Tuesday, January 23, 2018

PUZZLE HOUSE - Lillian Duncan - One Free Ebook

Bio: Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.
Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.
Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us.

Welcome back, Lillian. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
Most of my books are suspense and mystery but Puzzle House is a complete departure for me. In fact, I call Puzzle House the story I never wanted to write! Having said that it’s also very near and dear to my heart.

In 2012, I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors and a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 2—NF2 for short. Coincidentally, the main character, Rachel Summers, has the exact same condition.

I’m not going to go into all the gory details but I’ve changed because of my health struggles—physically but even more important spiritually. Puzzle House is the result of those changes.

If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
I’d invite Terri Blackstock, Brandilynn Collins, Frank Peretti, Deb Macomber, and Lena Nelson Dooley, of course. Oooh wait, I forgot Gayle Roper, James Scott Bell, Ted Dekker and James L. Rubart and… oh well, I guess I can’t invite all of them. My dining room’s not big enough—and it’s rather big!

That would be an interesting party. Thanks for inviting me. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
Since I’m retired I should have plenty of time to write. Unfortunately because of the brain tumors, I seem to only be able to work 2-3 hours at the most—usually closer to two rather than three. That time includes blogging, social media, editing and polishing stories to submit as well as working on a new story. And don’t forget marketing!

I never have enough energy to get everything done I’d like to get done. But I’m learning to be patient with myself. When my brain and my body tells me they’ve had enough, it’s time to stop!

Tell us about the featured book.
Puzzle House is a contemporary Christian novel. The main character has brain tumors as a result of a rare genetic condition, but the lessons she learns can be applied to all sorts of struggles that we all have on a daily basis.

I know it sounds like it could be a depressing book but it’s not! The subtitle is a novel of healing and hope and that’s what I want people to take away from the book—hope.

PUZZLE HOUSE BLURB:

Life isn’t a box of candy—it’s a puzzle!

Rachel Summers is all about Rachel Summers…until the day she crashes headlong into a semi-truck. As her life hangs in the balance, she has a visitor who asks a very simple question.
Does she want to be healed or to be a healer?

She makes her choice, but the journey doesn’t go quite the way she expected.

And so Rachel now runs Puzzle House. Every guest is different and yet the same. They all come to the Puzzle House for one reason and one reason only—to be healed, usually from a life-threatening illness. Sometimes they receive their miracle, and sometimes they discover there’s more than one kind of healing.

Nia is a fifteen-year-old African-American girl who is dying. The doctors have told her there is nothing else to be done. No more treatments. No more hope. No more life. And she’s angry about that. Very angry. Against her wishes, Nia’s aunt brings her to The Puzzle House.

Together, Nia and Rachel will take a journey that will change both their lives.

Please give us the first page of the book.
“I hate you.” Nia’s gaze shot little darts of anger at the woman standing by the car door.
The woman met her gaze with a smile. Which infuriated Nia even more. “I said I hate you and I do.”

“You don’t hate me. You’re just angry. ”Her voice remained calm, almost emotionless.

“Don’t you care about me, Auntie?”

“I’m not going to dignify that question with an answer.” She leaned down. “Are you ready?”

“I said don’t you care about me? Why are you making me do this?”

“Because I do love you so very much.” One of her hands moved under Nia, the other moved to her back.

Nia knocked her hands away. “I can do it myself. If I wanted to. I’m not going in there. You can’t make me.”

“I would think you had better ways to use the little bit of energy you have than arguing with me about this. We agreed.”
“No, we didn’t.” Her lip trembled. No crying. Crying wouldn’t change anything. She flopped back against the car seat, exhausted. “I never wanted to come and you know it.”

Her aunt knelt down beside her, eyes filled with tears. “Please. This will be a good thing, Nia. I promise.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at www.lillianduncan.net or www.lillian-duncan.com. She also has a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com.

Thank you, Lillian, for sharing this very personal novel with us. Both my readers and I are eager to read it.

Readers, here is a link to the book.
Puzzle House

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 22, 2018

INNOCENT LIES - Robin Patchen - One Free Book

Welcome, Robin. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Thank you for letting me invade your blog today. I’m sure you don’t remember this, but about eight years ago, you spoke at my local ACFW chapter, and you critiqued the first few pages of my story. It was the first professional critique I ever received. I was so sure my book was destined to be a bestseller. After looking at your critique, I realized I had a long way to go. All of your comments were spot-on, but you found a way to encourage me, too. For that, I will always be grateful.

Back to your question:
The longer I write, the less of myself I see in my characters. The heroine in my first book (which has not been published) was just like me—only better. She was the me I wanted to be. Now, I’m able to create characters who don’t always think like I do. That being said, there’s a little of me in all of them.

