Tuesday, January 28, 2020

THE DUKE'S REFUGE - Lorri Dudley - One Free Book

Welcome, Lorri. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I want my characters to be their unique selves, but I definitely share different aspects of my characters. In my latest book, The Duke’s Refuge, I also had a portion of Georgia’s early tomboy traits. As a child, I was always climbing trees and playing in creeks.

Something I learned from taking one of Allen Arnold’s classes was a concept all my books share. He told us to name our three favorite movies, and it would show us our theme of writing. My movies were all over the place—Cinderella, Star Wars, and Indian Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark. It turns out, all three of these have an element of the main character coming into their own and overcoming their fears, and all of my books contain a similar thread.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
A while back on an awards trip to Los Cabos, my husband had a golfing outing, so my sister-in-law (whose husband also works for the company) and I decided to do a camel riding excursion. It seemed like fun until we drove through two military checkpoints where men carried large weapons, and we had to change buses. I began to think things like, if anything goes wrong, we keep the ocean on our right, and eventually, we’ll make it back to the hotel.

As we stopped in front of the camels and men in full Arabian garb, we found ourselves the only English-speaking participants other than the tour guide, and we were expected to don turbans. Now I’m thinking, what did we just join? The camel, King Louis, we rode was great, and praise God, we survived to tell the tale, but I definitely wouldn’t take that risk again.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
It was while I was pushing my boys on the swings. When they were little, I spent countless hours with them going back and forth on the swings. I needed something to do to occupy my brain while I kept tempo with the monotonous motion. Storylines popped into my brain and I had time to work out the motivation, conflict, plot lines while my kids were happily playing.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read everything from Biblical historical romance to speculative fiction. One of my favorite futuristic books is The Arena by Karen Hancock. One odd thing is that I prefer to read fiction but listen to audiobooks for non-fiction. Some of my favorite non-fiction authors are Bob Goff (Love Does), Mark Batterson (Chasing Lions), and Kyle Idleman (Don’t Give Up).

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I haven’t mastered this at all, but I’ve learned God always gets it done. No matter if I’m up to my eyeballs in work and waking up at four a.m. to get edits done for a deadline, God has miraculously multiplied my time. However, there are a lot of S.O.S. prayers going up.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Since I write historical, I have to choose names that are appropriate for the time period, but I love names that can be shortened. It works great in those personal moments when the hero slips and calls her a beloved nickname.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
In writing, it was pumping out a three-book series and balancing deadlines with life activities.

In life, it’s that my three boys are going up to be mature young men with hearts for God. I couldn’t be prouder of them, although, God gets the credit. There were a lot of days where I prayed, Lord, please don’t let me mess them up.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d choose to be a beaver. I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out. Water rolls off a beaver’s back because of an oil their skin produces. They can plug their ears to keep liquids out. They have strong social bonds, and their big tail acts as a rudder. I’d love to let problems roll off my back and close my ears to block out negative thoughts. I believe in strong friendships to keep you going, and I need a good rudder to keep me aiming in the right direction.

What is your favorite food?
I can’t resist a Dairy Queen chocolate Reese’s peanut butter cup blizzard. Yum!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest roadblock was learning to deal with negative critiques. I majored in psychology not creative writing, so I learned how to write by trial and error. I submitted my writing to anyone who’d be willing to read it, contests, beta readers, freelance editors, and I received back great suggestions and sometimes brutal tough to swallow criticism. I’ve learned it’s okay to mourn for a day so my brain can process, but that’s all I get. After that I shake it off and see what I can glean from others’ wisdom. On the down days, God was always faithful to give me something to see me through, whether it was an encouraging text for a friend, an email from one of my blog readers, or even encouraging lyrics from a song. He always knows just what I need to keep sitting down at my keyboard.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Duke’s Refuge is meant to be a fish-out-of-water, case-of-mistaken-identity, love triangle romance with a happily-ever-after. It demonstrates how God’s love fervently pursues us, no matter how far we run, and that sometimes, something we would never have chosen can bless us in a way we would never have expected.

Georgia Lennox has traded in her boyish ways for pink gowns and a coy smile to capture the eye of the Earl of Claremont. However, on the day she's convinced the earl will propose, Georgia is shipped off to the Leeward Islands to care for her ailing father. But when she arrives on Nevis, the last thing she expects is to learn that her abrupt departure was not at her father's bidding but that of the infuriating, yet captivating, island schoolmaster. And now her plans may well be shipwrecked.

Harrison Wells is haunted by the memories of his deceased wife and hunted by the subsequent women who aspire to be the next Duchess of Linton. Desiring anonymity, he finds sanctuary in the Leeward island of Nevis. He's willing to sacrifice his ducal title for a schoolmaster's life and the solace the island provides. That is until unrest finds its way to Nevis in a storm of pink chiffon—Miss Georgia Lennox.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Nevis, British Leeward Islands
1814
“Moor the line!” the captain called out. Feet shuffled above deck, and the echo of male grunts filled the air.

Georgia Evelyn Lennox straightened the skirt of her finest muslin traveling dress. She’d saved this particular pale pink gown especially for the day they would reach Nevis. Now, she adjusted the sleeves with the same care a knight would prepare his armor for battle.

She didn’t wear it to impress a specific person, certainly not her father. Pink gowns had become her own kind of chain mail. Her bonnet, embellished with pink silk flowers, transformed into her helmet. And her fan or her frilly pink parasol—her shield.

She slid on her matching pink gloves, hooked her parasol over her arm, and as best she could, inspected herself in her tiny handheld mirror, looking for chinks in the pink armor. Satisfied, she opened the door, but paused on the threshold.

“Aunt Tessa, it sounds as if we might be nearing Nevis. I’m going to climb aloft to speak with the captain. Would you care for anything?”

“Dry land.” Aunt Tessa mumbled under the covers.

Georgia chuckled. “I shall do my best.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Webpage: lorridudley.com

Thank you for sharing this new book on my blog. Sounds like my favorite kind of novels.

Readers, here are links to the book.
The Duke's Refuge (The Leeward Island Series) - Paperback
The Duke's Refuge (The Leeward Island Series Book 1) - 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, 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, January 27, 2020

A CHANCE MISTAKE - Jackie Zack - One Free Book

Welcome, Jackie. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Even though my characters have their own likes, dislikes, and back story, some of them enjoy art as I do or cooking/baking. Human nature is fascinating and offers a lot to pull from, so it’s more fun writing characters who aren’t me.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
The quirkiest thing I’ve ever done was baking Lembas Bread, the Hobbit bread from Lord of the Rings. It has the ability to keep Hobbits satisfied for hours when they eat a small amount. Amazingly, it did work. If that’s all there is to eat, you don’t want to eat it. Ha!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
 I knew that I loved to write when I was a teenager and wrote a play (comedy) for our art club. I didn’t realize that I could be a writer until much later when I wrote my first book in my forties.

I started writing novels when I was in my forties, too. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I loved reading Phyllis A. Whitney, Mary Stewart, and Victoria Holt back in the day. Then Agatha Christie and other mystery writers Martha Grimes, and Diane Mott Davidson. Christian authors that I especially enjoy are C.S. Lewis, Frank Peretti, Stephan Lawhead, Colleen Coble, and many new authors. Favorite genres: Mystery with a thread of Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure.

And I enjoy many of the same authors that you do. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Both reading and writing are calming to me and give a feeling of accomplishment. It’s nice to sit down with a book and a big cup of tea.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Oddly enough, the character’s names just come to me for the majority of the time. If it’s a character from another country, I’ll Google names for that particular place.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I think it would have to be the ability to write a book from beginning to end. It seems astonishing to me. I’m thankful for any amount of enjoyment, entertainment, or comfort that it can bring to others.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a seeing-eye dog or a therapy dog. I would want to give the most help and caring possible.

What is your favorite food?
Dessert. Ha! Is that a good answer? *Blushing*

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My inner critic is my greatest roadblock. The only way to overcome it is to just write.

Tell us about the featured book.
A Chance Mistake is a Sweet Romantic Comedy with Suspense. Kory Slate is a famous author who is in need of some rest and relaxation. He makes a split-second choice by a flip of a coin to go to Wales. On the flight there, he begins to suspect that he’s being followed. He takes in a bit of sight-seeing in Cardiff, Wales, and is drawn to a quaint bookstore with his books displayed in the window. He meets a delightful clerk named Dafina who is the spitting image of the female character in his newest book. The dynamic of his whole trip is altered into a comedy of errors by meeting her. Kory gets pulled into playing the part of Dafina’s husband to help her out of a terrible problem. But the two men are still following him. By helping Dafina has he implicated her to the danger that follows him? And how can he possibly keep from falling in love with her?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Kory Slate stepped aboard the jet with seconds to spare, and he wasn’t the only one arriving late. Two men hurried one pace behind him and entered. A flight attendant slid the door shut with a gliding, whooshing sound. As Kory strode to his seat, the accordion walkway slid away from the plane. Each window he passed by gave a slightly different perspective of the retracting motion against gray clouds. Why had he chosen to go out of the country? Not his plan at all.

His paranoid editor had been right, at least about one thing. Kory needed an updated passport. Good thing he got one and had it on him. In the back of his mind, he must’ve toyed with a foreign destination. But Wales?

He hefted his backpack in the overflowing compartment above his seat and jammed it in. He dropped down into the aisle seat. A quick glance over his shoulder told him the two men had found seats—aisle seats cattycornered from him. One man sat four seats behind him and the other six. Weird. Nothing stood out about their appearance, except the taller one closest to him had tattered green shoe laces.

If he had to identify them in a line-up, it would be near impossible. Both had a medium build. Their jeans with muted t-shirts and hoodies could belong to anyone.

Kind of took on the air of his first manuscript that lay moldering in his old bedroom closet. The hero of the story had been tailed for close to three months by two nefarious thugs. He was unaware of his shadows until the day he put it all together. The near fatal ‘accidents’ that the main character experienced were orchestrated.

The novel seemed to capture his essence, since it had been his first attempt at storytelling. His close friends and family, well—the ones he could get to read it—raved about it. His editor said to keep his focus on the next new thing.

Yeah, right. But with six best sellers in two and a half years, he needed to clear his mind. Step off the train for a while. Do a mental cleanse and stay away from Facebook. His editor had balked at Kory’s announcement that he was slipping off the grid for a couple of months, maybe more. No social media. No writing. And where was he going? Sorry, Ed. Can’t tell ya. Kory didn’t know the answer himself. Only that New York City wouldn’t be seeing him for quite some time.

A blur caught his attention out of the corner of his eye, causing a sinking dread. Too much like his last book and, he hated to admit it, probably the real reason for the needed break. An unwanted shiver raced down his neck to his spine.

Interesting, you have me hooked. How can readers find you on the Internet?
  
Readers, here’s a link to the book.
A Chance Mistake

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:

Thursday, January 23, 2020

A FIRM PLACE TO STAND - Lori Altebaumer - One Free Ebook

Welcome, Lori. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Is this a good time to plead the fifth?

I want my characters to be their own unique selves, but they can’t think of anything that hasn’t first gone through my head. And yes...sometimes I do frighten myself. I think my heroes and heroines are often a reflection of the person I wish I was—braver, smarter, kinder, funnier. What does that say about my bad guys or antagonists? This is where pleading the fifth might be handy. I hope there’s not too much of me in them, but if I’m honest, I have plenty of imperfections to dig into and turn into the kind of flaws needed to create antagonistic (if not downright mean and despicable) characters. I pray that God is using my time in these characters heads to lead me into dealing with something in my heart. They help me remove the log from my eye so I can help them with the splinter in theirs.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Apparently, I have an obsession with straightening the individually wrapped chocolate kisses my husband keeps in a glass dish on the front counter at his office. Every time I go in to visit with his office administrator, I allegedly pat them all down until everything is nice and even, with no wayward peaks sticking up. Presentation is important, right?

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was eight or nine years old, I remember writing an almost full page describing my grandmother’s front porch steps. Not a description of the entire porch, just the steps. I was so proud of it and excited. That’s when I discovered I was a writer—a really bad writer who needed to learn a few details about plot and structure!

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My reading tastes are fairly broad. If it is well written and tells a good story, then that’s the book I want to read. I do love stories of overcoming great odds, fighting for something noble and honorable, and good winning out over evil. I like strong heroes with tender hearts. And I like heroines that are brave and courageous, while not downplaying the fact that they are uniquely created for a feminine role.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Who told you I had kept it?

Honestly, I’ve learned my lessons the hard way that God has a plan and I’d best consult Him before making my own. Most mornings I start with quiet time with the Lord—Bible, coffee, and prayer journal in hand. But I also try to make time every day to sit quietly someplace beautiful or peaceful, go for a walk, and laugh. These things refresh my soul, and I find that I move at a slower, more reasonable, pace after I’ve done this. I’m also learning to let go, something that has gotten easier with age.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
My characters don’t really let me choose. I’ll start playing with a few and certain ones just seem to stick. I know when I’ve called the character by the correct name because then the person just pops up in front of me in 3-D. I’ve had times where I tried to force a name to be what I wanted it to be, but it doesn’t work. It just won’t stick until it’s right. I do keep a list of words and names that I think are interesting or have potential.

I was halfway through my second book with a character who wouldn’t accept his name when I decided to change it to the one he kept trying to foist on me. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Both of my kids have given their lives to the Lord and I see them working to be a light to others. I can’t take credit for that, because I wasn’t always the best example. But I am very proud of who they are.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A Border Collie. Smart, beautiful, loyal, and full of unending mercy.

What is your favorite food?
If only there was only one favorite! I love chicken fried steak the way my great grandmother made it—with lots of creamy brown gravy. Of course, I can also do some damage to a bowl of chips and salsa.

I like cream gravy, not brown gravy, with my fried chicken. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Fear that my story wasn’t believable, that people would read it and say that could never happen. I overcame it by looking around me at all the things happening that someone had said were impossible. How often do we witness something happen and say, “no way!” It really is true that truth is stranger than fiction.

Tell us about the featured book.
A Firm Place to Stand has been a journey through cause and effect and the need for forgiveness. The heroine, Maribel, has made some series mistakes and poor choices with her life. She gets a wake-up call when one of those choices leads to a tragic consequence for an innocent person. But before she can learn to forgive herself, she’ll have to learn to trust God. Fortunately for her, God sends her a cast of characters that include a witty and perceptive country preacher, a terminally ill spinster and ranch heiress, a lonely teenager, a crusty sheriff, and a handsome, newly born-again maintenance worker to set her on the path.

But the Pool of Siloam camp on the Moreland ranch isn’t the safe place to start over she thinks it is. A dead woman and a missing teenager trigger her need for justice. And the fragile heart of the teenage girl, Daylee, pulls her into a fight to save more than just her own life.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Journalists traveled light—especially the unemployed ones running from a tsunami of poor choices. Of course, she wasn’t exactly running since she had nowhere else to go.

And now no way to get there.

She watched the flames perform interpretive dance over her 1967 Ford Falcon against the backdrop of the night sky. The interpretation wasn't encouraging.
Her eyes darted to the silhouette of her material possessions now piled in the dark just beyond the edge of the road.

Two medium sized cardboard boxes labeled Fresh Peanuts, an overstuffed Army Surplus duffel bag, and a backpack. She looked like a Hurricane refugee—which wasn’t far from how she felt. But when you're the hurricane, it's hard to escape the destruction.

Somewhat telling that at age twenty-six everything Maribel owned had fit into the back of a car.
Pressing a hand against her stomach, she exhaled, but couldn't rid herself of the uneasy premonition things might go from bad to worse at any moment. She stared over her shoulder into the dark. Even if something—or someone—were there, she'd never see them. The itchy feeling she was never alone crept up her spine.

Interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter             https://twitter.com/lori_altebaumer
Amazon Author Central   https://amazon.com/author/lorialtebaumer

Thank you, Lori, for sharing this book. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book.
A Firm Place to Stand - Paperback
A Firm Place to Stand - Kindle

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, 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, January 21, 2020

TELL HER NO LIES - Kelly Irvin - One Free Book

Welcome back, Kelly. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
It was a combination of life experiences—not only mine but those of my son-in-law. He’s a veteran and married father of three who has the highest security clearance necessary to repair radar on our nation’s naval fleet. But once he was a small boy abandoned by his drug addicted parents with two siblings in a tent city constructed by homeless people in Florida.

Knowing and loving my son-in-law intersected with my life experiences in planting the seeds necessary to write Tell Her No Lies. My experiences include working in a church ministry in which my Sunday School class cooked food and assembled the necessary supplies in our church kitchen before heading to a highway underpass in downtown San Antonio once a month to feed people who were homeless.

My children were in grade school at the time and they often accompanied me. My daughter willingly, my son less graciously. I believe the experience shaped their understanding of how blessed they are and also gave them compassion for others. In some ways, it may have paved the way for my daughter’s relationship with her future husband.

Eventually the city of San Antonio created a consolidated, state-of-the-art campus with every service imaginable to assist people experiencing homelessness. Municipal government then asked (more like ordered) churches and other charitable organizations to stop providing these makeshift meals so they could guide people to all the services they need at Haven for Hope.
Haven for Hope is a focal point in Tell Her No Lies. Heroine Nina Fischer, abandoned as a child by her drug addicted mother in a tent city in Florida, now volunteers at Haven for Hope as an adult. She and her sister were plucked from foster care by an aunt and uncle she’d never met and brought to live in a well-to-do upper middle-class neighborhood.

That story line comes from my son-in-law’s life. A loving aunt and uncle plucked him and his brother and sister from foster care in Florida, brought them to San Antonio, and eventually adopted them. The aunt was a stay-at-home mom with two children already. The uncle was in the military and often deployed. That left the new mom of five children very nearly the same age frequently on her own. Money was always tight. But they persevered and raised five wonderful adults. Of course, from there, the story diverges into fiction and my vivid imagination.

If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why? Terri Blackstock, Colleen Coble, Lynette Eason, Irene Hannon, James Scott Bell, and Stephen James. Because they write in the suspense/mystery genres and I’d love to pick their brains about the writing craft, the publishing industry, their writing habits, etc. 

Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
I don’t read a ton of historical fiction, but I do read everything Allison Pittman writes. So I would invite her, Tara Johnson, Elizabeth Byler Younts, and Patty Callahan, plus a few they recommend. I know Allison, Tara, and Elizabeth. They would be a lively bunch with lots of insight to share on the writing process, how to do research, faith, and just life itself. It would be a rich evening of fellowship with Christian writers, regardless of genre.

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 greatest challenge is also a great blessing. I’m writing in two genres now—Amish romances and romantic suspense. My publishing house originally signed me to do Amish fiction but agreed recently to offer me contracts for the romantic suspense as well. It was a dream come true. Writing in one keeps me fresh in the other. However, having staggered deadlines has been a huge challenge. Keeping up with marketing as the books release, as well as the various edits that have to be done along the way has left me a little frazzled at times. But I constantly remind myself of all those years I prayed and longed to be published. All the tears I shed over rejections. All the nervous apprehension that went into pitching to editors at conferences. I’m writing fiction full time. I’m truly living my dream today so I try not to whine!

Tell us about the featured book.
Even the most admired families have secrets to hide . . .

Nina Fischer carries a camera wherever she goes—so she can view life through a filter. Safely. After her mother abandoned her to the streets, Nina has kept people at a distance, including her uncle, who adopted Nina and her sister. Wealthy and proud, he is a good man, a fair judge, and someone many in San Antonio admire.

But when he is murdered, and the detective assigned to the case accuses Nina of the crime, she knows she must act. She’s determined to use her journalism background to find the real killer. The two men in her life want to help, but can she trust them?  She’s known Rick since they were children, but now he’s an attorney whose political aspirations seem more important than Nina’s tragic loss. And then there’s Aaron, a news videographer; using their friendship could break the biggest story of his career.

Following the evidence leads Nina on a journey of discovery into her father’s shocking masquerade as a law-abiding, family-loving Christian. Unlocking these secrets could prove fatal, but it’s the only way Nina will ever be able to trust love again.

Combining romance and suspense, bestselling author Kelly Irvin’s Tell Her No Lies is a high-stakes race for the truth.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Someone needed to make a perfume from stop bath and developer. The photo chemicals smelled like come-hither to Nina Fischer. She inhaled their biting scent and studied the image that appeared as she swished the sheet of paper in the deep gray plastic tub. A homeless man with a toothless grin rewarded her efforts. The man smiled as if he’d invited her into a palatial home and not a squatter’s makeshift campsite. His black-and-white surroundings materialized in sharp contrast around him. A graffiti-covered Dumpster dwarfed his skeletal frame. A shopping cart loaded with a tattered coat, mismatched sneakers, and a pile of blankets was parked on the broken cement like a car in a driveway. Despite the alcohol-induced trust in his bloodshot eyes, he stayed close to the cart as if he feared she would steal it away.

The photo told a story. A story that the world needed to see and Nina needed to tell. In many ways, it was her story. The story of a child who’d lived in that world and survived. The words to the poem that would accompany the photo fell into place.

“Nina? You’re doing it again.”

Rick Zavala’s irritated baritone boomed in the small darkroom.

“Sorry.” Nina snatched the phone from the counter, hit the speaker button to turn it off, then tucked the phone between her ear and her shoulder while using her free hand to move the photo to the stop bath. She glanced at the illuminated face of the sports watch on her wrist. Thirty seconds and the photo moved to the fixer.

“You could at least pretend to pay attention when you’re on the phone with me.”

“I am paying attention.” Now she was. Suppressing a snort of laughter, she gripped the tongs and slipped the photo into the next tub. “It’s three o’clock in the morning. I’m not going to a party with you. I only have a week left to get ready for the exhibit.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
@Kelly_S_Irvin

Thank you, Kelly, for sharing this new suspense novel with my blog readers and me. My copy arrived today, and I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Tell Her No Lies - Christianbook.com
Tell Her No Lies - Amazon paperback (on special sale right now)
Tell Her No Lies - 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, 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, January 19, 2020

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.

Bonnie (AZ) is the winner of Talitha, the Traveling Skirt by Becky Van Vleet.

Victoria (CAN) is the winner of Hidden Secrets by Janet Sketchley.

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:
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Thursday, January 16, 2020

THE REBEL BRIDE - Shannon McNear - One Free Book


Welcome back, Shannon. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Partly because, well, that’s the door the Lord opened for me, and partly because I love history, and showing the wonder of God’s grace in all sorts of hard situations.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
When each of my children came to know the Lord. 😊 Honestly, I can’t really pick ONE day, aside from days associated with family events, unless it’s the day the news my very first publishing contract was announced, in a roomful of fellow writers at ACFW 2012.

How has being published changed your life?
Deadlines are pretty much non-negotiable! Family life has to share space with my obligation to write, when before, my writing ultimately had to give way to demands of family life.

What are you reading right now?
Until the Mountains Fall by Connilyn Cossette (in paperback), By the Hands of Men: The Old World by Roy M. Griffis (on Kindle), and Revolutionary Medicine: The Founding Fathers and Mother in Sickness and in Health by Jeanne E. Abrams, for research.

What is your current work in progress?
The Wise Guy and the Star in the upcoming novella collection Love’s Pure Light (Sept 2020)

What would be your dream vacation?
Two weeks to ramble around Ireland. Wait, no … can I include family? Two weeks of lounging around Hawaii with mine and my brother’s families (that’s where he and his wife and girls are currently living).

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Sometimes they’re chosen for me. Other times, it’s either connected to a time or event in history that interests me or connects well with a premise I’m considering. It helps if I’m somewhat familiar with a region so I can write about it like I’m there!

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Wow, this was a toughie. Beth Moore, I think … she is my absolute favorite women’s Bible teacher, and I have so much respect for her and what she’s endured in the course of ministry, while still remaining focused on the Lord and what He’s called her to do.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Historical research … I love the Revolutionary War, but also obscure things like bladesmithing, herbal medicine, costuming of various eras … which then dovetails with my love for sewing and cooking and natural health care, including childbirth and other women’s health issues. I’m also a music and theology geek.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Finding and/or carving out time to actually write in the midst of a busy household. I still have 3 teens in varying stages of finishing high school at home, and a husband who’s often gone for work—my ability to manage and delegate is still a work in progress.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Write—a TON. Read—a TON. Don’t be afraid to take the long road of learning the writing craft and waiting for doors to open in God’s own timing … you won’t be sorry!

Tell us about the featured book.
It’s #10 in the Daughters of the Mayflower series, and my first Civil War story. There are connections to a couple of my previous stories—the heroine is the granddaughter of the couple in The Cumberland Bride, and my hero is the grandson of the couple in my novella The Highwayman from The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection (now available as an ebook on its own). Like the other stories in Daughters of the Mayflower, however, it’s easily read as a standalone.

Back cover blurb:
Can a quiet Tennessee hill girl help a wounded Yankee soldier face his worst fear—not dying for his convictions, but becoming a useless casualty as a result of the fight?

In the clash between Union and Confederacy, Tennessee farm girl Pearl MacFarlane is compelled to help care for Yankee wounded as well as Rebel, but determines to remain unmoved by their cause—until she faces the silent struggle of Union soldier Joshua Wheeler, a recent amputee.

Please give us the first page of the book.
September 20, 1863 … the Battle of Chickamauga, northern Georgia
“Hold the line! For the love of God, hold it!”

Not for the first time, Joshua Wheeler wondered if he’d descended into hell. The sun blazing fierce enough to make his head ache even through a cap. The flash of fire from his own rifle as well as those to his right and left. Answering fire from across the forested, rock-strewn gully. The burn of gun smoke in his nostrils, and the screams of men above the continuous concussion of shots, both rifle and artillery, pounding through his chest.

Oh God, save us. . .

Fire, reload, fire again. Over and over.

God. . .if You do love us. . .

Cursing, frantic. “Hold—the—line!”

There was no holding. The return fire was too hot, the Rebels pressing hard, and those on both sides of Josh either falling back or—falling. A curse was on his own tongue as he reloaded just one more time—

Something struck him, but he barely felt it. Stared in shock at his shredded sleeve, the forearm dangling above the wrist. Tried to make his hand move, but—nothing.

The pitch of the cries around him changed to a warble, the distress of his fellow Union soldiers and the unholy glee of the Rebels alike fading as the ground rushed up to meet him. . . .

Wow! How can readers find you on the Internet?
Website: https;//www.shannonmcnear.com  
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shannon-McNear/462336880012)
Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/shenandoahdawn/)
Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6880909.Shannon_McNear)
Twitter (https://twitter.com/ShannonMcNear)

Thank you, Shannon, for sharing this book with us. I know my blog readers are eager to read it.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

 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:

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

FREEDOM IN THE MOUNTAIN WIND - Misty M Beller - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I love books by Misty M Beller. I’m thrilled to introduce you to the new one that released today. You can’t go wrong with choosing a Misty M Beller book. This new book is the first one in a new series.

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.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty's heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God's abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters. 

Do you have a favorite genre to write? If so, what is it?
I tend to be a bit of a sentimentalist, so Christian Historical Romance is perfect for me. I love the simpler life, where there's no rat race. Just hard work, plenty of alone time (can you tell I'm an introvert?), and a strong family unit. My stories usual center around horses and mountains, which comes from my love for animals and being outside. I was completely horse crazy growing up, and actually trained and showed horses professionally for a couple years after high school.

If you didn’t live in the part of the country where you do, where would you live?
We live in South Carolina and I love being surrounded by all our family here. But if I had to choose another part of the country, it would be Montana, especially the western part of the country where the mountains are. I think that might be one of the most beautiful places in the world!

One of my best friends lives in Montana with her daughter and son-in-law. I’d love to visit there. I did write a Christmas novella set there. What foreign country would you like to visit and why?
My daughters and I made a list of places we hope to visit one day, but my top choice would be Italy. The scenery there is breathtaking!

Describe what you think would be the most romantic vacation you could take.
Hmm…with four small kids, my husband and I don’t often talk about romantic vacations. They would be dreams far into the future! Maybe a tropical island (my husband loves the beach), or maybe Italy!

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?
I’ve often thought about setting a book in Alaska—a place even more remote and with bigger mountains than my Montana settings!

What is the main theme of this novel?
One of the things God was teaching me as I wrote this story was how we can’t accomplish His plan for our lives without growing through the hard times. He uses each trial and wilderness period to develop in us the skills and maturity we’ll need to step forward into what he has next for us. This is a theme woven through Freedom in the Mountain Wind, and one I continue to realize more and more!

Tell us about the story.
I’d love to!

Susanna Wilkins will do anything to make her father’s final dream come true, including trek along the path Lewis and Clark explored into the untamed wilds of the Rocky Mountains. Every mile is more crucial now that lung cancer is stealing Pa’s last days faster than she can come to terms with losing him. The journey becomes harder than she ever expected, but paddling upriver through fierce rapids and fighting hungry grizzlies isn’t what terrifies her the most.

Beaver Tail endured more than he can stand from the women in his Blackfoot camp, but the last disaster gave him the final shove he needed to join this band of brothers searching for one of their group who’s gone missing. The last thing he expected was to find a white woman and her sick father stranded at the base of a massive waterfall. His plan is to help them carry their oversize canoe and supplies, then leave them to their strange mission. Yet, the more he learns about the pair, the more he realizes his life is about to be derailed—again.

Sounds like my kind of story. Please give us the first page of the book.
AUGUST, 1830
FALLS OF THE MISSOURI, FUTURE MONTANA TERRITORY
They’d made it.

Susanna Wilkins stared across the rolling hills, her gaze seeking snow-capped peaks rising in the distance. But the Rocky Mountains couldn’t be seen from this point.

As much as this felt like the end of the journey—the final destination—she and her father had barely finished the beginning. The first part of this trip was nothing compared to the long journey ahead. As long as she could convince her father to keep going.

She turned back to the river as she dug her paddle into the water again, sweeping the liquid behind their dingy. The thick scattering of rock around them meant they must be nearing the first of the Great Falls.

Captains Lewis and Clark had written of this stretch of the Missouri. Had been overjoyed when they reached it, especially when Captain Lewis trekked on ahead of the party and laid eyes on the massive waterfall she and her father would surely find a little farther upriver.

Yet for those explorers who’d come almost three decades before, the effort of having to carry their boats and supplies around each of the falls had nearly brought death to the soldiers. Big, strapping men had been laid low by the work ahead.

What in heaven’s name made her think she and Pa could manage the same? Yet she had to, or else Pa would insist they turn around and journey back to civilization. Give up the dream he’d craved as long as she could remember.

She couldn’t let him do that. Not when this was his last chance.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to connect at my website, FacebookGoodreadsTwitter, Bookbub, and Pinterest

Thank you, Misty, for allowing us to be part of your book’s release. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here is a link to the book.
Freedom in the Mountain Wind (Call of the Rockies Book 1) - 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, 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: