Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wild Prairie Roses - Laurie Alice Eakes & Lena Nelson Dooley - 2 Free Books

I've already featured an interview with Lisa Harris, one of the authors in this collection. Today, we'll feature Laurie Alice and me, with her interview first. What contribution did your story make to the collection?

My story, Better than Gold, ends the quest that is a common thread throughout each book. My characters finally find the missing gold.

Did you enjoy working with the other authors in the collection?

Who wouldn't enjoy working with ladies like Lena and Lisa? The question is probably how did they endure working with me? LOL

Did it take a lot of interaction?

It did at first. I, especially, being new to CBA writing, needed a lot of hand-holding.

Have you ever been to Iowa?

I lived there for four years. In fact, I was there in 1993 when half of Davenport was under water. It was kind of scary having that mighty Mississippi climbing higher and higher toward our water supply. But I loved Iowans. They treated me like a friend and neighbor from the day I arrived.

How was the setting chosen?

Because of my fondness for the state, when I came up with the concept, I thought Iowa would work. And it was a state still open in the Heartsong state series.

What do you like most about this collection?

I like the interactive thread throughout all three books, that they are great stories all on their own, yet the hunger to find the truth continues with each novel. And the lessons learned, that the Lord holds so much more for us in our lives than wealth is a common theme, an important theme in a gotta-have society.

What book are you currently writing?

At the writing of this interview, which is March, I am just about to push "send" to get The Glassblower, which is the first book in the New Jersey Historical series, off to the editor. By the release of Wild Prairie Roses, I'll be working on The Heiress, the second in the series, Lord willing, of course, as well as some smaller projects. As a side note, I also lived in New Jersey, was a missionary outside New York City right out of Asbury College.

Tell us a little about your family.

I am married, but we don't have any children, just two cats and two dogs. But let me talk about my husband first and, space permitting, my birth family, too.

My husband is a truly special individual. a law student at Georgetown Law in DC, managing editor of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, and speaks at conferences about accessibility in web sites for institutions. More than that, he's the most interesting person I know to talk to, and has helped me grow into a better person just by loving me.

I have an amazing family. My mother worked her way up from a stenographer in one company and kept moving up until she was an HR manager in a major corporation. All while making sure our house was spotless and beautifully decorated and we always had homemade meals on the table and store-bought cookies were a treat from the home-made ones. Add to this singing in the church choir and other volunteer work and having two blind daughters. She's retired now and still does amazing things. She doesn't stop learning.

My dad is differently, but equally terrific. When I was a little girl, I loved watching him work in the basement on his woodworking stuff. He makes gorgeous chairs. Both my parents are big readers, spent hours reading to us and getting us books, and instilling a love of reading and books. My first book is dedicated to them. I wouldn't be a writer without my special parents. I also have two step-parents. I don't know my stepmother quite as well, as Dad married her after I'd graduated from college, but she has a quiet strength about her that impresses me, and she makes my dad happy. My stepfather, deceased, sadly, had to be some special kind of a person and really love my mother. That is what I remember most about him—how much he loved her. He was good to us, too.

Then there are my brothers and sisters. My brothers are married with all boys. One is a professional chef. They've grown into people I really like, when I get to see them, which isn't very often, sadly, due to distance. I have a sister who started her own company and is doing well out in California, and a sister who deserves some kind of super mom award. She has four children of her own and two they adopted. She home schools, teaching one with some special needs to read, is a great cook, knits, is involved with her church, and, with my eldest niece, started a private children's library. My sister is blind.

What is the first page of your story in the collection?

Chapter 1
Valentine party perfect STOP F proposed STOP Accepted
STOP Marrying in June STOP

Lily Reese keyed in the telegram that had originated in Philadelphia and would speed along the wires from station to station until it reached its destination somewhere in Kansas. With each click of the code she knew well enough to produce in her sleep after three years as an operator, this kind of news never failed to thrill her.

Nor make her daydream.

Shivering in her tiny office to one side of the Browning City, Iowa, railway station, Lily imagined herself as the recipient of a proposal on Valentine’s Day. She would wear a red silk dress, though it wasn’t the best color for her blond hair, blue eyes, and fair complexion. Pink looked better.