I’m so glad I encouraged you. I do try to do that when I crit someone’s work. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Don’t we all like to think of ourselves as normal? It’s a funny little fantasy. I’m sure I’ve done a lot of quirky things in my life, though not many are coming to mind right now. I love to wander around in cities and watch people walk by. Whenever I visit a new city, I find a way to spend time alone on the streets. The first time I did this, I was in Montreal on business, and I had to be at a meeting at eight in the morning. The meetings were to last all day, so before dawn, I went out and walked the city. Up and down street after street, trying to remember my college French and read the signs on the buildings. I ended up at a patisserie, where I bought a cup of tea and a yummy pastry. Unfortunately, I got a bit lost and had to run back to the hotel in order to make my meeting on time. My coworkers were just dragging themselves out of bed when I barreled in. They’d already known I was weird, though, so they weren’t surprised.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve always loved to write, but I never thought of myself as a writer until I started writing fiction when I turned forty. Even then, I only wrote down that first story because it had been bouncing around in my brain for so long, and I really wanted it out. When, after three months, I had finished that novel and enjoyed every minute of the writing, I realized I wanted to be a writer. It was another year before I allowed myself to believe I could make it happen.

I didn’t start writing professionally until after I turned 40. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Oh, my. I love to read all sorts of books. I read both Christian and general market books. I love suspense. I love literary fiction and women’s fiction. Some of my favorite books are young adult titles. I enjoy historical fiction, especially epic tales written by authors like Edward Rutherford and James Mitchener. And I read romance, though not as much as I used to. I’m also an editor, and most of my clients write romance, so I usually get my fill of that genre in my day job.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I fear I don’t keep it very well. I begin every day in the Scriptures and prayer. My morning time with the Lord helps set the tone for the rest of the day. And I have always tried to build a lot of margin into my life. I hate feeling like I can’t get everything done, so I try not to put myself in that position. Lately, my schedule feels like it’s spinning out of control, though there’s not much I can do about that. My family is getting ready to put the house on the market and move to another state, and that’s adding all sorts of tasks to my already full to-do list. I’m looking forward to getting settled in our new city so life will go back to its normal hectic pace.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
It’s so hard! Often I go to babynames.com to search for names popular when my characters were born. Occasionally, I’ll immediately know a character’s name, but more often, even after I’ve chosen them, I consider changing them. And I have a terrible habit of picking the same last names. I’ve used Nolan twice and MacKenzie twice. Why? I have no idea.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’m not sure proud is the right word, but I think my biggest accomplishment is my marriage. My husband and I have been happily married for 24 years, and the last five of those have been really difficult. I won’t get into the details, but let’s just say there are teenagers involved. Our family has gone through some difficult trials, and my husband and I have come out of them stronger. I’m humbled at how much the Lord has done in and through us. All the glory goes to Him.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Probably a dog, because I love people, and I tend to be a bit overeager to please.

What is your favorite food?
I hate to be cliché or predictable, but honestly, nothing beats a good pizza.

I agree, but what I consider a good pizza and what my husband considers good pizza are worlds apart. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I understand words and always have. For me, the struggle has been with storytelling. I can easily see how another person’s story isn’t working, but with my own stories, I’m often flummoxed on how to fix the story problems I tend to create. I struggle with telling a compelling story without it feeling predictable or cliché or, frankly, boring. I’ve read a lot of books on storytelling, and I’ve learned to use a story outline (my favorite is the beat sheet from Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat). I’m not sure I’ve overcome my storytelling issues, but I’m definitely working on them.

Tell us about the featured book.
Innocent Lies is the fourth and last book in the Hidden Truth series. Like all the books, it is filled with suspense and laced with romance. It released January 19, and early reviewers seem to like it. One reviewer said this:

“Robin Patchen again gives us a book filled with heart-pounding suspense. Her well-crafted plot pulls us through the book, surrounding us with vivid characters. I loved every word and so will anyone who loves romantic suspense. I eagerly await her next book.”—Goodreads Reviewer

Here’s the blurb:
"Kelsey huddled in the corner, tried to make herself invisible. Outside, she heard a muffled voice, a shout, and the pounding of footsteps across the porch. Then, the unmistakable jingle of keys. The lock turned. The door opened. And her last chance for escape melted like snow.”

About Innocent Lies:

A lost little boy steals his heart.

When Eric finds eight-year-old Daniel alone in the woods, he has no idea where the boy came from or how he's survived the wintery New Hampshire weather. He figures once he hands the boy off to child services, his part in Daniel's drama will be over. He couldn't be more wrong.

She’ll do anything to keep her son safe. 

Kelsey sneaks into Nutfield with a goal and a secret, but when she's arrested and sees Eric, her first and only love, all her plans to expose her enemy fall apart. 

The past catches up with them.

Together, Eric and Kelsey fight to protect Daniel, an innocent child caught in a dangerous game. Can Eric help Kelsey bring down her enemies without risking his heart...again? Will Kelsey have to walk away from the only man she's ever loved...again?

