Thursday, May 25, 2017

BEFORE WE WERE YOURS - Lisa Wingate - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I’m always glad to host Lisa Wingate on this blog. There’s a kind of funny story about how we first met. A number of years ago, I can’t remember how many, I had acquired a Lisa Wingate book. She is a fellow Texas author, and I really enjoyed the book, because I’d been to some of the places she used as her setting. Her characters leapt off the page right into my heart. When I finished, I found out she had a book with the title Never Say Never. I had a book with that title, too. They were vastly different books, but they led to me contacting Lisa. I’ve featured many of her books on my blog, and they are so different from mine. I haven’t read one that I didn’t love. Her stories stay with the reader a long time.

Welcome back, Lisa. How did this book come about?
For me, every piece of fiction begins with a spark. From there, the story travels on the winds of research and imagination. Before We Were Yours had the most unexpected kind of beginning.

I was up late one night working on materials for a different story and had the TV playing in the background for company. A rerun of the Investigation Discovery: Dangerous Women cycled through at about two in the morning. I looked up and saw images of an old mansion. The front room was filled with bassinettes and babies. There were crying babies, laughing babies, babies who were red-cheeked and sweaty-faced and sickly looking. I tuned in and immediately became fascinated by the bizarre, tragic, and startling history of Georgia Tann and her Memphis branch of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. One of the most shocking things about the story was how recent it was. Georgia Tann and her children’s home operated from the 1920s through 1950. After watching the segment, I literally could not clear the images from my mind. I couldn't stop wondering about the thousands of children who had been victimized by Georgia’s system, who had been brokered in adoptions for profit.

What became of them? Where were they now?

I couldn’t help but dig into the story. I was shocked by the scope of Georgia’s network, the fact that she affected so many children, and the tragic consequences of her cruelty and greed.

Wow, you’ve caught my attention. Tell us about the book’s cover and what makes it unique.
The cover actually went through many iterations before we landed on a combination that seemed just perfect for the story. I have to say, of all of my book covers on over thirty novels now, this one is my favorite. There’s just something about the posture of these two little girls that speaks to me. They represent twelve-year-old Rill, a little girl growing up on her parents’ Mississippi river shantyboat and her young sister, Fern. When they and their five siblings are taken from their parents one stormy night and placed in one of Georgia Tann’s orphan houses, Rill struggles not only to protect herself, but to keep her siblings together. That battle, to me is what this picture represents—the uncertainty of their situation, the strength of their sibling bond, and Rill’s determination to return to her free floating life on the river.

Please explain and differentiate between what’s fact and fiction in the book.
Rill and her siblings in the novel and their shantyboat life on the Mississippi river  are fiction. Avery, the thirty-year-old senator’s daughter in the modern-day portion of the novel is fictional as well.

The Foss children and Avery Stafford began taking shape as I combed through accounts of birth parents who’d searched for their stolen children for decades and adoptees who’d searched for their birth families. Survivors of TCHS care, desperately seeking their true identities, were confronted with systematic legislative roadblocks, altered paperwork, and closely held secrets. Because powerful families and Hollywood celebrities were involved in TCHS adoptions, and because many people felt that the children should be left where they were, there was pressure to legalize even the most irregular of Tann’s adoptions and seal the records, which was exactly what happened.

As with most stories that are true or partially true, the dividing line between good and evil is murky in the case of Georgia Tann and her Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society. The journey of the Foss children in the novel reflects this. Certainly, TCHS removed some children from unfit birth families and facilitated adoptions into safe, loving homes that provided great opportunity. Sadly, thousands of others were left with lasting damage and questions that would never be answered.

I hope Before We Were Yours, in some way, tells their stories. Yes, it’s fiction. Rill and her four siblings, growing up on their family’s shantyboat in the Mississippi River were figments of my imagination. But in a way, they existed. In a way, they are any one and every one of these children, taken from their families, torn from their lives with no explanation or understanding of what was happening, and deposited into an unregulated, unfit, and politically corrupt system that operated not based on child welfare, but on profit. Those were the stories I wanted to tell––the stories told in the smallest voices or never told at all.

I’m glad you wrote this story. I had been aware of this situation, but I didn’t know how long it went on or how horrible some of the cases were. How much research did you have to do for this book?
The book was research-intensive. I took in nearly everything I could find about the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis and Georgia Tann. In large part, I found bits of the story here and bits there. The Discovery Channel’s Deadly Women and 60 Minutes provided helpful information and visuals. Several books, including, Babies For Sale by Linda Austin and The Baby Thief by Barbara Raymond were particularly helpful in researching the adoption scandal. Harlan Hubbard’s Shantyboat Journal is a beautiful account of shantyboat life on the river. I also spent time in Memphis, researching locations, combing through the river museum, visiting the library and the university’s photo archives, and talking to people who remembered the scandal.

What are some of the most interesting things you found about this subject that you weren’t able to use in the story?
Because Before We Were Yours is fiction, I was able to thread in what I felt were the most interesting pieces of the true-life history of Georgia Tann and her Memphis branch of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. One interesting aspect of the true story that isn’t in the novel is the special investigation that was conducted as Georgia Tann’s operation was finally shut down in 1950. The original report to Governor Browning was filled with information about Tann’s nefarious methods, the deaths of children in her system of unregulated boarding homes, and the sheer panic of adoptive families who were terrified that the children they’d raised for years would be taken away. There were also some wonderful newspaper stories written years later, telling of birth families finally reunited.

What inspired and surprised you while you were writing the book?
The resilience of the children who had survived stints in TCHS care (and in the care of other orphans’ homes) and their determination to regain their identities, to resist being defined by the circumstances they’d been delivered into through no fault of their own.

What do you hope the reader takes away from the story?
I hope readers take away the message that we need not be defined by our pasts. I hope Rill’s experience resonates with readers who have in some way surrendered to the wounds of painful past experiences. Rill faces that battle as she matures. As an old woman, she advises thirty-year-old Avery, “A woman’s past need not predict her future. She can dance to new music if she chooses. Her own music. To hear it, she must only stop talking. To herself, I mean. We’re always trying to persuade ourselves of things.” Living in a defensive posture is another form of allowing other people to dictate who we are and what we believe about ourselves. Letting go, dancing to our own music is a risk, but on the other side of that process lays light, freedom, and fulfillment. That’s what I hope people take away from Before We Were Yours. Our lives have purpose, but to fulfill that purpose we must first claim ourselves.
           
I also hope that, in a broader sense, the story of Rill and the Foss children serves to document the lives of all the children who disappeared into Georgia Tann’s unregulated system. Only by remembering history are we reminded not to let it repeat itself. It’s important that we, ordinary people busy with the rush of everyday life, remember that children are vulnerable, that on any given day, thousands of children live the uncertainty of Rill’s journey. We have to be aware. We must be kind neighbors, determined protectors, willing encouragers, wise teachers, and strong advocates, not just for the children who are ours by birth, but for all children.

What is the next project you’re working on?
I can’t imagine not being at work on a new story, and yes, of course I am at work on another novel now. I think this will be novel number thirty-one. As always, this new story began with a piece of history that was huge in its day. Just a little over a century ago, anyone, anywhere would have recognized the names. Today, hardly anyone would. Through fiction, I have the chance to resurrect these people whose lives have gone into quiet slumber. I learn about their world and slip into their lives. As always, the experience is both challenging and wonderful. I’ve finished the first draft, which is always the hard part. The first draft, for me, is about figuring out the story, sifting through loads of raw ore and finding the gold nuggets. It’s hard work and heavy lifting, backbreaking in a way. The second draft is about getting the story into shape for other people to read–shining up the gold nuggets and hanging them on a string. That’s the fun part.

What do you do when you have to get away from the story for a while?
Photography! I love it and anyone who follows my Facebook page will find tons of photos, from the vast mountain vistas to little wonders that could easily go unnoticed underfoot. I love looking at life through the lens of a camera.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Baltimore, Maryland
A U G U S T  3, 1939
My story begins on a sweltering August night in a place I will never set eyes upon. The room takes life only in my imaginings. It is large most days when I conjure it. The walls are white and clean, the bed linens crisp as a fallen leaf. The private suite has the very finest of everything. Outside, the breeze is weary, and the cicadas throb in the tall trees, their verdant hiding places just below the window frames. The screens sway inward as the attic fan rattles overhead, pulling at wet air that has no desire to be moved.

The scent of pine wafts in, and the woman’s screams press out as the nurses hold her fast to the bed. Sweat pools on her skin and rushes down her face and arms and legs, She’d be horrified if she were aware of this.

She is pretty. A gentle, fragile soul. Not the sort who would intentionally bring about the catastrophic unraveling that is only, this moment, beginning. In my multifold years of life, I have learned that most people get along as best they can. They don’t intend to hurt anyone. It is merely a terrible by-product of surviving.

It isn’t her fault, all that comes to pass after that one final, merciless push. She produces the very last thing she could possibly want. Silent flesh comes forth—a tiny, fair-haired girl as pretty as a doll, yet blue and still.

The woman has no way of knowing her child’s fate, or if she does know, the medications will cause the memory of it to be nothing but a blur by tomorrow. She ceases her thrashing and surrenders to the twilight sleep, lulled by the doses of morphine and scopolamine administered to help her defeat the pain.

To help her release everything, and she will.

Sympathetic conversation takes place as doctors stitch and nurses clean up what is left.

“So sad when it happens this way. So out of order when a life has not even one breath in this world.”

“You have to wonder sometimes…why…when a child is so very wanted….”

I am eager to read the book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Lisa’s website: www.Lisawingate.com


Pinterest:  https://pinterest.com/lisawingatebook/

Where can I read and excerpt of Before We Were Yours?
On my website, of course. Sign up for my newsletter while you are there, if you wish.
Here is the direct link to the excerpt:

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing this book with us. I eagerly await the release date in June. And they are available by pre-order on Christianbook.com and Amazon.com.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Before We Were Yours - Christianbook.com (best pre-order price Hardback)
Before We Were Yours: A Novel - Kindle
Before We Were Yours: A Novel - Amazon Hardback

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 or country if outside North America. (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:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

THE SHELL COLLECTOR'S DAUGHTER - Beth Wiseman - One Free Book

Welcome back, Beth. You have a lot of books out now. What is your favorite setting to use in your books? 
My Surf’s Up series gives me the opportunity to include a beach in every novella, which is a nice change from writing Amish stories in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The diversity keeps me from getting bored with either genre. Who doesn’t love the beach? And the peacefulness of Amish country is a big draw also.

What do you look for when you’re shopping for a book to buy for yourself?
Cover, plot, and REVIEWS. We are all told the importance of reviews, and I rely heavily on what other readers have said about a book. I almost always read a sample before I make a purchase.

I’m with you on that. There are certain things I look for in the review that will determine whether I get the book or not. Please give us a little tour of the setting for this book.
This book is set at Mustang Island in Port Aransas, Texas. Once I had that setting established, I wanted my hero to be a traveling journalist who was covering the top beaches for shell collecting in the United States. I was thrilled when I found out San Jose Island is on that list AND that it was a ten-minute ferry ride from Mustang Island. I’ve been to Mustang Island a lot of times over the years, and I’ve been to San Jose Island twice.

What other books do you have coming out soon?
I partnered with Ruth Reid, Kelly Irvin, and Amy Clipston for An Amish Christmas, a novella collection slated to release in August 2017. Book #3 in my Amish Secrets series—Home All Along—releases in September 2017.

We need to be sure that both of those books are scheduled to appear on my blog. My readers will love them. Please give us a glimpse inside your home.
We are empty nesters living in the country in South Central Texas, so it’s very quiet—inside and outside. I have a lovely office that I enjoy writing in, when it’s clean, lol. Otherwise, I typically write on my couch in the living room. We have a bright sunroom that overlooks the pool, and it’s also a nice place to write. My husband took up the piano about three years ago, and even as I write this I am listening to him practice. I’m proud of him for taking up a new passion later in life. He loves it, and I like listening to him play. I love to cook, so I stay busy in my kitchen, and I believe I need to own every kitchen gadget known to man, lol.

My husband bought me an Instant Pot for Mother’s Day because he heard me say I wanted one. I’m learning to use it now. Is this novel part of a series or a stand-alone book?
The Shell Collector’s Daughter is book #3 in my Surf’s Up series. Other novellas in the collection are A Tide Worth Turning and Message In A Bottle. I also included a short story and sampler of the other stories in Christmas by the Sea

Tell us about the story.
From the back cover:
Each Surf’s Up novella takes the reader to a beach locale, weaving romance and adventure into a soul-soothing journey of hope. Carianna's story is a heartwarming tale which follows one woman's journey as she navigates the many types of love God gifts to us.

Carianna isn’t like other twenty-six-year-old women. She’s never been on a date, never experienced the euphoria of a first kiss, and certainly never been in love. Can a man’s heart speak to hers in a way that she can understand? And if so, will any man believe that she sings with the angels and has tea with God? Will they see the stardust twinkling in her eyes or hear the secret whispers of the ocean in a sea shell?

Dominic is grieving the death of his mother, so he welcomes a job opportunity that takes him to a beach community on the Texas coast. But what begins as a distraction and change of scenery shifts into a healing journey filled with discovery. Amidst his heartache, Dominic finds love in a beautiful and unexpected way when he meets Carianna—the shell collector’s daughter.

But can Dominic convince Carianna’s father to lift his protective wings and allow Carianna to soar into the life that God meant for her? And will Carianna hear Dominic’s heart speaking to hers in a way that she understands?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Carianna sat across the table from God, the way she’d done every Thursday for as long as she could remember. In the backyard of her father’s shop, there was an oak tree with limbs that were hundreds of years old—three hundred and twelve God had told her. Protective branches formed a dome over Carianna’s head, even though no protection was needed on Thursdays. 

Her father’s shop was far enough away from the beach that Carianna couldn’t hear the breaking of the waves, but it was close enough to inhale the briny smells of the ocean. A perfect breeze swirled amid the branches of the old tree as Carianna took a sip of her raspberry tea. She loved living on Mustang Island, and she loved these visits with God.

“I’m sending someone into your life, Carianna,” God said as He lifted His blue cup to His lips. “A man of My choosing, a person to be with you for the rest of your days on Earth.”

Carianna frowned as her stomach clenched. “I have my father for that.” She stared at God, and without knowing why or how, Carianna knew He was perfect. Perfect love. A smile replaced her sour expression. “And I have You.”

Her friend set His cup on the worn wooden table, and He folded one hand on top of the other. God’s hands were wrinkled, like her father’s, and God’s gray hair swept sideways in wiry wisps to one side of His tanned face. A face filled with connecting lines, spidery and deep. She believed God to be older than her father, but it was hard to know for sure.

I love it already. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is www.BethWiseman.com. You can read samples of all of my books there. I’m also at Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook, and @bethwiseman on Twitter.

Thank you for having me again, Lena. It’s always an honor to be a guest on your blog.

Beth, it’s a pleasure to host you and introduce your books to my readers. You’re a real favorite of mine … and of my readers.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Shell Collector's Daughter: A Surf's Up Novella (Volume 4) - Paperback
The Shell Collector's Daughter: A Surf's Up Novella - 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 or country if outside North America. (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:

Monday, May 22, 2017

FATAL MISTAKE - Susan Sleeman - One Free Book

Dear readers, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Susan if you haven’t found her before. And this book is a wonderful, strong suspense novel. I’m reading it right now, and it is really keeping me guessing. I like that. Often I figure out a suspense novel by the time I'm in the middle of the book. I’m way more than halfway through and still wondering.

Welcome back, Susan. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
I love to look at the current news headlines and then ask a what if question to create a twist that makes the topic interesting and compelling, and that’s exactly what I did with Fatal Mistake.

If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
I would invite other authors who write romantic suspense so I could talk to them about the market and also share how thankful I am that there are other authors writing in the same genre. So that would include authors such as Elizabeth Goddard, Dani Pettrey, Lynette Eason, Dee Henderson, Lisa Harris, and Irene Hannon.

I love the books written by all of these authors. Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Well, this is embarrassing. I don’t read historical fiction so other than you, Lena, I can’t name any authors in that genre. I’d love to have dinner with you though, if I am ever in Texas again! J

And I’d love to have dinner with you. I do hope you will be at ACFW conference this year. After missing three in a row, I’ll be there. It is so close to where I live. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
My biggest problem is finding fresh and new ways to put a heroine in danger. You can only try to put them in harm’s way so many ways, and after twenty-five plus books, it’s getting challenging. But it’s also fun in that it causes me to be creative and look for new things. For example, in the new series I am working on right now, I start with the heroine being cornered by a bucking bull in a rodeo arena. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be researching rodeos and the cowboys who participate in them, but it’s been very interesting. I even got my daughter to watch a bucking bull rider series on Netflix with me. Now she wants to go to a rodeo.

Tell us about the featured book.  
Fatal Mistake is book one in my White Knight’s series. The series features an FBI Critical Incident Response Team that includes experts in crisis management, explosives, ballistics/weapons, negotiating/criminal profiling, cyber crimes, and forensics. All team members are former military and they stand ready to deploy within four hours, anytime and anywhere to mitigate the highest-priority threats facing our nation. Each book also features a story ripped from today’s headlines. In Fatal Mistake, the FBI agent must protect a woman who can identify a terrorist bomber all the while trying to catch the bomber.

Here’s the back cover description for Fatal Mistake:
Each day could be her last...but not if he can help it.

Tara Parrish is the only person ever to survive an attack by the Lone Wolf bomber. Scared and emotionally scarred by her near death, she goes into hiding with only one plan—to stay alive for another day. She knows he's coming after her, and if he finds her, he will finish what he started.

Agent Cal Riggins has had only one goal for the past six months—to save lives by ending the Lone Wolf's bombing spree. To succeed, he needs the help of Tara Parrish, the one person who can lead them to the bomber. Cal puts his all into finding Tara, but once he locates her, he realizes if he can find her, the Lone Wolf can, too. He must protect Tara at all costs, and they'll both need to resist the mutual attraction growing between them to focus on hunting down the bomber, because one wrong move could be fatal.

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Spotsylvania County, Virginia
Thursday, April 28
7:50 p.m.
He was coming for her, and he was close.

He’d parked on the driveway and would soon head for the pump house, taking long strides. Spaced evenly, methodical, as she knew Mr. Perfectionist would take, his footsteps rustling over dead grass, bringing him closer.

At the door, he would twist the rusty knob. Step inside. Spot her. She could almost hear his thoughts when he did.

I was sloppy. Now she knows. Do I let her live? Kill her? How can I dispose of the body?
The body. Ha! Her. He was going to kill her. She’d grown up with him. Lived next door for years, but he had no choice now. He had to know she wouldn’t keep quiet about this…this what? She didn’t even know what to call it.

She swept her gaze over the rough-hewn table, pausing at neat piles of white blocks covered in green cellophane. Explosives—military grade, like she’d seen in briefings in her job as a government translator. The blocks sat solidly among triggers, wires, pipes, and items she couldn’t identify. Items for a bomb. Maybe several bombs. Pages and pages of diagrams, maps, and other papers were scattered beside the equipment.

Recent television news stories raced through her brain. Explosions on the first of every month. The destruction. Chaos and confusion. Nothing more than burned-out shells left behind. Death. Muslim women. Always women.

Oh my gosh! Oren. Her childhood best friend was a killer. A terrorist. The Lone Wolf Bomber. No…no. Couldn’t be, right? But the evidence…

His car door slammed in the distance, the echo reverberating through the quiet.

He’s coming.
She had to escape, but how? The only door and window in the tiny building led to the path he’d take.

Readers, see. I told Susan’s writing is wonderful. Now, Susan, how can readers find you on the Internet?
To learn more about me readers can stop by any of these locations on the web.
My Website -   http://www.susansleeman.com
Twitter -       http://www.twitter.com/susansleeman    
Review Site -   http://www.TheSuspenseZone.com

Thank you, Susan, for sharing this book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Fatal Mistake - Christianbook.com
Fatal Mistake: A Novel (White Knights) - Amazon paperback
Fatal Mistake: A Novel (White Knights) - 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 or country if outside North America. (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: Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Sunday, May 21, 2017

WINNERS!!!

Sabrina (UT) is the winner of Cinderella's Boot/Runaway Brides by Darlene Franklin.

Sharon (SC) is the winner of Coming Home by Michael Ehret.

Lourdes (NY) is the winner of the ebook Autumn Love by Lena Nelson Dooley and others.

If you won a book and you like it, please consider giving the author the courtesy of writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or other Internet sites. 

Also, tell your friends about the book ... and this blog. Thank you.

Congratulations
, everyone. If you won a print book, send me your mailing address:
Click the Contact Me link at the top of the blog, and send me an Email.


If you won an ebook, just let me know what email address it should be sent to.

When you contact me, please give the title and author of the book you won, so I won't have to look it up.


Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

Friday, May 19, 2017

BRIDES OF BLACK HORSE MESA~TEXAS - Patricia Pacjac Carroll - One Free Ebook

Dear Readers, Patricia Pacjac Carroll is a dear friend of mine. She’s a very popular author on Amazon. Most of her books are westerns, and I love them. I think you will, too.

Welcome back, Patty. Why did you become an author?
I have stories that attack me and want to be told. I believe the Lord gave me a gift and I love it.

If you weren’t an author, what would be your dream job?
This my dream job.

If you could have lived at another time in history, what would it be and why?
Well, I love the old West, but to be honest, I am totally spoiled in the time that the Lord has placed me in. Not sure I would be happy without electricity and computers and AC. 

Amen to that, Patty. What place in the United States have you not visited that you would like to?
Alaska.

Me, too, that and Hawaii. How about a foreign country you hope to visit? 
Israel

What lesson has the Lord taught you recently? 
Humility.  And that is an ongoing lesson. Lol

I became haughty and would tell people that if you gave me a name or place~ I’d come up with a story. And then one foggy night, I needed a story to put in an anthology for Christmas and proceeds to go to a charity. Well, friends gave me a name, a place, and my mind was blank. There was no story. It was due at noon the next day. I went to bed sad. I could not come up with a story. And I was a bit shaken. I boasted about being able to come up with stories, and I’d hit a dry well. But GOD, He got hold of  me and told me the stories are His. I woke up at 5:30 AM and had a picture of a cowboy on a horse pulling a Christmas tree and knew I had a story and that wasn’t even where the story started. And I did. I wrote the story and turned it in before noon. God is good.

Yes, He is. Please tell us about the featured book?
Brides of Black Horse Mesa is a collection of three mail-order bride novellas. I love these books. The characters surprised me at every turn. It all starts when the oldest of three brothers decides he needs a wife. Wait until you read Greta’s solution to her predicament at the end of her story. Tom and Maggie start their story off in a crazy twist that leads to Matt’s story. I hope you’ll enjoy these stories. I sure had a fun time writing them.

I am eager to read them. Please give us the first page of the book.
Greta’s Story
Iowa
1867
Greta Pederson lifted the beaten plant and groaned at the sight of the bug infested squash. Gone. What the insects hadn’t eaten, last night’s hail had ruined. They were finished. She dreaded going into the little farmhouse to tell Grandpapa.

She stretched her back. The letters in her pocket crinkled, reminding her of the possible escape from their dire circumstances. Perhaps her grandfather wouldn’t be so set against the idea of leaving the farm. She brushed the dirt from her hands, fished the first letter from her pocket, and opened it.

Wanted: A respectable woman twenty years to twenty five. Must not be ugly. Blonde hair a plus. Must know how to cook good and be friendly. I have a good ranch. Come west to Texas and Black Horse Mesa. Ask for Chase Logan.

She stuffed the letter back into the envelope. She’d already written to Chase and told him she’d come, and he’d quickly sent her the money for the travel fares. Dreading what she had to do, she trudged to the ramshackle two-room house.

Opening the door, her heart sank at the sight of the old man sitting in the rocker. Gently, she nudged him. “Grandpapa, we need to talk.”

Waking, he rubbed his eyes and stared at her. “Henny?”

She shook her head. Poor man more often than not drifted to the other world her Grandmother had passed into. “No, it’s me, Greta.”

“Ah, I see better now.” His eyes brightened. “What is it my little Greta girl wants?”

“I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to Texas to Black Horse Mesa and marry Chase Logan. I’m taking you with me.” Shocked that she’d included him in her plans, she knew that was the only thing she could do. She couldn’t leave him alone.

I know my readers will love this story, too. How can readers find you on the Internet?
For more information about Patricia PacJac Carroll, please contact
email  …………..pacjaccarroll@aol.com
Books by Patricia PacJac Carroll (They are also on Kindle Unlimited) http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-PacJac-Carroll/e/B008R9JCN2/ 
***Sign up for my newsletter, PacJac News, and receive notice when new books are available:
Click here >Newsletter.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Brides of Black Horse Mesa~Texas: Books 1-3

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the ebook. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES - Dan Walsh - One Free Book

Bio: Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of 18 novels including The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery, and When Night Comes. He has won 3 Carol Awards (finalist 6 times), 3 Selah Awards and 4 of his books have been finalists for RT Review’s Inspirational Book of the Year. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Word Weavers International, Dan writes fulltime in the Daytona Beach area. He and his wife Cindi have been married 40 years. You can find out more about his books or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or Pinterest from his website at http://www.danwalshbooks.com.

I love both types of Dan's books. Welcome back, Dan. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Well, let’s see…I’ve been married for 40 years to the only woman I’ve ever loved. We have 2 grown children, both married, and 3 grandchildren. Way back in high school, I thought I would be writing novels for a living. Life took me in a different direction. I wound up experiencing a call to ministry and, after years of study and preparation, became a pastor at age 28. I pastored the same church for the next 25 years, but never lost my love of fiction (although I only read novels, didn’t write a thing). Around year 22, I began writing a Christmas novel, called The Unfinished Gift. It’s a long story, but that novel became the catalyst for an eventual shift over the next few years from pastoring to writing fulltime. I “made the leap” in 2010 and now, with my newest novel, have written 18 novels. How did you become interested in writing? It happened in 11th Grade. After almost flunking Chemistry, I took a semester of creative writing and discovered, not only did I really like it, but I was pretty good at it. Every paper I turned in got an A+. After the class was over, the teacher pulled me aside and said I was one of the most gifted writers she’d ever had. Then she added, “You could be a writer if you wanted to.”
    
What compelled you to write a book on this subject?
Unintended Consequences is actually Book 3 in my Jack Turner Suspense series. What compelled me to write it? Keeping the series going, because I love writing it. It’s got all the things I love in a book series. Not just as a writer but as a reader, too. Great characters, a multi-layered plot that combines history with the present, romance, unexpected surprises, and a decades-old family mystery.

What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book? Unlike my more inspirational novels (the ones I’m probably better known for writing), this series doesn’t really have a strong spiritual theme. I’d put it more under the heading of good, clean Christian entertainment. I love reading suspense/thriller stories but secular books in this genre, though often having great plots, also have immoral bedroom scenes and main characters who swear a lot. I wanted to write similar exciting stories but put credible, likable Christian characters in the lead roles.                                  

Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?
Maybe in an indirect way. Because the main characters are credible believers, I’m sure people can learn lessons from the way they handle the various levels of adversity they encounter throughout the story. Plus, since I write relationally-driven books, there is a lot of give-and-take on the relational side of things, as well.

How does the book intertwine with God’s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?
I’m not sure it does, except in a general way. That is, to write stories that, while entertaining, also encouraged clear Biblical values.

Do you have a favorite Scripture verse?
That’s a hard one. I’d feel more comfortable saying, I have a hundred favorites. Or else, several favorite verses for different situations.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
I like reading. We love spending time with our kids and grandkids. Since we live in Florida, we really enjoy going to the beach. Recently, my wife and I are taking up metal detecting as a hobby.

As we close, is there anything else you would like to add?
Two things that I’d like my readers to know (and future readers). First, even though Unintended Consequences is Book 3 of a suspense series, I write all my series-novels so they can be easily read as a stand-alone (don’t have to be read in order). And second, I really do enjoy writing both kinds of books, suspense and inspirational (my more “Nicholas-Sparks type” books). I plan to keep writing both, going forward. In fact, I’m now going to start researching Book 3 in my Forever Home series (the one where Rescuing Finley is Book 1).

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Probably the easiest way is to go to my homepage at www.danwalshbooks.com. There you’ll find buttons to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. They can also sign up to get my Newsletter. I don’t send many out, but I always let my Newsletter friends get the latest updates on new books or great book deals. People can also email me at dwalsh@danwalshbooks.com.

Thank you, Dan, for sharing this book with us.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

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 or country if outside North America. (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:

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

TRUCK STOP JESUS - Buck Storm - One Free Book

Welcome, Buck. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
The answer probably should be none—it’s all imagination, right? But truthfully I’m sure some of
me winds up in my characters. The good, bad, and ugly.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
This is a hard one. Musician, diver, traveler—I’ve lived a quirky life. Been around the world,
done so many things. As a starving young songwriter in Los Angeles I got a job as a singing
telegram guy for a couple weeks. That was definitely cringe worthy.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Probably about the same time I discovered I loved to read—loved story. Looking back over my
life I realize that I’ve never been a good sideline guy. I might start out as a watcher and admirer
but it doesn’t take long for me to have to be a doer. As a kid, half an inning into a baseball game
on TV I’d be out in the yard tossing up a ball to hit. I’d see Jacques Cousteau exploring the ocean and I’d have to become a diver (something I wound up making a living at for much of my life).

When I heard the radio and music I wanted to write songs (this eventually became my career).
So, for me, Louis L’Amour, J.D. Salinger, Mark Twain, C.S. Lewis—so many more—these guys
inspired me to want to do more than just read. I had to write.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’m one of those people who will read the back of a cereal box if nothing else is around. I love
books, especially novels. I do love the classics but all kinds, really. I’m not picky or lofty with
my reading list. I leave yard sales with stacks of books (too many!). Old and new. I read for
enjoyment but also, these days, for expanding my knowledge of the craft.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
In a word, Jesus. Remembering what is important—above success, sales, marketing, the next
project, etc. I truly find peace in the storm with God. He is safe harbor and all the matters.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Hmm. They usually come to my head with names so I don’t. Sometimes I’ll peruse the internet or ask my family for suggestions for side characters.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My wife and son and daughter—and now a new daughter-in-law—without a doubt.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A dolphin. I’d hang out in the waves all day and always have a smile on my face!

What is your favorite food?
Mexican

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you
overcome it?
During my third novel I went through a real stretch of wrestling with storyline. I eventually
realized the problem was two-fold—I was putting time pressure on myself, and I was trying to
force my original storyline idea into the work when the book needed to go another direction. I
took a step back and remembered what was important and good. Family and faith! Books are just
books, why stress? Then the story flowed.

Tell us about the featured book.
TRUCK STOP JESUS is essentially a quirky road trip novel. A life collision between a
struggling, eccentric actress and a washed up professional baseball player. Some road trips take
you places you never expected!

