Saturday, December 04, 2021

HARMONY ON THE HORIZON - Kathleen Denly - One Free Book

Welcome back, Kathleen. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon? I’ve recently signed a contract to publish three new novels for my Chaparral Hearts series. I’ve already begin work on the first of these novels—which will be book four in the series—and I’m very excited with where it’s going.

Tell us a little about your family. I’ll be celebrating my twentieth anniversary with my amazing husband at the end of this month. We have four beautiful children—three boys and one girl who range in age from five to sixteen—whom we homeschool. In addition, we have one dog, six indoor cats and four feral cats who live in a cattery on our twenty acre homestead. In the next year we hope to get chickens and eventually plan to add goats to the list of living beings we’re trying to keep alive.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how? Yes. I have discovered that while I am writing my first drafts, I cannot read novels set in England or which have characters with dialects or accents. I also cannot watch movies with accents. All my life I have been an accent sponge. If I spend more than five minutes around someone with an accent, I have to make a conscious effort not to start talking like them. Turns out, I do the same thing with writing. If I spend too much time reading a regency set in England and suddenly my American heroine sounds like she’s from London.

What are you working on right now? I am currently working on two projects. One is a novella which takes place between books one and two in my Chaparral Hearts series. It’s both fun and challenging because my heroine for this novella was the villain of Waltz in the Wilderness, my first book. The second project I’m working on is the fourth book in my Chaparral Hearts series. It’s going to be set primarily in what is now eastern San Diego County and will include adventures based on true historical events.

What outside interests do you have? Well, you can probably guess that I love cats, but as hobbies go, I enjoy crafting, hiking, and diy projects.

How do you choose your settings for each book? Well, so far all of my books have been set in California, with a special focus on Southern California. This is because that’s where I have spent the majority of my life. When I set out to begin the Chaparral Hearts series, one of the things I noticed was a lack of novels in my genre that featured the unique and fascinating history of the southern portion of our golden state. When planning each subsequent novel I searched for interesting historical events and unique physical locations. For example, in Harmony on the Horizon, I wanted to focus on the seedier side of San Francisco’s early days. So I chose San Francisco’s Barbary Coast as my secondary setting. For book four in the Chaparral Hearts series, the idea began with the story of our nation’s second bloodiest gun fight (second only to the infamous O.K. Corral shootout) and the bandit gang that instigated it.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why? Jane Austen. I want to know what she was like as a person and an author. I am curious about her reasons and methods. And I’d love to see her reaction to being so famous and so deeply studied all these years later. I wonder if she’d approve of the many movie adaptations and fan fiction novels her stories have inspired.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels? Which writing craft books would work for me, and that conferences are valuable even before you’ve finished your manuscript (or think you have). The one thing I would change if I could, would be to start attending them sooner. On the other hand, we were dirt poor at the time, and I couldn’t afford to attend them so…

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now? Oh, great question. I think I’m still learning to make wiser choices with my time and energy. I’m learning to say no more often and be okay with missing good or even great opportunities. Unless I’m called to do something, it’s optional. And just because someone else is doing something or an opportunity seems enticing, doesn’t mean I need to do it. He’s teaching me to trust in His timing and provision instead of working myself to the bone trying to do it all, be there for everyone, and be perfect at everything. I’m learning that if He wants me to accomplish something, I don’t have to pull an all-nighter to accomplish it. He’ll provide me with the time and energy to get it done in His timing. (He’s proven this to me time and again.) And I’m learning that rest isn’t just okay. It’s Biblical and necessary.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

Don’t overcommit! Remember to schedule rest days.

Don’t follow a publishing path or implement a marketing technique, or do anything else just because it’s what others say is best (even if that person is an agent, best-selling author, editor, or publisher). Instead, listen to God and the loved ones He has placed in your life.

Learn, practice, and learn some more. No matter what stage you’re at, there’s always something you can learn.

Tell us about the featured book. Her calling to change the world may be his downfall.

On the heels of the Great Rebellion, Margaret Foster, an abolitionist northerner, takes a teaching position in 1865 San Diego—a town dominated by Southern sympathizers. At thirty-seven years of age, Margaret has accepted spinsterhood and embraced her role as teacher. So when Everett Thompson, the handsomest member of the School Board, reveals his interest in her, it’s a dream come true. Until her passionate ideals drive a wedge between them.

After two decades of hard work, Everett Thompson is on the verge of having everything he’s dreamed of. Even the beautiful new teacher has agreed to his courtship. Then two investments go south and a blackmailer threatens everything Everett has and dreams of.

As Everett scrambles to shore up the crumbling pieces of his life, Margaret unwittingly sets off a scandal that divides the small community and threatens her position as teacher. With the blackmailer still whispering threats, Everett must decide if he’s willing to risk everything for the woman still keeping him at arm’s length.

Please give us the first page of the book.

San Francisco, June 30, 1865

A girl's terrified scream jerked Margaret Foster's attention from the mathematics formula she’d been rehearsing in her mind. A chill shivered up her spine as she searched the wooden sidewalks and fog-shrouded buildings lining the cobblestone intersection. To her left, tidy store fronts bore crowded window displays and closed doors—not yet open for the day’s business. To her right, a rough-looking haberdashery was flanked by windowless buildings with faded lettering. She squinted at the sign just beyond the men’s clothing shop. Melodeon? She stepped away. Not another person in sight.

Who had screamed? The sound had been distant. Could she have mistaken a cat’s cry for a scream?

The woman who owned the boarding house Margaret had checked into yesterday had said to turn south at the milliner’s shop with a large, glass display window. No such building met her gaze. She kicked at a loose pebble and started back the way she’d come. Knowing your lessons won’t matter at all if you’re late and—

Another scream spun Margaret toward the windowless buildings. Through the haze, she spotted a small figure chased by a larger one. Her heart squeezed. That child was in danger. The pair disappeared into the mist beyond the melodeon.

Margaret dashed after them.

Human-like shadows flickered in and out of view as she ran through the gloom. Down alleys and up streets, she followed their echoing footsteps. A stitch formed in her side, but she pressed on. That child needed her help.

I’m hooked. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Website: https://kathleendenly.com/

Kathleen’s Readers’ Club: http://bit.ly/KRCMemberSignUp

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/KathleenDenly.author

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ArmchairAdventureKrew/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/KathleenDenly/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathleenDenly

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/KathleenDenly

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KathleenDenly

BookBub Author Profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/Kathleen-Denly

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/kathleendenly

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

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Harmony+on+the+Horizon&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss

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, 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

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

EXCITING NEWS!!! YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS THIS!!!

 40 Christian authors (I'm one of them) will host a Christmas Extravaganza Party December 2-4 on the Whispers in Montana Facebook Group. Christian novels, prizes, and fun!!!


See you there.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

WINNERS

IMPORTANT: Instructions for winners  - When you send me the email, make sure your subject line says this: Winner - (book title) - (author's name) If you don't do this, your email could get lost in my hundreds of emails per day. I WILL SEARCH FOR POST TITLES STARTING THAT WAY.

Some people don't read the instructions of how to enter. Unfortunately, they don't have a chance to win. so next time you come and leave a comment, be sure to read all the instructions if you want a chance to win.

Stephanie (NY) is the winner of The Debutant's Code by Erica Vetsch.

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. Reviews are such a blessing to an author.

Also, tell your friends about the book you won ... 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 or audio book, just let me know what email address it should be sent to. Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

HONOR IN THE MOUNTAIN REFUGE - Misty M Beller - One Free Book

Bio: Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

Raised on a farm and surrounded by family, Misty developed her love for horses, history, and adventure. These days, her husband and children provide fresh adventure every day, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

Misty’s passion is to create inspiring Christian fiction infused with the grandeur of the mountains, writing historical romance that displays God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Sharing her stories with readers is a dream come true for Misty. She writes from her country home in South Carolina and escapes to the mountains any chance she gets.

Welcome back, Misty. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? I’ve always loved reading, but never actually thought I could write a book. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I began thinking I’d like to try. I added “write a book that’s published” to my bucket list, and as I worked through that first book, I realized how much I loved writing. Even then, I never imagined God would have me doing this full time. Some days are hard, but writing really is my dream job!

I know how that feels. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish? It varies a little, but if I’m really focused on the writing, it usually takes me 2 to 2 ½ months to write a book. That requires focusing on writing and editing for a significant part of each day. J

How do you come up with themes for your stories? This question is hard to answer! I usually start with developing my characters, and maybe a general idea of the plot or their story goals. As I get to know their backstory, I begin to learn how each character will develop through the story, and that usually helps me understand the theme for the book.

Do you have a schedule of when you write? I’ve learned that my most creative time is in the afternoons, so I try to protect that time for writing new words. That means I do a lot of the business part and editing in the mornings. I do have five kiddos, so that time is often interrupted, but that’s the way I try to schedule my workday.

How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing? I’m not always sure I do! As I said, we have five kiddos (ages 3 weeks to 14 years), and we also homeschool, so there’s a lot going on in our home! It’s usually pretty chaotic, but the kids are also good about trying to let me work. I set goals with them (when Mom gets these last 3 chapters edited, we’ll go to the library), and they encourage me. J

What elements do you think make a great story line? Ooo, good question! Definitely strong, interesting characters, with story goals that drive the book forward. I love settings that really come alive. My books are often set in the Rocky Mountains, a setting that adds so many layers of challenge my characters must face! I love a good plot twist partway through!

What was the hardest thing about writing a book? Finding the right words. J Especially if I’m especially sleep-deprived, meeting my daily word count can be SO HARD some days.

