Monday, October 27, 2014

THE WESTWARD CHRISTMAS BRIDES - Susan Page Davis - One Free Book

Dear Readers, this book is #4 on the ECPA Bestseller list this month.

Bio: Susan Page Davis is the author of more than 50 novels and novellas in the historical romance, mystery, and suspense genres. She is the mother of six and grandmother of nine. A Maine native, she now lives in western Kentucky with her husband Jim.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
For this particular book, not a lot, but in some of my books it’s much more pronounced. I find that when writing characters who are about my age, they become more like me, and when they are in the settings where I spent a lot of time, they think like I do.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Well, I’ve never roller skated in a buffalo herd, but I have hugged a raccoon.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was very young I began creating stories. Reading and thinking up stories was always part of my life, at least since I learned to read at age 4. As an adult, I spent many years as a nonfiction writer. Finally I decided to seriously try fiction. I sold my first short story in 2001 and my first book in 2003.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love reading historical fiction and true history, but I also love mystery and suspense.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Mostly I ignore the world and let it run. I do enjoy getting away from my desk for a break. Taking some time to just be with family and friends refreshes me. I also like to solve ciphers, read, and walk.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
This is hard for me sometimes. I keep a few baby name books handy, and I also have a couple of naming websites and the census site bookmarked. If I hear a name I like and think I might use it later in a book, I put it in a computer file called “Names.” Now and again I’ll browse through those I’ve collected.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My family.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
By nature, I think I’d be some reclusive, rarely seen critter, like a pine marten. But real life has made me more sociable.

I’m glad, because if you were so reclusive, I might now have ever met you. What is your favorite food?
I love fruit. If you want to make me happy, give me a fruit salad.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Turning off the momentum of everything going on around me can be a problem. I need a real office and dedicated writing time, so that I’m not so easily distracted.

Tell us about the featured book.
In The Westward Christmas Brides, take the journey into the American West alongside nine women who are chasing their dreams—Cynthia, for security; Beryl, for a new family; Adeline, for freedom; Molly, for marriage; Beth, for a new start; Belinda, for a place to heal; Suzette, for adventure; Juliet, for peace; and Caroline, for a future for her children. Celebrate Christmas alongside these pioneers as love finds them in nine distinctly different romances penned by leading Christian fiction authors, including Wanda E. Brunstetter, Vickie McDonough, Melanie Dobson, and more.
            In Another Christmas Story, my novella in The Westward Christmas Brides collection, the tale opens with another tragedy. Beryl’s father has been shot in a hunting accident and is critically wounded. His dire condition forces Beryl and her little brother, Sam, to leave the wagon train and stay with the family that runs the nearest trading post on the Oregon Trail. Their mother has previously passed away, and with their father’s death imminent, Beryl has to make some hard decisions. Will she take Sam on to Oregon, as her father had planned, or go back East to live with relatives there? In the meantime, they are stranded by bad weather with the Lassen family for the winter. Beryl can’t see what’s ahead, but God has plans for her and Sam’s future.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Dust hovered in the air as the wagons lumbered along, and Beryl Jenner coughed. Her shoulders ached from holding the reins all day. Usually her father drove the team of six mules, but he’d ridden off that morning with four other men to hunt. Fresh meat would be welcome, but her father’s presence would be even better.

            “Sam, do you see them yet?” she called over her shoulder.

            Her little brother had been playing in the back of the wagon and keeping her posted whenever he saw anything interesting outside the canvas cover.

            “Not yet,” came his muffled voice, still babyish though he was four years old, going on five.

            Beryl heard him scrambling over the crates and sacks in the wagon bed.

            “Can I get down for a while?” Sam asked, squeezing out between her arm and the front curved wagon bow.

            Beryl wished she could climb down from the wagon seat and stretch her legs too.
 Normally, she and Sam walked most of the day and chatted with the other women and children on the train, but their father’s absence kept them both cooped up today.

            “Not unless you find someone you can walk with. Do you see Mrs. Markham?”

            “No.” Sam steadied himself with a hand on her shoulder and stood on the seat beside her, squinting as he studied the scene around them. Straight ahead of their mule team, another wagon rolled along the rutted trail. Leaning to the side, Beryl could see trees and bluffs ahead, which probably meant they would be crossing the river again. Pa would find them at the encampment if the men came in late from the hunt. But she had no confidence in her own ability to get the wagon across the river without his expertise.

            Sam sighed and crouched down. “All I see is Danny Bowden and his brother.”

            “Well, those boys aren’t big enough to watch you.”

            Sam climbed over the seat back, into the wagon bed. Beryl could hear him working his way to the rear. She arched her back in an effort to ease the strain on her muscles. She hoped they would make camp soon—on this side of the river. Then she could leave this hard, unyielding board seat. Of course, she would have to unhitch the team if Pa hadn’t returned, and care for them before making a fire and getting supper.

            “There they are,” Sam yelled.

            Beryl tried to see around the wagon cover, but it was hopeless. She turned back to her driving, though the mules plodded along with little guidance, so long as the wagon ahead kept on at a steady pace.

            To her right, two horses loped past. One rider had a gutted antelope slung behind his saddle. Beryl smiled. Her father was on his way. Several people called out to the men, but they didn’t stop. Instead, they rode on toward the head of the column. Beryl felt a twinge of unease. One of the hunters was Mr. Arnold, and she knew his wagon was two behind the Jenners’.

            She turned her head and called, “Sam! Do you see Pa yet?”


            Beryl pushed the brim of her bonnet back and wiped her brow with a grimy handkerchief. She hoped they would stop long enough to do laundry soon.

            A few minutes later, the wagon master, Mr. Etherton, rode back along the train, calling out to the drivers, “We’ll make camp a half mile on, near the water.”

            It wasn’t until she had driven her team into position in the wagon circle and begun to unhitch the mules that Mr. Etherton approached her, accompanied by Mr. Arnold.

            “Miss Jenner?”

            “Yes?” She turned toward them with a tight smile, still fumbling with the straps on one of the leaders’ bridles.

            “I’m afraid I have some bad news,” Mr. Etherton said.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Visit my website at: . You can subscribe to my newsletter there and enter my monthly drawing.

Thank you, Susan, 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.
The Westward Christmas Brides -
Westward Christmas Brides Collection: 9 Historical Romances Answer the Call of the American West - Amazon
The Westward Christmas Brides Collection: 9 Historical Romances Answer the Call of the American West - 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:


Anonymous said...

Your book sounds so good!! Love to win it! Shelia Hall from MS

Susan Page Davis said...

Thanks, Sheila! Glad to see you here.

Heidi Robbins said...

I just love these novella collections! Thanks so much for featuring this one on your blog and the giveaway!

Heidi, CA

Danie Walther said...

Hey Susan,
I love the cover of your beautiful christmas book. I love the little bit that I got too read. I would love too read your book.

Susan Page Davis said...

Thanks, Heidi and Danie. I love the cover, too. These books are beautiful.

Melody said...

You always have the best books to review. I'm guilty of checking out the cover first and then the review.

Melody Durant from Donna, TX

Susan Page Davis said...

Thanks, Melody. Maybe you can't always tell a book by its cover, but they sure can draw you in!

scottsgal said...

I've enjoyed several of your books. Love love love holiday themed and westerns together is a great combination.

Cheryl in IL

Deanna Stevens said...

Welcome back ! I would enjoy a good Christmas read :)
D Stevens from NE

Susan Page Davis said...

Hi, Cheryl and Deanna. Thanks for your kind words. I love westerns too, and I agree--a Christmas western is as good as it gets!

Caryl Kane said...

Lena, thank you for hosting Susan. "The Westward Christmas Brides" sounds like a wonderful story. Great way to get in the holiday spirit. Thanks for the giveaway.


Melanie Backus said...

I love Christmas stories and I know I would love this book.

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Preston said...

This collection is a must read for me. Everything I love.

Mary P


Granny's Attic said...

Thank you for introducing this new-to-me author. Lisa Cowell in Ohio

Cindy W. said...

I would love to win a copy of Susan's book. I love books set during Christmas. Thank you for the chance.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this novel :)

karenk....from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

Great interview!!!!! Love your books, Susan!!!! God has surely blessed you with a talent for writing! Thank you for blessing us readers with it!!!!! I am anxious to read this Christmas book!!!!
Many Blessings and Smiles :)
Charlotte Kay, Georgia

Susan Page Davis said...

It was wonderful to be part of this project. Thank you all--these stories are great to curl up and read with a cup of tea.

Mary / Touch of Heaven said...

I love Christmas books and especially historical Christmas ones! From Western NY.

rubynreba said...

The cover makes me anxious for Christmas to come! I love Christmas stories and this western themed book will make it a favorite of mine.
Beth from IA

Patty said...

Susan, I loved your Prairie Dreams series, and I am sure I will enjoy your contribution to this collection!

Patty in SC

Deanna Stevens said...

What a great collection, would love to win a copy.. D Stevens from NEBR

Susan Page Davis said...

Thank you, Ladies! Beth, it was 82 degrees here yesterday, not what I'm used to in late October, so yeah, I can use a little help getting into the Christmas mood. To make it worse, the book I'm working on now is set in summer. Patty, thank you! Prairie Dreams was one of my favorite series to write.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me for your awesome giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

Karen G. said...

Nice interview. Susan Page Davis is a new author to me. Would love to read this Christmas book. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Karen G, NY

Anonymous said...

Angela in KY would love to win.

Tammie Edington Shaw said...

Would love to win this book. Thanks, Lena. Tammie from Illinois.

sm said...

Nice interview. I always learn something new about the authors-I like that you are most proud of your family. I really enjoy collections and Christmas collections are the best, so I would love to win and read this book. sm CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

PriviesAndPrims said...

Love Susan's books!
Hoping to win this one.


Lancaster County, PA

Susan Page Davis said...

I love coming on Lena's blog because you all are so supportive. Thanks, everyone! I hope that as the holiday season progresses you have many blessings and a lot of time with your family. I know it can be a sad time. We lost a family member a week before Christmas last year, and it did cause us to be less enthusiastic in our celebrations. But the underlying joy is still there. Even in times of sorrow or stress, Christmas reminds me of who God is, and that He is still in control.

Merry said...

I love bride stories and then to have a going west/Christmas theme... perfection!
Merry in MN

Bonnie Roof said...

Thanks for the interesting interview, Susan and Lena!!

I've heard wonderful things about "The Westward Christmas Brides Collection" and would love to read it!!

Hope that raccoon you hugged was tame, Susan!! Since I am a Ky. girl - I'm wondering what area of Ky. you live in??

Mt. Washington, Ky.

Anonymous said...

Love to win this!Shelia from MS

Abigail Richmond said...

These books look Awesome! Love the pages! :) Please enter me!

Blanch, NC

Susan Page Davis said...

Bonnie, it was a baby raccoon. My father was a game warden (in Maine), and people brought all sorts of orphaned critters to our farm. I don't think the raccoon stayed long. Most of the animals were passed on to the game farm in Gray, Maine. But I know live in western KY, west of the lakes.

Susan Page Davis said...

Oops, I need an editor. I NOW live in western Ky (not "know").

Ro said...

I enjoy reading Christmas stories. Please enter me in the giveaway.

Ro from Ohio

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Susan, my dad was a game warden in Arkansas when I was a girl. We kept a pen for orphaned baby deer. We bottle fed them.

Susan Page Davis said...

Wow, Lena, I knew we had a lot in common!

Emma said...

I am looking forward to reading The Westward Christmas Brides.I enjoy reading your books.

KayLee from NY said...

I love reading Christmas books and this one sounds really good. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

KayLee from NY

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a perfect Christmas holiday book to read. I love historicals.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
Maryann in NY

Frances Cavallo said...

I would be so blessed to win this book! !! Thanks for the chance!!! Good luck and God Bless Everyone!!! I am from Deltona, Florida! !!