And Matt Campbell would walk her home through a frosty night with stars blazing above like crystal beads. He would go down on one knee. . . .

All right, she didn’t know him quite well enough to be in love with him or for him to be in love with her. Yet Valentine’s Day had spoken of romance for so long, it might put the notion of working toward a proposal in his head.

The clacking of the machine yanked her back to the present. Since the last of her family had died three years earlier, leaving her completely alone and causing her to lose the farm, she had to earn her living, and that meant sending and receiving telegrams, not fussing over what had not happened on February 14.

This was February 15, and those crystal beads had not been stars. They proved to be frozen rain descending as ice so thick no one had attended the party Lily planned as an excuse to invite Matt to the house where she boarded. She wanted to impress him with her applesauce cake and excellent coffee. And her new dress. It was wool, not silk. It did, however, boast falls of fine, white lace she had crocheted herself. Yet one more Iowa storm prevented her entertainment and a chance to make progress with her romantic intentions. Now Matt had departed on the morning train and would not return for several days since he worked for the railroad and traveled a great deal.

Where can the readers find you on the Internet?

I have a web site

and a blog, where I am offering a free read, which is posted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and other things are posted on Mondays and Thursdays.

Now for my interview. What contribution did your story make to the collection?

My book, A Daughter’s Quest, is the first book in the collection, and it sets the theme of the lost gold shipment into place for all three books.

Did you enjoy working with the other authors in the collection?

Very much. Lisa has been a part of the critique group that meets in my home for several years. Even though she now lives in Africa, she still is a part of our group. And I’d known Laurie Alice for a long time before we worked on this idea. This was a chance for Lisa and I to bring Laurie Alice into a Heartsong series and help her be published by them. We worked very well together.

Did it take a lot of interaction?

At first, it did. So there was more interaction while I was writing my book than there was with theirs. We created a fictional town for our stories to take place.
Have you ever been to Iowa?

Yes, my father was from Minnesota, and we went from Arkansas, where I grew up, to Minnesota many times. To do that, you go through Iowa.

How was the setting chosen?

I believe Laurie Alice suggested the setting. We needed a series set in one of the states Heartsong had available for stories. With the actual, historical lost gold shipment, Iowa was a good state to set it in.

What do you like most about this collection?

I loved writing my story, and I enjoyed reading both of theirs. There is a cohesiveness with the three stories that makes this book a really good read.

What book are you currently writing?

Right now, I’m writing Love Finds You in Golden, Colorado, which will be released by Summerside Press in 2010.

Tell us a little about your family.

I have been married to the love of my life for almost 45 years. We have two daughters, two sons-in-law, two grandsons, two granddaughters, and one great grandson. They all live fairly close to me except the grandson who is in the Army, but we see him often since he’s been back in the States from his deployment in Iraq.

What is the first page of your story in the collection?

April 1867

Dawn sent fingers of sunlight between the Ozark Mountain peaks, bathing Constance Miller in warmth she needed on this early spring morning. She stood near a window, gazing out at the pastel colors spread across the sky by the rising sun, and thanked God for the beauty around her.

Raspy breaths across the room behind her broke the stillness and drowned out the first twitters of birds awakening to the new morning. How she hated the sound that meant her father’s death could be imminent.

When the doctor had left yesterday, he had held out no hope for recovery. Without her father’s strong presence in her life, Constance’s future looked bleak. She couldn’t farm this land by herself, and there wasn’t a man on the mountain, or even in the valley below, who she would consider marrying. Where did that leave her?

Other young women had ventured far from their Arkansas mountain homes, but she felt no yearning to move away from here. Her gaze was drawn to the golden tint now rimming the tall budding trees, some with tender green leaves, that surrounded their home place. Spring was her favorite time of the year. It usually made her think of a new beginning. But the wheezing gasps coming from the man in the bed on the other side of the room signaled an ending instead. She clasped her arms tight across her chest and shivered in her flannel nightdress.

“Connie.” Her father’s rasping voice was hardly distinguishable. “Come here, gurl.” The last word faded into nothingness.

She whirled and rushed to kneel at the side of the wooden platform covered with a ticking filled with dry corn husks. “I’m here.” She removed the rag, which now felt hot, and dipped it into the cold water in the basin on the floor before replacing it on her father’s brow.