How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? I’m just starting my 32nd book. In some ways, it seems impossible to believe I’ve written that much. When I think of all those words and storylines, though, it feels like more than 32 books. J Picking a favorite is hard though! There are some that feel like milestones, like Hope’s Highest Mountain, my first book published by Bethany House Publishers, or This Healing Journey, a book that earned a spot on the USA Today bestseller’s list. But there are other books that are special for sentimental reasons, like The Lady and the Mountain Man, the book where I realized how much I love writing remote mountain settings. Or This Courageous Journey, a book where my oldest daughter helped me brainstorm the plot. I think it would be impossible to choose a favorite!

Do you have a favorite character? This is even harder than choosing a favorite book! I love strong characters, with courageous heroines and mountain men heroes. By the time I’m a third of the way through writing a story, the characters have become dear friends. I really love the hero and heroine in Honor in the Mountain Refuge. Chogan (the hero) is a Blackfoot brave who’s been exiled from his village because he wanted peace instead of their warlike ways. He’s such a good man, protective and honorable and courageous. And Telipe (the heroine) is brave in her own right! She’s a peacemaker, someone who reaches out to the outsiders. Little does she know God uses that trait to bring her to the man He created for her.

Tell us about the story. I’d love to! After being cast out of his Blackfoot village for his kindness to the Nez Perce captives, Chogan travels west in search of meaning for his life. Meaning that doesn’t require killing or torturing innocent people. Though the lovely face of Telípe, a Nez Perce woman, is imprinted on his heart, he avoids her village.  She deserves a happy life with her husband and coming child.

With her husband dead and the birth of her babe imminent, Telípe’s reality looks nothing like she planned. She’s been forced to return to the village where she grew up and the chaos of her family’s lodge—with all her boisterous younger brothers. She desperately desires to start a new life for herself and the babe growing within her, but she can’t seem to climb above the mire of her past. When she stumbles into the brave who’d shown her kindness during her captivity, something ignites within her—a new hope.

Chogan’s determination to stay and help Telípe is thwarted by her people’s fear and hatred for his tribe—especially since he was among last winter’s kidnappers. It doesn’t matter that he did everything he could to keep her and her unborn child safe and comfortable during that awful event. But as a new predator threatens the safety of the village, Chogan determines to take down the massive wildcat that’s already injured several children—including one of Telípe’s younger brothers. When the danger escalates, Chogan is faced with an impossible choice. No matter which option he chooses, his life will never be the same—nor that of the woman he’s come to love.

Please give us a peek at the first page of the book.

Summer, 1831

Clearwater River Valley, Future Idaho Territory

The fine hairs along Telípe’s neck stood on end, and she turned to scan the woods around her—not an easy feat with the babe weighing down her belly.

Was there an animal watching her? Or could there be a person scouting out there, unseen?

She peered through the summer leaves covering the trees, but all appeared still. Maybe the sensation had only come from sweat trickling down her neck.

Turning back to the fruit bushes, she pushed aside the branches and reached for a cluster of chokecherries. At least the trees offered shade and a bit of a breeze, unlike the hot, smoky lodge she’d escaped. With all her family lounging or milling about the place—including Pisákas, the man her brother seemed to constantly be placing in her path, and his young motherless son—she could barely breathe, much less think.

Of course, she couldn't breathe well anyway, as the baby filled every empty space inside her. She slipped a hand under her belly to better support the mass at her middle, then reached for another cluster of cherries.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?

I love to connect with readers! One of my favorite ways is through my newsletter, and readers can get a free copy of my book, A Pony Express Romance, when they sign up for the newsletter. Here’s the link for that: https://mistymbeller.com/freebook

I can also be found at these links:

https://mistymbeller.com/

https://amazon.com/author/mistymbeller

https://www.facebook.com/MistyMBellerAuthor

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/misty-m-beller

https://www.goodreads.com/MistyMBeller

http://www.pinterest.com/MistyMBeller

Thank you, Misty, for sharing this new book with my blog readers and me. I have loved every book of yours that I’ve read, and I’ve read almost all of them.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08TZS9M57

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, 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, November 21, 2021

WINNERS

IMPORTANT: Instructions for winners  - When you send me the email, make sure your subject line says this: Winner - (book title) - (author's name) If you don't do this, your email could get lost in my hundreds of emails per day. I WILL SEARCH FOR POST TITLES STARTING THAT WAY.

Some people don't read the instructions of how to enter. Unfortunately, they don't have a chance to win. so next time you come and leave a comment, be sure to read all the instructions if you want a chance to win.

Mimi (DE) is the winner of The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin.

Barbthereader (OH) is the winner of Colleen's Confession by Susan G Mathis.

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. Reviews are such a blessing to an author.

Also, tell your friends about the book you won ... 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 or audio book, just let me know what email address it should be sent to. Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.   

Thursday, November 18, 2021

THE DEBUTANTE'S CODE - Erica Vetsch - One free Book on this blog, Plus more

Do you have a fiction lover on your holiday shopping list? Look no further for a gift suggestion! Just in time for the gift-giving season, award-winning author Erica Vetsch is kicking off her new Thorndike and Swann Regency mystery series with the release of The Debutante’s Code (Kregel Publications). This new series combining a historical setting, romance, and mystery has been described as Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes. With that combination, where can you go wrong?

Welcome back Erica. Introduce us to the new Thorndike and Swann Regency Mystery series which has been described as Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes. This story has been a long time in the making! It has to be almost ten years ago that I first thought up the story idea, and originally, it was set in Gilded Age New York. But when I began writing stories set in Regency England, I realized the original tale could easily be adapted to the Regency Era.

Our heroine longs to be reunited with her parents and have her debut season in London, but her plans go awry when her parents do not meet her at the docks and are, in fact, missing. She discovers that she comes from a long line of spies for the Crown, and she has a choice, either to finish what her parents started, or turn her back on her heritage and become the socialite she assumed she would be all along. Her mind is made up when murder is afoot.

Our hero is a Bow Street Runner, one of London’s earliest policemen, and he’s on the hunt for a stolen painting…then other valuables from the same shipment of rare items disappear one by one, and an art dealer is found murdered in his gallery. Each clue leads our hero closer and closer to the thief and killer, but he’s disconcerted to find that his chief suspect has become the debutante he finds so attractive.

Tell us more about your leading lady, Juliette Thorndike. Juliette is fresh from finishing school in Switzerland, where she has been for several years. Because of Britain’s ongoing war with France, her parents determined a cloistered school in Switzerland was a safe place for her to remain, especially while they were doing daring deeds for the monarch. Juliette is an accomplished toxophilite, avid reader, puzzle solver, and good dancer. 

Most of all, Juliette yearns for her family to be reunited. She was a child when she was sent to Switzerland, and she longs to know her parents as an adult. They have been in frequent communication via letters, but it isn’t the same as being together in person. When she discovers that her parents have kept such a dire secret from her all these years, she wonders if she’s ever known them at all.

Juliette has a somewhat fantasized view of who her parents are, yet she really hasn’t spent that much time around them. What happens to make her realize she’s never really known them at all? They’ve hidden so many things from her—from her heritage to their activities and hidden rooms in their house. She has created an image in her mind of what life will be like once they are reunited, but now she wonders if any of it is even possible, much less probable. 

She’s always felt secure in her parents’ love, but if they can lie about something so big, what else have they lied about?

Why does Juliette not only feel abandon by her parents, but abandoned by God? We often form our views of a Heavenly Father from our experience with our earthly parents, for good or for ill. Juliette has not been ill-treated by her parents, or at least she didn’t think she had, but if they could abandon her on the eve of her coming out in society (in what should be the most important year of her life), can she trust anything about them?

Their priorities clearly don’t line up with hers. They put their work ahead of their daughter. Is that fair? Is that right?

They’ve taught her that God is with her, that He will never abandon her, but can she trust what they have taught her when they can lie so easily?

How have Juliette’s parents been preparing her to be a part of the “family business” even though they haven’t been a physical presence in her life? A variety of ways, starting with protecting her from the truth when she was very small. They also took great care in the school they chose for her to attend. She’s conversant in French and some Italian as well as English, has been taught the skills required of a young lady in the British aristocracy, such as dancing, deportment, music, and art. 

But she’s also learned a great deal of history, logic, and rhetoric in her curriculum, as well as archery. All skills that will aid her if she chooses to follow in her parents’ footsteps as a spy for the Crown.

And her father added another twist. He wrote to her often, but always in code. A different code each time, growing more complex as she grew and became more adept at deciphering his codes. 

Juliette comes to realize that her parents have been preparing her for her future role, but she doesn’t realize how quickly her skills will be tested.

A Regency novel is not a Regency novel without a swoon-worthy hero. Just who is Daniel Swann? Ah, Daniel. He’s had very little say in his life up to now, being the illegitimate son of a household servant. He’s done every chore that can be found on a country estate, from being the boot boy in charge of cleaning and polishing all the shoes, to helping the groundskeepers and gardeners with the weeding and planting, to working in the stables and riding the master’s horses out to exercise. In his own way, he’s been training for his future, too.

Through more outside influence, he was removed from his mother’s care, sent to boarding school, and then to Oxford with the understanding that his guardianship would end at his 25th birthday, which is fast approaching. Then he will be in command of his life for the first time…but he wonders if he’s up to the task.

Daniel has a bit of a mysterious past himself—one that even eludes him even though he’s a detective. How has his past directed his career choice? Daniel has no idea who his mysterious patron is, and he is forbidden from searching out his identity. He’s given other rules he must follow, including cutting off all ties with his mother. He was a bewildered, homesick child, wrenched from his home and shipped off to boarding school, and he believes his mother was only too glad to be rid of him, otherwise why would she agree to such a terrible thing? 

Daniel studied art and history at Oxford, unsure of what he would do for a career, but when a Bow Street officer shows up to investigate a murder in the Oxford Canal, Daniel is hooked on detective work. With the help of his hidden patron, he secures a job at Bow Street, against the wishes of his new superior officer, who is always looking for a reason to dismiss Daniel. 

With his past so shrouded in mystery, his current situation tenuous, and his future racing toward him at his 25th birthday when his patronage will cease, Daniel focuses on being the best detective he can be and hopes things will all work out.

What kind of research was required to write a mystery set in the early 1800s? What are some of the methods detectives of the day would have to depend on? There was quite a bit of research involved in this one, from police procedures to art history. Much studying of maps and the hierarchy of society, the lives of British spies, and fitting it all into the current political and social situations of the times. I had fun deciding upon the various items that would go missing, from statues to jewelry to artwork, and deciding upon different ways each piece could be acquired.

As to the police methods of the day, the Bow Street detectives didn’t have our current levels of forensic science to help identify culprits. They relied upon eyewitness testimony, circumstantial evidence, catching someone red-handed, and by following the paperwork/money trail. Some things have not changed. The main motives for lawbreaking still fall into three categories: money, power, and sex. Who has it, who wants it, who wants to deny someone else from acquiring it? And in Regency times, the detectives were still looking for motive, means, and opportunity. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The Debutante’s Code is my first true mystery, and it’s all wrapped into a heist story, so layering those different threads together was a new adventure for me.

Fans fell in love with the characters from your Serendipity and Secrets series. Is there any chance we might see some familiar faces make a cameo in your new series? I am delighted that the Thorndike and Swann mysteries take place in what I like to call the “Haverly Universe” first created in the Serendipity and Secrets series. In The Debutante’s Code, several characters from the S and S series reappear, including the Duke of Haverly, Marcus, his duchess, Charlotte, and the Dowager Duchess of Haverly, who is a personal favorite of mine.

Though there is a host of new characters in The Debutante’s Code, as the series unfolds, more of the S and S cast will come into the stories. 

Can you give us a tease of what to expect in the remainder of the Thorndike and Swann series? The next book, Millstone of Doubt, begins with a bang! Literally! A grist mill on the Thames explodes, but when the rubble and dust are cleared, a man is found dead, not from the explosion, but from a gunshot! Was the mill blown up to cover the murder? Who would want the mill owner dead? Daniel and Juliette put their heads together to sort out the crime, while Juliette juggles her new career as a spy and a debutante, and Daniel uncovers many of the secrets he needs to piece together the puzzle of his past.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor) and Instagram (@EricaVetsch).

There is a blog tour giveaway as well as one free book from this blog. You can find out about the tour giveaway by going to one of these links:

https://www.audrajennings.com/2021/11/enter-erica-vetschs-cozy-up-with-good.html

https://www.ericavetsch.com/giveaway.html 

Thank you, Erica, for sharing this new book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to read it.

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, 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, November 14, 2021

WINNERS

IMPORTANT: Instructions for winners  - When you send me the email, make sure your subject line says this: Winner - (book title) - (author's name) If you don't do this, your email could get lost in my hundreds of emails per day. I WILL SEARCH FOR POST TITLES STARTING THAT WAY.

Some people don't read the instructions of how to enter. Unfortunately, they don't have a chance to win. so next time you come and leave a comment, be sure to read all the instructions if you want a chance to win.

Lucy (WV) is the winner of The Art of Dust and the second book in the series by Mel A Rowe.

Anne (NM) is the winner of Beyond Belief by Joy Harding.

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. Reviews are such a blessing to an author.

Also, tell your friends about the book you won ... 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 or audio book, just let me know what email address it should be sent to. Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.  

Thursday, November 11, 2021

COLLEEN'S CONFESSION - Susan G Mathis - One Free Book

Bio: Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate New York. Susan has been published more than twenty times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books.

Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma, and Katelyn’s Choice have each won multiple awards, and book three, Peyton’s Promise, comes out May 2022. Rachel’s Reunion is coming soon. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise, and Reagan’s Reward, are award winners, too. Susan is also a published author of two premarital books, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs and enjoys traveling around the world. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.

Welcome back, Susan. Tell us about your salvation experience. I became a Christian when I was twenty after a long and challenging bout of rejecting the faith I was raised in. In the first year of my faith walk, I devoured the Bible from cover to cover three times—first just reading it like a book. Then I went through it again with The Daily Walk. Then someone gave me Halley’s Bible Commentary, and I plowed through it again. I couldn’t get enough of God’s word, His people, and His promises.

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why? Actually, I am planning a retreat with a few of my Beta readers who are also authors. We’ve shared the joys and challenges of our writing careers and just want to love and encourage one another.

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that. I’ve had a busy speaking ministry in the past, but I’ve let is slow down quite a bit. Now, I basically speak at my ACFW and other groups, and I enjoy books talks in person and on Zoom.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?

Goodness…just one? I often have embarrassing moments, but I chalk it up to being human, grin, blush, and move on.

People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that? I have people saying that very thing on a regular basis. I’ll listen to why they want to write a book and what the book would be about. Then I guide them to the appropriate place to begin the journey—educating themselves in the craft with conferences, books, seminars, etc. After all, it is a journey, and I love encouraging new writers to start the journey right!

Tell us about the featured book.

About Colleen’s Confession:

Summer 1914

Colleen Sullivan conceals secrets when she joins her aunt on Comfort Island to work in the laundry and await her betrothed’s arrival. She loves to draw and dreams of growing in the craft. But tragedy strikes when her fiancé perishes in the sinking of the ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland on his way to meet her. With her orphan dreams of finally belonging and becoming a wife and an artist gone, what will her future hold?

Austrian immigrant, Jack Weiss, enjoys being the island’s groundskeeper and is smitten by the lovely Irish lass. But Colleen dismisses him at every turn, no matter how much he admires her art, tries to keep her safe, and waters the blossoms of love. Perhaps introducing her to the famous impressionist, Alson Skinner Clark, will brighten her opinion of him. But rumors of war in Europe means Jack must choose between joining his homeland’s army or staying safe in the Thousand Islands as he makes a life with Colleen. If she will have him.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Colleen Sullivan gazed at the rainbow of colors filtering through the bedsheet billowing in the river’s breeze. The setting sun’s rich yellows, oranges, and reds melded together to produce the prettiest piece of cloth she’d ever seen.

“If only I could paint it one day.” She moaned as she pulled the clothespins from the nearby pantaloons and placed it in the laundry basket. She huffed her angst. “Inconceivable.”

She shielded her eyes from the source of the sunset’s beauty, the enormous yellow orb casting a rippling path upon the St. Lawrence River. She viewed the Comfort Island cottage aglow in the sunset’s brilliance, then peeked back at the sheet. It, too, glowed, a yellow puddle trailing down the white cotton fabric.

What a joy if it would be if she could capture such wonder. She had tried her hand at painting in the orphanage, plucking a few hairs from the old mare, Milly, and tying them together on a stick to make a crude paintbrush. She attempted to create her own paints, too, crushing dandelions, blueberries, strawberries, and the like. But the process never really worked, and she finally gave up, settling for hoarding the nubs of pencils the other children discarded and saving every scrap of paper she could to sketch on when no one was looking.

As a child, she happily volunteered for trash duty, for she sometimes found several sheets of barely used paper, especially in the nuns’ bins, which she squirreled away. There were few secrets at the institute, so scrounging a few sheets here or there became a challenge of sorts. To create a genuine artist’s sketchpad like she’d seen when a man passed through to sketch something he called waif scenes—although none of the children she knew would be considered such—now, that would be a coup. But the result for her attempt? A shoddy replica of a sketchpad tied with a string and hidden under her mattress for safe keeping—still proved a prize worth risking a beating for.

“Colleen? Are you there?”

I already love the story. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Website: www.SusanGMathis.com/fiction

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanGMathis

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@SusanGMathis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susangmathis

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susangmathisaut

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6044608.Susan_G_Mathis

Amazon: Susan G Mathis author

Thank you, Susan, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. I love reading books with Irish characters in them. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09K4XKQXS?pf_rd_r=W0J9J71XNQJ6EJM6YNX4&pf_rd_p=1ab92b69-98d7-4842-a89b-ad387c54783f&pd_rd_r=019d729e-0f4c-41be-a47f-0f134310a9bc&pd_rd_w=vlibK&pd_rd_wg=7IL2j&ref_=pd_gw_unk

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, 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  

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

THE WISH BOOK CHRISTMAS - Lynn Austin - One Free Book

Bio: Lynn Austin has sold more than one and a half million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and speaks fulltime, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction and was one of the first inductees into the Christy Award Hall of Fame. One of her novels, Hidden Places, was made into a Hallmark Channel Original Movie. Lynn and her husband have three grown children and make their home in western Michigan. Visit her online at http://www.lynnaustin.org .

Welcome back, Lynn. What prompted you to write a Christmas novella? I love Christmas stories and the Christmas movies that our family watches year after year. (My favorite is How the Grinch Stole Christmas.) I have always wanted to write a Christmas-themed book but never had time—until the pandemic struck and all of our travel plans, family gettogethers, church events, and other fun activities were canceled, giving me plenty of extra time. My idea was to write a Christmas novella that was a mini sequel to one of my full-length novels, giving readers an enjoyable update on some of their favorite characters. The Wish Book Christmas brings readers back to the people and setting they first met in my novel If I Were You.

In The Wish Book Christmas, what message do you hope to convey about Christmas? Christmas is about the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ, given to us in love by our heavenly Father. He should be the focus of all that we do to celebrate. Christmas shouldn’t be just a spending spree with long lists of all the presents we need to buy and the gifts we hope to receive. Instead, it’s a time to return God’s love by freely giving ourselves, our time, and our talents to others, expecting nothing in return. This is the best way to glorify God and celebrate His Son’s birth at Christmas.

Please tell us a bit about the setting of your novella. The Wish Book Christmas takes place in a small Connecticut town in December of 1951. Christmas is one month away, World War II is in the rearview mirror, and Americans are enjoying renewed prosperity along with a “baby boom.” The main characters, Eve Dawson and Audrey Barrett, are British war brides who are struggling to raise their fatherless sons in the postwar bungalow they share. Readers first met Eve and Audrey and their five-year-old sons, Harry and Bobby, in my novel If I Were You, but this novella also reads very well as a standalone story.

Can you provide a brief backstory of your characters? Eve Dawson and Audrey Clarkson Barrett were childhood friends in England, where they grew up. Audrey and her wealthy family owned Wellingford Hall, a huge estate where Eve and her mother worked as servants. Their friendship flourishes in spite of their differences, and when World War II begins, the women enlist in the British army together, driving ambulances. They each fall in love with an American soldier and give birth to a son. But Audrey marries her son’s father and Eve does not. Audrey prepares to join her husband in America, but her plans end in tragedy when her husband dies suddenly. She decides to remain in England. Eve, who has no way to support her son and herself, decides to steal Audrey’s identity and move to America in her place. Eve’s deception is uncovered four years later when Audrey and her son arrive in America unannounced.

Your novella is set in 1951. Why do you feel the themes of this story are so relevant, both then and now? I think 1951 and 2021 are both times of great change and also prosperity. In both eras, the values and traditions of the past are being questioned and, in many cases, discarded for something new and modern. This is especially true of biblical values. As suburban life becomes busier and more secular in both time periods, the true meaning of Christmas as Christ’s birth is lost as the holiday becomes commercialized. In both 1951 and 2021, we long to recover the simple beauty and meaning of the holiday.

This story is a nostalgic harkening back to the iconic Sears Wish Book catalogue. Was this catalogue part of your childhood Christmases? Please explain. Oh yes! The Sears Wish Book was something my two sisters and I looked forward to every season. I remember the three of us poring over it together the way the two boys in my novella do, choosing among page after page of toys and dreaming of finding them all beneath the tree on Christmas morning. Like the mothers in the novella, our mother also made us limit our choices—which was often difficult to do! The catalogue would be limp and dog-eared by the time we gave Santa our final lists. When I was researching this novella, I was surprised and pleased to find back issues of the original Sears Wish Book online, dating back to the 1940s and ’50s. It was great fun to be reminded of all the toys from my childhood. And although the prices seemed ridiculously cheap by today’s standards, parents probably found them costly at the time.

Sears Wish Book catalogs were an important part of my life as a child, and now I own a couple of the older ones. If someone is standing in a bookstore considering your novella, what might you say to them to encourage them to read it? We all need a reminder now and then that Christmas isn’t about creating the perfect “Hallmark Christmas” with all the trappings and trimmings—and exhausting ourselves and our credit card limits in the process. The Wish Book Christmas offers inspiration for keeping the true meaning of Christmas at the forefront as we celebrate Christ’s birth. Readers with children and grandchildren will find some ideas for managing their kids’ expectations and teaching them to give.

What is your hope for this novella? My hope is that The Wish Book Christmas will rekindle the joy of giving and inspire creativity in shaping our Christmas traditions. The beauty of Jesus’ birth can be celebrated in simplicity and should be shared with neighbors who don’t know Him. I think most children are naturally generous, and I hope the story inspires parents to teach their children new ways to give at Christmas.

What lessons from this story do you hope will resonate with your readers? One of the characters in the novella, Eve Dawson, has a difficult time accepting God’s forgiveness for her past mistakes, feeling that she has to do something to earn it. I hope the message is clear that Jesus is God’s gift of grace to us so that our past can be forgiven. Like Eve, we can have a new life and a new beginning in Christ.

How did writing this story change you and your own perspective of Christmas? I love to lavish presents on my children and grandchildren, but writing this story reminded me that it’s more important to teach them, by my example, how to give generously to others. I want to reach out to my neighbors in new ways this Christmas and pare down all the expectations of what makes a “perfect” holiday.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=The+Wishbook+Christmas&ref=nb_sb_noss

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, 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, November 07, 2021

WINNERS

 IMPORTANT: Instructions for winners  - When you send me the email, make sure your subject line says this: Winner - (book title) - (author's name) If you don't do this, your email could get lost in my hundreds of emails per day. I WILL SEARCH FOR POST TITLES STARTING THAT WAY.

Some people don't read the instructions of how to enter. Unfortunately, they don't have a chance to win. so next time you come and leave a comment, be sure to read all the instructions if you want a chance to win.

Cherie (FL) is the winner of Tacos for Two by Betsy St. Amant. 

Linda (SoCal) is the winner of Traces of Virtue by Robin Patchen.

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. Reviews are such a blessing to an author.

Also, tell your friends about the book you won ... 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 or audio book, just let me know what email address it should be sent to. Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book. 

Thursday, November 04, 2021

BEYOND BELIEF - Joy Harding - One Free Book

Welcome, Joy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters. I write about what I know, so my characters tend to reflect my life and experiences without being limited to my life and experiences. I enjoy researching in order to bring dimensionality to my settings and my characters. Also, the answer varies with the character. For example, in the Boundary Waters Search and Rescue series, I wrote a lot of my life into Liz. I did that purposefully, because I wanted others to understand the challenges inherent in living with chronic illness and why someone would choose to walk away from a high-powered career in favor of a simpler life.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done? Detour a thousand miles out of my way on a road trip, just because I wanted to see the mountains.

That sounds like a good idea to me. When did you first discover that you were a writer? I just started writing professionally, but I have loved to read and write my entire life. I have taken advanced level writing classes and enjoyed writing retreats both in school and as an adult. I started writing fiction when I wanted to read a story that no one had written. So I wrote it—for myself. That was my first novel—all 1600 pages of it.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading. I read and enjoy both fiction and non-fiction. In fiction I enjoy everything from science fiction (if it’s good science and good fiction) to romance, adventure, suspense and mystery. I tend to avoid graphic crime and horror. I am not a fan of the anti-hero, and I want a likeable, easy-to-cheer-for protagonist.

In non-fiction, I love biography, science, history, bible study, educational texts, and true-life adventure. I also do a lot of reading about the history of needlework.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world? I center myself in God’s Word and in prayer daily. I schedule rest days to enjoy quiet or time with my husband. I also spend as much time as I can in nature. Being out in God’s glorious creation I feel as though I can breathe freely.

How do you choose your characters’ names? Often, I will use the first name of a friend, particularly if the character reflects that friend’s character.  Because I write under a pen name, I’m able to do this without bringing undue attention to someone’s personal life. I NEVER use this method of naming characters to poke fun at someone or to point out a failing. The bad guys names come straight from my imagination. Other names come from research into ethic naming traditions or, as I mentioned, straight from my imagination.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of? Right now, I would have to say publishing my first book. I’ve been very blessed in my life, so that answer changes as the years go by.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why? I would probably be a coddled, cherished indoor kitty. I would be well taken care of, and I would know that I can bring joy to my humans just by curling up in their lap and purring. Besides that, cats are smart, clean, and have a mind of their own.

What is your favorite food? Steak

I love a good steak, too. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it? Grammatical and word use errors that my word processing software does not pick up and that I miss when I’m proof reading. I hired an amazing contract editor with almost 30 years of experience. Yes, it’s expensive, but she’s worth every dime.


Tell us about the featured book. Beyond Belief
is the first book in the Boundary Waters Search and Rescue series. It is set in northern Minnesota near the borders of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). I woke up one morning in January of 2020 with this storyline in my head. For a while I couldn’t keyboard fast enough to get the words out. In my experience, that’s a God thing.

In the opening pages of Beyond Belief, we are introduced to Jack Lockwood, a resident of Ely, Minnesota. Jack is a physician specializing in trauma and emergency medicine, who also has a passion for rescue and on-scene treatment of life-threatening injuries. We learn about Jack’s backstory, what he is doing in northern Minnesota, and why the events of that morning will change his life forever.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Listening to the wind howl, Dr. Jack Lockwood was grateful for the solid walls surrounding him. He’d been particular when he’d built his half-log home outside of Ely the year before. Northern Minnesota was no place to dabble with flimsy siding and unreliable heat. As was his habit, he’d done extensive research. Then he’d spent the extra money and installed geothermal heat and electricity powered by sun and wind.

Looking around the room, Jack was pleased with his choices. The generously sized kitchen and the living area with its wood stove flowed together to accommodate gatherings of friends. His study and a full bath shared the front of the house with the dining area. The loft and bath upstairs housed guests—with plenty of room even when his brother’s family of six visited. The master suite was at the back of the house and included a library with a sitting area, his bath, and his bedroom. In this area, his private sanctuary, he departed from common sense just enough to include a wood-burning fireplace. He knew that conventional fireplaces sucked up more warm air than they provided, but he just couldn’t build a northwoods home without a fireplace that burned real logs. This one was a work of art, constructed with local river rock by a stone mason from Ely. Jack’s years in Montana and Colorado had convinced him that the loss of heat was worth the ambiance and smell of a crackling fire.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website and blog: https://www.joyhardingauthor.com/

My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/joyharding62/

My email: joyharding.author@gmail.com

Thank you, Joy, for sharing your book with my blog readers and me.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

http://ow.ly/6gAT50GGgVR

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, 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