Friday, October 24, 2014

THE BRICKMAKER'S BRIDE - Judith Miller - One Free Book + Much More

Readers, I absolute loved The Brickmaker’s Bride. I haven’t read many books set in this time period, but the setting was so vivid, I felt as if I were walking through the countryside. And the characters were walking right beside me. I highly recommend this book.

Welcome back, Judith. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I have a deep interest in history and a deep love of the Lord. Writing inspirational historical fiction gives me the opportunity to research history, study God’s word, and then to share what I learn with my readers. What a blessing!

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Wow! That’s a difficult question. There are so many good things that have happened to me, but I would have to say the day I married my husband, Jim.

How has being published changed your life?
When I first began writing, I was working full time as a compliance analyst with the Kansas Insurance Department. After several years being published, I was able to quit my job and write full time. Also, I now have more time to conduct travel and conduct research. Another thing that has changed is that I’m frequently asked to speak to different groups regarding my books and my faith.

What are you reading right now?
I just completed Laura Frantz’s latest book, Love’s Fortune, and I would highly recommend it. 

What is your current work in progress?
I am just beginning the synopsis for the third book in the Refined by Love series. I turned in book two, The Potter’s Lady, a couple weeks ago and am awaiting rewrites on that book.

What would be your dream vacation?
I’m planning a European River Cruise next year, so I suppose that would be my dream vacation. However, I have to add that one of the highlights of my traveling life was going to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic with a group of descendants from the Amana Colonies several years ago. I’d done so much research about Amana that it made the trip very exciting for me.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Setting is extremely important to me. In fact, I usually have a setting before I have a story. I do my best to discover unique settings for my novels and/or unique trades or professions for my characters. Sometimes readers will suggest a particular area and I’ll always check out what they suggest. My last six books were set in the Amana Colonies in Iowa, because of the suggestion of friend. She suggested I visit for myself and decide if the area would provide a good setting. On my first visit, I knew she was correct. I discovered the rich cultural and spiritual beliefs of the people and stories were soon emerging in my head.

My current series is set in West Virginia for several reasons. Much of my paternal heritage is in West Virginia and I wanted to reveal the beauty of the northwestern and central portion of the state as well as some of the interesting professions of the area. In The Brickmaker’s Bride, the rich clay deposits become important to the brickmaking profession of the male protagonist who is Scots-Irish and comes to the United States, just as my Scots-Irish ancestors came to this country and settled in the area of Virginia that later became West Virginia.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Beth Moore. She is such a godly woman and her teachings never fail to touch my heart and reveal new truths to me. I’d love to share a pot of tea with her.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I used to do a lot of scrapbooking, but recently I’ve been knitting for my little granddaughter. I’ve made far more blankets and shawls than she’ll ever need.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I plot my books in advance, but sometimes a character takes off to do his or her own thing. When that happens, I sometimes find myself uncertain how to get out of the predicament. I can think more clearly if I stand in the shower with the water running over me, so that sometimes will give me a solution. If that doesn’t work, I take a long walk and do the “what if” game with myself.

Oh, yes, I’ve used shower times that way. What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Study the craft of writing and don’t be in a big hurry. Instead, be sure that the proposal you submit to an agent or publisher is the very best you can make it.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Brickmaker’s Bride is set in the hills of West Virginia, where two families tentatively come together to rebuild a war-torn brickmaking business. Their venture leads them into bad business deals, betrayal, heartbreak, and love. If Hugh Crothers has his way, his nephew, Ewan McKay, will never become a full partner in his brickmaking business, but a budding romance between Ewan and Laura Woodfield may thwart Hugh’s plans.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Chapter 1
Along the banks of the Tygart Valley River, West Virginia
September 1868
An unexpected rush of sentiment caught Laura Woodfield by surprise. She tightened her grip on Winston Hawkins’s arm as she stepped down from the carriage. Why did entering the brickyard, even the one established by her father, provoke such an awkward show of emotion?
            Winston patted her gloved hand. “You have more strength in that small hand than I would have ever imagined. Don’t falter now.”
             “I’m sorry.” Laura loosened her grasp and forced a smile. “This place holds many memories, and I haven’t been down here since…” The final words caught in her throat.
            Her father hadn’t returned from the war. Still, the Tygart River continued to flow, and the seasons still changed without fail. Fall had arrived and the ancient trees that surrounded the Tygart River Valley were already bursting with color. Her father had often declared God had given him the most beautiful place in the world to perform his labor, and Laura agreed.
            While her friends had longed to move to Wheeling, Allegheny City, or Pittsburgh, Laura remained content, feeling more at home in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains.
Don't miss Judith Miller's latest novel, The Brickmaker's Bride. CBA Retailers + Resources raves, ". . . a wonderful story about faith and love throughout life’s trials."

Judith is celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and  a "Refined by Love" Facebook author event on November 4th.
brickmaker-400
 One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 4th. Winner will be announced at the Refined by Love Facebook Author Event. Connect with Judith for a fascinating evening centered around her new Civil War-era series. She'll be hosting a book club discussion, giving away prizes, answering your questions, offering an exclusive peek at the next book in the Refined by Love series, and much more!

