Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A TWIST OF FAITH - Pepper Basham - One Free Book

Welcome, Pepper. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Well, I think it depends on the characters. I know there is some of me in all of them, especially the heroines, but I find many more of my own personal thoughts and character traits in the ones who are a bit quirkier ;-)

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Aha, and speaking of quirky J Probably dress up as Gandalf to play LOTR with my kids in the backyard. I even made a cotton ball beard.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I feel like I’ve been story creating my whole life, but actual writing started when I was about eight. My sweet granny bought me a second-hand typewriter when I was 10 and gave it to me because she said, “A writer needs one.” She was the first person to call me a writer. It stuck.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love adventurous books with either intense romance, suspense, humor, or action. Usually I stick with any of the above if they have a good dose of romance.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
The grace of God! Definitely. And lots of laughter, music, prayer, family, tea, and chocolate. I’m a more relaxed personality, so it helps with juggling the crazy.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I use a baby names book with name meanings, but I also ask my brainstorming team for ideas and keep my ears open for other interesting names.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My children. Hands down. Now, if you mean writing, I’m just so proud to have three books releasing this year – and I’m proud of all of them.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A golden retriever – probably.

When I was in high school and college, our family had a golden retriever. He rode in the back of Daddy’s pickup truck with his head hanging around the driver’s side edge of the cab. He loved the wind in his face. What is your favorite food?
Savory: Chicken Scaloppini   Sweet: Dark Knight Chocolate Torte

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Someone taking a chance on my writing. How did I overcome it? I kept submitting and submitting and submitting…until someone finally believed in the story enough to take a chance.

Tell us about the featured book.
Oh boy! A speech-language pathologist determined to move up the academic ladder and out of rural Appalachia makes a deal with her arrogant supervisor to change a thick-accented and big-hearted cattle farmer into corporate world material by Thanksgiving. An Appalachian twist to My Fair Lady                                             

Please give us the first page of the book.
PhD was not supposed to smell like this.

Adelina Roseland dropped a box of research articles onto the floor and stifled a deep breath as the strong aroma of naturally fertilized farmland wafted in from the open window. The small room, with apparently, no air conditioning, defied any prestige the brass placard on her mahogany desk could have given:

Adelina.N. Roseland, PhD
Assistant Chair
Department of Communicative Disorders, Blue Ridge University

She tossed her bag on the desk and contemplated closing the window, but a cool morning breeze blew in for a moment’s respite from the stuffy warmth in the room. Stale heat or the scent of country charm? She sighed in resignation to the irony of life and kept the window open. Country charm it was.

The view outside paused her turn. Blue mountains, a cascade of them, filled the horizon and stirred an almost irresistible pull. They shouldn’t draw her, or provide any comfort. The memories of her childhood should snuff any longing the fog-covered sea of mountains encouraged, but instead of pain, she heard the gentle hum of her granny’s voice. The soft song from the past threatened to awaken feelings and memories she avoided like black-eyed peas and family reunions. But it called her to remember. To soften the sadness, loss, and grief.
Her throat tightened as unbidden memories peeked into the present. She pushed them away, determined to leave her unsavory past in the place where all bad memories go: one-on-one intensive psychotherapy.

That piques my interest. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Best place is Facebook or my website, www.pepperdbasham.com I’m also on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram and can be found at my group writing blog, The Writers Alley – http://thewritersalleyblog.com

Thank you, Pepper, for sharing this book with us. I'm particularly eager to read it, because I have a drama background, and My Fair Lady is one of my favorite Broadway musicals.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Twist of Faith - Paperback
A Twist of Faith: Will a wager against her future steal her chance at true love? - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Monday, May 23, 2016

THE BEAUTIFUL PRETENDER - Melanie Dickerson - One Free Book, Plus More

Dear Readers, we’ve loved Melanie Dickerson’s YA Medieval Fairy Tales. With this newer series, the books are billed at Medieval Fairy Tales for Adults. I know you’ve loved the first book. With this second book, I’m as eager to read it as you are. I’ve been busy on my own writing projects that had to be finished first.

Bio: Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

Welcome back, Melanie. As an author, I know it takes a lot of people to birth each book. Who were the people involved in the birthing of this book, and what were their contributions?
I actually asked my editor, Becky Monds, to help me brainstorm when I was about two-thirds of the way through this book. The “climax” happened earlier than I thought it would, and even though I had some ideas about what would happen next, I wasn’t sure I had enough. So Becky and I talked for 45 minutes or an hour, and she gave me a good idea about having a fire that would parallel the fire that happened before the story started, when the hero’s ankle was badly injured trying, unsuccessfully, to save his brother. It turned out to be a pivotal scene near the end.

If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?
How about Germany? Or England? If I could live in a castle, that would be awesome.

If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?
Never give up! Keep persevering. You never know what God has in store for you.

You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why? (AS in what program, singers, etc. [it doesn’t have to be writing related])
I’d love to have Hugh Jackman sing us some show tunes. And Taylor Swift could entertain us with all of my favorite songs of hers.

Sign me up. They are two of my favorite celebs. Tell us about the featured book.
The Beautiful Pretender is the second book in the Thornbeck series. The hero is the rather formidable Margrave of Thornbeck. And it’s a cross between Beauty and the Beast and The Princess and the Pea.

After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.
Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences.

Please give us the first page of the book.
The year 1363, Thornbeck Forest, The Holy Roman Empire
Reinhart Stolten, Margrave of Thornbeck, spotted the pack of wolves devouring their fresh kill at the bottom of the ravine. He nudged his horse in their direction as he let go of the reins and readied his bow and arrow. He was still too far away for a good shot, but he urged him closer, until his horse brought him into range of the bloodthirsty killers.

Reinhart took aim and let the arrow fly, striking one of the wolves in the neck. It let out a shriek, causing the other animals to look up. Two of them kept their teeth in their meal even as they snarled and searched for the source of the danger.

Reinhart quickly nocked another arrow and shot, striking another wolf in the shoulder instead of the intended kill shot to the head.

The wolves had spotted him and started to run. Only one of them was more interested in their food than in the danger pursuing them. He kept hold of the carcass as he ran away with the others. Reinhart aimed and shot at the one lagging behind, dragging the dead animal, but the arrow missed him.

The wolf let go of his kill and ran harder.

Reinhart urged his horse after them. The wolf with the arrow in his shoulder ran along with the other six wolves.

Reinhart and his horse chased them up the ravine, through the heavily wooded hills of Thornbeck Forest, and eventually the injured wolf grew tired and fell behind. Reinhart was able to finish it off, but there was no use going after the others. They were too far ahead now.

He put his longbow away and turned his horse back in the direction of Thornbeck Castle.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1NZuPiD

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
You can catch me on Twitter https://twitter.com/melanieauthor

Inheriting the new title of margrave means Reinhart has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise? Find out in the new medieval fairy tale, The Beautiful Pretender, by Melanie Dickerson. Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

Join Melanie in celebrating the release of The Beautiful Pretender by entering to win her Once Upon a Kindle giveaway!

beautiful pretender - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Beautiful Pretender
  • A Kindle Fire tablet
  • A $25 Amazon gift card
  • The choice between a Funko POP Disney Beauty or Beast doll
beautiful pretender - prize collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 7th. The winner will be announced June 8th on Melanie's blog.

beautiful pretender - enter banner

Thank you, Melanie, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book on this blog. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

WINNERS!!!!!

Annie (MD) is the winner of Mars...With Venus Rising by Hope Toler Dougherty.

Sonnetta (NJ) is the winner of Her One and Only by Becky Wade.

Jennifer (TN) is the winner of This Side of Heaven by Diane Dean White.

Connie (KY) is the winner of Black Mamba by Diane Theiler.

Brenda (VA) is the winner of Interview Tips by L Fentress.

If you won a book and you like it, please consider giving the author the courtesy of writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or other Internet sites. 

Also, tell your friends about the book ... and this blog. Thank you.

Congratulations
, everyone. If you won a print book, send me your mailing address:
Click the Contact Me link at the top of the blog, and send me an Email.


If you won an ebook, just let me know what email address it should be sent to.

When you contact me, please give the title and author of the book you won, so I won't have to look it up.


Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

Friday, May 20, 2016

THROUGH THE SHADOWS - Karen Barnett - One Free Book on This Blog, Plus More

Dear Readers, I loved the first two books in Karen Barnett’s Golden Gate Chronicles series. And with book three, I was eager for my book to arrive. It’s every bit as good as the others, maybe even better. With strong characters, who pulled me into the heart of the story, they carried me past the end of the book. Characters who stayed in my mind for quite a while after I finished reading the story. The setting is the rebuilding of San Francisco after one of the major earthquakes in the early 20th century. Since I did a lot of research on San Francisco for one of my novels, I appreciated her skill with weaving the setting into the story making it almost one of the characters. You’ll want to read this book. If you missed the first two, try to get a hold of those and read them, too.

Bio: Karen Barnett lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two teens, and three mischievous dachshunds. When she’s not writing, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, public speaking, decorating crazy birthday cakes, and dragging her family through dusty history museums. She was honored with the 2016 Writer of the Year award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference and a Writer of Promise Award from Oregon Christian Writers in 2013.

Welcome back, Karen. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I’m excited to see the entire Golden Gate Chronicles series complete and in the hands of readers. It’s difficult for me to say goodbye to these beloved characters, but I’m thrilled to have more books in the works.

I recently signed a contract with Waterbrook Multnomah for three novels set in the National Parks during the 1920s and 30s, the first of which releases next year. I grew up in the shadow of Mount Rainier and spent two summers working there as a park ranger, so setting novels in the parks is a bit like going home.

I can hardly wait to see this new series. I’d love to feature them on my blog as well. Tell us a little about your family.
My husband Steve and I have been married for more than twenty years, and we have two teenagers—a sixteen-year-old son and a fourteen-year-old daughter. I’d heard a lot of horror stories about raising teens, but so far it’s been my favorite stage. They’re both witty and sarcastic, and it’s been a joy to see their individual personalities and interests develop.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I find I pay more attention to new releases and award-winning novels now that I’m a writer. In the past, I chose reading material based on covers and back cover copy. I didn’t pay much attention to the publisher, release date, or even the author (though I had my favorites). Now, in an attempt to keep up with what’s going on in the industry, I focus on specific publishers, authors, and genres.

What are you working on right now?
I’m currently finishing the first of my National Parks book, a romantic suspense set at Mount Rainier in 1927. We don’t have an official title yet, but I’m in love with the plot and characters. I think it’s a story that readers will truly enjoy.

I’m sure we will. What outside interests do you have?
I have to confess, I’m a bit of a Netflix junkie. Outside of that, I like spending time in nature—whether in the mountains or at the ocean. I also take pride in decorating bizarre birthday cakes for my kids. I’m no Cake Boss, but it’s fun to try.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
The Golden Gate Chronicles series was inspired when I saw an American Experience documentary on the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. I was captivated with the stories people told of those harrowing days, and the series grew from that point.

My next book is set at Mount Rainier National Park. The mountain has been a big part of my life ever since I was a child, and it’s been a joy to revisit it in story form.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Recently I’ve been reading the writings of the great American naturalist, John Muir. He strikes me as a fascinating character, and I think it would have been a treat to speak to him in person.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
The further I get in my writing career, the one thing that surprises me is that I never feel like I have it “figured out.” For some reason, I use to think each novel would get easier as I learned more about the writing process. Instead—at least at this point—it feels like every book has been more difficult. Maybe my personal expectations increase with each published book.

I know that’s true of many authors, myself included. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
God has been prodding me recently with the knowledge that I’m not writing alone. I felt very close to Him when I first started the writing process, beginning each session in prayer and carefully considering what He might want me to be sharing through my stories. As the pressure of deadlines and other demands got tighter, I found myself looking at writing as a job. That put me in a dark and anxiety-ridden place as an author, for a time. In recent months I’ve been joyfully rediscovering what it means to be writing “with God” as opposed to just “about God.”

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
The first thing I do when people ask me how to move forward in their writing is encourage them to attend a professional writing conference. You’ll have the opportunity to take classes, rub elbows with professional authors, have conversations with editors and agents, and be inspired by the tight-knit community of Christian publishing. There are wonderful Christian conferences around the country, from intimate retreats all the way up to large national conferences.

Second, I’d encourage writers to set a schedule and stick to it. It doesn’t always have to be long stretches of time. Sometimes I accomplish more when I know I only have thirty minutes, as opposed to an all-day marathon.  

Third, try not to base your self-worth on whether or not you publish. There are very few overnight successes in this business. Most authors spend many years, sometimes writing several full manuscripts, before they land a contract. If you’re “all about the contract,” you’re going to be miserable during the long wait. And you may even discover that getting that book on the shelf doesn’t magically make you feel like a successful author.

That is so true. Tell us about the featured book.
In Though the Shadows, the devastating earthquake is just two years past, but the city of San Francisco is still trying to recover. Destruction of this magnitude is not so easy to overcome-and neither are the past regrets shadowing Elizabeth King's hopeful future.

Hoping to right her wrongs, Elizabeth dedicates herself to helping girls rescued from slavery in Chinatown brothels, even if it means putting her own life at risk to sneak through the gloomy alleys and rooftops where dangers lurk.

Putting her life on the line for a worthy cause is admirable, but opening her heart is even more terrifying. So when Elizabeth meets attorney, Charles McKinley—a man who dreams of reforming San Francisco’s crooked politics—Elizabeth begins to doubt: Can she maintain her pretense and hide her past? Or will her secret jeopardize both their futures?

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Sacramento, California
June 1908
Elizabeth King held her fingers against the ivory keys, refusing to stir as the final chord faded and silence descended on the parlor. Were God ever to speak to her, she imagined it would be in the precious instant after a last note died away and before an audience responded. The moment preserved a holy space, as if the breath of divinity hung in the air.

No voice arrived today, but there was no audience either.

She ran her fingertips along the cool surface, the black and white pattern softening as her eyes blurred with tears. God wouldn’t converse with the likes of her, anyway.

After three years of intense instruction, every note conjured Tobias’s memory— his touch. Elizabeth sprang from the stool and stalked to the window, staring out at the darkening clouds. She couldn’t let her mind travel to those memories. Before she knew it, she’d be at his door.

“Turn your back on me, and you’re finished. You’ll never perform again.”

She’d done the right thing. So why did the shame still cling, like a vine curling around her soul?

Her mother swept into the room, a cream-colored apron tied over her flowered dress. “Elizabeth— you aren’t dressed yet?”

Elizabeth pulled her gaze from the window. “Dressed?”

“Have you forgotten? Mr. McKinley is joining us for supper. I’ve been trying to get the attorney to come here from San Francisco for months.”


The man’s name sent a shiver along Elizabeth’s skin, like a discordant note in the middle of a Bach concerto. Of course, she’d forgotten— if she’d remembered, she’d have left earlier.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love connecting with readers online!
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/KarenBarnett

In addition to the book giveaway on this blog, Karen has another 5-Book Giveaway.



Here's the link to this giveaway: https://promosimple.com/ps/99f1

Thank you, Karen, for sharing this new book with us. I know my readers are as eager to read it as I was when it arrived.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Through the Shadows - Christianbook.com
Through the Shadows: The Golden Gate Chronicles - Book 3 - Amazon
Through the Shadows: The Golden Gate Chronicles - Book 3 - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 19, 2016

HERE TODAY, GONE TAMALE - Rebecca Adler - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I contacted this author when I saw the titles of two of her books. They intrigued me.

Welcome, Rebecca. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Interesting question. I would guess I write about fifty percent of myself in my characters. I like to think that my heroine, Josie Callahan, is younger, smarter, and much braver than me. We both like to indulge in Tex-Mex even though we know better.

James and I had Tex-Mex yesterday, and we brought half of it home to eat today. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
As an out-of-work actor living in New York City, I worked the New York Toy Fair as a giant Furskin.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
My mother remembers discovering my love of writing in second grade. She thanked the teacher for casting me in our class play, and Ms. Valentine responded, “She wrote the play. The least I could do was let her star in it.”

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
As I continue to hone my mystery writing skills, I’m afraid that’s all the fiction I’m reading these days. Non-fiction reading includes my daily Bible passages and online newspapers.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
That’s easy. Pray. I also try to be grateful no matter the situation: good, bad, and ugly. Oh, and I must admit, I’m trying to use calendars and planners more consistently.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Names are funny. They have to sound right, and they definitely have to fit the locale and the character’s personality.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I moved to NYC right out of college to study acting in a Broadway theatre, light years from my home in a small coastal town in the South. I didn’t crumble or lose my faith. That was pretty cool.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Hard one. I would be a long-haired Chihuahua like the one in my book. Lenny’s feisty, but nobody minds because he’s so stinking cute.

What is your favorite food?
Easy one. Queso with spicy ground beef, guacamole, and fresh tomatoes.

I love a good queso, but I’m not fond of adding other things to it. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Staying focused has always been my greatest roadblock. I’m under a lot of deadlines with this series, and that’s helped a great deal. I often chat with other writers during my writing time, reporting my progress on regular intervals. That accountability really makes the difference for me.

Tell us about the featured book.
Reporter turned Tex-Mex waitress Josie Callahan is about to go from serving queso to solving cases…

After losing her newspaper job in Austin and having her former fiancé unfriend her on Facebook, Josie Callahan scoops up her Chihuahua, Lenny, and slinks back to Broken Boot, Texas. Maybe working as head waitress at Milagro—her aunt and uncle’s Tex-Mex restaurant—isn’t exactly living the dream, but it is a fresh start.

And business is booming as tourists pour into Broken Boot for its famous Wild West Festival. But when a local jewelry designer is found strangled outside Milagro after a tamale-making party, Josie’s reporter instincts kick in. As suspects pile up and alibis crack faster than taco shells, Josie needs to wrap up this case tighter than her tía’s tortillas—before another victim calls for the check…

INCLUDES TEX-MEX RECIPES!

Yea. I love recipes. Please give us the first page of the book.
“Josie!” Aunt Linda’s high-pitched drawl soared like a heat-seeking missile up the wooden stairs from our restaurant below, through my quaint living room, and into my sweet but tiny bedroom.

There are three things Aunt Linda and Uncle Eddie have in common with tamales: they’re unpretentious, comforting, and fattening when consumed in excess.

“Be right there,” I bellowed.

“I’ll believe it when I see it, monkey.”

I groaned, but it was all for show. Long gone were the days of hiding beneath the warm cocoon of my quilts. I was no longer that grieving twelve-year-old orphan, yanked from the concrete glamor of Dallas and plopped into the dust bowl of the West Texas desert. Back then, Aunt Linda forced me to partake in what she knew best, the banality of folding napkins and the comfort of tamales. Now I craved the nostalgic aromas and chaotic chatter that would soothe my eviscerated heart and humiliated pride.

And it was time to boogie downstairs to set up for tonight’s festivities before the stink of self-pity started oozing from my pores. I scrunched up my nose at my reflection. “You may not be a waitress, but you can toss plates with the best of them.”

My dog, Lenny, barked from the doorway in disbelief, his bright button eyes and long, silky coat trembling with excitement.

“Little man, watch and see.” With a sigh, I smoothed the red bandana at my neck and yanked up the neckline of my peasant blouse so as not to inspire a lecture on modesty from the matriarch of our clan, Aunt Linda’s mother-in-law, Senora Mari. I tightened my ponytail and turned to my four-legged confidante. “Where is your bandana?”

“Yip.” Wagging his shaggy, miniscule tail a million times a minute, Lenny trotted to his doggie bed. The bed’s designer had gone to a lot of trouble to create a sophisticated bed for beloved canine companions, and I’m sure in her mind it was a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, it reminded me of a crunchy taco with a golden outside and a brown lumpy cushion.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Facebook: Author Gina Lee Nelson/Rebecca Adler

Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing this new book with us. I love cozy mysteries, and I'm eager for my book to arrive so I can read it.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Here Today, Gone Tamale: A Taste of Texas Mystery - Paperback
Here Today, Gone Tamale: A Taste of Texas Mystery - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

PROMISE ME - Jo Huddleston - One Free Ebook

Welcome back, Jo. Tell us about your salvation experience.
No one has ever asked me this. My salvation experience remains vivid in my memory. Thank you for asking.

I was 15 years old when I was saved in a small, country church. The sermon that Sunday morning was about the parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25) who went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them brought oil with their lamps, but five failed to bring along oil for theirs. Their wait for the bridegroom lasted into the night and at midnight when the bridegroom approached, the ones without oil asked the others to give them some oil because the flame of their lamps was going out. They refused and while the five went to buy oil, those with oil went in to the wedding with the bridegroom, “and the door was shut” (v. 10). The bridegroom would not open the door to the five when they returned. They were unprepared and did not get to meet the bridegroom. I realized I was not prepared. I prayed that Jesus would not shut the door on me and asked for the forgiveness of my sins.

I, too, was saved in a small country church. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Karen Ball, Francine Rivers, James Rubart, Cassandra King. These writers’ personalities and books have impacted my life in general as well as my writing life. It would be a privilege to sit among them and hear them speak of their philosophies and be encouraged by them.

A wonderful group. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
As a youngster, from K-12, I changed schools 7 times. In the 10th grade, in yet another new school, I got lost in the school, ended up on a different level, and walked into the boys’ locker room. Yes, there were boys in there getting ready for P.E. I still wonder how I maintained my composure, but I calmly turned and left the area. I still remember that day, although the boys probably don’t. At least, I hope they don’t!

People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
“If you want to write for publication, treat your writing as a business, not a hobby. It will take a 110% effort from you. Be prepared to accept rejection of your book, always remembering the agent, editor, or publisher will be rejecting your book, not you.”

Very good advice. Tell us about the featured book.
Promise Me is book 3 in the West Virginia Mountains series. Here’s the back cover copy:

When war calls…faith is tested

In 1960, civil discord in Vietnam fills the news. After his college graduation, Patrick Fitzgerald plans to join his daddy’s South Carolina accounting firm. But Uncle Sam may have another position in mind for Patrick—in the U.S. Army. His family’s affluence would be no match for the persuasion of the military draft.

Adriana Montagna’s papá ekes out a living as a coal miner in the mountains of West Virginia. Can a lasting relationship form with Patrick, or will his wealth become a barrier between them?

Meanwhile, the fiber of America’s unity stands on the precipice, while its youth fight a no-win battle on foreign soil. What good can a young couple hope for at such a time as this?

Please give us the first page of the book.
August 1960 - Morgantown, West Virginia
“Good night, Chet. Good night, David. And good night for NBC News.” The program signed off with the Texaco Gasoline red star logo across the screen.

In Dean Loreen Fletcher’s apartment, Patrick Fitzgerald sat closest to the television when NBC’s Huntley-Brinkley Report ended. He stepped to the floor-standing console and turned off the television. He took his time returning to sit on the sofa beside Adriana Montagna. A somber silence settled over the living room and its six occupants, interrupted only by the humming window air conditioner.

Patrick scooted to the front edge of the sofa cushion and rested his forearms on his legs. “I don’t want my first job after graduation to be in Vietnam.”

No one remarked and he continued. “The situation over there worries me. Now Washington announces we’re sending 3,500 soldiers to South Vietnam to help them fight against the communist North Vietnamese. When I graduate from college in December, I hope their mess over there has cooled down some.”

Adriana laid her hand on his back. “Patrick, hush. We don’t want to think about you going overseas.”

Buy Link for Promise Me:

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Website (Read novel first chapters here): http://www.johuddleston.com
Sign up for Jo’s mailing list: http://bit.ly/1ZFaZwG
Christian authors’ books blog: http://www.johuddleston.com
Inspirational blog: http://bit.ly/1QAPRnr
Facebook author page: http://on.fb.me/1pvJQiQ
Facebook personal page: http://on.fb.me/1Ubic69
Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1SxafIK

Thank you, Jo, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the ebook. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

LOVE'S HARVEST - Linda Shenton Matchett - One Free Ebook

Welcome, Linda, Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Probably more than I’d like to admit. I have a lot of curiosity—I want to know how or why something happened. This is typically a trait I include in my protagonists.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?  
My husband and I left our Washington, DC, careers behind and moved to central New Hampshire to run a bed and breakfast for twelve years.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I have been writing since I was in elementary school. I filled lots of notebooks with stories. I also published a weekly “newspaper” for my family in which I made up all the news. It even included an editorial column!

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read a lot of books about WWII—fiction, memoir, biography—for research. For pleasure, I read historical novels, mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense. I like any book from which I learn something.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I try to take at least 15 minutes a day just for me—having a cup of tea, reading a few pages in a book, or sitting on the sun porch. It doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but it makes a difference.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I write historical novels, so the names need to be tied to that particular era. There are several websites that list popular names by era or decade. I picked up a 1946 high school yearbook at a book sale, and I use that. Recently I needed a snooty sounding name for my antagonist, so I asked my FaceBook followers. They came up with Thurgood Wellington Mayfield, III.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I was a Human Resources professional, and early in my career I took a job with a small manufacturing company. Six weeks after I joined the company, the CEO announced the company had been acquired by another and the plant was closing. I worked with the 68 people who were not going to the new company to create their resumés, teach the employees interviewing skills, and find them jobs. I was able to place all but five of the employees at the end of the six weeks. Then I set about trying to find a job for me.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A dog—I like the comforts of home way too much to be a wild animal.

What is your favorite food?
Dessert!

Me, too, but I don’t eat many these days and then only a tiny portion. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I am a research-aholic. I love to dig, and dig, and dig. In my early writings I included way too much of the research material. With the help of my critique group and an excellent freelance editor, I learned how to sprinkle the information throughout the story rather than pour it on.

Me, too. And my books have become much stronger after I learned that lesson. Tell us about the featured book.
Love’s Harvest is a fictionalization of the biblical book of Ruth set from 1923 through 1946. It tells the story of Noreen Hirsch, an English woman who meets and marries a young German man who suffers ill health because of a mustard gas attack during WWI. Rosa Hirsch is Noreen’s daughter-in-law who accompanies her back to England after the women are widowed. Basil Quincey is the Boaz character who runs a large farm where Rosa becomes employed as part of Britain’s Land Army.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Volga Region, Russia, 1923
“We’ll die if we don’t leave this place. Pack only what you can carry.” Edmund Hirsch poked his bony arms into the sleeves of his wool coat that sported more holes than Swiss cheese. A paroxysm of coughing gripped his body, the result of a mustard gas attack on his German platoon nine years ago during The Great War.

After several minutes the coughing ceased, and he mopped the sweat from his forehead with a dingy, gray handkerchief. “Be ready. We set out tomorrow at first light.”

“Where will we go, Vati?” Five-year-old Conrad’s voice trembled.

“Don’t be a baby, Conrad.” Older by two minutes, Conrad’s twin brother, Manfred, finished tying his boot laces and jumped off the chair, his shoes clomping against the bare wood floor. His bright blue eyes blazed above his hollow cheeks.

“Hush, children.” Noreen stroked Conrad’s white-blond hair and met her husband’s terse look with one of her own. “You heard your father. There’s no time to waste.”

***

Noreen yanked the zipper closed on her over-stuffed canvas satchel. Always resourceful, Edmund had attached straps to the moss-green bag so she could wear it on her back. She would also carry a suitcase in each hand. The journey promised to be arduous.

Interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?


Thank you, Linda, for sharing this novella with us.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Love's Harvest

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Monday, May 16, 2016

SOMEONE LIKE YOU - Victoria Bylin - One Free Book

Welcome, Victoria. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
This question reminds me of something my husband once asked. He said, “Honey, I have the strangest feeling you’re writing about me.”  For the first time in our long marriage (we just hit 36 years), I wasn’t totally truthful. “Oh, no,” I replied. “This is fiction.” And it is. But to the extent my heroes are strong men who love their families, work hard and struggle to live their faith, I’m writing about the wonderful man who stole my heart when he rode up on a big red motorcycle.

All my fiction has some degree of autobiography. When I write about a character’s spiritual journey, I’ve usually walked in those shoes. I also pull extensively on places I’ve lived and the remarkable people I’ve been blessed to know. If you don’t mind an analogy (I’m addicted to them), my books are the plants that grow out of the garden of my life.

I love that. That’s how I feel, but you put it much better than I ever have. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m not sure how quirky this is, but I’ve been known to dance around my office before I sit down to write.

Sounds like fun. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I started my first journal when I was in the fifth grade. Putting words on paper has always helped me to sort my thoughts, but I got serious about telling stories in 1999. I started that year with a resolution to finish a book length work of fiction—good, bad, or boring. Around Chapter 3, the story took off, and I knew I’d changed from just wanting to write to being a writer.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I pretty much stick to fiction with an occasional Christian living book folded into the mix. Within the fiction spectrum, I read mostly contemporaries (both romance and women’s fiction) along with some historical. Westerns, WWII, and Americana are my favorite subgenres, but a good Regency or a Downton Abbey era book is always a pleasure. Every so often I’ll ask my husband for something different and venture into a detective story. Last summer I binge-read all of Lawrence Block’s “Keller” books. Talk about a change of pace! They’re about an ordinary guy who’s really a paid assassin. Great plot twists!

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
This world is crazy, isn’t it? I can’t say I’m sane all the time, but I read Oswald Chambers’ Someone Like You almost every day. There’s a particular passage about being broken bread and outpoured wine for the sake of spreading the gospel. That’s how I view the super busy times, like right before a deadline.  I see my writing as a ministry. Sometimes it’s okay to exhaust ourselves for a good cause. But then it’s time to rest, read, rebuild, and restore. I try to find the balance over the course of weeks and months, rather than just single days.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
The best names just pop into my head, but that doesn’t always happen. In Someone Like You, “Zeke Monroe” popped into my head and it never changed. On the other hand, in the second “You” book (Together With You, April 2015), I changed the hero’s name about ten times before I settled on Ryan Tremaine. I ended up loving that deeply troubled man, but naming him was impossible!  

For secondary names, I’m a big fan of the Social Security Administration website. I’ll put in the character’s birth year, see what was popular and shop around. I also like the website called Behind The Name.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’m most proud of my family. My husband and I have two sons, both married to wonderful women. We’re also grandparents to twin girls. Writing-wise, I get a happy rush every time I type “The End.” Those two words mean I’ve done my job. After that, the results are up to God.

I have one strange writer quirk. I only wrote The End on my first novel. Since then I haven’t. To me, it feels like overkill. If the story is finished, I know it and the reader should, too. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A rabbit! My husband and I have a long standing joke about that nickname. Rabbits are cute, fun, and very busy running other peoples lives J

What is your favorite food?
Right now, it’s the bite-sized Dove Dark Chocolate. Mocha latte, mint, or plain. It’s all delicious.

I have a bowl of Dove Dark Chocolate on my coffee table for the authors who meet in my home for the critique group I lead. (There’s also a smaller bowl for milk chocolate, but there are only a few who love milk chocolate best.) What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest roadblock is my own writing process. Ideas come fairly easily to me, but I have to work hard to put the best words on paper. I once told my editor that I don’t really write a book. I construct one. My first drafts are nothing but choppy phrases, weak verbs and scattered images. Turning that mess into something readable is exhausting.

I cope with my cumbersome process by writing every day and trusting God for the words. That trust looks a lot like self discipline, which I don’t enjoy at all. Also, if I walk five days a week, eat healthy food, and get enough sleep, I’m far more productive as a writer.

Tell us about the featured book.
Someone Like You is a flip-flop reunion story. Back in college, Zeke Monroe and Julia Dare were romantically involved. A minister’s son, Zeke believed his faith was strong, while Julia had no faith at all. Fast forward six years . . . Julia’s now a single mom and a brand new Christian, while Zeke is wrestling with himself and God. He’s also trying to save a historic California resort and needs Julia’s help to do it.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Zeke Monroe appreciated a good joke, and this one was on him. Grinning, he crossed the plush charcoal carpet in his office to a desk the size of an aircraft carrier. A new Han Solo action figure guarded his pencil cup, and a handwritten sign was taped to the back of his massive leather chair.

“Starship Command,” he read out loud. “Captain Zeke Monroe to the rescue.”

Chuckling, he peeled off the sign. Everyone on the Caliente Springs management team knew he appreciated a silly prank now and then, and in the eight months he’d been general manager of the historic California resort, he had come to call them all friends.

Which made the task before him daunting at best: save Caliente Springs from bankruptcy, or allow two hundred people to lose their jobs.

People like Ashley, the CS marketing director, whose daughter suffered from severe asthma.

Or Javier, a college kid who helped support his family by working as a concierge.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter:  @VictoriaBylin

Thank you, Victoria, for sharing this new book with us. I love the cover.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Someone like You - Christianbook.com
Someone Like You - Amazon
Someone Like You - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Sunday, May 15, 2016

WINNERS!!!!!

Kim (NE) is the winner of the ebook The Crux of Honor by Paula Mowery.

Connie (KY) is the winner of the ebook Stuck on You by Michelle Stimpson.

Beth (IL) is the winner of Small-Town Brides by Darlene Franklin.

Linda (PA) is the winner of Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar.

Sharon (SC) is the winner of Home to Chapel Springs by Ane Mulligan.

If you won a book and you like it, please consider giving the author the courtesy of writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or other Internet sites. 

Also, tell your friends about the book ... and this blog. Thank you.

Congratulations
, everyone. If you won a print book, send me your mailing address:
Click the Contact Me link at the top of the blog, and send me an Email.


If you won an ebook, just let me know what email address it should be sent to.

When you contact me, please give the title and author of the book you won, so I won't have to look it up.


Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.