Sounds intriguing. Please give us the first page of the book.
“My name is Daniel Anderson. My mama’s name is Carrie. I don’t have a daddy. I am eight years old.”

Daniel repeated the words over and over, holding onto them the same way he was gripping the skinny tree in the forest.

Mama had told him to walk to the white house and knock. Not that there were any other houses around here, deep in these woods. Seemed easy when Mama was standing beside him. With her gone, the house seemed far away, and he had to get through all the trees and bushes and stuff.
He shivered, and his teeth chattered. He couldn’t make them stop. He let go of the tree and stuck his hands under his armpits. Didn’t help. Nothing was warm. Not even his toes. He wriggled them but couldn’t feel anything. They should have been toasty in his new boots.

It hadn’t been snowing when they first got here. Now, Mama was gone, and snowflakes were falling everywhere, sort of hiding the house.

And it was getting dark. What would happen if the sun went all the way down before he got up his nerve?

I want to know what comes next. I’m sure my readers do, too. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Would you like a free book? Download Convenient Lies, the first book in the Hidden Truth series, absolutely free to get a taste of the series: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/nzg359rlts

Readers, here are links to the book.
Innocent Lies (Hidden Truth) (Volume 4) - Paperback
Innocent Lies (Hidden Truth Book 4) - 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:

Sunday, January 21, 2018

WINNERS!!

New instructions for winners in 2018 - When you send me the email, make sure your subject line says this: Winner - (book title) - (author's name) 

Vera (NC) is the winner of a print or ecopy of A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas.

VanG (NC) is the winner of an ecopy of An Untidy End by Candice Prentice.

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.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

WACO SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT - Lena Nelson Dooley

I will be speaking in the Waco area next Saturday. If you live in driving distance and can come, I'd love to meet you.

Christian Writer's Workshop Kickoff

When, where: 9 a.m. Jan 27 at First Baptist Church of Woodway, 101 Ritchie Road.

Speaker: Award-winning author Lena Nelson Dooley, who has written more than 40 books and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers.

Tickets: Adults, $20; students, $5. Tickets are available online at www.firstwoodway.org/or at the door.

Other info: Light refreshments will be available. Tables in the common area will display books for sale by local authors and the speaker.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

THE PEACEFUL PANTHER - Jamie Bryant - One Free Book

Welcome back, Jamie. What can you tell us about your family?
I married my high school sweetheart at age 18 and he was 19. We literally grew up together, sweethearts and best friends. Thirty-eight years later our love is stronger than it’s ever been. We have three grown children who are all married and have graced us with nine grandchildren. We are truly blessed.

What have you personally enjoyed most about this series?
 The feedback from children and parents from the engaging illustrations to the opportunities for teaching moments.

I know my great-grandchildren really enjoy your books. What teaching moment will readers find in The Peaceful Panther?
The Peaceful Panther teaches children how apologizing when we have disobeyed can bring peace to our lives.

Can we expect book four in this series soon? If so when and can we get a sneak peak of the title?
Yes, book four in The Fruit of the Spirit Collection is titled The LongSuffering Lion and released in November 2017.

Since there are nine fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23, do you already have titles for all of them.
I do and this will remain a mystery for now :)

What’s your favorite season of the year and why?
As much as I love Christmas, I would have to say the fall is my favorite season. I love the changing of the weather, along with the beauty of the changing colors of the leaves. Also I love everything pumpkin and this is definitely the season for pumpkin.

How can readers find you on the internet? 
Twitter @readjamiebryant 
Facebook @jamiebryantbooks 
Instagram @jamiebryantbooks 

Thanks Lena
Jamie 

I love featuring all of your children’s books, Jamie. I experience great joy watching my great-grandsons enjoy the stories as I read the books to them. Their parents read to them a lot, too.

Readers, here are links to the book.
The Peaceful Panther - Hardback
The Peaceful Panther (The Fruit of the Spirit Collection Book 3) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory 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 17, 2018

LIAR'S WINTER - Cindy K Sproles - One Free Book

Welcome, Cindy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I definitely write my heart. If there are subjects that make my heart cry, then I can easily draw those into my work. I was raised in the Appalachian Mountains, though not on a farm, I spent lots of time there with my grandmother and at an aunt and uncle’s small farm. So I learned the tools of the mountains, the ways, the heart of the Appalachian people. It makes it very easy to write this knowledge, first hand, into my stories.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Oh my – I’m impulsive, so quirky is right up there. But I suppose becoming an outbacker on the Appalachian Trail in my younger years. (If that qualifies as quirky.) I’m impulsive, but not ridiculous or haphazard. So, something like skydiving would never be in my quirky place.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
As a child. That seems to be the classic answer but for me it’s true. I am 12 years younger than my brother, so basically an only child. He was grown before I was in 3rd grade. My friends were in my imagination, so I was spinning tales in a hole at the base of an oak tree when I was just small.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I actually like reading Christian Living books. I love books on the aspects of prayer and knowing God better. As far as fiction goes – I’m a lover of everything but fantasy and I don’t have the brain for that. My two favorite books are Christy and Redeeming Love.

Two of my all-time favorite novels, too. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I am grounded in prayer. This summer I gave a friend a prayer bowl with cards for her to write her prayers on. She surprised me with one at Christmas. Every time I walk past it, I glance at a prayer card. It keeps me grounded when life is overwhelming.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Some are old family names. Others are regional names I learned when I worked the Appalachian Trail or when I lived in south Knoxville, traveling back and forth with work to Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I worked for a newspaper and got to deliver stacks of papers to lots of out of the way places in the Smoky Mountains.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I can say, beginning a ministry with a good friend. The ministry of Christian Devotions is now 10 years old and we’re worldwide, putting devotions out daily. I’ve learned a lot through saying yes when God called – even when I was afraid. Without a doubt, seeing Christian Devotions thrive in the industry is an accomplishment I share with my ministry partner and give all the glory to God for calling and making a way for us.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Easy! I’d be a hound dog. I’ve often been told I was as faithful as an old hound. So, as we say in the mountains, I reckon I can’t beat that with a stick.

What is your favorite food?
The obvious is chocolate. But I digress. Chicken and dumplings.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Well, I learned things backward. By that I mean, I attended my first conference not knowing what classes to take and I ended up in author’s classes that I’d read their books. To my dismay, I was a new writer in advanced classes and I learned things out of sync. To overcome – well, I had to put the brakes on and go back to the basics. It took me a year or two, but I actually think I’m a better writer. I understood why I needed to do specific things. Don’t be like me. Learn the craft in the right order.

Tell us about the featured book.
Liar’s Winter – An Appalachian Novel – is the story of Lochiel Ogle, a young woman born with the portwine birthmark on her face and neck. In the mountains this was called the mark of the devil, mainly because folks just didn’t understand what the birthmark was. In Liar’s Winter, Lochiel was stolen from her mother’s arms at birth and raised, hidden away from the world. She was told she was a devil and folks would as soon kill her than look at her. So her plight begins when she meets up with a peddler who helps her escape the bondage she was in and as she moves through this phase of her life, she meets her father and grandmother who lovingly teach her about the good Lord and how their prayers were answered. It’s a story of hardship, learning to make good choices, and understanding the choices we make have consequences. Along the way, she learns, and the reader learns, that God has a plan even when we don’t see it. The Christian message is threaded very gently through the story. It’s not a preachy, come to Jesus book. But it’s the story of how determination and perseverance build who we are, and when we learn to trust in the Lord, that is strengthened.

Please give us the first page of the book.
The first time I ever seen that girl she was squallin like a banshee. Her whole face was beet red so I didn’t notice her mark right off. She was such a tiny thing. Before I could think twice, I’d picked her up.

Her screams was what brought me to the door of the shack. The door wasn’t latched. I poked my head in and hollered, but there wasn’t no answer. Probably couldn’t hear me over the racket of the baby. I’d been squirrel huntin and left my catch on the front step.

The baby was wrapped tight by its momma’s side. Its momma laid real still. “You alright?” She didn’t wiggle so much as a finger. If she didn’t hear that baby bellerin, she sure wasn’t gonna hear me. When I grabbed aholt and tugged that baby outa its momma’s arm, her arm flopped and I about jumped outa my skin.

That baby commenced to nuzzle at me and quieted to a whimper. Then I hightailed it outa there. I was smart enough to know I couldn’t talk a body back to life. Momma would know what to do with the baby. She needed a new youngin anyway, to replace the ones she’d lost, the ones that kept on dyin when they was born. Momma just sit and stared these days. Hardly ever talked. Havin this youngin would make her happy again. I smiled just thinkin about it. This baby would do just fine. And Poppy would be proud I’d done such a fine thing for Momma.

I forgot my squirrels on the step though. And it was a ways back home. I’d wandered farther than I’d figured. Long before I made it home, I was right tempted to just leave the baby lyin in the woods. My arms was tired.

Wasn’t ’til I got home I realized I’d left my gun leanin against that shack.

It goes without sayin that Poppy wasn’t happy I’d lost my gun. And Momma wasn’t happy when she laid eyes on the mark that spilled down one side of that baby’s face. That marked baby for my gun, worst trade I’d ever made. Right from the start, that girl brung me nothin but trouble.

Love the voice. How can readers find you on the Internet?


Or with Kregel Publications

Thank you, Cindy, for sharing this book with us. I'm eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Liar's Winter - Christianbook.com
Liar's Winter: An Appalachian Novel - Amazon paperback
Liar's Winter (Appalachian) - 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:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

ISAIAH'S DAUGHTER - Mesu Andrews - One Free Book

Welcome back, Mesu. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
God’s sovereignty always seems to pop up in my stories, which means His perfect goodness also comes out. Lots of folks struggle with “the wrathful God of the Old Testament,” so I try to show His perfect goodness and overwhelming love that helps explain some of the human condition seen in Old Testament stories. Our finite human wrestling with an infinite God is another theme I can’t seem to escape. Maybe because I’ve wrestled my whole life with how to know and understand Him more.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
My first novella will release in Summer 2018 as part of a series in which each author chooses a favorite Psalm and fictionalizes the story behind it. I’ve chosen Psalm 137, the captives’ Psalm, and titled the book By the Waters of Babylon. It will be a great warm-up for Daniel’s life story, tentatively titled Of Fire and Lions, that’s scheduled to release Spring 2019. In Spring 2020, we’re hoping to release the sequel to Isaiah’s Daughter and tell the rest of Hephzibah’s story.

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
Celebrities, athletes, and politicians have never fascinated me. I’ve never been a star-gazer or fan girl, never cared about autographs or T-shirts. I want to spend an evening with someone who oozes Jesus, someone who has remained authentic and humble in spite of earthly blessing, and someone who wants to talk about the eternal—not the trivial or temporary. Liz Curtis Higgs would probably be my first choice.

I love Liz. She’s fun to be around. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
Eve. I have sooooooo many questions for her! What was it like to wake as an adult in God’s perfect world? How does perfection feel? Why in the world did she talk to that serpent? How many years did she live? How many kids did she have—300-400? How did she handle the guilt? I loved Tosca Lee’s book, Havah, because she explores some of these questions through fiction. But I hope to discover the truth someday in eternity!

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
Read those rejections carefully. Are they a rubber-stamped No, or do they give you helpful feedback? Editors don’t love sending out rejections, and many editors actually take the time to offer insightful critique if they believe a writer has potential to eventually publish. When I received three years of “no” on my non-fiction projects (even with the help of a top-notch agent), a friend suggested I try teaching my Bible studies through fiction. I took a few months off (an extended break can be a good idea) and then began studying the craft of fiction. I’m still learning, but God opened the door for publication when I was willing to try a different direction. The most important lesson I’ve learned in publishing is to always be flexible and teachable. Learn from rejections and let God lead you through them.

Tell us about the featured book.
I love the quiet women in the Bible. Scripture mentions Hephzibah only twice, once as King Manasseh’s mother (2 Kings 21:1), which also makes her King Hezekiah’s wife. And again in Isaiah 62:4, when the prophet labels the restored Jerusalem by her name. Why did Isaiah (and Yahweh) choose to call Jerusalem, Hephzibah?

Jewish tradition teaches that Hephzibah was Isaiah’s daughter. Almost thirty years ago, my husband’s seminary professor asked, “When Isaiah gave Hephzibah as a bride to King Hezekiah, did the prophet think he was giving her to the ‘Root of Jesse’ (Messiah) of his prophecies?” Wouldn’t that be great—having the Messiah as your son-in-law?

Hezekiah’s reign began with a bang, and many of Isaiah’s prophecies seemed fulfilled by this go-gettum young king. Unfortunately, Isaiah’s later prophecies reveal his recognition that Hezekiah was NOT the Messiah. (Talk about in-law troubles!) My mind began to spin with those two fabulous words that make every author’s heart race: What if…

Hephzibah was married to Hezekiah, the most righteous king of Judah, and was mother of Manasseh, the most wicked king. Her story spans two books. The first, recalling her childhood and marriage to Hezekiah, is Isaiah’s Daughter. The second (as yet untitled) will explore the ruin and redemption of Manasseh’s reign.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Songs are written of sons, but daughters are left to whispers. So, gather near, friend, to hear of a daughter beyond imagining. She had the heart of a lion. Braver than a soldier. Wiser than a king. She was queen in Judah long after King David’s bones had turned to dust. Long after the arrogance of Solomon’s son split Israel into two nations.

When the northern tribes seized the name Israel, the southern tribes called their new nation Judah and placed David’s descendants on their throne. Judah’s capital city was the city of Jerusalem and its God was named Yahweh. But Israel bowed to pagan gods and even led some of Judah’s kings astray.

Yahweh’s prophets spewed out warnings, and Judah’s brave daughter, the lion-hearted queen, dared ask the prophets why? When? And how will Yahweh’s judgment fall?

One incomparable prophet answered, foretelling Assyria’s cruelty as Yahweh’s weapon of wrath. Isaiah, a man born to royalty, shouted at kings and comforted beggars. The records proclaim him husband to a prophetess and father of two sons. This is recorded, detailed, written.
But what of his daughter?

Her story begins when the northern kingdom of Israel joins forces with Aram, a neighboring nation. They attack Judah in retribution for refusing to join their coalition against Assyria. Isaiah delivers God’s Words to Judah’s King Ahaz—a promise and a warning. Ahaz ignores both. His decision forever changes the life of Isaiah’s Daughter.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Connect Info
Please visit http://www.mesuandrews.com/ to order free bookmarks, download Bible studies or group discussion questions.
Facebook: Mesu Andrews
Twitter: MesuAndrews
Pinterest: MesuAndrews
Goodreads: Mesu Andrews
Instagram: Mesu Andrews
Purchase Link:

Thank you so much, Lena, for taking part in the blog tour. You are a gracious host, and I so appreciate the ministry of your blog to authors and readers. May the Lord bless you abundantly for your faithfulness!
In His Arms With You,
Mesu

It’s my great pleasure to feature you and your new book on my 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 14, 2018

WINNERS!!!!!

New instructions for winners in 2018 - When you send me the email, make sure your subject line says this: Winner - (book title) - (author's name) 

Sharon (SC) is the winner of In Search of Christmas Past by Leeann Betts.

Kay (AR) is the winner of an ebook of In Search of Shiloh by Patricia Clark Blake.

Diane (IN) is the winner of an ebook of Surgeon's Choice by Richard L Mabry, MD.

Vivian (CO) is the winner of A Flute in the Willows by Carole Brown.

Pam (OH) is the winner of Mission: Memory Recall by Virginia Vaughan.

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.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

AN UNTIDY END - Candice Prentice - One Free Ebook

Welcome back, Candice. It’s been a long time since you were on my blog. By the way, I love your head shot. You are looking so good. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
A lot, I've discovered. Funny about that. At first I didn't think so, but I realized that each heroine has a piece of me. It might not be a big piece, but there are parts of my personality or my experiences, or maybe just things I've learned along the way, in every main character.  

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
The latest quirky thing? Nasal irrigation. Weird, right? Sounds awful, but it's recommended by doctors for sinus health, which is why I'm doing it. And it's an experience like none other except maybe inhaling water up your nose while swimming.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I can't say for sure. As a kid, I wrote stories in my head. As a 9th grader, I wrote them during Biology—not the best way to get a good grade. In 10th grade, I discovered the thesaurus. And in 11th grade, I was blessed to attend a school that had a creative writing class as an option instead of just plain English. I think that's when I first became conscious of my love for writing.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Mysteries first (cozies in particular, which is what I write). Both contemporary and historical. I like suspense, too, although I avoid the graphically scarier ones now. I don't want to think about serial killers when I walk my dog at night.

I really enjoy historical non-fiction, and that includes journals. I have quite a collection of non-fiction on my shelves. I tend to read about a certain topic or period of time all at once, and I collect books about it. For instance, I began reading about women homesteaders, so then I read and collected all the books I could find about them. But my most interesting "book-ish" collection is an assortment of antique Victorian autograph books. While they aren't exactly books, or informative like journals, they do give an interesting insight into that period of time.

I’d love to see that collection. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I don't run. (Laughing, here.) Seriously, my schedule is my own to make, and I refuse to be driven by circumstances or unreasonable demands as much as possible. In the past, I tended to just go with the flow. I didn't stop to consider whether or not I should do an activity, I just did whatever came along. I wasn't disciplined with my time, and that affected my ability to accomplish the things I needed to accomplish. It also affected my health. Now I approach my days with prayer, planning, and purpose.

Things really changed for me in the past few years. I've had some serious health issues, and I finally had to make some hard and fast rules about how much exposure I would allow myself to craziness, drama, and activity. With the Lord's help, I've developed habits that help me survive and stay well enough to write and live a quality life. I eat good food, I exercise, I meditate in the Word, and I spend time in prayer every day. I limit my television viewing, exposure to the news, and online activity, particularly things that stir up negative emotions. I strive for peace in my home. And while I love and care for other people, especially when they're hurting, I don't allow their emotional state to affect my emotions—at least to the best of my ability. I just can't afford to.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I eliminate all the names I've used in recent books, then I look in a baby name book for names the might be appropriate for the characters in question. And I try to avoid using names with the same first letters or similar sounding syllables in a book. If a character has a particular nationality or heritage, I'll pick a name that is appropriate for that.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I don't have one single accomplishment I look at and think that's what I'm most proud of. Usually my favorite accomplishment is last the big one I finished. At the moment, that's a quilt I made as a gift for my sister.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a horse. Horses can run fast and jump high—there's a feeling of freedom when I imagine that. And they're strong, graceful, and beautiful. Horses are intelligent enough to be service animals. They're also capable of deep bonds, with each other and with humans.

What is your favorite food?
That's a hard question to answer right now because (due to health issues) my diet is severely limited. So . . . at the moment, my favorite food would have to be oatmeal. A close second is a fresh, red delicious apple.

I love both of those, too. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My health. I reached a point where I couldn't write due to the issues I was suffering. But I'm so much better now. God is faithful. Through a number of sources, including a holistic medical doctor and some insight into neuroplasticity, the Lord showed me how to make changes that took me from being mostly bedridden to being up, living, and working again. I am truly grateful to be writing again!

And I’ve missed your stories. I’ve always loved them. Tell us about the featured book.
It's a cozy mystery called An Untidy End. The thing that makes it special to me is the characters. Instead of one sleuth, I have three: the main heroine named Lily, an elderly woman named Florence, and a ten-year-old girl named Maddie. The interplay between them is fun. Lily is an ex-Navy chief with a degree in Homeland Security, who chose the unlikely job of personal assistant to a wealthy widow. While walking the estate one day, she stumbles upon a body.

Lily is on a journey of restoration. In future books, she will continue to grow and heal from things in her past—and Florence will help.  Florence is a feisty seventy-five-year-old, and she's a particular favorite of mine.  She's witty and quick to say what's on her mind, but she's also kind and loving. I love her reactions to certain thing, like social media. Here's what Florence says about that:

"Social media?" She [Florence] glanced over at me. "Lily, this is exactly the problem with computers and this online phenomenon. It's irrational. You call something on the World Wide Web social? When individuals sit alone and stare at a computer screen? How can something be social when people aren't in the same room together?" She shook her head. "And they say I'm demented."

Please give us the first page of the book.
During the twenty years I served in the Navy, I willingly endured certain indignities on behalf of my country, especially when I was out to sea. Things like lack of privacy and the constant drama of all the sailors who lived and worked in close quarters.

When I retired and made the unlikely decision to take employment as a personal assistant to a wealthy widow, I thought those days were behind me. I anticipated that I would do my job and then disappear into the background, like vanilla extract in chocolate cake. I naively assumed that no one would have expectations of me beyond those required by my job. And, I thought, I'd finally be able to avoid human drama.

The irony of my foolish assumptions wasn't lost on me as I slid under Florence Beasley's king-sized bed to retrieve the upper plate from her dentures. Her television blared from the sitting room of her suite as I scooched along, inch-by-inch.

Being under the bed brought to mind weird thoughts about living. Perhaps because that's where some people hide their clutter. Or maybe because that's where drooling childhood monsters live. But, for whatever the reason, I was struck by the messiness of life. Birth is turbulent. Living is unpredictable. And death is. . .untidy.

From the side of my eye, I saw the toes of two brown leather shoes belonging to the other Beasley in the room, my employer, Belle Beasley, otherwise known as Lady B to her staff.

"Lily, do you see it?" The crisp, white bed skirt quivered as she began tapping her foot.

"Not yet," I said with all the vigor I could muster while confined in a fifteen-inch-high space.

As I wiggled farther under the bed, a shriek came from Florence's television, accompanied by swelling waves of eerie music. Perhaps that was why I was thinking about the untidiness of life and death. The victim on the crime show flickering across the room was about to die. A very untidy ending, indeed.

"Turn that down, Florence!" Lady B snapped at her elderly sister-in-law.

"If I do that, I can't experience the drama." Florence's words were muddled minus her top plate in her mouth.

"We don't need more drama. You've provided quite enough."
"Lady B, I think I see it," I said, forestalling an argument between the two. "Florence was right. It landed in the corner."

"Good."

Another scream ripped through the room then gurgled to a stop. The music continued in a frenzy of violins that brought to mind spurting blood and tell-tale splatter on walls.

Lady B murmured something under her breath and stepped away from the bed. I heard the click of her low stacked heels on the hardwood floor. Then the clamor from the television abruptly ended.

"I declare, Belle," Florence said. "Body Count is one of my favorite shows. It's only on Wednesday mornings. Now I'll never know what happened."

"I'm sure the show is a repeat, and you've seen it at least once." Lady B's harsh words reverberated through the suddenly silent room.

"Well, I never," Florence said. "You're a little hostile today, aren't you? What's wrong? Did you fall out of the wrong side of the bed?"

"I'll refrain from answering, otherwise I'll say something I regret. . .something about throwing dentures and acting like a toddler, perhaps?" Lady B walked back across the length of the two rooms. The bed skirt billowed as she returned to her original position at the edge of the bed.

I’m eager to see what happens next. How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can find my book here: An Untidy End

I really enjoy interacting with my readers and would love for people to visit me, make comments, and read my blog articles, now that I'm back and writing again.

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

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the ebook. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory 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 08, 2018

IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING (A Bouquet of Brides Collection) - Pegg Thomas - One Free Print or Ebook, plus More

Dear Readers, this is a new author to this blog. I’m thrilled to introduce you to Pegg, and later in the year, we’ll have stories in the same novella collection Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides.

Welcome, Pegg. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Quite a bit with this story. In Sheep’s Clothing in A Bouquet of Brides Collection is about a spinner and weaver who lives in Milford, Connecticut, in 1702. I’m a spinner and although I’m primarily a knitter, I have done some weaving too. There are also sheep in my story. I’ve been raising sheep since 1993. I chose Milford to set the story in because I discovered the town while researching my family tree. My family has roots there in the 1700s.

What fun. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Golly. How to judge which thing is quirkier than all the others?! I recently bought an antique spinning wheel. I’ve restored it to working condition and in my research have established that it is around 200 years old.

Cool. I love authentic antiques that work. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
My grandma told me many, many years ago that I should write a book. This was back when a long-distance phone call wasn’t in the budget. I guess my letters were a bit … um … lengthy. It was always in the back of my mind to do it, but I didn’t get started in earnest until the dreaded empty nest, when I needed something to do.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Historical fiction is my first love, hands down. I also read a lot of historical romance but I enjoy an occasional fantasy, a western or two, and I still enjoy an engaging biography.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I refuse to run, run, run. I prefer to saunter through life. My husband and I are happy to scale back and keep things simple. Our idea of a good time is camping—preferably some place without wifi or cell phones. We live on a small hobby farm, growing much of what we eat. We’re not off the grid, but we could slide off pretty easily.

Sounds wonderful to me. How do you choose your characters’ names?
I don’t have set formula for that, but since I write historical stories, I like to check the census for the closest year and place to where I set my story. I’ll pick a last name from there and look to see what first names were popular. Sometimes I just mix and match what I find in the census, sometimes I only use the last name.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Being a wife and mother.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Oh, probably a grizzly bear. I’d rather be at the top of the food chain.

What is your favorite food?
Bread. Pretty much any type at all. So as you can rightly guess, I’m not a gluten-free gal.

People shouldn’t eat gluten-free unless they have a real physical problem with gluten. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Fear of failure. I’m not sure I’ve totally overcome it yet. Writers conferences helped the most. Without attending those, I don’t think I would have achieved my goal of being traditionally published.

Tell us about the featured book.
A Bouquet of Brides is a collection of seven historical romance stories with heroines who have a flower for their first name. My story, In Sheep’s Clothing, is the very last. It could be an alphabetical thing … but I like to think they just saved the best for last. My story is about a woman who has been jilted and left a spinster—in more ways than one—and a handsome young journeyman fuller who moves to town. Both have something to hide and both need to let it go, but it’s an orphan lamb that brings them together.

Sounds wonderful. Please give us the first page of the book.
April 10, 1702—Milford, Connecticut
With a final snip, another layer of guilt fell into Yarrow Fenn’s lap. It landed amid the soft folds of wool from her loom. This cloth was quite possibly the best she’d ever made. She ran her fingers over the loosely woven threads. Once finished at the fulling mill, it would make a splendid gown. But not for her. The guilt pressed against her chest, tightening her shoulders. The traveling peddler would buy this bolt of cloth when he arrived in a few weeks. He’d sell it in Boston—in direct conflict with the king’s law.

She cast a glance out the window, the sun already well above the horizon. Pushing aside the guilt, she folded her cloth into a flat bolt. After several futile attempts to tame her wayward hair under its linen cap, she pinned her straw hat over the top and slipped on her shawl before gathering the newly woven cloth into her arms.

Her room on the back of the saltbox-style house had its own entrance. She nudged the door shut behind her with her foot, then hurried around the front of the house. She was neither quick nor quiet enough.

“Where are you going?” Pennyroyal, Yarrow’s younger sister, stood in the front doorway with her hands on her eighteen-year-old hips, her belly straining against the pleats of her apron.

“’Tis the opening day of Tucker’s Fulling Mill.” That Penny could forget the main topic of conversation after church yesterday, the opening of the mill and the impending arrival of the new journeyman fuller, testified to her preoccupation with the coming babe.

“I had quite forgotten.” Penny pressed the back of her wrist to her forehead. “Hurry back. I feel poorly again today. You shall need to start supper.” She shut the door.

Pray the babe would come soon. Penny, ever the spoiled youngest of the three sisters, had bordered on tyrannical these past few weeks. But one must make allowances at a time like this. Yarrow shrugged and walked on.

Their house rested on the northern edge of Milford. Yarrow followed the road toward town. When she turned onto the main road, the steeply pitched roof of the new fulling mill on Beaver Creek was just visible. Excitement bubbled and eclipsed, for the moment, her guilt.
 
How can readers find you on the Internet?

Readers, Pegg has a special giveaway:
To celebrate the release of In Sheep’s Clothing, I’m giving away one of my signature wool shawls. My shawls are made of wool from my sheep. I shear the sheep, wash, dye, card, spin, and knit them. They are 100% hand made in the U.S.A. To enter the drawing, simply sign up for my newsletter.

Thank you, Pegg, for sharing this new book with us. I’m eager to read it, and I know my readers are, too.

Readers, here are links to the book.
A Bouquet of Brides - Christianbook.com
A Bouquet of Brides Romance Collection: For Seven Bachelors, This Bouquet of Brides Means a Happily Ever After -  Amazon paperback
A Bouquet of Brides Romance Collection: For Seven Bachelors, This Bouquet of Brides Means a Happily Ever After - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book, your choice of either a print or ebook. 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: