Wednesday, June 04, 2014

OZARK REUNION - Helen Gray - One Free Book

Welcome back, Helen. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
So Christian fiction is the only option for me. I don’t want to write anything that I would be uncomfortable having others read, and I want to write stories that have the potential of touching readers in a positive way. My stories aren’t meant to preach, but to provide wholesome entertainment for Christians and portray or demonstrate a biblical principal or lesson. And it’s fun!

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
That would have to be my wedding day, which was fifty years ago this week. (May 31)

James and I will celebrate our 50th Anniversary in November. How has being published changed your life?
In a nutshell, made it busier. I now have to juggle my attention between my current work in progress, edits, promotional articles, book signings, etc.

What are you reading right now?
My last Carol Award entry

What is your current work in progress?
A historical romance set in 1885 Kansas.

What would be your dream vacation?
My idea of a good trip is simply going to visit my kids or close friends and spending time with them. However, if I were to decide to become a globetrotter, I would probably visit Australia.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I tend to stick close to my home turf, feeling more secure writing what I know.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Billy Graham. I admire the integrity of the man and the Christian work and influence he has consistently wielded over the years.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I am an amateur musician and ventriloquist. I still play the piano and sing for church, but the ventriloquism has been neglected since I retired and resumed writing seriously. I also play the trumpet.

What is your most difficult obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
The Internet. It distracts me. Pulls me off onto rabbit trails. Absorbs too much of my time. And I haven’t overcome it—yet. I’m working on it. Sometimes I take a notebook and go out on the back porch and sit in the glider to write. No PC=no Internet. If I need to brainstorm, I go for a walk.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Learn the craft. Read writing blogs and books. Enter contests for feedback. And make up your mind you’re in this business for the long haul. Don’t give up. Write. Write. Write.

Tell us about the featured book.
Ozark Reunion is set toward the end of the Great Depression, when the “alphabet” agencies were prominent—WPA, CCC, NYA, etc. The hero, embittered about the death of his teenage brother, is not a Christian, while the heroine is such a strong Christian that she has become a bit pious. When she tried to lead him to the Lord years earlier, they parted in anger.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Missouri, 1935
Riley Blake tramped through the trees, a rifle cradled in one arm, the other hand clutching a stick from which two dead squirrels dangled, the stick driven through the tendons of their feet. No longer walking with hunter stealth, dead leaves rustled beneath his feet.

He emerged from the woods near the road and worked his way through the strands of a barbed wire fence. As he came upright and pulled his coat tighter against the cold November air, motion to the left drew his attention. The late afternoon sun highlighted a figure in a dress flying down the hill toward him on bicycle.

He recognized Jolene Delaney’s little sister, Irene. A pretty, black haired thing, she had been a familiar sight riding up and down this road from the time she could ride. She would be about fifteen now. But the way she was bent low and pedaling furiously signaled trouble.

Alarm skittered up his spine. Could something have happened to Jolene? Not that she mattered to him in any special way. Not any more. He hopped across the ditch and waited by the gravel road.

The girl braked and skidded to a stop a few feet past him, hopped off, and backed up. “Dad cut his leg with the axe. Bad,” she added, struggling to draw air into her lungs. She looked pale and scared. She must have beaten all her speed records on the mile ride from her house.

“Let’s get Mom. She’ll know what to do.”

He set out at a fast clip for the house a hundred yards further down the road. Irene pushed her bike alongside him. “When did it happen?” he asked, the squirrels flopping against his knee.

“Sometime …this afternoon,” she managed to say between gasps. “I came home from school and found him in the kitchen floor. He had dragged himself in there and wrapped a towel around his leg.”

“Where’s Jolene?”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Web page:

Thank you, Helen, 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.
Ozark Reunion -
Ozark Reunion (Heartsong Presents) - Amazon
Ozark Reunion (Heartsong Presents) - 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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, 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:


Heather said...

Hi Lena! I'm Heather and I wanted to know if you would be willing to answer a question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

Susan Johnson said...

This sounds like a great book.
Susan in Texas

Jackie McNutt said...

I enjoyed the post about Ozark Reunion. It looks like a very interesting story.
The first page is great and I am looking forward to reading it.
It was nice to learn about Helen and her books.
Thank you from Ohio

Lane Hill House said...

Missouri Ozarks near the Mark Twain National Forest in a rural community is where we live! Historical fiction is my very favorite genre. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

Helen Gray said...


I love my Missouri Ozarks and have enjoyed writing this series in the setting.

Ozark Reunion is second book of the series.

Britney Adams said...

Oh, the excerpt hooked me and left me wanting to read more! Thank you for sharing a great interview and giveaway opportunity!

Britney Adams, TX

Melanie Backus said...

What a great sounding book. I would love to read more. Thank you for a wonderful interview and giveaway.

Melanie Backus, TX

Helen Gray said...

It's great to see readers here.

These books were written with the use of the notes my mother made for me back when I was questioning her about her experiences growing up in the Depression. I lost her in '08.

Aerykah said...

Thanks for the giveaway! This looks like a good book. :)

Aerykah in Oklahoma

Helen Gray said...

I'm looking forward to sending it to someone.

Jean said...

Thank you for this opportunity!

Jean K
West Palm Beach, FL

Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Anonymous said...

Angela in KY would love to win.

Mary Preston said...

Please do come & visit us in Australia. We are great readers.

Mary P


Marianne Barkman said...

I know Helen from Seekerville (she makes a mean cup of coffee). I am glad to see you are featuring her here, Lena. I would love to win her novel. My parents were both born in the 20s but have not told much about their growing up years.


Danielle Hull said...

We live in NE Indiana! Thanks!

Jackie Smith said...

I know Helen from Seekerville.....loved her first book and look forward to reading this one!
Thanks for the giveaway!
Jackie in GA

apple blossom said...

thanks for the chance to win
love these books
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book!
thanks for the giveaway
Sydney Harries GA

sm said...

I like reading about how couples witness to one another. Sounds good! Hopefully has an effective method to share Christ with the one you love. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Cindy W. said...

Hi Helen! I love to read your comments over on Seekerville and so happy to see your book has been published. My mom is from Humansville, MO and I also lived in Missouri for a year. I always said I would love to retire in the Ozarks. Such beautiful country.

I would love to win a copy of Ozark Reunion. Thank you for the chance.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

susanlulu said...

Enjoyed reading the interview. This is a new author for me. Sounds like a great book. I love the time period and that it's a Christian book.
Henderson, North Carolina

Anonymous said...

Hello Helen. You are new to me, but sounds like I need to look into your books. This one leaves me needing to know what happens to this dad. Please put my name. I am from Texas. Maxie

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Helen Gray said...

Looks like several people dropped by after I went to bed last night.

Glad you stopped by and commented. You're all in the drawing.

rubynreba said...

I enjoy books written in the Depression era.
Beth from IA