Friday, January 03, 2014

HEART OF MERCY - Sharlene MacLaren - One Free Book

Readers, I was privileged to read Heart of Mercy for endorsement. Here's what I said: Heart of Mercy the first book in Sharlene MacLaren's new series, will delight her fans. The characters grabbed my heart on the first page and didn't let go. With a feud between two mountain families that had lasted several generations, and a strong young man and an equally strong young women, who both needed a spouse the sparks fly literally and figuratively. The Tennesee mountain Romeo and Juliet story carried me along through the roller-coaster ride of a tale. It's the best book Sharlene has ever written. (Of course, I think that when each new book comes out.)

Welcome back, Sharlene. I love your new author picture. Do you have a favorite genre to write? If so, what is it?
My preferred genre is historical romance, although I have published three contemporary stand-alone novels.

If you didn’t live in the part of the country where you do, where would you live?
Well, gosh, if I could talk my entire family into coming with me (uh-hum) I’d really love to live further south where I didn’t have to contend with all that wet white stuff in the winter.

I’m in Texas, and we’ve had a much colder winter than usual with one really bad ice storm that lasted longer than usual, too. What foreign country would you like to visit and why?
Is Hawaii a foreign country? (Just kidding.) Someday, I’d love to visit Australia!

Describe what you think would be the most romantic vacation you could take.
Oh my, I think I’ve already gone. My hubby took me on a Mediterranean Cruise for our 25th anniversary with ports of call in Naples, Barcelona, Florence, and several other romantic spots. For my 60th birthday, he took me to London, England, and Paris, France. Hawaii is romantic, right? That’s where I’d love to go next…someday.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?
So far, I’ve set stories in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and NYC. I love the south, so I’m considering a southern historical set in Missouri – think Ozark Mountain Country.

The Ozarks are beautiful. I grew up in the Ozarks of Northwest Arkansas. What is the main theme of the featured novel?
Heart of Mercy is the first in my Tennessee Dreams series, and I’d say its central theme is built around the very title itself – mercy. Besides mercy, though, it’s a story of forgiveness, new beginnings, and family healing.

Tell us about the story.
Mercy Evans has known a great deal of heartache and hardship in her 26 years. She lost her mother at a young age and was only sixteen when her father was killed in a brawl sparked by a family feud spanning several generations. Yet, Mercy never doubts the presence and provision of her Heavenly Father. When a house fire claims the lives of her two best friends, leaving their two young sons as orphans, Mercy offers to be their guardian. It seems simple enough, until the judge mandates that the boys be placed with a married couple.

Samuel Connors is a man adrift. Despite the success of the blacksmith business he inherited from his father, he senses a void unaffected by material rewards. His mother keeps nagging him to find a wife, but the only woman who comes to mind is Mercy Evans. What would she want with the man whose father murdered hers?

Mercy is determined to do whatever it takes to win custody of the Watson boys. But, marry a mortal enemy of the Evans family? Only God can give her the courage and heart to go through with it.

As I said, I’ve read the book, but please give us the first page for my readers.
Paris, Tennessee

The single word had the power to force a body to drop to his knees and call out to his Maker for leniency. But most took time for neither, instead racing to the scene of terror with the bucket they kept stored close to the door, and joining the contingent of citizens determined to battle the flames of death and destruction. Such was the case tonight when, washing the dinner dishes in the kitchen sink, Mercy Evans heard the dreaded screams coming from all directions, even began to smell the sickening fumes of blazing timber seeping through her open windows. She ran through her house and burst through the screen door onto the front porch.

“Where’s the fire?” she shouted at the people running up Wood Street carrying buckets of water.

Without so much as a glance at her, one man hollered on the run, “Looks to be the Watson place over on Caldwell.”

Her heart thudded to a shattering halt. God, no! “Surely, you don’t mean Herb and Millie Watson!”

Mercy Evans and Millie Watson, formerly Gifford, had been fast friends at school and had stuck together like glue in the dimmest of circumstances, as well as the sweetest. Millie had walked with Mercy through the loss of both her parents, and Mercy had watched Millie fall wildly in love with Herb Watson in the twelfth grade. She’d been the maid of honor in their wedding the following summer.

But her voice was lost to the footsteps thundering past. Whirling on her heel, she ran back inside, hurried to extinguish all but one kerosene lamp, snatched her wrap from its hook by the door, and darted back outside and up the rutted street toward her best friends’ home, dodging horses and a stampede of citizens. “Lord, please don’t let it be,” she pleaded aloud. “Oh, God, keep them safe. Jesus, Jesus….” But her cries vanished in the scramble of bodies crowding her off the street as several made the turn onto Caldwell in their quest to reach the flaming house, which already looked beyond saving. 

How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can find all my books online at either or at
To connect personally with me, check out my “official” website at:, my blog at: and/or check out my Facebook page at: . You can also find my FB group page by searching for “Sharlene MacLaren Fan Group”.
*(Come to Facebook to either request my friendship or follow me. I welcome visitors and love the opportunity to chat with all my lovely friends.)

Thank you, Sharlene, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Heart of Mercy -
Heart Of Mercy (Tennessee Dreams Series # 1) -
Heart of Mercy (Tennessee Dreams) - Kindle

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 Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Library Lady said...

We have Sharlene's books in the church library.
One of the characters in her book is named after my friend, Gertie Pridmore. Go Gertie !!
Thanks for the giveaway.
Janet E.

SHARLENE said...

Hello there, "Library Lady". I just love Gertie Pridmore. When I first met her online I knew I had to use her name in a future book. It's just got that wonderful old-fashioned ring to it. Thanks for stopping by to check out my interview, Janet!


Cheryl said...

I have loved all of Sharlene's books. Funny true story, I remember it was one of her books that I was reading when I was riding along with my husband in a semi truck on Hwy. 30 east of Cedar Rapids, Iowa when there was this loud crash & shards of glass ended up in my lap while I had my nose stuck in this book. A wild turkey (yes, actual turkey ;) trying to fly from one side of the road to the other ran smack into the windshield on my side. Needless to say it did not survive. Guess you don't forget those kinds of things. Love your books, Sharlene, & following along with you on Facebook, too!

Christine Harper said...

I already bought the book but I would love one for my best friend who I call "My Sister By Heart".
The sun is shinning in south TEXAS.

SHARLENE said...

Oh, my goodness, Cheryl, WHAT A MEMORY!!! I would say I'm happy to hear you were reading my book at the time, but that makes me sound a little sadistic. Haha. Poor turkey comes to mind, but poor windshield is probably a better thing to say. So glad your hubby didn't go off the road and land in a ditch - or worse.

Thanks for stopping by to read my interview.

SHARLENE said...

Christine, I'm happy to hear you already bought the book! Good luck on winning a copy for your "sister by heart". I have a few sisters by heart, and they are the best kind of friends, aren't they?

Love and Hugs...

collettakay said...

I would love to win this book!

Colletta from PA

SHARLENE said...

Hi, Collette. Thanks for leaving a comment. Good luck on winning a copy!

SHARLENE said...

Oops, sorry. I misspelled your name, COLLETTA.

Leah Groner said...

I love reading your books. It relaxes me when Im stressed. Its hard to put the book down once I pick it up. I would love a signed copy.

SHARLENE said...

Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment, Leah. Glad to hear you find my books hard to put down once you start reading them. That is something EVERY author loves hearing.

Hugs and Blessings...

Penni LaBeau said...

I love Sharlene Baker MacLaren books..She is sweet in real life and so very witty..Makes her real to those who follow her. I grew up in Michigan but now live in Tennessee..

Jill said...

I am excited to read Sharlene's latest book and would love to be the winner. Although, I will be happy for anyone that receives this book! God has given Sharlene such talent and smiles every time she publishes another book!!

Jody T said...

I love Sharlene Maclaren books. My name is Jody and I am from Maryland.

SHARLENE said...

Thank you so much, Jill and Jody T. You guys are awesome!!!

Kathy Burdette said...

Okay Sharlene I did figure it out! Would love to win this book! HOpe it goes well with you! God Bless!

Kathy Burdette said...

I would love to win this book! I did figure out how to get on...God Bless!

Melanie Backus said...

I have never read one of Sharlene's books but I can tell by this post I am going to have to change that. Thank you for the giveaway.

Melanie Backus, TX

squiresj said...

I am always interested in winning a book of yours. You are on a good blog too - I visit it often.
enter me please
I live in Missouri but would like to go back to Arizona - too cold this winter.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

Valerie said...

I use Sharlene's books as rewards FOR MYSELF!!! I have to get a certain amount of things done before I allow myself to start one because I know that I'll spend every waking moment reading until it's finished. They're so good that I have to make myself slow down and read every word!

I'm Valerie and I live in Kentucky. :)

shirley Blanchard said...

would love to win
Shirley B i live in fl

Barbara Wenner said...

Love your books,onces i pick one up can't put it down.Barbara in Paris tx

Britney Adams said...

I have not read Sharlene's books, but I certainly look forward to doing so after this introduction. I would love to win a copy of HEART OF MERCY! Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

Britney Adams, TX

bonton said...

I haven't read any of Sharlene's books - but love the story line of "Heart of Mercy", and would love to read it!

Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!


Nise' said...

I can't wait to read this latest book. I love just a few miles from Shar in Michigan ;) Going to do an appearance for this book locally Shar?

SHARLENE said...

Valerie, I love that you use my books as rewards - to YOURSELF! I do that with candy bars. Haha.

BonnieRoof, Melanie and Britney, you've never read one of my books? Well, doggone, it's time you started. Best wishes on winning a signed copy to get you off and running!

Hi Nise! So good to "see" you here. I haven't yet been asked to do anything local for quite a long time. We need to get the ball rolling on that, huh.

Lourdes said...

Would so love to win.

Lourdes Long Island NY

sm said...

I would like to win and read your book. You are a new author to me. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

Everyone I work with loves Sharlene's work. I was fortunate to introduce four of the ladies to her talents. A new series would be a delight. Thank you for the interview (who would have known what a romantic hubby Sharlene has) such lovely trips! :)


Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

I apologize, I forgot to mention the state that I live in. That would be Arizona.


Mary Preston said...

This does sound wonderful.

Mary P


Susan Johnson said...

I don't think I have read any of Sharlene's books yet, but this looks like a good one to start with.

Odessa, Texas

Sonja said...

What a cool name for a character. I think I would really enjoy this book. And like stated in the article I too would like to get away from the "wet" stuff because I live in Utah! (and the "white" stuff, by the way.

SHARLENE said...

Thanks so much for your comments, ladies!!! And Kelly, wow, thanks for introducing my books to your co-workers. You rock!

You are all so sweet and wonderful!

Love and Hugs...

EJ said...

This sounds like a great new series - can't wait to read it. Elaine in Iowa

Rebecca Maney said...

I have read all of Sharlene's other books and this one sounds wonderful! Would love to read a copy. I live in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, but grew up in the mountains therel

Jackie McNutt said...

Heart of Mercy looks to be an excellent read. Thank you for featuring Sharlene and the excerpt from her book.

Risa Platt said...

Shar, I love reading (or watching) your interviews! You are always so funny. I would so love to be your neighbor... We could sit together each morning over a cup of coffee while we discuss your latest book (Yes, I have to admit, I would love to have "pre-release info!!!" LOL) However, I'm afraid you'd have to move here to Arkansas... My kitties would not be amused if they had to deal with your version of cold!! Love you!!!

Patty said...

I loved Sharlene's first two series (set in MI & Kentucky) and when I discovered she lived in MI, my home state I even sent her an e-mail. I would love to read this first book in a new series!

Patty in SC

Jan Hall said...

I live in Central Texas. I enjoyed the sampling of the book. It sounds like an exciting story. I would love to read the rest of the story. fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

SHARLENE said...

It is lovely to read everyone's comments! Thanks to Elaine from Iowa and to Rebecca Maney who says she's read ALL my books. Rebecca, you are my hero!!!

Also, thanks, Jackie from Ohio. Oh, and Risa, I would LOVE to have you for a neighbor. Yes, we could sit and do coffee together, and you could help me brainstorm my plots. Right now, my hubby and daughter are my brainstorming partners, but I could always use more!

Patty from SC, you know I love you, and it's not even because you're originally from Michigan. Thanks for loving my books...

Finally, thanks to Jan Hall for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

Best wishes to all of you, and may God grant you His very best blessings in 2014.

Love and Hugs to all!

Judy Cooper said...

I have not read any of Mrs. MacLaren's books but I have wanted to. I enjoyed her interview and I have followed her on Facebook. Please count me in. Judy C. in Louisiana.

Mama Cat said...

Would love to read this - Tennessee, 1800's, adopting friends' orphan children - absolutely captivating! I live in Phoenix, AZ

Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela in KY

SHARLENE said...

Best wishes to Judy, Mama Cat, and Angela. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

Here in West Michigan we are getting TONS of snow, high winds, and near blizzard conditions. I would really like to be someplace warm about now. Hawaii would do. (grins)

Blessings to all!

SHARLENE said...

As ALWAYS, Lena, thanks so much for hosting me at your blog. You are beloved by authors and readers alike.

Happy New Year!

Merry said...

Heart of Mercy sounds terrific... I've even been to Paris, TN, so that is fun!
Merry in MN