Debut Author, Sarah Loudin Thomas Shows a Veteran that She Knows How to Launch a Book!

Yvonne Lehman
is an award-winning,
best-selling author of more than 3,000,000 books in print, who founded and
directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years, is
now director of the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat. She
mentors for the Christian Writers Guild. She earned a Master’s Degree in
English from Western Carolina University and has taught English and Creative
Writing on the college level. Her latest releases include eight ebooks for
Barbour’s Truly Yours line and a Harlequin/Heartsong series
set in Savannah GA: The Caretaker’s Son, Lessons in Love, Seeking Mr.
(released in March, August, & November 2013). Her 50th novel
is Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the TITANIC

Well, since I know what it’s like to think a first book leads to
fame and fortune (and later face reality) and this newly published writer lives
locally, I figured she might need me to be supportive. After all I’ve sat in
bookstores pretending to be a manikin because customers won’t even come near
Sarah Loudin Thomas
Sarah Loudin Thomas’s book is titled, Miracle in a Dry Season, and I had my suspicions which one might
describe that Sunday afternoon book launching.
driving forever I came upon this neat little white church on a hill with blue
grass hillbilly music coming out of it. What kind of church is that? Certainly
not my Baptist one! But I covered my head in case a Baptist was watching and
went in where a crowd, a whole crowd… and I thought, this can’t be for a book signing or else these people are getting free
books because most anybody knows you can go on Kindle and get a book for 99c.

There were birds (sea gulls) hanging from the ceiling so I thought they might
think books will be launched toward the birds and they fly them out into space
or something.

Anyway, I soon saw that
smiling face of Sarah’s like she thought all was okay. I asked a stranger (they
were all strangers) what kind of church and she told me.
I said you don’t have Sunday evening services, and she said no, happily.

Sarah went up to the
microphone and welcomed us and invited us into the sanctuary. I asked a woman
how many attend church there and she said about 40. I counted about 55 people
there. Sarah’s darlin’ husband introduced her, said this is the most excited
he’s been since their wedding day… or maybe he said “proudest”??? Anyway,
Sarah got teary. Was so loving and sweet.
Sara told about getting into writing, the idea for her book and
gave away an apron and ladle – those were won by a man! She read excerpts from
her book. It was sweet and professional and interesting.
Then… we couldn’t get to the kitchen without going through the
library (great planning!) – a table was laid out with her books and two women
there to sell them—$14.99 book for $10.00 (perfect!)—then pretty Sarah sat like
a pro at a round table smiling up a storm and signing for everybody. Some even
loaded up their arms with two or more books!
We ate the best beans ever, several kinds of cornbread, peach
cobbler, and ice cream. We also drank tea, lemonade and coffee while the hillbilly
band played on.
Then… the band guy said get up and square dance. Sarah came over
and made her husband get up. Another couple joined them. Then four more. Then a
man held out his hand to me and I said, “Why not?” and acted like I knew what I
was doing. Fun, fun, fun!

Oh my goodness gracious, I
thought, in between doh-se-dohing, sashaying, twirling, yellowrocking, allemanding,
stomping, that girl knows how to have a Book Launch Party!!
During a break, the band got religious, and sang. I remember most
the loooooong one about the wine… the wine… the water into wine….Jesus
turned the water into wine…wine…wine…water into wine… Jesus turned the
water into wine…

Then there was one about
being the black sheep of the family. (Too much wine, you reckon?)
But the point is… Sarah knows how to celebrate… and sell her
book! I think she’s our area’s new rising star debut author! I read her book
and the story is gooooooood, too!
Her publisher has contracted her for two other novels in the
Appalachian Blessings series. She even got a comment by New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber who called
this first novel, “Wonderful, simply wonderful…sure to grip the heart of every
Ann Tatlock, Christy-award winning author of Promises to Keep, said, “It’s charming, whimsical, and
intelligently written.”
Miracle in a Dry Season
Miracle in a Dry Season
It’s 1954 and Perla Long’s
arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go
unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie,
where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise,
and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a
Casewell Phillips has
resigned himself to life as a bachelor…until he meets Perla. She’s everything
he’s sought in a woman, but he can’t get past the sense that she’s hiding
something. As the drought worsens, Perla’s unique gift divides the town in two,
bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of
a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.
And here’s what Library Journal’s starred review had to say:
“Once in a while a new author comes along with a work that makes you sit up and
take notice. Thomas has crafted a tale of this proportion.”

It’s my delightful privilege
to know her. You too, will be delighted to get to know Sarah. 
Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh
generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and
celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first
novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, releases August 2014 through Bethany House.
Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.
Connect with Sarah on her blog,
through Facebook and
on Twitter.