Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A TEXAN'S PROMISE - Shelley Gray - Free Book

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Boy, that’s a great question! Hmm. All my characters have some basic traits that are like me, I suppose. Most try to be good people. Most of my characters really do believe in happy endings and falling in love-as I do, too! But usually my characters are usually people not like me. Instead they’re people I’d like to know.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Since it’s Christmas time, I’d have to say the quirkiest thing I’ve done lately is decorate way too early for Christmas. And I’ve been known to listen to Christmas music all year long. Yes, it drove my children crazy!

I love Christmas music and play Christmas CDs from the day after Thanksgiving until New Years day. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I never thought of myself as a writer until I deliberately sat down and attempted to write a novel. I never thought of myself as a “real” writer until I sold my first book-back in 2000. I’ve always considered myself a reader.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’ve always enjoyed reading. I majored in English literature, and really enjoyed studying the classics. Now, I usually will read romances or mysteries. I read fast, and I can never leave a bookstore (or grocery store! Or Walmart!) without a book in my hands. In college, my favorite place to hang out in was the local library-not the college one!

When I was a child, the library was an important place for my family to visit. We brought home loads of books. We couldn’t afford to buy them. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I try to keep focused on what is important and not get too stressed about things that don’t matter all that much. I rarely worry about a messy house! As far as writing, I usually have a bunch of deadlines, so I try to concentrate only what is due next, not what is due a month from now.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I use a baby name book-the kind expectant moms would buy! For my Amish books, I have copies of The Budget, which is the Amish newspaper. I get all my names from people mentioned in the regional reports.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Personally, it’s that I’ve been married 23 years to my college sweetheart and that my college-aged kids still like to come home. Professionally, it’s making the New York Times Bestseller List.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Ha! Hmm…I guess I’d be a mole.: ) I’m very comfortable staying home and kind of hiding out from the rest of the world. Especially in the winter!

What is your favorite food?
That would be cookies. I love to bake cookies, and have been known to eat too many.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
As far as actual writing, my greatest roadblock was when I once had a heroine who completely did not want to follow my outline or goals for her! I ended up praying a lot, and asking God to help me meet my deadline, and have the strength to believe in the story and the heroine enough to ignore the outline and my fears.

I also have to say that selling A Texan’s Promise was a tough roadblock, too. The manuscript went to many editorial boards and was “almost” sold, but then rejected, for various reasons. I had to learn that there is a time for everything, and that I needed to be patient and wait for this book’s time. Once again, God’s timing was perfect.

I know what you mean about that. My McKenna’s Daughters series was like that. Tell us about the featured book?
A Texan’s Promise is a western historical romance set in Texas and Colorado in the 1870’s. My hero, Clayton Proffitt, is just wonderful! He’s honorable and noble and willing to do whatever it takes to help the woman he loves. My heroine, Vanessa Grant, starts out as an extremely vulnerable woman in the worst of situations, but then finds enough to strength to save Clayton from himself. A Texan’s Promise features a whole cast of characters, who have been hurt in one way or another by war and hardship but have become better for those experiences.

I wrote the book for fun on weekends and in the evenings. I guess you could say in a lot of ways, it’s the book of my heart.

Please give us the first page of the book. Here you go:

“Vanessa, honey, why you crying?”

Clayton! He stood in the doorway to the stables, his presence both a soothing balm and a source of panic.

Vanessa gingerly leaned back against the wood behind her, willed herself to relax, but it was no good. It was going to be some time before she could calm down again.  “I’m sorry I woke you.”

“You didn’t.” His eyes narrowed as he stepped closer. “It’s midnight. Isn’t it awfully late for you to be out of bed?”

Yes. Yes, it was. It was too late for a lot of things now. Wiping her eyes with the side of her fist, she shook her head. “I’ll go in soon.”

Clayton crouched beside her, his knees brushing her skirts. A puff of dust flew up, mixing with his scent, all bay rum and horses. “Care to tell me what happened?”

She was thankful for the darkness. “No.”

I can’t wait to read this book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I hope readers will visit my website:, or on Facebook, too! I write a blog a few times a week, and am on FB almost every day.

Thank you, Shelley, for the interesting interview.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
A Texan's Promise - Book #1 in The Heart of a Hero Series

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.


Robyn said...

I think this book sounds like a true labor of love. When you go through that many roadblocks, I think only good things can come from it. Looking forward to reading it.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

wfnren said...

Great interview, great sounding book. I live in FL.


Patty said...

Sounds interesting... sounds like the main characters already have some sort of relationship at the start of the book. I will be interested to find out their history!

Patty in SC

jewels67 said...

