Acclaimed author and inspirational speaker Lisa Wingate was special guest speaker at the February 15 meeting of the Mason Bluebonnet Study Club. Mrs. Wingate has thirteen books published with another due to come out in July. She is also much in demand as an ispirational speaker. She lives near Dallas.
The author chose as her subject, her book entitled The Summer Kitchen which was published in July 2009. The book tackles the problem of hungry and neglected children and has a strong suggestion to the reader to get involved in serving their fellow man. Inspiration for the book came from a chance conversation with a friend about a place in Waco called The Gospel Cafe. Three retired college professors, visiting in Sunday School, decided that there must be some way to alleviate the problems of homeless folks searching for food in garbage bins, etc. Locating an unused building in an area where there was a great need in Waco, the three stepped out on faith and began feeding anyone who needed a meal at no cost or at whatever the visitor wished to donate. Mrs Wingate visited the Gospel Cafe and even volunteered to work there as a part of her research. She explained to her audience that she observed what she refers to as "the big circle".....those who serve their fellow man receive many blessings in return, In The Summer Kitchen, one of the main characters observes children searching through garbage for food while she is cleaning an inherited house, preparing it for sale. The next day, she decides to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and deliver them in that neighborhood. This begins an adventure ending with the house becoming like the Gospel Cafe. As always, in a Lisa Wingate novel, a widening of story lines emerge in a heartwarming and inspiring book.
The author refused to give away much about her most recent book Never Say Never not wanting to take away the surprise for the reader. She said that it is about some old friends from a small town who decide to take a long talked about cruise. The story is about their adventures along the way to the cruise because a hurricane is coming in and coastal residents are evacuating. These folks on their "hurrication" make things interesting for the ones heading for the cruise when everyone gets marooned along the highway.
In answer to a question from the audience, the author said that she likes for her characters to have everything come out ok in the end. When asked when she finds time to write so many novels with her two sons’ activities, etc., she said that she grabs time wherever she can and always has a story just waiting to get down on paper. She said that she began writing in the first grade and was encouraged by her teacher who liked her story.
Following her remarks, the author autographed books and visited with those present.
Presiding over the meeting in the absence of president Mary Hemphill who is recovering from knee replacement surgery, was vice president Sabin Nelson. Hostess Betty Meyer served refreshments to vice president Nelson, Tonya Lamoreaux, Brinda Pape, Sharon Manion, Jone Coleman (who lives in Montana most of the year), Norma Murray, Caroline Runge, Joan Crowell, LaVern Benton, Mary Ellen Merkel, Edna Earle Benton, Julie Harrison, Rosemary Krukemeyer, Mary K. Draper, and Lisa Wingate.