Wednesday, July 08, 2009

CRANBERRY HEARTS - Lena Nelson Dooley - Free Book

This is the third, and final, interview with an author of Cranberry Hearts. Although it's hard to interview myself, here goes. What contribution did your story make to the collection?

My story, Who Am I?, is the first story in the book. It’s my first romantic suspense.

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

Very much. Both Lisa and Beth were in the critique group that meets in my home before they moved away. I mentored them before they became published. And Beth’s story in this book was her first sale. Lisa and I worked hard to make it happen.

Did it take a lot of interaction?

Not really. There is a thread that ties the stories together, but it’s loose in the first two books. All the cousins come together in the last story to help with the cranberry harvest. But we did critique each other's novels.

Have you ever been to Massachusetts?

No, I haven’t, but I’d like to go there. All my research uncovered a lot of places I want to visit.

How was the setting chosen?

It was one of the states in the Heartsong Presents state series.

What do you like most about this collection?

That the stories are romantic suspense.

What book are you currently writing?

This week I finished a sample chapter for a requested submission, which I’m hoping the publisher will like and offer me a contract. Now I have to get back to my Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, book.

Tell us a little about your family.

Husband of almost 45 years, two daughters, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters, two grandsons, and one great grandson.

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

Chapter 1
Leiann Hambrick clutched her upper arms as if to hold herself together
while she stared through the sheer curtains that veiled the picture window.
Would she have to leave all this behind? She no longer saw the Hurst athletic complex, which had been built a few years earlier. In her mind’s eye she saw the thicket full of wild mustang grapevines that used to grow on that spot. Grapes she had picked so her mother could make her famous jelly. Jelly her father loved on his biscuits in the morning. She longed for that simpler time, when she knew who her father was. When she knew who she was.

Leiann swiped at the tears that streamed down her cheeks, ruining the makeup she had taken such pains to apply a few hours ago as she prepared for the reading of her mother’s will. How different her world had been this morning.

The Hambricks had moved to this house on Cimarron Trail in Hurst, Texas, when Leiann was in the fourth grade. Leiann had been excited when they moved to this ranch-style house on the quiet street. A lot of undeveloped property surrounded them. Besides the thicket across the road—and it had been a country road then, not a four-lane street as it was now—a creek ran along the back of the property. Leiann and her friends played there often, wading and hunting bullfrogs on hot summer evenings.

Leiann yearned to go back to that time when she knew what her life was all about. She wanted to hug her mother and have her daddy tell her that everything was all right because they were together. Of course, that was impossible. She didn’t think anything would ever be all right again.

Squeezing her eyes shut could not erase the pictures that danced through her mind. The lawyer’s office. The reading of the will. . .

“And to my daughter, I leave all my worldly goods.” The lawyer’s voice had droned on, listing the things that had belonged to her mother, which were now Leiann’s. Family heirlooms, bank accounts, furniture and household goods, jewelry. But not the house. Her mother hadn’t owned the house.

“Leiann?” From across the living room, the soft voice of her best friend brought Leiann out of her confused thoughts. When Leiann didn’t respond, Arlene came to stand beside her. “You really need to eat something.”

She turned, but she didn’t loosen the grip she held on her upper arms. If she did, she might fly apart. “I’m not really hungry.”

Where can the readers find you on the Internet?

I’m also on Shoutlife, Facebook, and Twitter.

Readers, here's a link where you can order Cranberry Hearts:

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

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.



Deborah Bates Cavitt said...

I saw the book at Target this past weekend. Sure would like a copy although I don't like cranberries at all. : )

Debbie Cavitt

mez said...

I love romantic suspense, please include me for Cranberry Hearts. Thanks, Lena!

Debs Desk said...

Sounds like a great book. I would love a chance to read it.

Cleda said...

Wonderful interview.... appreciate the opportunity to be included in this drawing for a wonderful book by a wonderful author......


Abi said...

I'd love to win this book. Thanks for the interview.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Leila said...

I'd love to read this. Love to win a copy. :)
leila underscore avon at yahoo dot ca

Carmen7351 said...

Sounds like a very good book. Sounds like some suspense involved. I'm with Deborah, I don't like cranberries either. Please enter me. Thanks.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

ladystorm said...

Sounds like a great book!


Sheila Deeth said...

I love cranberries. Sounds like I'd love the book too.

rebornbutterfly said...

Romantic Suspense is one of my favorite genres!
I'd love to read this collection!

kristen said...

Sounds like a great book, and I love the title!! Please enter me into the drawing.

sugarandgrits said...

WOW, Lena! Way to leave us hanging!! I can't wait to find out what happens to Leiann...

Thank you for the great interview!
Lori S.


Megan said...

Such a sad start to the book, but it sounds really good. Thanks for interviewing yourself. :)


Carole said...

Good job interviewing yourself, Lena! I love books with a New England setting and hope to read Cranberry Hearts soon. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Sherry K said...

Loved the interview Lena!!! (smile) The book sounds great. I like romantic suspense. Please add my name to the pot!


Holy said...

Great interview! You have such a knack of drawing out the best in all the authors! I would love a chance to win your book. Blessings,

Emma said...

Cranberry Hearts sounds wonderful.Great interview.Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you.

sharon54220 said...

I would love to be entered to win this great book.

Frances said...

Oh my goodness! I have this on my wishlist!

Please toss my name in the hat.


windycindy said...

This collection sounds fabulous!
Please count me in. Many thanks, Cindi

Julianna said...

I still think this book sounds great! How interesting to interview yourself. =) Massachusetts is beautiful. You should definitely visit there someday.


Katie said...



debbiem said...

Hi Lena,
I love romantic suspense and Cranberry Hearts sounds like it is going to be a "winner." I am an aspiring author and you are an inspiration for mature women to continue writing.

Marla said...

I would love to read this book. I, also would love to goto Massachusetts some time, especially in the fall. Thank you for the giveaway.

Ausjenny said...

I love the look of this book please enter me

Sheila DeChantal said...

I have been reading many of your reviews this morning. They are nicely done and I stop when I get tot your book. I have not read it yet but I really like the sound of it.

Thanks for a great blog to spend a little time in. :) Have a great day!