I loved the interview and reading that you too as well love to read the classics and romances as well. I would love to read this book :)

Kim F said...

Sounds like another great book from Shelley. She is so sincere in her writing and was very gracious and warm when I recently met her. I live in Lancaster County, PA

babykf at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I got my daughter-in-law started reading Shelly's books and now we both read them. We both enjoy her writing. From Carol

Lorna Faith said...

Sounds like a great book Shelley...would love to read it:)

Lorna from Alberta

lornafaith at gmail dot com

Shelley Shepard Gray said...

Lena, Thank you so much for interviewing me about A Texan's Promise! I'm looking forward to giving a copy of the book away!

Salena Stormo said...

The book sounds wonderful! Please sign me up!


Melissa L said...

Thanks for the interview. Love to know more about the authors I read. Can't wait to finally find a copy of this book to read!!

JoAnn Durgin said...

Sign me up for this one! Sounds great, and I've been wanting to read Shelley's books. Thank you for the wonderful interview, ladies. Blessings! in Southern Indiana

Southern Gal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Southern Gal said...

Thanks for the fun interview. I would love to win this book.

Pam Burke
Potosi, MO

southerngallovestoread dot blogspot dot com

pamburke74 at gmail dot com

Merry said...

I'd love to be entered for A Texan's Promise. Thanks!
Merry in TX

scottsgal said...

Love books set in texas. Laughed that you'd be a mole :-)

cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Ali said...

This book looks very promising. First page wasn't enough for me, excited for the rest.

Alicia from NYC

Ali said...

This book sounds very promising. The first page was not enough for me I want to read more.

Alicia form NYC

Bonnie said...

Would love a chance to read this book. Thanks for the opportunity.

Aizess said...

This book sounds like it will be a great read. I've been wanting to try one of Shelly's books. Please enter me in this giveaway!

I live in New York

Anonymous said...

The library is still one of my favorite places too ;) Can't wait to read A Texan's Promise!

from MI

Sarah said...

Man this looks good! Thanks for the chance to win! That first page makes me want to know what happened!!

Sarah from Ohio

marybelle said...

I can relate to decorating for Christmas way too early. It's such a special time though & I always feel so joyous.

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like a great story! Thanks and God bless!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

gahome2mom said...

Happy Holidays

I think it is neat that you use a Baby Name book for characters. My daughter likes using Baby Name books for her characters in art and stories.


Abigail Richmond said...

Looks interesting, Please enter me in the drawing.
Blanch, N.C.

Sarah said...

Looks interesting!!
Please enter me in the drawing.
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Ingrid said...

The Interview was great, thank you for giving us a chance to get to know you a little, my favorite place is still the Library, I go there every chance I get. Your Book sounds great and I can't wait to read it, please enter me in your contest.

I live in S.Illinois


Marianne said...

i love Shelley Gray's novels, and would really like to win this book. Thanks for the interview/post and giveaway, ladies.


Marianne said...

oops forgot to say i', from El Mirage, Arizona

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in your drawing
for this exciting book!

Dennie Richmond
Blanch, NC

Pam K. said...

I enjoyed the interview with Shelley. I can relate to her comments about being a "mole," especially in winter, and loving to bake (and eat!) cookies.
"A Texan's Promise" sounds like a book I'd enjoy reading. It would be fun to win a copy.


Judy said...

I love Shelley's books. I must admit this one will be different from her Amish fiction ones. I am looking forward to reading, A Texan’s Promise. I would love to win a copy of it.

Thanks for the great interview and giveaway.

Judy B from IN

Anonymous said...

I would love to win and read this book.Please enter

Rebecca said...

Sounds like a great story. I love stories set out west. Would love the opportunity to read it. I'm from NC.

Nathanael Richmond said...

Enter me!
Nathanael Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Katie McCurdy said...

Thanks for the chance to win this--looks like a good read!

Katie from Florida

Cindy W. said...

Oh I do love Texas and would love to read this book. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


rubynreba said...

I love to listen to Christmas music too and I also decorate way too early. Great interview and it sounds like a great book!

Jo said...

This book sounds great and would love to read it.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Kristie said...

I love the library too. I work in a public library in a universtity town. I like to see students but I do not understand why they do not know what the university library offers. Sigh. Your book is a real departure from Amish fiction. It sounds great! I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

apple blossom said...

thanks for a chance to win

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Mama Cat said...

Would love to read this - especially since it is a book of your heart. Thank you for the chance to win - I live in Phoenix

Deborah said...

love shelley's books and am looking forward to seeing how she does with non Amish fiction

Deborah from VA