Monday, January 23, 2017

EDEN - Keith Korman - One Free book, Plus More

Welcome, Keith. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally? 
DH Lawrence had a great line, “Never trust the teller, trust the tale. The proper function of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.”

For me the line is, “Trust the tale not the teller.” Meaning if there’s any value to the work it’s because it exists inside the writing, not in the life-story of the author. Writer’s lives are a footnote to their writing, but people always want to see behind the curtain.

Invariably, you only find a little man pulling levers and shouting into a microphone, “I am the Great and Powerful Oz, pay no attention to that man—”

But for what it’s worth, I was a 1970s kid, did everything wrong at least twice, and three or four times for the crazy stuff I invented myself. Did this help me make Eden?  I’ve tried to learn from my mistakes.  First, Do No Harm . . . The strangest thing about growing up in the late ’60s and ’70s was that no one imagined adulthood. Duty, responsibility, mercy, and turning a frown upside down. Invisible when you’re young, and harder than it looks when you’re older. 

Tell us about your family. 
Dysfunctional family of the WWII generation: a cross between Everybody Loves Raymond, The Front Page, and the Thurber story, The Night the Bed Fell on my Father. If you’ve ever seen Albert Finney in Tom Jones—that was me, as a teenager . . . we are obliged to bring our Hero on the Stage in a much more disadvantageous Manner than we could wish; and to declare . . .  that it was the universal Opinion of all Mr. Allworthy's Family, that he was certainly born to be hanged.

Have you written other fiction books
Six novels.  Two spy thrillers, Swan Div and Banquo’s Ghosts (with Rich Lowry); a version of Midsummer Night’s Dream set in the dustbowl, Archangel; a romance based on the true story of Jung and his first important patient, Sabina Speilrein, Secret Dreams; a God-fearing sci-fi thriller based on the idea that the Pied Piper of Hamlin comes back to life in modern USA, End Times; and of course, Eden.

Do you have any other books in the works right now? 
A thriller out of Bosnia via France and Aspen.  A show biz novel based on my personal experience in the game.

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
Practiced Shotokan for 30 years with a Japanese Sensei; a deep feature of character building.  When I have time, I hunt and ski, but mostly I like snuggling in the bed with my wife and the dogs.

Why did you write the featured book?
Well, they don’t call it the greatest story ever told, for nothing! I’ve always admired Animal Farm and Charlotte’s Web and of course, The Wind in the Willows – getting my animals to talk and think was more fun than I can possibly explain. You can say and see a lot of things through dogs and donkeys and lambs you can’t say or see using people.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
The Almighty is good, and so are the animals, his creations who march with us through this world. Anyone can be redeemed.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book? 
Pick it up, start on the first page, read first line, if you get to the second line, go to the third . . .

Please give us the first page or two from the book.         
“There is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish a single candle flame.”
Saint Francis of Assisi                                  

The Legion
The Roman Legionaries called the dog Old Gray. During the day his ashen fur made him look like a wolf, while at night the moon turned his coat silver from head to tail. Season after season Old Gray kept pace with the soldiers’ column, trotting beside their tramping feet. No one knew where he came from, but as long as anyone could recall the dog marched with the cohort, camp to camp. Out of companionship? Or for the scraps of Roman bread and soup at day’s end? 
Maybe both.

When winter came and the weather grew cold Old Gray took shelter in their tents. In the heat of summer he lay on a folded cloak under the starry sky. Like all dogs he slept lightly, his ears and nose alert to any strange movement near at hand. And so Old Gray earned his keep, guarding the soldiers of the Legion.
 
That winter the Roman army marched south many miles through endless barren hills and Old Gray kept pace, trotting mile after mile. Oftentimes he scouted ahead, then doubling back, only to overhear the cavalry horses who grumbled at every turn of the road.

For weeks on end the war horses whinnied the same complaint:
“No grass. No grass.”

Then grimly to anyone within earshot:
 “Bare ground. Everywhere bare ground.”

The column’s surly mule, harnessed to the hay wagon laden with the Legions’ grub and the animals’ daily feed, grumbled along with the rest, “I have grass. Bales and bales of grass. They’ll feed you tonight, like they do every night. Be thankful you don’t have to pull it.”

It was a soldier’s right to gripe. Mules and horses no exception. Old Gray took it in stride. Mules and horses could only graze if there was grass, while smart old dogs combed the roadside for birds’ eggs and every creature of the field. But Old Gray didn’t feel too sorry for the mules or horses; the soldiers always fed the beasts of burden first as the cohort wouldn’t move without the draft animals lugging food and water and the officers never traveled on foot.

Every day, the barren road into the south stretched to oblivion. The column plodding on forever, a great serpent of men fading into the cloud of yellow dust that hovered over their line of march. The hills of this wilderness were mostly barren, but then they came upon flocks. Old Gray saw shepherds, their sheep straying for tufts and brambles in the rocky pastures above the road. At dusk Old Gray crept up the slope and found what he was looking for—a ewe and her lamb astray.

At first the shepherd tried to strike the thieving dog with his crook crying, “Get away!  Get away!” But Old Gray darted off, herding the ewe and her lamb down the slope as the man stumbled in pursuit. Back in camp Old Gray was praised by all who saw him and the clink of Roman coins quieted the shepherd’s protest. Anything to shut him up.

Old Gray had heard it all before.

Where on the Internet can the readers find you?

Return to the story of Jesus and read it from a new perspective in Keith Korman's Eden: The Animals' Parable. In this beautifully inspired retelling of the Gospels, we see Jesus and his disciples in the Holy Land through the eyes of the animals-especially his intrepid and loyal dog, Eden. Simple, clear, and spiritually profound, Eden is for readers of all ages, this artful retelling is captivating, moving, and alive with the joy you felt the first time you opened the Bible.

Settle in for some winter reading and enter to win a copy of Keith's book and a Kindle Fire!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Eden
  • A Kindle Fire
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on January 24. The winner will be announced January 25 on Keith's blog.


Readers, 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 or country if outside North America. (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, January 22, 2017

WINNERS!!!!!

Colletta (PA) is the winner of Tomance Grows in Arcadia Valley (Sow In Love) by Valerie Comer.

Kristen (OK) is the winner of The Joyful Jellyfish by Jamie Bryant.

Adriene and Adrianna (MO) is the winner of Through Eyes of Hope by Lacey Buchanan.

Abigail (VA) is the winner of Chasing Freedom by H L Wegley.

Vicki (SD) is the winner of The Amish Wanderer by Laura V Hilton.

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, January 20, 2017

MARK OF THE KING - Jocelyn Green - One Free Book, Plus More

BIO: Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013, and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Jocelyn lives with her husband and two children in Iowa.

Welcome back, Jocelyn, Tell us about your salvation experience.
I was only four years old but I remember it clearly. It was a simple, ordinary day. My mom was sorting laundry and my seven-year-old brother and I were hanging around, chatting as she did so. I made some comment about how I knew so many Bible stories, I thought I must know it all. Perfect segue for my mom to tell me it was more important to know God, than to know about Him. She and my brother tag-teamed in explaining that I needed to invite Jesus to be my Savior, and that knowing every story was not enough for me to have a relationship with Christ. It was my brother who led me in prayer as I received Christ as my Savior that day. As it happens, I was his first “convert”—he went on to become a missionary for many years, and is now a pastor. J

What a beautiful experience! You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
What a tough question! I know so many, but I’ll go with: Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, J.M. Hochstetler, and Jody Hedlund, because they have all written stories set in the same century as the one I’m working on right now (eighteenth-century) and it would be so nice to just ask one of them some random detail question about clothing or culture or food or etymology, rather than poring over stacks of research books to find the needle in the haystack answer.

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I do speak to a variety of audiences, because I’ve written both nonfiction and fiction. I speak to military audiences, writers or aspiring writers, libraries, church or civic groups, women’s groups, and book clubs. For a list of popular topics, visit http://www.jocelyngreen.com/speaking.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
One of the very few times I worked out in the fitness center at college, I quickly became bored while speed-walking on the treadmill. It faced the stair-steppers, and looking straight ahead at them seemed awkward to me. So I closed my eyes to imagine I was actually walking through a beautiful forest. In short order, I stepped halfway off the treadmill, and totally wiped out, but in a sort of slow motion. I wasn’t even running. I was just walking, and I fell off, with all the stair-steppers watching. Everyone asked if I was OK, and I assured them I was. Then with beet red face I climbed back on and kept on walking. This time I kept my eyes open. I was laughing pretty hard because my roommate was three treadmills down from me, and she was laughing hysterically. It didn’t look like we had come together, it just looked like she was really mean. I got such a kick out of that.

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 they are just telling me they’d like to write a book someday, I just say something like, “That’s great! Good for you.” But if they ask me for advice, I usually tell them to read voraciously, study the craft, and attend as many quality writers’ conferences as they can. If they seem like they want more advice, I tell them to visit my Web site and click the tab “On Writing” at the top of the page where I give my best advice for aspiring writers.

Tell us about the featured book.
After the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded, marking her as a criminal beyond redemption. Hoping to reunite with her brother, a soldier, she trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. The price of her transport, however, is a forced marriage to a fellow convict.

New Orleans is nothing like Julianne expects. The settlement is steeped in mud and mosquitoes, and there is no news of her brother, Benjamin. When tragedy strikes, she turns to military officer Marc-Paul Girard for help, but does he know more about her brother than he will admit?

With her dreams shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous land, where only grace--and love--can overcome the stigma of the king's mark upon her shoulder.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Paris, France
May 1719
“You shouldn’t be here.” With gentle authority, Julianne Chevalier ushered a man twice her age to the doorway of his young wife’s lying-in chamber.

“You have what you need?” Toulouse Mercier looked over Julianne’s head, toward Marguerite. “My first wife died in childbirth. I cannot lose Marguerite too. Or the baby.” He gripped Julianne’s arm, pulling her close enough to smell the pomade on his wig and to see the powder dusting the shoulders of his black robe. “Marguerite lost the last baby. The last midwife did not bleed Marguerite, and so we lost the baby before it was fully formed. Please.”

Gritting her teeth, Julianne peeled Toulouse’s fingers from her arm and gave them a reassuring squeeze before releasing them. “Oui, monsieur, we have bled her monthly as required, and today of all days will be no different. Now, am I to attend any further questions, or shall I attend your wife instead?”

His watery blue eyes snapped as if woken from a trance. “I am away. If you require the surgeon, I’ll fetch him posthaste.”

“I’ll notify you at once should such a measure become necessary.” With a firm nod, Julianne watched Toulouse bow out of the room and closed the door. As she unpinned her lace cap from the curls that crowned her head, she swept to Marguerite’s bed, where Adelaide Le Brun already stood watch. Julianne had completed her three-year apprenticeship under Adelaide months ago, but Toulouse insisted on having the seasoned midwife present for the birth.

“You will help me?” Marguerite’s voice quaked as she reached for Julianne’s hand.

“With all that I am.” Julianne smiled as she unpacked her supplies and tied her birthing apron over her skirt, pinning the bib to her bodice.

“I’m so afraid.” Marguerite’s lips trembled. At sixteen years, she was nine years Julianne’s junior, and dangerously slight of frame.

“We have taken every precaution.” Her fingernails trimmed short, round, and smooth, Julianne gently probed Marguerite’s belly through the thin sheet covering her. “Today will be no different.” Throughout the pregnancy, Julianne had gathered this sparrow of a girl under her wing, providing linseed oils to help her skin’s elasticity, wraps to support the weight of the child, and advice on what to expect.

Adelaide stood by Marguerite’s head, speaking encouragement to her in low, practiced tones. With greased fingers, Julianne reached under the linen, and with her eyes still on Marguerite’s face, skirted the neck of the womb. It was still small and unwilling.

How can readers find you on the Internet?


Love HistoricalFiction? Enter to win one of FIVE copies of Jocelyn Green's new book! http://bit.ly/2ixOA8U

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Mark of the King - Christianbook.com
The Mark of the King - Amazon
The Mark of the King - 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 or country if outside North America. (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:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

SECOND CHANCE LOVE - Pamela S Meyers - One Book Giveaway

Bio: A native of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, author Pamela S. Meyers lives in suburban Chicago with her two rescue cats. Her novels include Thyme for Love and her historical romance, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Her novella. What Lies Ahead, is part of a novella collection, The Bucket List Dare, which is now available at Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. Second Chance Love from Bling!, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, releases in January 2017. When she isn’t at her laptop writing her latest novel, she can often be found nosing around Wisconsin and other Midwestern spots for new story ideas.

Welcome back, Pamela. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
My characters often struggle with the lie that they are not good enough—not good enough for God or people they care about. Their spiritual arc involves them coming to that moment when they realize that God loves them unconditionally and because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross they are seen as righteous if they surrender to Him. Another theme I sometimes write about is trust and being able to entrust everything to the Lord. That is the issue my heroine, Sydney, in Second Chance Love grapples with. She has been a believer for a long time, but after suffering several abandonments she begins to think she can’t trust God to keep her from getting hurt again.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
A Indie novella collection I am in came out last October. The Bucket List Dare involves four women who wrote bucket lists their senior year at Texas A and M. Now when they are all about to turn 30, one of them challenges the others to pick the most daring item on their list and do it by their 30th birthday. I’m in another Indie novella collection set to come out this coming spring. It’s theme is tiny houses, but I don’t have the details on that as yet. And, last but not least, I’m working on a sequel to Second Chance Love.

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I think spending an evening with President-Elect Donald Trump would be very interesting. We all think we know him (maybe), but do we? What is he really like when he’s behind closed doors with his family. There have been conflicting reports about his spiritual beliefs, and I’d like to find out for myself exactly where he is with that.

What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
My pastor often quotes for spiritual giants of the past like Charles Spurgeon, and I would love to meet him and pick his brain about all there is about the Bible.

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers? Remember that the publishing industry today looks nothing like it looks five years ago or ten years ago. The down side is that traditional publishers have cut back on their Christian fiction lines or stopped them altogether, leaving less available slots for new writers. With so few slots, publishers tend to contract multi-published authors more than going with an unknown. But, at the same time, opportunities are out there at the smaller presses, and if a writer has the ability to write good solid fiction and break in that way, they can gain the attention of the larger houses. Just be sure to research the small houses thoroughly. Most are on the up and up, but there are some that are not.
Another way to break in is to self-publish (Indie publishing). It costs you up front as you have to pay for a good edit, cover design, formatting and the like. However, there is no other middle man involved and the royalties can be quite good if you are successful. Just don’t try to trim corners. You want to put out a quality product that equals that of the traditional publishers.

Tell us about the featured book.
Chicago lawyer Sydney Knight and Texas bull rider Jace McGowan have nothing in common but everything to lose when they are thrust together during a weekend rodeo in rural Illinois. Neither one of them would have imagined two years ago that the deep attraction they sensed during a day-long outing would resurface when Sydney’s boss assigns her to Jace’s legal case.

Sydney has been through a world of hurt since losing her dad when she was sixteen, then being dumped the morning of her wedding. She’s sworn off romance and instead devotes her time toward a partnership in her father’s law office.

Jace has found faith in God and wants out of his sponsor contract with a risqué restaurant chain that requires him to pose with scantily-clad women. He’s about to bail on the contract and pay steep penalties—something he can ill afford, given that his deceased father left the family with unpaid taxes.

Sydney is determined she’ll get Jace out of his contract and return to Chicago with her heart intact, but Jace is just as determined to help her see they are meant to be together. Can a city girl with roots deep in Chicago and a bull-riding rancher with roots deep in Texas give themselves a second-chance love?

I am eager to read this one. Please give us the first page of the book.
“I need you to knock some sense into my nephew’s head.”

Sydney Knight stared across the wide oak desk at Harry Brownlee’s intense gaze. The same gaze he used quite effectively in the courtroom. As far as she knew, Harry had but one nephew. One charismatic, deep-dimpled cowboy who’d sent her heart racing two years ago. She’d finally gotten Jace McGowan out of her system, and she intended to keep him there. Maybe Harry only meant it figuratively. She swallowed and smoothed her clammy palms over her pencil skirt. “I don’t understand.”

Harry leaned back in his leather chair and stroked his impeccably trimmed beard. “You met Jace, the bull rider, a couple years ago when you did me a favor by showing him the town when I needed to be in court.” He shook his head. “The guy has a college degree and does a great job riding rank bulls, but he lacks common sense.”

How had Jace become the main topic of their Monday morning meeting? What about the discovery she’d been working on for the Landers case? She focused through the large window wall behind Harry. Lake Michigan, blue and serene, sparkled in the late summer sun.

Okay … okay. Give me more. How can readers find you on the Internet? 
Second Chance Love is Available on Amazon in both print and Kindle editions at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946016047

My other links are:
             www.facebook.com/PamelaSMeyersAuthor/
Twitter: pamelameyers

Thank you, Pamela, for sharing this book with us. I know my blog readers will be as eager as I am to read it. By the way, I love your cover.

Readers, 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 or country if outside North America. (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:

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

SPRING RAINE - Delia Latham - A Book Giveaway

Welcome back, Delia. Tell us about your salvation experience.
What a precious memory! I was seven years old. My father’s brother pastored a church in our neighborhood, and my parents had been attending that church for about a year when I asked to be baptized. My parents agreed, and my pastor-uncle baptized me in the precious name of Jesus. I still remember how my heart beat a timpani rhythm while he placed my hands over my nose and mouth, and spoke the familiar words I’d heard him say before other baptismal ceremonies. He dipped me all the way under the water, and I came up speaking in another tongue. It was the most amazing, unforgettable experience of my life!

My salvation experience was when I was 7 years old, too. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
  • Mac Lucado. No one says anything more beautifully and more “to the heart” than this man. How does he do it? I’d love to hear, from the man himself, about his writing journey, and how he comes up with such amazing, heart-stirring, life-changing turns of phrase.
  • Beth Moore. She’s amazing, both as a writer and a speaker. I’d love to learn a little about both from her, in a relaxed setting like a private retreat.
  • Stephen King. Surprising, I know, but he’s a successful, riveting author who’s scrabbled his way from the bottom to the top. A lot of hard-earned writing wisdom is stowed away in that admittedly dark brain. I’d love to shine a light on it and take away a bunch of gold nuggets.
  • Debora Coty. Someone needs to be there to make us laugh, and besides…Deb’s a really good writer.
  • Tanya Stowe. I can’t imagine planning a writing retreat without including my critique partner, co-author and friend, from whom I’ve learned so much on the craft of writing.

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I don’t speak often, and I wouldn’t consider it a ministry, per se. Most of my speaking gigs are writing-related. Occasionally I do share a spiritual topic with a church group, and again, I do find a great deal of satisfaction in doing so, but my real ministry is in writing.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
Hmmm….I can’t really think of anything, so I must not have yet experienced a truly embarrassing writing-related moment. Well, there was the time I sent a very private message to the entire Pelican Book Group author loop…but that was more horrifying than embarrassing. I learned a valuable lesson that day, though. I’m much better now about double-checking my recipient list before hitting send on an email!

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?
I always say, “There’s no time like the present. Start writing.”

Tell us about the featured book.
Spring Raine is the first novel in a 4-book series called Paradise Pines. The series takes place in Cambria—a charming, seaside village on California’s Central Coast. My husband and I have a friend who has generously shared her Cambria home with us on numerous occasions, and we’ve come to love this little town, and the surrounding area. For a romance writer, Cambria holds so many possibilities for creativity. And I have to admit, writing while sitting in our friend’s living room, with the window open to the sound of the ocean…well, there’s nothing else like it! I simply had to build a series around this much-loved getaway location.

Here’s a blurb from Spring Raine:
An uncharacteristic, last-minute decision to do something “wild and crazy” before entering the stressful world of forensic science sends Raine Presley to Cambria, California. Against a cloud of disapproval from her slightly manipulative, over-protective parents, she signs a seasonal lease at the beautiful Paradise Pines Lodge...and winds up over her head in life and love.

Declan Keller’s just minding his own business—literally—when Raine drops into his world and turns it upside down. He’s far too busy carving beautiful shapes out of chunks of wood to be babysitting a gal from Pasadena. Even so, his father’s promise to an old friend obligates him, despite a looming deadline that could make or break his career in the art world. He’s praying for anything but Raine when she comes along.

Neither Declan nor Raine is prepared for the seemingly divine influence of Paradise Pines—and Miss Angelina Love. A mysterious lady who may or may not own the lodge, Miss Angie possesses an amazing talent for mending ruffled feathers, spouting proverbs, and somehow bending even the most determined of hearts to the power of love.

Please give us the first page of the book.
For a moment she couldn’t breathe, and then the barest whisper passed her lips—half spontaneous praise, half simple awe. “Oh my…I’ve found Paradise!” From within her sporty little red convertible, Raine Presley peered through a misty early March drizzle at the most beautiful piece of land she’d ever seen. Paradise Pines Lodge. Her home for the next few months.

Aside from the forest of tall Cambria pines, which she had expected to see, the grounds boasted a huge number of beautiful old sycamore trees—tall, stately, and dripping with silvery Spanish moss. Moonlight glowed through the lacy fingers of hanging flora, creating a somewhat haunting air, and a tiny shiver made its way up her spine. But not enough to make her turn and leave. The beauty far outshone the slight spookiness of moss in moonlight.

Square in the center of the surrounding forest of variegated tree species, many of which Raine found unfamiliar, the lodge itself demanded far more than a passing glance. The website had described Paradise Pines Lodge as “spacious.” Raine chuckled as she pulled her car under the east carport, as she’d been directed. Spacious was a blatant understatement. The place was huge, and yet warmth and welcome radiated from within. Lights shone from every facing window—and they were many. Two chimneys, one on each end of the lodge, sent thin plumes of smoke spiraling into the sky.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m easy to find, especially if you take these shortcuts:

Readers, 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 or country if outside North America. (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, January 17, 2017

A SICILIAN FAREWELL - MaryAnn Diorio - One Free Book

Welcome back, MaryAnn. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
Forgiveness is a theme that keeps cropping up in my stories, even though I don’t always set out to write about forgiveness. I think the reason for this is that forgiveness has played a major role in my life in the process of receiving emotional and physical healing. Throughout Scripture, forgiveness is intertwined with healing of all kinds.

I also like to write about the redemptive process, about overcoming the impossible through faith, and about the restoration of broken relationships through the power of unconditional love.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
Lord willing, I have a children’s story book coming out in late Spring of this year titled The Dandelion Patch. It is a story of standing up for what is right no matter what the odds. The book is currently being illustrated by Doina Paraschiv, a wonderful illustrator who illustrated my earlier children’s picture book, Toby Too Small.

In December 2017, Lord willing, I also plan to release Return to Bella Terra, Book 3 of The Italian Chronicles Trilogy. For 2018, Lord willing, I am planning to publish two stand-alone novels which I’ve already begun to write—An Italian Romance and In Black and White—and a book of children’s poems titled Poems for Wee Ones.

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I would spend an evening with a homeless person—man or woman—just to listen and to learn.   

My husband and I were involved with a homeless ministry for several years. Their stories are interesting and unique, not at all what you’d expect a lot of the time. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
I would like to meet Smith Wigglesworth, a British evangelist of the 19th century and a man of great faith, to learn more about faith and how it operates.

There is a large book of devotions by Smith Wigglesworth. You might like it. Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/Smith-Wigglesworth-Devotional-WIGGLESWORTH-SM/dp/0883685744/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1484682462&sr=1-3

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
Having received hundreds—if not thousands—of rejections over my writing career, I can empathize with the feelings of writers who have been receiving only rejections. I would encourage them with these gentle reminders:

1) Trust that God has a plan for your writing. Nothing we do to glorify the Lord is done in vain. If we are truly writing for King Jesus, then we don’t fret over rejections. If we have committed our works to Him—as He commands us to do in Proverbs 16: 3—then we know that He is in control of the results of our writing life. Of course, we have a part to play. But, as the Word commands, when we have done all that is in our power to do, we must then simply stand in faith and in expectation of good results (Ephesians 6: 13).

2) Be open to what God may be trying to teach you through repeated rejections. The writing process is not just about the growth of our readers; it is primarily about our own growth. Is the Lord trying to teach you patience? Trust? Dying to self in some way? I have discovered that the writing journey is, first and foremost, a spiritual journey of becoming like Jesus. This is God’s primary goal for each of His children, no matter what their occupation. God will do whatever is necessary in our lives to make us like Jesus—even allowing repeated rejections. When you get a rejection, don’t sulk. Begin praising the Lord and rejoicing in Him. This shows God that you truly trust him with your life and with your writing. Praising God also shifts the focus from you to God—which is where our focus should always be. :)

3) Stand firm on God’s promises to you. God promises that everything you put your hand to shall prosper (Deuteronomy 30: 9). One time when I was being tempted to feel especially depressed over yet another writing rejection, Holy Spirit spoke these words to me: “I wanted you to write that article for that editor only, not for the general public.” I began to weep as the Lord’s words penetrated my being with a realization of the depth of His love for one single person. I also marveled at His trusting me to convey the message of that love to that editor. So, place the results of your writing in God’s hands, and trust that He will eventually get your writing to those people whom He had destined to read what you write.

4) Sometimes rejections result simply from the fact that your writing is not what an editor, agent, or publisher is looking for. The writing itself may be excellent, but it does not fill a need of that person or publication. For this reason, make sure that you study the markets and keep abreast of editorial needs.

5) Make excellent writing your top priority. Writers usually don’t like to hear that a possible reason for rejections is mediocre writing. Often, writing is rejected simply because it is not up to par. So, make excellence your chief writing goal. Write what is in your heart—what Holy Spirit quickens you to write. Do not follow trends. Be true to the writing vision our Lord has given you. It is a vision unique to you and that only you can fulfill. Then hone your writing skills. Read outstanding writing. Then write, write, write! We learn to write by writing.

Tell us about the featured book.
A Sicilian Farewell is Book 2 in The Italian Chronicles Trilogy. It is a continuation of Book 1, The Madonna of Pisano, and chronicles the spiritual, emotional, and physical journey of Maria Landro Tonetta and her husband Luca, the heroine and hero of Book 1, as they leave their beloved Sicily to begin a new life in America. Will Maria and Luca survive the incredible challenges that come against them? Will their marriage survive? And will the call of God on their lives end up being destroyed by a major crisis that broadsides them unawares? As in my first book, the story is based on a true incident in the lives of my ancestors, although the story has been substantially changed to accommodate novelistic parameters. A Sicilian Farewell is filled with drama, intrigue, conflict, and a spiritual take-away that, I trust, will inspire readers.

Please give us the first page of the book.
            Dusk fell in Luca Tonetta’s tailor shop as he counted his meager earnings from his
past week of work. His revenue had dropped fifty percent in the last week alone. Not good. Especially since he had a wife and three young children to support.
              And two months of back rent due to his landlord, Silvestro Lamponi, the man who owned the building in which Luca’s shop was located.
              At this rate, Luca would soon be bankrupt if he didn’t do something fast. Besides, Silvestro was none too happy and had made it clear that, if Luca did not pay up, he’d be evicted.
              Luca’s stomach tightened as he returned the few coins to the leather pouch in which he kept his earnings. Prospects for a financial turn-around here in Pisano were few and far between. With Italy’s recent devastating defeat at the hands of Ethiopia in the Battle of Adwa, Sicily had felt the blow more than the mainland. No wonder so many were leaving the island for better opportunities elsewhere. The newspaper headlines that very morning had warned of an imminent economic collapse and reported a mass exodus of men from the island.
              Luca rubbed his face. What would the mass exodus mean for his business? Already, the clothes racks of his tailor shop, usually full of finished projects by the end of the day, now held only a few items, while the coffers at the end of the workday held one-fourth the revenues compared to this same date a year ago. In recent weeks, the number of customers had dwindled drastically as more and more men left Pisano—and the entire island—for better opportunities abroad. At first, it had been the lure of wealth that drew them. But now, it was the lure of survival.
              Luca raked his fingers through his hair. He had to do something fast—something that would allow no option for failure. If he failed in his role as provider and protector, he’d never be able to look himself in the mirror again. Nothing else mattered more.
              As if the economic decline were not bad enough, productivity from Bella Terra, his wife’s family farm, had dropped drastically. Last spring’s drought had nearly destroyed the entire orange and lemon crops, and their vegetable staples of green peppers, zucchini, and string beans had fallen far short of yielding their usual bounty.
              Things did not look good.
              Luca exhaled a long breath. What could he do that would assure him of financial success and, at the same time, not put his family in difficulty? Should he join those who were leaving the island, or should he make a last-ditch effort to rescue his business from a looming death?
              The latter choice seemed pretty bleak. Among the large numbers of the population leaving Sicily—and especially Pisano—were those who would have been potential customers.
              He shook his head as the weight of the decision settled in the pit of his stomach.
              He placed the leather pouch in the wooden box where he stored his weekly earnings and locked it. The thought of having to close the tailor shop he’d taken over from his late father and built to a thriving business sickened him. Made him feel like a traitor to his father.
             And a coward in the face of challenge.


How can readers find you on the Internet?
I would love to interact with readers at the following venues:

Readers, 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 or country if outside North America. (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, January 16, 2017

PENGUIN IN THE PANTRY - Jamie Bryant - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I’ve already featured a couple of Jamie Bryant’s children’s picture books on the blog. They are so colorful with fun stories that really grab preschooler’s attention. My great grandsons, aged 3 and almost 2, love the pictures and the repetition with the animals. At the same time, they’re learning concepts. I know a lot of people have electronic tablet devices for their children. Since these books come both in print and Kindle editions, they are just right for those devices.

Welcome back, Jamie. What compelled you to write a children’s book series?
When my children were young, I read to them every day. Now that I have grandchildren finding a great book that I love to read to them has proven to be challenging at times. When I did find a story or character that the children enjoyed, I would usually look for that character or author again. When I sat down to write the first book in this series, Monkey in the Mailbox, my imagination ran wild. That very night I wrote down 9 more potential titles for this series.

How does a story for children come to you?
I managed my own home childcare business for eighteen years. The children often would often say to me, “Tell us a Story, Miss Jamie.” Needless to say I had to be always ready and keep my imagination soaring to keep coming up with stories. Also when something happens and it’s funny or interesting I take note of it. One day my husband was eating a sandwich at the table with me and one of the children I was caring for. She was four years old and got extremely excited when she saw a ladybug on his sandwich. She squealed just before the ladybug became his lunch. It’s not yet, but will be a story someday. :)

What do you find most challenging in being a writer?
The necessary needed alone time to actually do the writing. Currently I am my own marketing department, so time must be allotted for this daily. Also I’m a People Person. I love being with people and talking to them and miss that. Something I’ve started doing in the last several months is scheduling Interactive Story-times with props at pre-schools and libraries, which gives me my people time.

That was a problem for me when I started writing, too. As you know, I’m also a people person. I almost drove James crazy talking so much when he got home from work. I missed adult conversation. He used to be rather quiet. Now he likes to talk, too. What makes you smile?
I smile when I sing worship music. I smile when I see children and especially when they laugh. I smile when I think of my family and all that God has blessed me with.

What’s your favorite dessert?
I really love Buttermilk Pie. Someone gave me one as a gift a few years ago and I smiled and said, “Thank you,” thinking the whole time … this is gross. Of course I had to at least try it and give a response. I’ve loved it ever since and make it often with homemade pie crust.

Wow! I never learned to make a good pie crust, so I just buy a quality frozen one. I don’t buy the ones with lard in them. And my mother-in-law introduced me to Buttermilk Pie, and I love it. What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Penguin in the Pantry finds young Denny just trying to go to the kitchen pantry and get his morning cereal. This becomes a challenge for him because each time he opens the pantry door he is met by a new animal, that only he can see. Surprisingly enough, all of the animals start with the letter P. This provides a teaching opportunity for parents. In the end….Wait! I can’t tell you that. You’ll have to read the book. :)

How can readers find you on the internet?
Twitter@readjamiebryant
Facebook@jamiebryantbooks
Instagram@jamiebryantbooks
Here are buy links for the book:

Thank you, Jamie, for sharing this book with us. It’s a wonderful gift for children and grandchildren. Teachers in preschools and libraries should have it, too.

Readers, 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 or country if outside North America. (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, January 15, 2017

WINNERS!!!!

Beth (IA) is the winner of The Poison We Drink by Carol McClain.

Donna (IL) is the winner of The Physics of Love by Donna Schlachter.

Elaine (WI) is the winner of The Saboteur by Susan Page Davis.

Susan (TX) is the winner of Somebody Somewhere in Texas by Connie Leonard.

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, January 13, 2017

THE AMISH WANDERER - Laura V Hilton - One Free Book

Bio: Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals or blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.

Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye and currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife and homeschools her two youngest children. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

Welcome back, Laura. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about? 
I don’t generally pick out spiritual themes, but a lot of them are based on trusting God even when you don’t see His hand moving. The theme of The Amish Wanderer is how you react when it seems God doesn’t hear your prayers? The two characters have different views on this.

What other books of yours are coming out soon? 
There *might* be an Indie published contemporary romance coming out with some other authors later this month, entitled Love in the Skies. My story is First Class, Wrong Flight. There also *might* be another collection with other authors releasing in April or May (these are not for sure, set in stone dates yet!) I don’t know the title of that collection, but my story is called The Kissing Bridge.  In August, I have a novella with Barbour Books in the Second Chance Brides collection called Married by Mistake. In September, Whitaker House releases another Amish Christmas story, The Christmas Challenge and in October another Amish book releases, but I don’t yet know for sure what that title will be.

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why? 
A random officer in the Coast Guard so I could ask a ton of questions. Either that or one of my favorite authors so we could talk books.

What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why? 
Mary and Martha. The main character in The Christmas Challenge is like Martha and she has some interesting questions about Martha’s attitude and how (and if) she ever learned to sit at Jesus’s feet and listen.

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?  
Oh, good question. Keep studying and learning the craft, and don’t be afraid to let your pain into the book. Often that is the key to making the characters come alive – YOU know how it feels when you are rejected, go through a life-threatening illness, a life-altering event, or whatever. Let that passion out.

Tell us about The Amish Wanderer.
Bethany Weiss has been fascinated by Silas Beiler since he spent a couple of years in Jamesport, Missouri, before he and his family moved to another Amish community. They hadn’t kept in touch, but she hasn’t forgotten the friendly young man who brought her lemonade and took her home once from a Singing years ago. When she finds a man sleeping in her family’s barn, like Jesus sleeping in the hay, she is stunned to recognize Silas. He has left the Amish and is backpacking across the country. She talks him into staying, at least until after Christmas.

Silas’s family has never been happy living in one area for long, and their vagabond ways are wearing on him. He has lived in Amish communities all over the nation, moving whenever his daed became disgruntled with the leaders, and he’s looking for some sense of stability. His intentions are to make it back to Pennsylvania and stay with his Englisch onkle and his family—and pursue an education. Will Bethany be the one to bring Silas in from the cold? Or will he continue on his way to his extended family and become Englisch?

Please give us the first page of the book. 
November
The sky is falling and I’m searching for somewhere to hide. We need someone to help, but all I see are clouds in everyone’s eyes. If my fears could only be forgotten…

If only I could get out of this town.

An unidentified sound, loud in the relative silence, jarred Bethany. Her blue pen made a squiggly line across the page in the fat little notebook where she wrote her thoughts. Maybe she should’ve found a more secluded place than the hay pile beside the loft ladder, but she rarely was disturbed. She raised her head and listened.

Nothing, except the squeak of the wood doors in the back of the barn as her younger brother, Timothy, put the cows out to pasture. The soft lowing of cows. The clucking of free-range chickens.

Hopefully, he was too busy to notice she’d left—and wouldn’t look for her.

But there it was again. From somewhere overhead. A sound that didn’t belong. A creak and a thump.

Hopefully, it wasn’t Hen. She’d hear if he were out of jail, ain’t so? A thread of fear ripped through her, unraveling the tiny bit of peace she’d been able to find.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Purchase my books:

Thank you, Laura, for sharing this book with us today. It sounds like a good read.

Readers, 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 or country if outside North America. (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: