Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Spotlighting Suzanne Schaffer and "Simple Things" and a Giveaway

Suzanne Schaffer is wife to a pastor and mom to two adult children and one brown dog. She is a lover of all things 1940s and can usually be found with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. She believes life is too short for mediocre food and will spend extra on good chocolate. Her sense of humor gets her through the hard times of life and she laughs freely at whatever comes her way. Suzanne lives in the mountains of Central Pennsylvania. She’s been writing most of her life, mostly to appease the urge to get the words on paper. Simple Things is her first book. Visit her online athttp://www.notenoughchocolate.blogspot.com

Author Q & A

What inspired you to write the book, Simple Things?

Honestly, it was through prayer and my own struggles that Simple Things came to be. I figured if I was dealing with these things in my life then there were women all over the world dealing with the same issues.
 What are your writing habits?
I need complete quiet when I write, the house empty, and a cup of tea. I usually write by a window so I can look far away at the trees, it clears my head. If there is music playing I follow the songs. Music is so powerful to me, I can’t just listen to it, I have to engage in it.
 When did you start writing?
My earliest poetry is from when I was ten. It’s not very good. 🙂
 Do you have a special routine connected with your writing time?
I get all of my housework and other chores done in the morning and write in the afternoon. I do, however, keep a notebook with me most of the time and jot down thoughts as they come to me.
What do you want people to remember about Simple Things long after they’ve finished reading it? 
That God has more for them if they allow Him full control in every area of their lives.
Who inspired you to become a writer?
I’m not sure anyone did, it’s just something that’s always been part of me, begging to get out.
Where is your favorite place to write?
My office or the kitchen table, next to a window. I need to be able to see outside. Once in a while I will write on my porch or in my gazebo (if the bugs aren’t too bad that day!)
 What is one thing you hope people will not assume or think about you, because you have written a book?
That I am somehow special. I don’t feel any different than I did before. Everyone keeps mentioning how proud they are of me for writing a book but I don’t feel a sense of accomplishment, I just feel like it was what I was supposed to do. In the same way I cook dinner for my husband, I write. It’s just my thing.
Where are you from?
I was born in Rhode Island and my parents moved me to Pennsylvania when I was five. I’m not fully recovered from being torn away from the sea.
 Tell us your latest news.
Currently promoting Simple Things and am jotting down notes for a future book that I plan to begin writing this fall.
 When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always been able to think better by putting my thoughts into words. I’ve journaled and written poetry for decades. It’s the best way I know to express myself.
 When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I realized that words connected me to a deeper part of myself. And when I began to think in phrases.
 What inspired you to write your first book?
There were several events that motivated me to begin, prayer being one of them. I came across a writing contest and that propelled me into a seat and to start writing. Nothing came of it except for a finished rough draft.
 Do you have a specific writing style?
My thoughts seem to come in phrases now and I try to jot them down as quickly as they come, then I assemble them into something readable.
 How did you come up with the title?
It seemed appropriate. Lessons I’ve learned. Things I’ve taken for granted. Basic Christian principles. The Simple Things.
 Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
Life is about so much more than what we do, it’s about how we live and who we live for. At the end of our days it’s just us and God and it’s too late to choose to live for Him then. Are the things we get involved in worth risking eternity for? Learning to discern what is truly important in life and eternity should motivate us to live to please God.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Most of Simple Things is based on true events, names and situations have been changed in many cases, to protect the innocent and the not-so-innocent.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Aside from the obvious Christian answer, the Bible, I’d have to say Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and Angela Hunt’s The Debt.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Diann Hunt gave me time and advice several years before she passed away. She encouraged me to write. I had the chance to meet with Marjorie Holmes in her home in the late 80s and she read some of my poetry and urged me to keep writing. The fact that she took time to meet with a teenage me meant the world to me.
What book are you reading now?
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I generally stick with Christian fiction but this year decided to read some of my favorite books that I’ve kept from my younger years. Most are just as wonderful as I remember them.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Christy Barritt, while not new, has really been a lot of fun to read over the past year.
Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to see that, but I’ll move in whichever direction God has for me. That is one lesson I’ve learned the hard way.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I think I’d add a sentence here and there. Is anyone every truly satisfied? I could edit that baby forever.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always been an avid reader and I think it just seemed natural.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Learning the craft of writing is challenging. It’s more than just correct spelling and proper punctuation. There’s an art to it and it’s hard to stay in the lines.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have one favorite, I’m a lover of many authors and books. I do tend to graze in the Christian fiction genre because I don’t want to read anything obscene. I don’t live that way and I don’t want it in my head or heart.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book?
Not yet…
Who designed the cover?
I had an idea of how I wanted it to look and asked a friend who is good at creating graphics to help. Micah spent an evening playing around with some designs and listening to  his wife, Bethany, tell him how she thought I’d want it. She was right.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Convincing myself that anyone would want to read anything I had to say. I’m just little old me.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?Always have a pen and notebook handy because you never know when inspiration might hit.
Do you have any advice for other writers?Just keep writing. If it is in you let it out. 
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?God loves you. Never forget that.