So grab your copy of The Brickmaker's Bride and join Judith and friends on the evening of November 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)
brickmaker-enterbanner

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

How can readers find you on the Internet?
www.judithmccoymiller.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorjudithmiller

Thank you, Judith, for sharing this new book and giveaway with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. 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, October 23, 2014

THE PROMISE - Beth Wiseman - One Free Book

Welcome back, Beth. Since you’re being published regularly, what new avenues will your future books take?
I’ve been blessed to be able to alternate between my Amish novels and non-Amish Texas contemporaries, but I think that after twenty-two novels and novellas, it’s natural to want to spread your wings. My publisher graciously allowed me to write a story that is very close to my heart and inspired by actual events. The Promise is way out of the box for me, but ultimately I think this is what I’ve been working toward my entire career thus far. I foresee venturing even further out of my comfort zone. That’s how we grow our writing, and I don’t want to ever stop learning and growing as an author.

What conferences will you be attending this year? Will you be a speaker at any of them?
Sadly, this is the first year that I won’t be attending any conferences. I’m going to miss seeing everyone. L My deadlines are incredibly tight (more so than usual).

If you were in charge of planning the panel discussion at a writing conference, what topic would the panel cover, and who would you ask to be on the panel, and why?
I think that most multi-published authors reach a point in their career when they wonder if they need an assistant. Then comes the question—what do I need an assistant to do so that I can be more productive as an author? Through trial and error, my assistant and I have pretty much perfected our professional relationship, and we are doubly blessed to have grown into great friends. We build on each other’s strengths, and we take up the slack for our weaknesses. Actually, I can’t think of any weaknesses she has, lol. My panel would include my publicist, Katie Bond (this was Katie’s idea, to have a class or panel on this topic), my fabulous assistant, Janet, and the newest member of our team, Jamie Foley…an incredible guru on all things technical, from marketing to websites, and all of the above. It would be a panel to discuss the tough choices authors make to “delegate” and when that becomes a necessity.        

I need to take that course. How important is it to you to be active in writing organizations?
I live in a very small town (289 folks) so we don’t have any organized writing groups here, but it has been discussed, so we will see. But I’m a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and RWA (Romance Writers of America).       

Where in the community or your church do you volunteer?
I teach adult writing classes to benefit Arts for Rural Texas (ARTS), an organization that provides educational opportunities for children. I speak at various church and library events. And I donate books to libraries, charities, and fundraisers as often as I can.

Who are the five people who have made the most impact on your life, and how?
This is a tough question because I’ve been blessed with an amazing family and friends. I could probably name 100 people who have had a big impact on my life, but I’ll do my best to narrow it down to five. Jesus seems an obvious answer, so I’ll assume He is already included and still pick five. I’ve been so fortunate to have the same best friend for thirty-five years. Renee knows everything there is to know about me, like a walking/talking diary that knows what makes me laugh, cry, and all the crazy things in between. She is the keeper of my history and my cheerleader for the future. My husband impacts my life in too many ways to mention, but he mostly keeps me sane. My dear author friend Kelly Long is in my “Top 5.” She is my stepping stone for all things spiritual, writing related and otherwise. Kelly often sees things in me that I don’t see in myself, and she encourages me with her faithful spirit, honestly, and unconditional love. My agent, Natasha Kern, has been a huge surprise for me. I knew Natasha was a great literary agent, but I had no way of knowing what an amazing woman she is and the positive affects she would have on my life, spiritually and professionally. She is also in my “Top 5.” Last, but never least, my mother continues to astound me with her love, support, and life attitude. At 81, she teaches whitewater canoeing, volunteers at the school, and bowls with the same women she’s been bowling with for fifty years. And she reads more books than anyone I know (except maybe Natasha).       

If you could write the inscription on your tombstone, what would it be?
In the end, the cheese got her. Just kidding! I would hope that those who survive me would consider an inscription something like this… A loving wife and mother who wanted to make a difference through words that glorify God.            

Tell us about the featured book.
God never wastes an experience, and such is the case for The Promise. Someone I love was being held captive in Pakistan, and I had to work with the Consulate in Pakistan, the Embassy in Islamabad, and the U.S. State Department to get this person safely home. It was like something out of a movie, and at the time, I couldn’t imagine writing about it. But, here we are … two years later … and I hope and pray that The Promise will help women tempted by this type of deception to walk away. This book is much different from anything I’ve written.

Publishers Weekly had this to say:
“Bestselling author Wiseman encourages readers to think through their feelings about Islam, Christianity, faith, love, and what it means to help others. Her novel will challenge, encourage, and stimulate discussion among her loyal fans and first-time readers.”

Publishers Weekly can be a tough group to please, so I was very happy with this review, since this is what I was striving for – a book relevant to current events in the world that will challenge, encourage, and simulate discussion.

Here is the back cover copy:
Mallory Hammond is determined not to let her boyfriend, parents, or anyone else get in the way of her #1 goal—to save a life. She had that chance when she was a teenager, and the opportunity slipped away, leaving a void she’s desperate to fill. Then a new friend she met online offers her the chance she’s dreamed of. But she’ll have to leave behind everyone she loves to take it.

Tate Webber has loved Mallory for years. He understands that Mallory’s free spirit has to fly, and when he gives her the space she needs, he hopes that when she lands, the two of them will be in the same place and can marry at last.

In a bold move—and with lots of resistance from Tate and those closest to her—Mallory decides to travel across the world to fulfill her dream. Tate begs her not to go, but Mallory embarks on the dangerous journey to Pakistan anyway, only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. Her new friend isn’t who he says he is. And Mallory can only pray she’ll make it out alive.

Inspired by actual events, this riveting story will take you on a wild journey and have you asking yourself: How far would I go for love?

Please share the first page with us.
Here you go. The first three chapters are available for free at www.bethwiseman.com. J

Chapter One

Mallory handed Rosa her empty plate. “As usual, dessert was awesome.” The food was what kept the mandatory Sunday dinners at her parents’ house bearable.

Rosa nodded. Though her dark hair was now speckled with gray, her smile still revealed her girlish dimples and laugh crinkles around her bright eyes. “Glad you liked it, Munchkin.”

Mallory smiled at the maid’s use of the pet name after all these years.

Rosa went around the table to pick up dessert plates, but Mallory’s sister, Vicky, was still working on her key lime pie. Though Mallory missed seeing Haley and Braiden, who were with their father today, she was glad Vicky’s children weren’t present in case things were about to get ugly.

“Mom, Dad ... there’s something I need to tell you.” Mallory’s stomach churned and her voice was shaky.

Her mother set down her wine glass. Mallory was pretty sure she’d seen Rosa fill it four times.

“What is it?” Her mother raised her eyebrows. Eyebrows that seemed to be higher up on her forehead. And the tiny lines of time that feathered from each of her eyes had disappeared as well. Mallory was studying the changes, not sure if she liked them or not, when her mother cleared her throat. “What do you need to tell us, Mallory?”

She swallowed hard. “I’m donating one of my kidneys.”

Her father sat taller, his eyes sharp and assessing. Vicky halted her fork midway to her mouth, glancing back and forth between their parents. Her mother slammed a palm against the table, shaking the dishes that hadn’t yet been cleared.

“No! We’re not going through this again.” Mom shook her head as she glared at Mallory.

“Mom, I’m an adult. And I’ve made my decision.”

Her mother put her empty wine glass on the table, then pointed a finger at her daughter. “I knew this was why you took a job working for that man. This has never been about utilizing your business degree.”

Mallory looked at her father. “Dad, please tell me you understand why I want to do this.”

This book just went to the top of my to-be-read pile. Where can my readers find you on the Internet?

I mostly hang out at Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook. We have a lot of fun and great conversations there. Also, the first chapter of all of my books are online at my website – http://bethwiseman.com. And for my current release, The Promise, the first three chapters are available to preview.

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

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

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. 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, October 22, 2014

THE LADY AND THE MOUNTAIN MAN - Misty M Beller - One Free Book

Dear Readers, this is a very good debut novel. I loved the characters, and their stories pulled my heartstrings. And this author created the setting in such a way that I felt as if I were walking beside each character, experiencing everything they did. The cities, travel by riverboat, and the mountains of Montana Territory were authentic to the time period. I highly recommend this book.

Welcome, Misty. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Oh, my. Probably too much! In my latest release, I gave the heroine, Leah, some of my physical characteristics. She also has a bit of my hard-headedness. And her journey to stay in God's will for her life is similar to the lessons that have been so hard for me to learn through the years.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hmm… I'm never good at this kind of question. I was always one of those "good girls" growing up, and I tend to be on the serious side, sometimes. In fact, my husband lovingly calls me a "wet blanket." J One of my ongoing quirks is that I'm a bit of a Mountain Dew-aholic. In fact, some of my friends call me "Dewey."

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
All my life, I've been a true book lover. Give me a good novel, and you probably won't see me again until it's finished. I've also always enjoyed writing, and tend to express myself best through my written correspondence.

But I never seriously thought about writing a novel, until I was putting together my bucket list a few years ago, and "Write a novel that's published" was near the top!

I decided, it's now or never, and made the commitment to do it. So, I had a general idea that I wanted it to be a Christian western romance. But where to start? I finally decided I needed to find a good book to help me plan. I stumbled upon (a.k.a. God led me to) the best possible book to help me get started with a great plan: Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. For all you writers out there, I can't recommend it highly enough!
 
From there, I've soaked in every bit of writing instruction I can from some amazing groups and individuals. And I've spent countless hours sitting with my laptop pouring out words onto the screen. The Lady and the Mountain Man is my first release, but the second novel I wrote. My first novel is under contract with Prism Book Group to release in 2015. Writing is in my blood. It's my passion. A true gift from my Heavenly Father, and I pray daily that he uses the words for His purpose.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I certainly read a lot of Historical Romance (which is what I write), but I love Contemporary Romance, too, and sometimes a bit of Romantic Suspense! Pretty much anything with a clean story and a good romance. Every now and then I'll read Women's Fiction (mostly because the book is written by a friend), but I love a sweet love story!

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I won't pretend I have it figured out! Between being a wife, mom to two daughters (ages 3 and 7), working full time as the family's only breadwinner, and writing two novels per year, my life is busy. But we're all busy, right? That's part of the culture we live in.

The two things that have kept me from going off the deep end are:
God has finally brought me to a place where I've learned to take one day (and sometimes one hour) at a time. I need to plan ahead as I can, but I can't have any real expectations about what tomorrow will be like. I need to work my way through today in the very best way possible.

My extended family is my strong support system. I'm not sure I would have made it through the challenges our family has faced in the last year without the support of my mom. We weren't incredibly close as I was growing up, but in my adult years, she has become my close friend, confidante, and encouragement. God had a great plan when he placed us in families!

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I'm going to share a childhood secret here, something I've never told anyone. When I was about eight years old, I decided that when I grew up I would have twelve kids—six boys and six girls.  I made a list of all my favorite names, and chose a first and middle name for all twelve of my planned children. Of course, my husband wouldn't need to have any input into the kid's names. J I've kept that paper tucked in my Bible all these years, and I've used that list of names for most of my character names so far.

I like that. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I hope you'll indulge me in another childhood story as I answer this question. J When I was twelve years old, there was a local horse show circuit that gave an award each year for the most points earned in each division, along with an overall high point award for all categories. I had been working hard to train my young horse and decided I would do whatever it took to win the annual high point award for my division (hunt seat) that year.

It took more hard work than I could begin to describe. My dad was my faithful partner in the effort, hauling my horse to and from the horse shows, often coming home in the wee hours of the morning. It's an experience that I will always remember with a warm feeling in my chest and a smile on my face. By the end of the year, I'd won both my division trophy and the overall high point award—and intangible rewards that will stay with me always.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Probably a horse. They're similar to humans in that each one can be so different, both in appearance and personality. I would, of course, want to be one of the kind, beautiful, smart, easygoing horses.

What is your favorite food?
It's a toss-up between chocolate and cheesecake. I'm a true woman. J

Chocolate cheesecake is good. Then you wouldn’t have to choose. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
The writing process is so full of roadblocks, and a writer's success is truly measured by how well they've overcome and learned from the challenges. Overall, learning the craft has created my biggest roadblocks. There are so many things to learn and skills to hone in order to write a good novel—three-act structure, showing versus telling, deep point of view, and the list goes on!
Each step of the way in my writing journey, when I received a rejection, it was usually because I needed to dig deeper and hone another part of the craft. There are so many resources for writers, they can seem overwhelming at times. The tools that continue to help me most are writing craft books, fantastic writer's groups like ACFW, blogs from other writers and industry professionals, and feedback from my critique partners.

Tell us about the featured book.
Leah Townsend, a recently orphaned heiress, flees Richmond after discovering her fiancĂ©’s plot to kill her after their wedding. She needs a safe place to hide, and finds herself accepting a newspaper marriage proposal from a God-fearing young rancher in the Montana Territory. But when Leah arrives at the mountain ranch, she learns her intended husband was killed by a grizzly, leaving behind a bitter older brother and a spunky younger sister.

When Gideon Bryant finds a city girl standing in his log cabin, his first thought is to send her back where she came from. He’s lost too many people to the wild elements of these mountains––his parents, his wife, and now his brother. His love for this untamed land lives on, but he’s determined not to open his heart to another person.

But when an accident forces Leah to stay at the ranch for seven more months, can Gideon protect his heart from a love he doesn’t want? Has Leah really escaped the men who seek her life?

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Richmond, Virginia
March, 1874
“Are you going to poison her the way you killed your last wife?”

Leah Townsend froze in the hallway, her right foot suspended midair as her breathing stopped..  She lowered her toes to the floor, and then sidled closer to the closed study door—still not daring to breathe. The thick Persian rug muffled her footsteps. As she leaned forward, the strong scent of oil wafted from the mahogany wood door.

A throaty chuckle drifted out of the room. “I haven’t decided yet. When I get tired of the nagging, I’ll find a way to dispense with her. Assuming she’s received her inheritance and her father’s estates are legally mine.”

Leah’s blood ran so cold it froze in her veins. Dispense with her? Her brain repeated the words once, twice, and then took off like the hooves of a racehorse. Her blood began to move again, rushing through her so quickly it roared in her ears.
She’d recognize that voice anywhere. It held the suave tone of a man very sure of himself. The tone of the man she’d had nightmares about every night for weeks. The tone of the man her father had legally contracted her to marry in six days. Simon Talbert.

How can readers find you on the Internet?


Thank you, Misty, for sharing your debut novel with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Lady and the Mountain Man (Mountain Dreams Series) (Volume 1) - paperback
The Lady and the Mountain Man (Mountain Dreams Series Book 1) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. 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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

JUST ONE KISS - Wendy Davy - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I’m excited about this new line of sweet romances.

Welcome, Wendy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
In general, I enjoy privacy, so I’m actually surprised how much I reveal about myself in my books. Often times, my characters go through many of the same emotions I’ve been through at one time or another in my life, even if the circumstances aren’t exactly the same. As vulnerable as it makes me feel, in opening up a little about myself, I hope readers can identify with these wide ranging emotions, and help them know they aren’t alone in their struggles.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I thought about this, and I couldn’t come up with one thing in particular. I’m a quirky person in general. (As I’m sure my husband would agree.) I’m analytical in nature, and serious minded, but the quirkiness peeks through, normally through little bits of humor.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer from the first moment I saw the movie Romancing The Stone. The heroine is a romance writer, and I was drawn into her world of adventure. Ideas of my own started forming in my mind, and characters came to life, and I had no doubts that writing is what I wanted to do. I didn’t know inspirational romance was in my future until much later when God had prepared me to complete my first novel. Writing with prayers and things I’ve learned about God is natural for me, and gives my books a sense of purpose.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Stephen King is the writer who hooked me on reading. Early on, I read many of his books, along with Dean Koontz and others like them. But when I picked up my first romance novel, I fell in love with the genre. Today, I enjoy reading mostly inspirational romantic suspense, sweet inspirational romance, women’s fiction with romantic elements, and an occasional mystery.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I keep my sanity by writing. My passion is digging into the fictional world, creating stories that both uplift and keep the reader guessing until the end. Every time I immerse myself into my stories, I feel a peace and a sense of purpose that can only come from knowing I’m doing God’s will.

That is so true. How do you choose your characters' names?
Sometimes I hear a name that strikes me as something I’d like to use, other times I read the ending credits to movies and pick names from there. Friends have suggested names that I’ve used, and I’ve also tucked in some family names in a few of my stories. For example, in Just One Kiss, Dustin’s last name, McKinley, was my grandfather’s first name. The lawyer, Ethel Mae, was my great grandmother’s first and middle names.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
As far as writing, becoming published is most certainly the highlight. I dreamed of it for so many years, when it finally happened, I was ecstatic for months. Aside from the writing world, I’m most proud of my kids and my husband.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a cat. I love cats in all shapes and sizes. Young or old. As nocturnal animals, they like to sleep all day and play all night. Sounds pretty good to me!

What is your favorite food?
Fresh and hot out of the oven glazed donuts are at the top of my list. However, since diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I have to stay away from gluten. So, strawberries come in at a close second, and I can still enjoy those. At least they are healthier anyway, right?

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Time. Finding time to write is my greatest roadblock. Between a part-time job, full-time motherhood, (including a son with special needs), and keeping up with all of life’s challenges, time often escapes me. But, God always provides a way. This past winter we had an unusual amount of snow days. I spend most of those curled up in a quiet room typing away.

Tell us about the featured book.
Just One Kiss was originally designed to be a very short story, but then something came up and I wrote another book in between. By the time Just One Kiss rolled around again, Pure Amore was in its planning stages, and the story fit perfectly for Pelican Ventures’ new imprint. Through God’s grace, I continued writing Just One Kiss and it became the story it is today. I’m so glad God has other plans; His ways are always the best!

Yes, they are. Please give us the first page of the book.
            “Dustin McKinley sent me an eviction notice.” Molly scanned the papers again, hoping she’d misunderstood. “He can’t really kick me out in thirty days can he?”

            Ethel Mae Winslow’s gaze held steady. “Upon his grandmother’s passing, Mr. McKinley became the proper owner of your residence. He has the right to do with it as he wishes.”

            Molly gaped at the woman sitting behind the mahogany desk. With her salt-and-pepper hair wound into a bun at the nape of her skinny neck, and reading glasses perched on the end of her nose, Granbury’s only attorney resembled the old maid in a deck of playing cards.

            Although Molly didn’t like Mrs. Winslow’s answer, she reminded herself to be civil. “There must be some sort of misunderstanding. Dorothy promised I could stay in the apartment as long as I wanted. And, I still want to live there.”

            “Do you have this promise in writing?”

            “Well…no.”

            “And Mr. McKinley is supposed to take your word on this? Surely you can understand he can’t just—”

            “What? Believe I’m telling the truth? What was I supposed to do? Pull out a pen and demand she write her wishes on paper?”

            “Considering there’s nothing of this agreement recorded within Mrs. McKinley’s will, yes it would’ve been helpful.”
           
How can readers find you on the Internet?

Information about me and my books can be found at www.wendydavy.com and www.pelicanbookgroup.com. I love to hear from my readers and can be contacted at wendy@wendydavy.com

Thank you, Wendy, for sharing this new book with us today.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. 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:

Monday, October 20, 2014

THE YULETIDE ANGEL - Sandra Ardoin - One Free Ebook

BIO: Sandra Ardoin is a multi-published author of short fiction who writes inspirational historical romance. Her Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel, releases October 2014. She’s the married mother of a young adult and lives in North Carolina.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
My mother told me I was boring, so … I guess if there’s anything of me, it’s my belief system and how I see the world. I’m not sure I can create protagonists that see things in a different way—spiritually, etc. But I can relate well to the shyness of my heroine in The Yuletide Angel.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
The quirkiest thing I’ve ever done is probably not something I should speak about in public. J

One thing that was out of character for me happened when I visited my parents who lived on Florida’s intercoastal. Hurricane Elena struck in 1985, and we evacuated to my brother’s apartment to worry for three days over the damage done to the house. After they gave the all-clear to return to the neighborhood, we sat for hours in traffic. Once we were within a few blocks of the house, my mom broke free of the vehicle, impatient to find out if their home still stood. I yelled for her to come back. She didn’t. What could I do? Someone had to be there when the National Guard tossed her in the pokey for dodging their check point. I took off after her with an eye out for pursuing soldiers pointing guns. I’m happy to say we made it, and the house was fine. But for this law-abiding citizen, it was an adventure.

Now I and my readers are wondering about that quirkiest thing that shouldn’t be talked about I public. J When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In 1986, I made my first sale. My poster quote was purchased by Argus. It said, “Christ is the third partner in a perfect marriage.” It was all up hill after that.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
When I was in third grade, I devoured the Little House books. In high school, I developed a love for anything by Mary Roberts Rinehart, Agatha Christie, and Phyllis Whitney. Rebecca is still my favorite classic, but I also enjoyed Jane Eyre and anything by Jane Austen. For years, gothic romance/mystery/romantic suspense was my reading mainstay—the authors above, plus Mary Higgins Clark, Elizabeth Peters, Tony Hillerman. Then I started reading more historicals, which is the direction the Lord has given me in my writing. But I still love mystery/suspense and prefer my historicals with at least a thread of such.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
First, lists! If I write out my tasks and mark them off as I do them, I see my progress and don’t worry as much about forgetting to do something important.

Second, I try to stay on top of things. I try not to procrastinate. It gets on my nerves.

Third, I relax at night. After supper and the dishes are done, I try to chill out watching TV or reading.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
They need to fit the time period. I have an aversion to reading obvious contemporary names in a 19th century-set novel. However, I’ve learned that some names we might consider contemporary are not so much. One source I’ll use is www.galbithink.org/names/us200.htm to find names.

I kept my baby name book to use for first names. I’ll use the phone book, or lists by country, for last names. Mark McCutcheon’s Building Believable Characters has a great list toward the back of the book. And it depends upon the setting. So many places in North Carolina (and Texas, for that matter) were settled by Germans and Scotch-Irish. Last names can reflect that.

I love to dig through past documents for names—for instance, marriage records. I came up with some wonderful ones in a Texas marriage document from the mid-1800s. There were names like Reason, Green, Valentine (all men), Sophronia, Easter, Delaney (all women). Now, Delaney is one that sounds more contemporary, doesn’t it?

Last, but not least, they have to fit my idea of the appearance and personality of the character. Violet Madison, my heroine in The Yuletide Angel, is very shy, which brought to mind “Shrinking Violet.”

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Violet learns that we have to be careful of the “pride” thing, so let’s say that I’m thrilled each time my writing finds a home, but I try to keep it in perspective.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A quarter horse. I love horses—always have, always will.

What is your favorite food?
Mexican. I miss Tex-Mex, but I’ve gotten accustomed to the white-cheese queso served in North Carolina restaurants.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Frankly, it’s something I’m still working on—wordiness, or not writing tight. Why say something in three words when I can say it in six?

Tell us about the featured book.
The Yuletide Angel is a Christmas novella set in 1890.

Here’s the summary:
It's Christmastime in 1890s Meadowmead, and someone is venturing out at night to leave packages at the homes of the needy. Dubbed The Yuletide Angel, no one knows the identity of this mysterious benefactor.

No one, except Hugh Barnes, a confirmed bachelor who finds himself drawn to the outwardly shy but inwardly bold Violet Madison, a young woman who risks her safety to help others.

When Violet confesses her fear of eviction from her childhood home, Hugh longs to rescue her. His good intentions are thwarted, however, when Hugh's estranged brother shows up in town ... and in Violet's company.

But Violet faces an even bigger threat. A phantom figure lurks in the shadows, prepared to clip the wings of The Yuletide Angel.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Hugh Barnes hid behind the winter skeleton of an oak tree near the rundown house on Kelsey Street and watched a shadowy figure creep up the porch steps. By the dull beam of the cloud-covered moon, he distinguished more movement than features. He needed no light to discern who skulked outside the widow’s clapboard house. According to local accounts, he was witnessing a visit by The Yuletide Angel.

After opening the front door and leaving a flour sack bulging with good will, the angel tiptoed away. At the road, she turned and swept back toward town, her dark skirts swaying with her quick, bold steps.

Hugh blew a warm breath on his cold hands and stepped out from behind the tree. He kept his distance, but made certain the town’s Christmas-season Samaritan remained in sight as she delivered food to someone else in need. He frowned as the crisp, December air bit his face. A bout of insomnia had led him to his bedroom window in time to see her leave her home well after midnight. Curiosity caused him to follow.

Violet Madison, his shy neighbor, was The Yuletide Angel. He could scarcely take it in.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit me at www.sandraardoin.com and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

The Yuletide Angel, is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Thank you, Sandra, for sharing this new Christmas book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Yuletide Angel

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. 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

Friday, October 17, 2014

FAREWELL FOR A WHILE - Sharon A Lavy - On Free Book, Ebook or Print

I was blessed to read this book for endorsement. Here’s what I said: Just knowing Sharon A. Lavy has helped me learn about German Baptists. This book takes the reader deeper into the beliefs of this church. A good romance, a taste of suspense, and amateur sleuths round out the picture. They kept me turning pages until the end of the book. You won't want to miss this one.
--Lena Nelson Dooley, multi-award-winning author of the McKenna's Daughters Series--Maggie's Journey, Mary's Blessing, and Catherine's Pursuit

Welcome back, Sharon. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
The time is short and most Christian writers want to be a part of the movement to make the world around us aware that Jesus loves them and that He died for them. Billy Graham is the most famous Evangelist alive in our day. And all of his teams encourage each person—who confesses his or her need of a savior—to find a local church to bond and grow with. A group to be accountable to on the Christian journey.

I believe the most important relationship is the one we can have with our Lord Jesus Christ. In my stories, I learn and relearn this principle right along with my characters.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I find each day is a new adventure. And I wonder…What does the Lord want to teach me today?

How has being published changed your life?
As an introvert I am more comfortable staying in the background. I am more at ease one on one rather than in a crowd. And even then it is easier to share objects or things, than it is to share the deep things of my heart.

But with the feedback from readers telling me that my stories have touched their lives, I realize God wants me to be willing to come out of my shell and share what He is teaching me.

What are you reading right now?
I like to read books that make me stop and think. I just finished reading Escape from the World Trade Center by Leslie Haskin. It brought back memories of feeling my life was frivolous. To paraphrase James 4:14: Life is a vapor…here for a while before it vanishes away.

What is your current work in progress?
Forgiving the Unforgivable. When the novel Deadly Secret ended, one reader complained that I hadn’t printed an epilogue telling what happened next…Did Danni and Pete actually get together…or what.

A bit of the mystery thread that began in Deadly Secret snuck into Farewell for A While and now it is time to clear things up once and for all in Forgiving the Unforgivable. At least, that is the plans.

I can already see God working on Pete in the beginning scenes of Forgiving the Unforgivable and I am excited to discover what He is trying to teach me through Pete’s experiences in this story.

What would be your dream vacation?
A short trip anywhere with my husband. Preferably in our small plane and with great weather.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
The settings are parts of actual places I have been, and modified for the benefit of story.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love to work with graphics. I use both Corel Draw 6 and Photoshop Elements 12 to create.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Concentrating on the subject.

Sharon, thank you sharing this new book with me and my readers.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Farewell For A While

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. 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, October 16, 2014

THE SEA HOUSE - Elisabeth Gifford - One Free Book

Dear Readers, this book is from a company that isn’t a Christian publishing company, so I wanted to read it before I put it up on the blog. The author lives in a suburb of London, England. Here’s my review of the book.

I love Elizabeth Gifford’s writing. It’s often lyrical and intense. The characters really came alive to me on the page, and her setting took me to the islands off of Scotland. I’d never read any novel set here, and I loved learning about them.

The novel is actually two stories woven together—one from the mid 1800s, the other from the late 1900s. The way they came together gave me an even greater understanding of life on those islands. And other historical events revealed where some of the folk tales came from. And some of them were from Norway, and I'm one-fourth Norwegian.

At times, I wished I had a better understanding of some Scottish words, but taken in context, I understood what she meant. The contemporary story deals with post traumatic stress syndrome, and in one of the scenes, a word was used twice that I really don’t like in the books I read. However, they fit the circumstances. I just wanted to alert you to the fact that they are there.

Welcome, Elisabeth. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
There’s almost always a bit of myself in all of the characters. I can’t write a character unless I can empathize with them and try and walk in their shoes for a while. I don’t, of course, always share their logic and views but drama comes from the way characters see things and the choices that they make, often initially shooting themselves in the foot before seeing – or not seeing – that there might be another way to do things. You also use what you know to make new and imagined characters, and it feels a bit like making patchwork quilts, constructed from snippets of things you recall in yourself and others, but sewn together to make a new pattern and a new creation. If I don’t feel a sort of love or sorrow for a character as I write, and especially when I really know them, then it’s not a good sign. However, if you get too autobiographical, it makes it difficult to let the story breathe and things can go flat for the reader.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
It’s not very quirky, but an impulse decision set off the chain of events that led to The Sea House. While visiting Scotland, St Andrews, I saw an ad for a tiny white cottage on a remote Scottish island and was so entranced by it that within a few days we were there - after a long drive and ferry trip. It was in the middle of nowhere, on the edge of the sea, with only a wheelbarrow to get the luggage to the cottage across the turf field. It was like traveling back in time to an almost lost Gaelic lifestyle. We explored the island, made friends with people who lived there, and heard the story of the seal people. That was where The Sea House began, writing the first pages upstairs in the cottage in Harris.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In primary school, the class was allowed an afternoon to do the thing they really wanted to do – in a school setting - and I chose writing. It was a natural extension from reading stories all the time; I began telling my own stories.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read everything and anything. I love page-turners and thrillers, and also romances. I studied French and loved reading my way through most of the great French novels such as Madame Bovary. Anything with beautiful writing such as Home by Marilynne Robinson or books by Marquez, I read slowly, enjoying every word.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I try and have a time of quiet at some point in the day – or week - where I remember what really matters and what my purpose is. Knowing why you do things is both energizing and gives you permission to stop and not work towards burnout. I also try to get out and walk in Richmond Park nearby or along the Thames.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
They come out of the air sometimes, but I do assess if that name will reflect their personality and history in some way. You don’t want a name to stick out or jar the reader. I look at period names if a book is set in the past.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My three kids, and not because of anything I have done but because of who they are. A little loving neglect, it turns out, is an old fashioned parenting skill that is very healthy. Children need love and care, yes, but they also need the space to think for themselves, be creative, and find out who they are. They always surprise me and make me very proud.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A seal. Having written a book based on the legend of the seal people and watched films of seals under water, I’d love to experience the way they swim as if they are flying through air.

What is your favorite food?
I prefer chocolate but fish oils are essential for my diet as I have immune issues and this really makes a big difference in keeping down symptoms. It’s also really important for the brain and especially for a child’s brain. So for writing purposes I keep the alcohol off the menu as I have no tolerance and I actually can’t think and drink, but fish oil is really helpful. Beginning to wonder if there is some seal in my background in fact!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I was a working mum, but as the children grew up, I began taking writing classes for fun and loved it so much I kept going. By the time the kids left for university, I found I had enough for almost two novels. I also had to give myself permission to write! Now I think that everyone writes in a unique way, just like everyone has a unique face, with stories that only you can tell. If my writing feels stale, I read a good book and get inspired by the way it’s written.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Sea House is based on a real letter to The Times newspaper reporting a mermaid sighting by a Scottish schoolmaster in 1809. There were lots of mermaid sightings in Scotland 200 years ago, and also some very old stories about seal people or Selkies. I was amazed to find from Gaelic historian John MacAulay that some very real events lay behind these stories, which were in fact a form of oral history about a lost tribe of Sea Sami from Norway. I also fell in love with the wild and remote beauty of Harris, where the church services are often held in Gaelic. It’s a really intense experience to hear the congregation singing psalms in Gaelic. The old mansion there in Scarista became the focus of the story, and I pictured a young couple coming to restore it from its past dereliction, making a disturbing discovery as they did. The island’s villagers were shipped to Canada during the clearances just over a hundred years ago and the voice of a girl from that time, Moira, also entered the story. Cross and feisty, red haired Moira became my favourite character in the end!

Yes, I loved Moira. Please give us the first page of the book.
Prologue
My grandmother’s grandmother was a seal woman. She cast off her sealskin, fell in love with a fisherman, had his child, and then she left them. Sooner or later, seal people always go back to the sea.

At least, that’s the story that Mum used to tell me.
‘But is it true?’ I wanted to know.
‘It’s as true as you and me, Ruthie,’ she said. ‘There’re plenty of people up in the islands that come from the seal people.’
And later, I used to think, of course, that’s what must have happened. That’s why she left me. She couldn’t resist going back to the water, because she was a Selkie.
 
For a long time, I liked to think that. Because it meant she might come back one day, and then I could go home.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is www.elisabethgifford.com and Facebook page is Elisabeth Gifford Author. I’m also on Pinterest as Liz Gifford where you can find photos of Harris and the Hebrides on my Secrets of The Sea House board.

Don't miss The Sea House, a stunning fiction debut from the UK. Set in a house on the windswept coast of the Outer Hebrides, Elisabeth Gifford's haunting tale effortlessly bridges a gap of more than a century. Adeptly interweaving two tales involving residents of the titular house, Gifford sets up an absorbing mystery revolving around local lore and myths about mermaids, selkies, and sealmen. Stretching seamlessly back and forth through time, layers upon layers of secrets are slowly and effectively peeled away in this evocative debut (Booklist).

Celebrate with Elisabeth by entering her Kindle giveaway!
E.Gifford, The Sea House Giveaway

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. Winner will be announced October 20th at Elisabeth's Blog.
seahouse-enterbanner

Watch the trailer:


Thank you, Elisabeth, for sharing these two stories with us. I found them interesting.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Sea House: A Novel - Amazon
The Sea House: A Novel - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. 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