Please give us the first page of the book.
East of the Sun, West of the Moon
Paradise Jones woke with a start, mouth stuffed with bitter cotton. She squinted an eye against the morning glare and looked around the room for the swarm of bees.

A dream? It must have been a dream.

Then why did she still hear them?

Reality wormed its way slowly into her sleep-addled brain. Not bees. Her cell phone vibrating. A glance told her it wasn’t on the nightstand. Where was the stupid thing? It stopped.

Peaceful silence filled the room. Paradise flopped back onto her pillow and pulled the sheet over
her head.

Bee-free bliss.

The bees kicked in again and she groaned. The cell had to be under the blanket somewhere. It took four vibrations but she peeled back layers until she found it. She tapped the screen with her thumb and pushed a tangle of blond hair out of her face. “Ash, this better be good. It’s the middle of the night. I’m asleep.”

The Boston tinged accent on the other end of the line shot back unapologetic. “It’s almost noon. Why can’t you wake up in the morning like normal people?”

“We played at Jack’s last night. I didn’t get home till after three. The guy from Virgin Records was there.”

“He say anything?”

“Yeah, right. He said I’m gonna be huge. Nah. I don’t think it was his cup of tea. He left before the last song.” Paradise pulled the sheet back over her head and the world shrunk to a manageable pink cocoon. A steady drone of street noise shoved its way through the bedroom
window. On the other side of the wall was Silverlake, Los Angeles, California, United States,
Planet Earth.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
www.buckstorm.com  - lots of other links there as well

Thank you, Buck, for sharing this book with us. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Truck Stop Jesus - paperback
Truck Stop Jesus - 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 or country if outside North America. (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:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

WINNERS!!!!!!

Trixi (OR) is the winner of Sprouts of Love by Valerie Comer.

Beverly C (TX), Connie (KY), and Vivian (MT) is the winner of Dawn Singer by Janalyn Voigt.

Edward (VA) is the winner of The Seeker by Terry Dodd.

Paula (MO) is the winner of Love and Harmony by Sally Bayless.

If you won a book and you like it, please consider giving the author the courtesy of writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or other Internet sites. 

Also, tell your friends about the book ... and this blog. Thank you.

Congratulations
, everyone. If you won a print book, send me your mailing address:
Click the Contact Me link at the top of the blog, and send me an Email.


If you won an ebook, just let me know what email address it should be sent to.

When you contact me, please give the title and author of the book you won, so I won't have to look it up.


Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Special Price for AUTUMN LOVE

The Thanksgiving novella collection is at a special price right now. $.99 on Kindle.  This is a collection written by four of my writing friends and me. Here's what it is about:

Lena Nelson Dooley
DIY THANKSGIVING LOVE
- A misunderstanding brought Austin Hodges and Valerie Bradford together. The same misunderstanding eventually pushed them apart. Can a church youth campout help them to see each other through the eyes of truth?

Lisa Crane
THANK HEAVEN FOR LITTLE GIRLS
- Charley Jane Roberts is a tomboy through and through. Jake Waters is a bit of a ladies man. They’re also best friends, and Jake is Charley’s boss. Unfortunately, Charley is also in love with Jake. He, however, sees her still as the tag-along little sister of his friend and one of the guys. One minor accident at work changes everything. But will the two of them figure everything out, in spite of meddling friends and misunderstandings?

Anne Greene
RECIPE FOR A HUSBAND
, set in Maine in1942. Nessie McDonald, daughter of a recently deceased lighthouse keeper seeks a husband by Thanksgiving to share the responsibility of warning sailors off the rugged Maine coast. She advertises for a husband and cooks gourmet dinners for each would-be husband’s interview. Kyle Cameron, the injured seaman she rescues from the sea, won’t do because he must return to Australia and his father’s shipping business. Yet Kyle, lying on a cot in the kitchen with a broken leg, points out each aspiring husband’s unsuitability by reading aloud from Nessie’s heirloom cookbook’s spiritual advice. When Kyle must return home, Nessie realizes too late she’s fallen in love with the spiritual Australian. But Kyle surprises her by cooking up a recipe of his own.

Kathy Wall
NEVER AGAIN
- Wounded by a woman’s dishonesty, Tanner Phillips vows never to trust women ever again. When he meets Rusti Moore, he recognizes a person in emotional pain carrying a heavy burden.
Her open honesty impresses him. Can he overcome his personal injuries to help her heal? Does he have the insight to support her without damaging her? Will helping her destroy him?

Marilyn Eudaly
TURKEY TROT
- Radio personality Trudy Moore fears Thanksgiving will mark the end of her relationship with the “Big Boss of the Hot Sauce,” Gunnar Stone.
Gunnar pushes for them to spend Thanksgiving with his family in Connecticut. Trudy’s parents invite them to Arkansas. She may have to work the Turkey Trot Marathon in Dallas, Texas. Gunnar develops two very different plans to solve their holiday dilemma. One involves trotting around the country. The other he keeps secret from the woman he hopes to make his wife.
The miles and the rungs on the corporate ladder challenge their love as they do a Turkey Trot to find happy forever after.

Buy link:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

COMING HOME, a Tiny House Collection - Michael Ehret, and others - One Free Book

Dear Readers, tiny houses are a new concept. They’re featured on a TV show, and there’s a lot of buzz about them. Now this tiny house romance collection is available. And Mike Ehret’s novella is his debut book. So I’m interviewing him about the book and introducing you to him. I've known Mike a long time and worked with him on the ACFW Journal.

Bio: Michael Ehret has accepted God's invitation and is a freelance editor at WritingOnTheFineLine.com. In addition, he's worked as editor-in-chief of the ACFW Journal for the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). He pays the bills as a marketing communications writer and sharpened his writing and editing skills as a reporter for The Indianapolis News and The Indianapolis Star.

How did your story for the collection come about?  
How did I come up with the idea? You’re asking a Seat Of The Pants (SOTP) writer how he came up with the idea? I sat down at the computer, opened a Word document, and started writing. Okay, so there’s a little more to it than that.

When we knew we wanted to do this novella collection idea centered around tiny houses, my wife and I had just finished touring the Tiny House Road Show when it stopped here in Indianapolis. On a subsequent weekend trip to Cincinnati, we brainstormed a couple ideas about how it could be approached.

What if? What if the man in the story was a writer for an architectural journal who thought himself too sophisticated to do a story on tiny houses? What if the woman was the president of a company building tiny houses with the idea to use the proceeds to battle homelessness (and who also provides tiny houses, at cost, to those who need a place to live off the streets)? Then, what if both of these people had experienced homelessness in different forms and it had drastically affected their lives, but in different, opposite ways?

But I still couldn’t seem to get the story started in a way that fired my imagination. Then one day, I’m driving around the Northside of Indianapolis (where my place of work is located) and I spot a street sign for Timberly Drive and the voice of my female character just pops into my mind and starts talking.

I’m just going to put it out there. My name’s Timberley. Yeah, Timberley. Get over it; I did long ago, okay? What can a girl say? My father the dealmaker cut what he called a “win-win” with my mother. Trouble is, there were three people in the deal and only two of them “won-won.”

From there the story began to unfold.

Homelessness expanded her world and constricted his. Now she needs his help, but he only remembers the pain. Can they find big love in a tiny house?

Are these stories connected in some way? If so, how?
The only thing they have in common is that all involve a tiny house in some way.

What are you reading right now?
James L. Rubart’s The Long Journey to Jake Palmer.

I loved that book. How many other books have you had published?
This is my first.

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a collection?
Truthfully, finding the time to write is the hardest thing. My job is very demanding, and I have other commitments that are important to me. But when God personally invites you into “a new season of writing” it’s hard to say no.

How did collaborating with this team impact you?
It was interesting. Particularly being the only male in the collection. My story definitely fits in the collection, but it is also definitely different. One great thing about the collaboration is that all of the other authors are great encouragers—and good friends.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
Two things. Don’t let the world define your life. Don’t find your identity in the things of this world. Second, the importance of personal integrity.

Please give us a peek into your story.
(This is a bit from the middle that’s part of my favorite scene. To set it up just a little, Rafe and Berly are about to have their second “date”. They are still feeling each other out and looking for common ground. There is attraction, but they’ve only just met so there’s also tension.)

Rafe saw Berly pull into the parking lot. Honda Accord, newer model. It looked like the Touring version, so a confident V6. He rose, trashed his cup, grabbed the notebook, and headed for the door. He didn’t want her and Carl coming into contact. Carl’s too chatty. Though he had seemed rather intimidated by his encounter with Berly and her determination.

Still, better to not risk it.

Ah, but Berly’s no-holds-barred confidence was a primary driver of his own interest. After the curly auburn hair, fair skin, blue eyes, and that laugh—the one that started in her eyes and ended in his heart.

He had to make this work.

He popped down his shades as he exited the shop. The sun was bright—plus he was feeling a little exposed.

“Nice car,” he said as Berly stepped out of the vehicle and closed the door.

“Oh, you startled me!”

His laugh must have amused her, because she looked at him sideways for a moment, as if measuring him. It seemed her glance lingered briefly on the notebook. “Thanks, it’s the touring model.”

“V6?”

“Of course.”

Rafe nodded and walked around the car, checking her tire choice, running his hand over the hood. Trying to think of how to start.

“It’s not for sale,” she said.

“I’m not in the market … for a car.”

Was that a step too far? Maybe, but he didn’t think so.

“Some days I live in that thing, traveling from site to site,” she said, choosing to ignore the line.
Rafe nodded. “I’ve found you can tell a lot about people by the cars they choose to own. This one tells me you’re safe, reliable. Close to staid, but not quite. Not with the six. You have your lead foot moments.”

Her hands on her waist issued a challenge of their own. “And yours?
“Black Beemer.” He tilted his head to her left.

“Ah. Well, to me that screams, Ostentatious. Overrated. Overpriced.” And after a brief pause, “Compensating.”

Rafe fought down a laugh and forced a frown. “You didn’t even look, Ms. Charles.”

I love that scene, too. What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
It came from Allen Arnold: He taught me the importance of writing with God and not for him. His class on this was a turning point for my writing.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
I have a rather inactive site for my freelance editing business that I now need to revamp. You can look for me there (https://writingonthefineline.com/). Alternately, I’m really active on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/michael.l.ehret.7) and fairly active on Twitter (@WritingFineLine).

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

Readers, 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 or country if outside North America. (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: