Monday, January 14, 2013

LOVE IN THREE-QUARTER TIME - Dina Sleiman - One Free Ebook

Welcome, Dina. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I think it’s hard not to include a little of yourself in your characters, especially your heroine. I imagine we all secretly dream of living a life as big as our heroines. On the other hand, I make a conscious effort to always give my characters a distinctive Meyers-Briggs personality type. So far in all of my novels, I’ve only written one character with my exact personality. Constance Cavendish in Love in Three-Quarter Time shares many of my interests, but she is much more extroverted than me, which makes a significant difference in her personality and choices.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hmm…you’re talking to a fairly quirky person here. I love to act and dance, and while I can be shy, I’m not afraid to dress up in funny costumes and be silly in public. My friends know not to put anything past me. I regularly sing while shopping at the grocery store. It’s a form of self-preservation and makes people smile. Is that quirky enough?

You sound to me like a wonderful, fun person to be around. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’m not one of those people who always knew I would write. I enjoyed writing but had a broad variety of interests. Somewhere around late high school, I added writing a novel to my list of dreams. But it wasn’t until college that I discovered I had a real love and talent for writing. I then went on to study writing in grad school.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My reading tastes are very eclectic. I’ve always read some romance for entertainment. But I also adore more literary and issue-driven novels that really make you think. Science fiction and fantasy are fun for switching things up. And while I don’t particularly like to mix my romance with my suspense, I can occasionally enjoy a good psychological thriller.

Many of my recent novels have a strong romantic thread but deal with very serious issues as well. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I mentioned in a round about way that I’m very introverted. I need a lot of quiet time alone. For that reason, I value my long walks, quiet days, and prayer times with God. To me, prayer is more about listening, meditation, and soaking in God’s presence than talking at him, and I need that time of refreshing. Getting outdoors and dancing are also huge sanity savers for me. The beach and the mountains are my happy places.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Usually I have an idea for the main characters name and then build the others around it. In this novel the main character’s name, Constance, is meant to be somewhat ironic. Her nickname, Gingersnap, is more true to her character. Much of the book is about her struggle against her own nature, and what God reveals to her through that struggle.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Being a published author certainly ranks way up there. But I think I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve raised three, wonderful, godly children. Although I don’t know if “proud” is the right word. Often I look at them and shake my head in wonder. I’m sure I couldn’t have done that on my own. They are the result of prayer, God’s grace, and many wonderful influences in their lives.

A large part of raising children is spending a lot of time in prayer. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would want to be some sort of bird so that I could fly and sing all day long.

What is your favorite food?
Just one food? To quote a sign I saw on facebook, “My life is a constant battle between my love for food and my desire to stay thin.” I probably most enjoy grilled tuna, sweet salads, and organic baked goods because those foods appease both sides of this battle.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
In the beginning, voice, character, and description came easily to me, but my novels moved too slowly and weren’t very story oriented. I had to work harder on things like plot, conflict, and motivation. And I didn’t understand how to write strong scenes in the beginning. The two biggest helps to me were Angela Hunt’s plot skeleton and Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas. Ron Benrey’s description of the fictional dream world really assisted me with writing strong scenes. Good (hand selected) critique partners were a blessing too.

Tell us about the featured book.
I call it my Scarlett O’Hara meets Jane Austen novel, but here’s the official description:

In the style of Deeanne Gist, Dina Sleiman explores the world of 1817 Virginia in her novel Love in Three-Quarter Time. When the belle of the ball falls into genteel poverty, the fiery Constance Cavendish must teach the dances she once loved in order to help her family survive. The opportunity of a lifetime might await her in the frontier town of Charlottesville, but the position will require her to instruct the sisters of the plantation owner who jilted her when she needed him most. As Robert Montgomery and Constance make discoveries about one another, will their renewed faith in God help them to face their past and the guilt that threatens to destroy them in time to waltz to a fresh start?

Please give us the first page of the book.
“Gingersnap” Cavendish waltzed her way through the scandalous steps, tilting her head back to giggle prettily as she’d practiced in the mirror. If all went according to plan, her copper curls would bounce and catch the firelight just right.

“It doesn’t look so scandalous to me.” Robert Montgomery—the man of her dreams—leaned against the rich mahogany bookshelves of Papa’s library as music drifted in from the enormous marble foyer beyond.

“That’s because you haven’t joined me yet.” Humming along to the tune, she continued to glide and twirl, brushing her stocking-clad feet against the plush carpet. She lifted the silken, rosy skirt of her high-waisted gown for him to better watch the pattern of her steps.  “One, two, three. One, two, three. Down, up, up. Are you grasping it? I’ve never attempted the man’s part, but you are an expert dancer. I’m certain you’ll manage.”

“All right. I shall give it a try if you insist. We can’t hide here much longer. How did you persuade me of this?”

“Excellent!”  She clapped her hands and rocked on her toes to set her curls bouncing once again. “Come close.” As if he needed such an instruction.

“Gladly, my princess.”

Pleasure bloomed warm in her chest. She loved it when he called her princess, as she certainly planned to reign over Robbie’s kingdom at the Montgomery family plantation soon enough.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Dina, for spending this time with us today.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Love in Three-Quarter Time

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.


collettakay said...

I would love to win this book. The first page is so intriguing!

Colletta from PA

Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds like an interesting book. Dina is a new author to me, I haven't read any of her books yet.

Wendy from FL.


Sylvia said...

I'm from NC and love this time period in history. This story sounds interesting and I see that is has mostly five-star reviews!


LadySaotome said...

Gingersnap is an adorable nickname. I love the character already!

LadySaotome from the black hills of SD!

Dina Sleiman said...

Colletta, so glad you enjoyed it :)

Dina Sleiman said...

Wendy, this is actually my second novel. My first, Dance of the Dandelion, is set in the medieval time period.

Dina Sleiman said...

Sylvia in North Carolina, we're practically neighbors :) Yes, I've been pleased with the reviews. And even the lower ones are generally positive, which is encouraging.

Dina Sleiman said...

Lady Saotome, while writing the book I was scared for a minute because I had chosen the nickname but then couldn't find record that the cookies existed at the time. Turns out I made it with just a few years to spare :)

Hannah said...

I would love to win!
Hannah P

Dina Sleiman said...

Best wishes, Hannah.

Norma S said...

Hi Dina,
Thank you Dina, and Lena for giving me a chance to win the book "Love In Three-Quarter Time."Sounds like a great book. So why do you call it your Scarlett O'Hara meets Jane Austan novel? God bless both of you.
Norma Stanforth from Ohio

Dina Sleiman said...

Norma, it's set in the South with a character who has a bit of Scarlett in her (especially in the beginning). But because of the time period, it also has a good bit of Regency flair, and I tried to include some Austen-like twists and turns.

Marianne Barkman said...

Great interview, again, Lena. Thanks for the chance to win Dina's Love In Three Quarter Time. It sounds intriguingly different.

Marianne from northern Alberta


Dina Sleiman said...

Marianne, I hope it's different. I get tired of the same old same old.

Mary Preston said...

Your food quote made me laugh.

I'm looking forward to a great read thank you.

Mary P


Dina Sleiman said...

Ha ha, thanks Mary. The book actually is fairly humorous. I hesitate to call it romantic comedy because that comes with certain expectations, but it will certainly make you smile a lot.

apple blossom said...

sounds like a book I'd love to read thanks
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Dina Sleiman said...

No problem, Apple Blossom.

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins

Duncanville, Tx

Lourdes said...

So glad you decided to your dream and decided to write. Looking forward to reading this book.

Lourdes from Long Island New York

Dina Sleiman said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Lourdes.

Patty said...

My brother lives in Charlottesville! With all the historic homes and such in the area it's not hard to picture in my mind the setting for this book.

Patty in SC

Dina Sleiman said...

Patty, I went for a nice long visit while editing the book. It was just like I remembered it. Beautiful area! I found a plantation home just like my setting right where it belonged. And I included Monticello in the book as well.

karenk said...

Would love to read Dina's latest novel...thanks for the chance

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Dina Sleiman said...

Hi Karen. Nice to "see" you here :)

Dina Sleiman said...

Oh, I missed Lyndie. You're welcome.

Veronica Sternberg said...

This looks really good! I'm in MN.

Jean said...

I enjoy Julie's writing, and would enjoy the chance at receiving this book. Thank you.

Jean Kropid
West Palm Beach, FL

Jean said...

Would love this book...thank you for the opportunity!

Jean Kropid
West Palm Beach, FL

sharon m. said...

I would really like to win this book. I have a Kindle reader and love it! I've never read this author, yet! Sharon, San Diego

Dina Sleiman said...

Jean and Sharon, thanks for stopping by. I'm always happy for an opportunity to connect with new readers.

Merry said...

What a lovely peek, please add me for Love in Three Quarter Time.

Dina Sleiman said...

Merry, sure thing.

Michelle said...

I have a sample of this on my kindle, but haven't read it yet. Would love to read the book.


Dina Sleiman said...

Michelle, I like downloading samples too. I often check out new books that way.

Deborah D said...

I would love to read this book.

Deborah D from FL