Monday, March 31, 2014

BUTTERFLY PALACE - Colleen Coble - One Free Book

Readers, I’ve known Colleen Coble for a number over a decade, and I’ve loved reading her novels. Butterfly Palace is another excellent read. It has romance, mystery, and an interesting historical setting. As usual, the characters drew me into their lives from page one. You won’t want to miss this book.

Welcome back, Colleen. Why did you become an author?
I don’t know. I have wanted to write since I was a little girl, but I don’t know the why of it. I think God just created me that way. J

With the talent you have, I’m sure of it. If you weren’t an author, what would be your dream job?
I would be a naturopath. I love natural medicine and I am always advising someone about something!

If you could have lived at another time in history, what would it be and why?
I love the turn of the century, which is the time period of Butterfly Palace. It’s somewhat similar to today with lots of new technology beginning to happen and great social change. It’s very interesting to me.

What place in the United States have you not visited that you would like to?
I’ve been to every state in the country. J

That’s quite an accomplishment. How about a foreign country you hope to visit?
I was privileged to visit Cambodia last February and I want to go back. A fascinating country and I love the people!

What lesson has the Lord taught you recently?
My friend Diann Hunt helped pound home the important lesson about living every day for the Lord. We don’t know if we will have tomorrow, so we need to squeeze every bit of joy and love out of today.

Tell us about the featured book.
Elegance and wealth. Privilege and politics. The extravagance of the Butterfly Palace overwhelmed Lily’s senses and nearly smothered her painful memories. She pushed away her misgivings ... She was perfectly safe in this huge house.

Austin, Texas—1904: Abandoned by the love of her life and still mourning the loss ofher mother, Lily Donaldson has turned her back on the pain and come to Austinfor a fresh start, working for the Marshall family as a kitchen maid in theirluxurious mansion, the Butterfly Palace. The tasks before her are legion, and hermistress less than pleasant, but at least Lily’s new life will be, if nothingelse, distracting.
But one night, while serving at a dinner party, Lily recognizes the man who abandonedher, Andy, her liaison from the livery stable, the blacksmith’s son ...sitting among the distinguished guests. Though he recognizes her, Andy does notacknowledge her aloud, and Lily is left reeling, flabbergasted, andirate. 
But before she can get an explanation, the path of the Servant Girl Killer swervesvery close to the Butterfly Palace, sowing terror among the maids. Having cometo Austin to start anew, Lily suddenly feels trapped in a spider web. How canshe know who to trust in a house where lies come dressed in fine suits anddeceit in silk gowns the colors of butterfly wings?

I’ve read the book, but please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Larson, Texas 1900
Lily Donaldson tiptoed to the front door and winced when it opened with a creak. The last thing she wanted was to awaken her mother who was sleeping down the hall. Even though Lily was over twenty, her mother would take a switch to her if she knew she was sneaking out like this. The lights still shone from the livery, attached to their house.

She peeked in the window as she passed and saw her father at the desk with his partner as they poured over figures for the new expansion. There was a stack of money on the desk beside them. It would be hours before the meeting came to an end. The talk of a new livery in the next town over had been going on for several weeks, and both men never seemed to tire of the topic.

The night air touched her heated skin, and she shivered as she hurried along the path to the barn. Crickets chirped as if to keep time to the ragtime tune tinkling from the tavern’s piano down the street. The threat of discovery added another thump to her pulse.

The familiar scent of hay and horse greeted her when she stepped into the darkened building. “Andy?” She twisted the unfamiliar weight of the engagement ring on her finger. Her lips curved when Andy Hawkins stepped from the shadows. “I thought maybe you hadn’t been able to slip away.” She kept her voice barely above a whisper.

“I told him I wasn’t feeling well. I’d much rather be with you.” His warm hands came down on her shoulders, and he pulled her close for a kiss. “That meeting will go on for hours.”

Heat ran through her at his words. She’d tried to resist the pull of their passion—they both had—but they’d been weak, so weak. The warm press of his fingers closed around her hand, and he pulled her to a comfortable stack of hay. She fell into his arms without a protest. His lips came down on hers, and she forgot everything but his touch.

Then he lifted his head and sniffed. “Do you smell smoke?”

Cries of alarm began to filter into her consciousness muddied by the feel and scent of Andy. He helped her to her feet, and they both rushed to the door to view a scene that made her shudder.
Fire shot through the roof of the livery. “Papa!” Andy restrained her when she would have rushed forward.

More shouts came from town, and a line of men burst from the saloon and ran toward the burning building. The windows of the livery exploded, spewing broken glass onto the ground, then smoke poured from open frames.

Andy grabbed her hand, and they ran toward her front door. She stopped and stared at the fire, Which direction? Her mother was in the house. Their fathers were in the livery. Lily’s chest was tight as flames shot through the roof of the livery.

Her fingers closed around the doorknob. “I’ll get my mother. You get the men.” The metal was already hot to the touch. How could the fire have grown so quickly?

She yanked open the door and plunged inside. Thick, roiling smoke choked Lily’s nose and throat as soon as she reached the top of the stairs. She threw open the bedroom door and rushed to the bed. The smoke was thick in the bedroom too. Her mother slept, unaware of the danger.
Lily shook her. “Mama, wake up! You have to get out of here.” Shouts and screams echoed from outside. What was happening to her father?

Her mother lifted her head, and her eyes went wide then cleared of confusion. She threw back the covers. She stumbled to the door with Lily. One hand around her mother’s waist, Lily led her down the steps. Glass cut her bare feet, but she didn’t pause. Her chest burned both with the hot smoke and with the need to escape.

“Almost there,” she told her mother. She reached blindly for the door, and her fingers grasped the knob. She threw open the door.

The first brush of fresh air on her skin made her gasp and draw in the thick smoke in the air. She coughed at the searing pain in her chest, then stumbled onto the porch with her mother. Lily led her mother a safe distance away before turning to see bright flames shooting into the night. A fire alarm clanged behind them, and the horses pulling the fire engine came racing around the corner. As soon as it came to a stop, the firemen leaped into the yard and ran for the house.

Her mother coughed and stared at the furiously burning building. “Where’s your father?”

But Lily didn’t see her father’s tall, bald head. Dread congealed in her belly, and she shook her head. “I don’t see them, but Andy went to get them out.” She stared at the throng around the burning building. Was that Andy?

His soot-blackened face came into view by the light of the flames. He struggled with the two men holding him. “Let go of me! I have to find them.”

“It’s too dangerous,” one of the men said. “The building is fully engulfed.”

“Stay here, Mama.” Lily hurried to Andy’s side. “You didn’t find them?” Her throat closed at the hopeless expression on Andy’s face.

She turned to stare at the inferno that had engulfed both the livery and the attached house. The heat of the fire scorched her face. The breeze blew stinging cinders against her skin. Andy renewed his efforts to free himself, but the firemen propelled him back to a safer distance.
The roar of the fire was like a dragon from a fairy tale, monstrous and all consuming. Flames licked out of the upper windows, straining toward the roof. More glass shattered, and the stink of burning bedding rolled over the lawn. With a groan, the building began to sag. The firemen shoved them back even more, and they all turned to watch it give a final shudder before the weakened timbers collapsed. Sparks and flames shot higher as the fire fed on the night air and began to consume the last of the building.

Lily sank to her knees, and Andy fell with her. They held one another as the fire took their fathers.

Andy stiffened, then pulled away. “It’s my fault. I should have been there. I would have smelled it and gotten them out.”

“It went too fast, Andy. There was nothing any of us could do.” She tried to cup his face in her hands, but he flinched away, then jumped to his feet.

“Don’t look at me. I can’t even stand myself.” He stalked off and the dark swallowed him up.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is , and I hang out constantly on Facebook at colleencoblebooks. I answer all emails personally. Love to hear from readers!

Thank you, Colleen, 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.
Butterfly Palace -
Butterfly Palace - Amazon
Butterfly Palace  - Kindle
Bluebonnet Bride: A Butterfly Palace Story - 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.


Patty said...

Sounds like a really interesting read! I agree with Colleen about this being a very interesting time period with all of the inventions and changes going on.

Patty in SC

Anonymous said...

Yay! A mystery thriller! I'd love to read this!
J.C. -Indiana-

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a book I would like to read! I've only read one of Collen Coble's books and I really enjoyed it! :)


Taylor Audrey said...

Sounds awesome!
I would love a chance to win!
Boones Mill,VA

Britney Adams said...

I love Colleen Coble and would love to win a copy of this wonderful book! Thank you so much for sharing a great interview and giveaway opportunity!

Britney Adams, TX

Donna E said...

Sounds like some mystery &suspense going on --and romance too? Would definitely like to read this!
Shout out from Dewey Oklahoma.

Lourdes said...

Great interview looking forward to reading this book.

I have read and love all of Colleen's books.

Lourdes in Long Island, NY

Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for the great interview. Colleen Coble is a gifted writer and writes wonderful books. Butterfly Palace sounds like a winner and I would love to be one too. Thank you for the opportunity.

Melanie Backus, TX

Courtney Clark said...

I love Colleen's books!

Courtney C. from Arkansas

kam110476 said...

Holy WOW! Butterfly Palace sounds wicked good! I'm hooked after that first page! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

Mary Preston said...

Thank you for the wonderful first page. BUTTERFLY PALACE is going to be amazing.

Mary P


Anonymous said...

Hi Lena. Thanks for the interview with Colleen. I love the cover on this book and have tried several times to win it but not so lucky yet. Maybe this time. The story sounds scary but interesting too. That should make for a good read. Thanks Colleen for giving this book so I have a chance to win. Can hope can't ? :)
Maxie from Texas mac262(at)me(dot)com

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Cindi A said...

I love Colleen's books. This one sounds very good. Thanks for the opportunity to enter to win a copy.

Cindi A. from PA

A Cooking Bookworm said...

Ooh, Butterfly Palace sounds good!!

A naturopath! Very interesting! I've been trying to use more natural remedies in the last couple of years. I really enjoy learning about different oils and herbs and their healing properties! I've even tried growing more herbs in my garden for cooking and different herbal teas and medicines!

I especially love when I read historical fiction with people who gathered this herb and that bark for different healing purposes!

Binghamton, NY

mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

Jackie McNutt said...

I love Colleens books!
Butterfly Palace looks like a great read.
Thank you

Vera Godley said...

Please place my name in the hat for a change to get this book of Colleen's. Sounds delightful.

I'm in the middle of North Carolina

Susan Johnson said...

I am a Colleen Coble fan and this sounds like a great book.
Susan in Texas

EJ said...

Love Colleen's books - looking forward to reading "Butterfly Palace". Elaine in Iowa

Amada Chavez said...

LOVE Colleen's Books!!! :) Amada(pronounced: Chavez New Mexico

Jean said...

Would love this book! Thanks for the opportunity.

Jean K
West Palm Beach, FL

sm said...

I enjoy your books, and I'd love to read Butterfly Palace. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Judy said...

I am looking forward to reading Butterfly Palace. Winning a copy of it would be great!

Judy B from Indiana

Courtney Clark said...

I've always enjoyed Colleen's novels. This is a new one I haven't read!

Courtney C. from AR

Merry said...

I love Colleen's books and Butterfly Palace sounds mysterious and engaging.
Merry in MN

Beula said...

Would love to read this book.It sounds very very interesting.Ebook will be fine. Beula, India