Monday, May 09, 2016

MARS ... WITH VENUS RISING - Hope Toler Dougherty - One Free Book

Bio:  Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master's degree in English and taught at East Carolina University as well as York Technical College. A member of ACFW, RWA and SinC, she writes for Almost an Author. Before writing novels, she published non-fiction articles on topics ranging from gardening with children to writing apprehension. She cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers, ACC basketball, and Army West Point Football. Hope and her husband, Kevin, live in North Carolina and chat with their two daughters and twin sons through ooVoo.

Welcome back, Hope. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I believe writing fiction is my calling right now. It’s funny because when I taught English on the college level, I taught American literature. Reading love stories was a guilty pleasure I kept secret. Now God has me writing love stories!

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Of course, my wedding because almost everyone we loved and who loved us came together in one place. Then the birth days of all of our children, especially our last, the twin sons, because I felt our family was complete. Thanksgiving week of 2014 stands out because all four children were home. We were introducing our holiday to a British friend. Another college friend of our second daughter’s stayed with us. Extended family members and high school friends kept dropping by. It seemed like I was cooking from dawn till dusk, and I loved it. With two sons marching toward the military life, I know we won’t always be able to celebrate together. I kept stopping myself in the middle of stirring something or shoving another dish in the oven and repeating, “Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank you, God.”

I have a grandson who served in the military for over ten year, and holidays with him were always iffy. He’s out now, and the last three major holidays, we were all together. I loved it. How has being published changed your life?
I have business cards and a website now. Besides that, my faith is much more open now. When people read my books, they know exactly where I stand.

What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Carol Award entries now. I’m also reading The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. It’s the story of the 1936 Olympic rowing team. Fascinating story.

What is your current work in progress?
My agent, Jim Hart, is trying to find a home for my third manuscript, Rescued Hearts, a romantic suspense. I’m about 40,000 words into my fourth, a romance set in Charlotte, North Carolina. The main male character is struggling to let go of people’s expectations of him and to understand and embrace God’s plans for him.

What would be your dream vacation?
An international trip would be Italy and Greece. For a stateside trip, I’d love to experience a Mississippi River cruise and a bicycle tour of Vermont.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
My settings sort of choose themselves. I started daydreaming about Galway, Ireland, and that daydream became a scene in my first novel, Irish Encounter. For Mars…With Venus Rising, I had some ideas for a quirky story, and I thought about Mars, Pennsylvania. It’s a cool little town outside Pittsburgh with a flying saucer on the town square. The residents call themselves Martians. The football team is named the Planets. I thought it’d be fun to set a story there.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
For writers, I choose Anne Tyler and Liane Moriarty. I love the way they write. Charlie Rose, Nora O’Donnell, and Gail King are smart and funny on CBS This Morning. Bobby Bones, a radio personality, has an interesting life story and seems like a fun person.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love to cook, crochet, and send real mail.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Fear. Fear of writing stupid sentences. Fear that no one will like the story. Fear that I’ll get halfway into a story and not be able to finish it. I have to pray it away and remember all those Bible verses about being strong and courageous, that God is with me and my constant help, that He gave me a spirit of power, not fear.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Write. Write. Write. Pray. Read in the genre you write in. Read good writing. Pray. Connect with other writers. Expect rejection. Listen to constructive criticism. Pray. Write.

All very good advice. Tell us about the featured book.
This is the back cover copy:
A meddling horse, paper bag floors, and a flying saucer on the town square. The little town of Mars has it all—including a brand new resident who might spell heartache for one of its own.

Twenty-something Penn Davenport yearns for an exciting life in the big city and wants to shed the label of orphan that she's worn for years. To achieve that dream, she must pass the CPA exam then move away from the two aunts who reared her after her parents died in a plane crash.

When John Townsend—full of life and the joy of living—moves to town, he rattles Penn's view of herself, her life, and her dreams...which isn't such a bad thing until she falls for him…and discovers he’s a pilot.

Please give us the first page of the book.
“Come on, Peri. You’re making me late. Again.”
Penn Davenport wiggled the carrot in front of the escape artist horse and squeezed the halter she’d hidden behind her back.
The gray roan stretched his long neck toward the orange prize and sniffed. As tame as an old lap dog, Peri had a mind of his own. When he decided to visit the neighboring houses, he worried the lock on his corral gate until it popped and he trotted into freedom.
Fortunately, most of her neighbors on Oakland Street loved Peri, welcomed his visits and his nosey poking under their shelters or garages. Unfortunately, they encouraged his visits with sugar cubes and hugs.
If he didn’t want to return home yet, she’d never be able to slide the halter over his head. She glanced at her watch. Twelve minutes until the planning meeting for the Mars Area Apple Fest began. If this crazy horse cooperated, she might have a chance to settle into a chair before the minutes were read.
“Here we go, darling. Take a bite of this delicious carrot. Come on. I know you want it.” Please, God, help me get Peri back home. You know how I hate being late.
Peri backed up a step, and Penn’s hope for an easy capture melted like chocolate on the floorboard of a locked-up car in mid-July. She gritted her teeth.

An interesting and humorous opening. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Hope, for sharing this book with us. That snippet made me want to read it. I'm sure it did my readers as well.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Mars...With Venus Rising -
Mars...with Venus Rising - Amazon
Mars...with Venus Rising - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. 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.

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Just Commonly said...

Thanks for another great interview. Hope, I love your advice to new writers - prayers are so important. Thank you.

Annie from MD

J.C. said...

This book sounds a bit wild...I CANT WAIT TO READ IT!!!!
J.C. -Indiana-

Connie said...

Sounds great!
Connie from KY

Anonymous said...

angela in KY would love to win.

Hope Dougherty said...

Thank you, Annie and J.C. and Connie and Angela for stopping by Lena's blog today. I'm not sure about wild, but the story has some quirky scenes, for sure. And Penn goes on a few wild rides at an amusement park--with John. Good luck!

J.C. said...

I actually meant wild as in wacky lol. Thanks for this giveaway (I always LOVE book giveaways!). I'm so excited about reading your book! And even if I don't win it, I'll go to my plan B...request it for our library😃 Can't wait!

Kim hansen said...

Sounds like a good read. north platte nebraska.

Hope Dougherty said...

Thank you, Kim! J.C., I love libraries and am working on an Author's Brunch and Parade of Tables for this Saturday as a fundraiser. Plan B is a good one!

Brenda Arrington said...

I love new authors. Would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway.
Brenda in VA

Hope Dougherty said...

Thank you, Brenda! Good luck!

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.