse/city mouse question too 🙂 Thanks again!!
Susan J. Reinhardt says
I’m somewhere in between a city mouse and country mouse. How about a small-town mouse? I was raised in the city, moved to suburbia, and eventually to a small town that I dearly love.
That sounds like a good idea, Susan. 🙂 There are great things about both worlds and it’s nice to get to enjoy them both! How wonderful to have found your perfect little spot! It’s so wonderful to have a place that truly feels like home.
Jasmine A. says
Country Mouse all the way and always have been…. The last town we lived near had only one stoplight but then again we lived 25 miles from town….Even now the only reason our town has I think 6-8 stoplights is that we are on one of the few main east/west highways in my state and of course all of the stoplights are along the highway (runs through the center of town). Ok, so back to what I would do and do do, big thing is read, volunteer, crafts, and outdoor adventures.
Thanks for hosting the giveaway 🙂 and I posted a link on my Facebook
Living 25 miles from town is quite an adventure. You definitely have to plan ahead for groceries and stuff, don’t you. We have a little of everything around here but when we need to go to the doctor or a large grocery store it’s about 30 minutes to an hour depending on what we need. I love crafts and outdoor sports, too and volunteering sounds like a great way to spend your time!!