Thursday, September 29, 2011

MAGGIE'S JOURNEY - Lena Nelson Dooley - Free Book

Today, I have a guest blogger interviewing me about my newest release, Maggie’s Journey. Thank you for helping me, Lee Carver.

Lee: Please tell us something about this new trilogy, and then specifically about Maggie's Journey.

My McKenna’s Daughters Series is about identical triplets, who were born on one of the last wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. Shortly after giving birth, their mother dies. They are separated and grow up in different places on the west coast. Only near their 18th birthdays do they discover they have sisters. Maggie had been adopted by a family that ended up being wealthy merchants in Seattle, Washington Territory. Her journey to find the truth about herself also brought a man into her life who loved her for who she really was.

 Lee: No doubt you are often asked where you get ideas for more and more novels. Was there any particular stimulus for this trilogy?

God gave me the idea for the stories several years ago, and they percolated in my brain for all that time before the series was contracted.

Lee: I enjoyed Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, so much. That's a hard act to follow. Is Maggie's Journey better classified as historical romance or maybe historical women's fiction?

It is classified as a historical romance, but there are deeper elements that could put it into the women’s fiction/romance category.

Lee: How similar are the young protagonists in this coming trilogy?

Of course, they look alike and share some similar characteristics, they are also a product of their environment, so there are also differences.

Lee: Your books are well-researched. You make a huge effort to be authentic for the year and setting. What was the most difficult thing you had to research for this manuscript?

I was having a hard time actually picturing Seattle in 1885, but I contacted the Seattle Public Library. The research librarian gave me a link to a website where the library had digitized historical photographs by decade. Thousands of them. I was able to construct the neighborhoods and business district utilizing the actual businesses, street names, and even see what the buildings looked like. A real goldmine of information.

Lee: Lena, your mother died when you were very young. Does your heroine reflect some of the pain you experienced as a child?

Yes, some of the things I experienced help me understand how Maggie felt when she found out she was adopted.

Lee: Multiple births are much more common now as a result of infertility treatments. How rare were triplets in the era of your novel, and do you have any numbers on the survival rates for mother and children then?

I don’t have actual statistics, but triplets did occur, and some of them lived long lives. I chose to go with that information.

Lee: Putting together a trilogy must require a lot of advance planning. Do you advise your fans to read them in order, or will they stand alone as independent novels?

Actually, it probably would be better to read them in order, even though each book is a complete story. Because of the progression of the series, reading them out of order will give away things you probably wish you didn’t know before you read the first books.

Lee: Will your latest novels be available in e-book format? If so, how soon?

The book is available for download right now on Kindle. I’m not sure when the other formats will be available.

Lee: What is your highest hope for your novels as they are read throughout the world?

I want readers to be entertained. And I want them to see how God’s plans are higher than our plans. They can trust Him in their dilemmas just as He worked in the lives of my characters.

Lee: May your efforts be successful. I wish you excellent sales, knowing that readers are blessed with entertainment and a touching spiritual experience with each book.

Thank you, Lee, for leading this discussion.

Here's the first page of the book:

Chapter 1
September 1885
Seattle, Washington
Margaret Lenora Caine sat in the library of their mansion on Beacon Hill. Because of the view of Puget Sound which she loved, she had the brocade draperies pulled back to let the early September sunshine bathe the room with warmth. Basking in the bright light, she concentrated on the sketch pad balanced on her lap. After leaning back to get the full effect of the drawing, she reached a finger to smudge the shadows between the folds of the skirt. With a neckline that revealed the shoulders, but still maintained complete modesty, this dress was her best design so far. One she planned to have Mrs. Murdock create in that dreamy, shimmery green material that came in the last shipment from China. Maggie knew silk was usually a summer fabric, but with it woven into a heavier brocade satin, it would be just right for her eighteenth birthday party. And with a few changes to the design, she could have another dress created as well.

Once again, she leaned forward and drew a furbelow around the hem, shading it carefully to show depth. The added weight of the extra fabric would help the skirt maintain its shape, providing a pleasing silhouette at any ball. She pictured herself wearing the beautiful green dress, whirling in the arms of her partner, whoever he was. Maybe someone like Charles Stanton, since she’d admired him for several years, and he was so handsome.

“Margaret, what are you doing?”

The harsh question broke Maggie’s concentration. The charcoal in her hand slipped, slashing an ugly smear across the sketch. She glanced at her mother standing in the doorway, her arms crossed over her bosom. Maggie heaved a sigh loud enough to reach the entrance, and her mother’s eyebrows arched so quickly Maggie wanted to laugh … almost, but she didn’t dare add to whatever was bothering Mother now. Her stomach began to churn, a thoroughly uncomfortable sensation. Lately, everything she did put Mother in a bad mood. She searched her mind for whatever could have set her off this time. She came up with nothing, so she pasted a smile across her face.

And the book trailer:

I have just returned from the American Christian Fiction Writers national conference in St Louis. While I was there the Romantic Times Book Reviews magazine arrived at the hotel.

Maggie's Journey received this 4-star review.
Dooley begins the McKenna's Daughters series with lovable characters finding out that who they thought they are is not really who they are. Readers are a part of the characters' journey to discover the truth. Dooley is a wonderful author who brings her characters to life.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

For the print book:
Maggie's Journey (McKenna's Daughters)

For the Kindle book: Maggie's Journey

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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


Patsy said...

Oh Lena, Maggie's Journey sounds so good. I love that cover! I watched the trailer for the book and it was great-the music went right with it. Would really enjoy reading this book.

from South MS


Judy said...

Wow! I loved the trailer for Maggie's Journey. This book sounds so good. I would love to win a copy of it. Lena, thanks for this giveaway! I plan to read this book regardless of whether I win a copy or not!


Judy B from Indiana

wfnren said...

Sounds like a great book, can't wait to read it. Thank you for the giveaway.


Robyn said...

Can't wait to read it, Lena. I've been watching that page count grow and praying for you while you were writing. Sounds like it will be a wonderful read.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Patty said...

How fun, a chance to win one of YOUR books! It's sounds great, will keep my eye our for a copy if I don't win one...

Patty in SC

Lisa Nelson said...

This book looks very interesting!!
I would like to be included in the giveaway!!
I am from Arkansas!
Thank you!!!

Rebecca said...

I would love to win this. This book looks absolutely amazing. Thanks for the chance to win.

I am from Oklahoma

Lorna Faith said...

Love the storyline Lena:) Your characters are so the detail!
I would love to be entered to win!

Lorna from Alberta

lornafaith at gmail dot com

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Wow! Y'all got here early this morning. Glad to see you here. I know most of your names from visits on other people's interviews.

I'm glad my book sounds interesting. It has already received acclaim from Romantic Times Book Review Magazine.

scottsgal said...

Love the time period this book was written about. Sounds wonderful
Cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Pam K. said...

I've been reading your blog for quite awhile but haven't yet read one of your books. "Maggie's Journey" sounds like a great one with which to begin. Thanks for offering a free book.


Faye said...

Great interview :) I'm so happy for your new book! And it sounds amazing!

Please enter me
crazi.swans at gmail dot com

Faye said...

Oh, and I'm from South Dakota :)

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Thank you all for stopping by. I love having you. I'm speaking out of town this weekend. Hope you have a good one.

JoyAnne said...

Sounds really good.

Joyce in TN

Jo said...

"Maggie's Journey" sounds fantastic! I can't wait to read the entire trilogy! I have added it to my wish list and am going to read it.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Sharon Richmond said...

Sounds like a great story! I love reading and would love to win this book. Thanks and God bless!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Joanna Richmond said...

It Looks and sounds interesting. I would Love to read this book. enter me in the drawing
God Bless
Joanna Richmond,
Blanch, NC.

Pamela J said...

I have a great respect for someone who can write such incredible books and still write more books that are equally incredible. I'd love to win Lena's book. I've been lied to in my life and understand, in part (or at least can empathize) with the deceit. I'm from Southern Colorado.
cepjwms at wb4me dot com

Mama Cat said...

This looks like such an awesome book! There are three kinds of Christian fiction that WOW me - Amish, suspense, historical. Would love to read this! I live in Phoenix AZ

Mama Cat said...

PS Lena, I know this is an aside to your incredible new series - but I see that you and Kari Jobe are friends. Pls tell her that her first CD is awesome! and helped me thru a rough spot, still love to hear it. God is good!

Abigail said...

Looks interesting. Would love to win. Its different to see Lena interviewed. I just bought one of your books off of
Thanks and God Bless!
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Sarah said...

It looks interesting!I would love to win this book.Please enter me in the drawing.Thanks
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Wilma said...

would love to win this book but if I don't I'll be sure & buy it to find out more about Maggie.


Wilma said...

Forgot to say I'm from Tennessee.

Cindy W. said...

I absolutely love the cover of Maggie's Journey. It sounds like a wonderful read and I would love to win a copy. Thank you for the opportunity.

I live in Northeast Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Maggie Carr said...

I just love books with a character named Maggie! Bet you can't guess why...

Maggie C. (Northern Indiana)

Aizess said...

I have never read one of your books, Lena and would enjoy reading this one.
Please enter me in the giveaway!


I live in New York

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

what a delite, Lena, to read your own interview! well done ~ this story is captivating ~ love all the depth of research you did as well & God's provision of that library resource! so cool ~ looking fwd to a solid read... blstef1 at mts dot net
from MB

Trinity Rose said...

So nice to hear about your book.
I would love to read it.
Thanks for the neat interview.
Trinity Rose from OH

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

So many of my longtime and new readers have left comments. I'm so glad to see each on of you.

James and I took a 36 hour, 602 mile trip, which was multi-purpose. We got home about midnight last night, and I fell into bed. Now I'm getting ready to go to church--the late service.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Mama Cat, I'll let Kari know you left that comment. I know how much her music has meant to me, and she's always interested in what is going on with my writing.

rubynreba said...

I'm from Iowa. Can't wait to read this book!

Diane Kris said...

This book sounds wonderful. I can't wait to read it and the sequels. I live in Alliance, Ohio. If I am not fortunate enough to win the book, I will definitely be purchasing it.

Susan H said...

I really enjoy reading your books and look forward to your new one! Love the cover!
I'm from Fort Worth, TX.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I'm still trying to catch up from our weekend trip. I have a deadline tomorrow I'm working on today, but I appreciate every one of you and your comments.

Nathanael Richmond said...

Looks interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing.
Nathanael Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Lady DragonKeeper said...

I would have thought that triplets would be fairly rare back then, so this is an unique premise for a story. Thanks for the chance to win!


(P.S. I'm from Hawaii)

Merry said...

Maggie's Journey sounds wonderful, I look forward to traveling with her as she finds out who she is. Thanks for a chance to win a copy!
Merry in TX

Kristie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristie said...

I'm a librarian and I liked your answer about the library. I'm so pleased. It's really amazing that they had all that info. Awesome. A postive experience is the best buzz! Tell all your friends. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.