His bony arm snaked out from under the covers, and his hand gripped her forearm with amazing strength. “You hafta promise me somethin’.” His gaze bored into hers, and a fire of determination burned in his eyes.

“Anything, Pa.” She wanted to keep him calm. Too much excitement could leech his waning strength too quickly.

Where can the readers find you on the Internet?

I’m really all over the Internet. If you Google “Lena Nelson Dooley” you’ll find a lot of places where I’ve written blogs or been interviewed.

My main places are:
www.lenanelsondooley.com – my website where you can find out about all my books
http://lenanelsondooleynewsletter.blogspot.com – my monthly newsletter
www.bustlesandspurs.com – where I’m a regular contributor
http://www.new.facebook.com/pages/Lena-Nelson-Dooley - my official Fan page
I’m also on Shoutlife and Twitter

Readers, here's a link where you can order Wild Prairie Roses:

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

The only notification will be the winner announcement on this blog. So be sure to come back a week from Saturday to see if you won.

If you're reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to this blog to leave your comment:



G.R.I.T.S. said...

Great Interviews!!! I would love to read this book(s)!!!! Hope to win!

Rae Byuel from Caffeine & Romance Blog

Sherry K said...

Very interesting interviews. Wild Prairie Roses sounds great. Please enter me in the drawing.

Sherry K

Jo said...

Terrific interview. Wild Prairie Roses sounds like a great book and would love to read it.


Julianna said...

Sounds great! I hope to win one of these.


Edna said...

Nice interview, I would love to win the book, either one.


Lena Nelson Dooley said...

GRITS, Sherry K, Jo, and Juliana, thanks for stopping by. I really do think you'll love the stories in this collection.

Please tell your friends about this blog site and about this fun book.

Leila said...

Fun to read the interviews.
Hoping to win. :)
airdrie at ymail dot com

Carmen7351 said...

Wild Prairie Roses sound like a great book to read. Please enter me for both books you are offering. Thank you.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Sheila Deeth said...

Great pair of interviews. It does sound great.

Marla said...

Thank you for the great interviews. It's so nice to "meet" the authors of books we love to read. Thank you for the giveaway.


Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Edna, Leila,Carmen, Sheila, and Marla. Thanks for coming by. I love receiving your comments.

And when you've read the book, please let me know how you like it.

Sandy said...

I can't wait to read the books. I really hope I win.


Naomi Musch said...

Wild Prairie Roses sounds like a fun book to read. Really enjoyed the interviews and getting to "know" more about you. Please pop my name in the drawing.

Amee said...

Wow, I didn't realize you wrote in this book (I'm notoriously unobservant). I picked it up at Walmart and thought it sounded good (I didn't buy it...yet!). I'll have to get it next time I'm there if I don't win it. ;)

peachykath said...

I've read good reviews about this book and would love the opportunity to read it. Please enter me in the drawing.


Patty Wysong said...

Sounds wonderful!!

Megan said...

Lena, your first page got me hooked! I really hope I win it!


Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Sandy, Naomi, Amee, Peachykath, Patty, and Megan. Thank you for coming by.

Laurie Alice hasn't stopped by, because she's in the middle of a move. Her husband graduated from Law School, and he got a position in Texas.

I wish we could give each one of you a copy of the book, but for those who don't win, they are available at Walmart as well as in bookstores and online.

Martha A. said...

I would love to read and win one of your books!

Sandee61 said...

Really great interviews...I always enjoy reading them, your questions are really fun, and the answers too! Please add my name to your giveaway...I so want to read "Wild Prairie Rose". Thank you!



Abi said...

Oh, I'd love to win thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Martha, Sandee, and Abi, glad you came by, too.

I've had a really busy day, but a very good one. I finished another chapter of my next contracted book. I'm excited about it. It's for Summerside Press. Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico.

Emma said...

Great Interviews.Wild Prairie Roses sounds wonderful. Please enter me in the drawing.Thank you. Thank you for the giveaway.

judyg54 said...

Wild Prairie Rose sounds like a really good book. Please enter me in the contest.

windycindy said...

I really enjoy reading about the loves and lives of authors!
Their inspirations are interesting!
Thanks, Cindi

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Hope you-all had a happy Father's Day. Thanks for coming by.