Simple Things info

The book is available on Amazon only:
All proceeds from this book go directly to Convoy:Women  https://www.convoyofhope.org/get-involved/convoywomen/
A division of Convoy of Hope  https://www.convoyofhope.org/
that teaches women in third world countries how to provide for their families. They provide the training and the women do the work. They also give them hope through Jesus.
About the book:
Do you want to find God’s will for  your life? Do you want to capture the excitement you once had as a believer?
Our lives as Christians can get complicated when we listen to the voices around us that try to influence our choices. Simple Things takes  us back to the basics and reminds
us to live for Jesus and not for the perceived expectations of others.
Using wit and life experiences Suzanne shares how she handles the day-to-day when the outside is pressing in. You’ll find yourself being gently nudged to get closer to your creator
as you discover how to have a peaceful home, learn how to pray continually, and discover how to keep God first in all areas of your life. Suzanne invites the reader to learn from her mistakes
and laugh alongside her. Simple Things…becoming a Godly woman in an ungodly world.
Simple Things is recommended for women of all ages. Each chapter closes with questions which also makes it perfect for a Bible study or small group.

Simple Things excerpt
I don't usually included a excerpt when spotlighting a book  but I do this one because I think it speaks the truth to us so plainly!
Have you ever seen a recap of a Red Carpet event? The fashion experts critique the dresses and outfits of the attendees.
She wore it well.
What was she thinking?
Which designer do you think is more pleased? The one who heard affirming comments about his creation or the one who received less than flattering ones? Just like the designer spent time creating the clothing for these ladies to wear, our Father in heaven created you. He spent time thinking about you. You are the work of His hands.
“So God created mankind in his own image in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
When you take time to make something, you take pride in it. When I bake a cake to take to a dinner, I want everyone to know it’s mine. I might handwrite what kind it is and put it next to my cake because I know my penmanship is easily distinguished. I worked hard on that ganache, and I want it to represent me well. In the same way, God wants us to represent Him well. If we wear the label of a Christian, but aren’t any different than the world, doing what they do and acting as they act, then how well are we representing? Don’t put the label on your life if you aren’t willing to live it. The Bible is clear about how we are to deal with people who claim to be Christians but live otherwise. And it’s a little scary.
“But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” 1 Corinthians 5:11 (NIV)
There are too many people claiming to be Christians yet living for themselves. A one-time prayer is not enough. Being a good person is not enough. Live the life worthy of your calling as a Christ-follower.
If we live daily as He wants us to, He will daily guide us, and we will have a clear understanding of what He wants for us. We will know His will. He will lead us in the way He wants us to go. His leading is sometimes as simple as a desire He gives us. Remember when I said I was a teenager when I felt the desire to be a pastor’s wife? God put that desire there as a hint about His plans for my
life. I never thought about being a missionary. I never considered a career in politics. Teaching was the major I chose in college because I had to pick one, but I knew I wasn’t going to teach. The military wasn’t something I was considering even though they tried to lure me with their ASVAB testing. My results said I’d make a good mortician. So not enticing. I don’t even like touching live people, let alone dead ones. Managing a retail store didn’t appeal to me. Being a businesswoman in a big city unnerved me. I did have a strong desire to be a wife and mother. He gently guides us. I love that about Him.
Following this line of thinking is not always easy. If it were, our churches would be full of mature Christians instead of aging people who haven’t grown in decades. The devil will pester you like a sand flea at the beach when you start living this way. You will be ridiculed and heckled for your stand, even at the hand of other believers. I’ve had other ministry wives tell me my desire to live a pure life and be separate from the world is foolishness and isn’t for them. This breaks my heart. God gave so much for us. Can’t we live sacrificially for Him? It’s for our own benefit.
What about you? Are you the Sunday morning Christian who can’t get a handle on the rest of the week? Do you desire to be closer to Him but find the things of the world creeping in? Or are you stuck somewhere altogether different?

GiveAway:                                                                                  Suzanne Schaffer is giving one commenter a ebook copy of Simple Things! To be entered, just comment below and if you don't leave a way to get ahold of you in your comment and you are choosen, a new name will be choosen! 


  1. I think I am going to get this book for myself! It sounds like a great resource!

  2. With everything that has gone on in the last 6 years I think I need to read this book. Simple things is what I look at. Most of the time I laugh at the big things because of the little things.

  3. this sounds great. prayer is the most powerful tool any of us can have. you don't need to include me in the give a way. I am not doing kindle right now. so it would just sit.
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

  4. Sounds good. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom.