Wednesday, June 20, 2018

LONE WITNESS - Rachel Dylan - One Free Book


Welcome, Rachel. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Since I’m a lawyer, and I write about lawyers, I definitely bring myself and my experiences into all of my characters. I think like a lawyer and that makes me write like a lawyer too. Of course, I get to take creative liberties with my legal characters!

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I have been known to dress my pets up for the holidays.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve been a writer since I was a child. I’ve always been a voracious reader, and I started writing stories and poems in elementary school. It wasn’t until I was a practicing attorney that I decided I wanted to write a novel.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My favorite genre is romantic suspense, but I also like thrillers. I also enjoy reading non-fiction.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I don’t think I was sane to begin with! I think the key is prioritizing and knowing when to say no. It’s impossible to meet every demand in life.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes the names clearly come to me. Other times I go on the internet and research names or even use name generators until I find one that I like.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
As far as writing accomplishments, I’m super proud of the books I’m writing for the Atlanta Justice series, and thankful to be working with a wonderful publisher.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why? 
I love animals and I’m an introvert by nature and independent, so I’d probably be a cat.

What is your favorite food?
It’s so hard to choose just one, but I love cheese and carbs, so pizza is always a go-to.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest roadblock is lack of writing time. I still work full time as an attorney. I’d always love to spend more time writing, but right now my writing is confined to the weekends.

Tell us about the featured book.
Lone Witness is the second book in the Atlanta Justice series and it can be read as a series or a standalone. Here’s more:

She's the Only Witness to a Brutal Crime. Now She Can't Outrun the Target on Her Back.

Prosecutor Sophie Dawson has taken a new role at the Fulton County DA's office, and her first case involves a local bank employee who may be cheating customers. She's determined to bring justice to those who've lost their savings . . . but her life is turned upside down when she becomes the only witness to a double homicide involving a vengeful gang.

With her life at risk, friends and family convince her that she needs protection, and private security guard Cooper Knight is hired as a bodyguard. But as threats escalate, neither Cooper nor Sophie knows whom they can trust.

Unwilling to back down on either case, Sophie pursues the truth at any cost. But her bank litigation gets more complicated by the day, and the gang will stop at nothing to keep her from taking the stand. With all sides closing in, steadfast Cooper is the only man she can lean on. But drawing close may be the distraction that costs both of their lives. 

Please give us the first page of the book.
Guilty. That’s the only possible verdict. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Felix Sanders, the CEO of Banton Corporation, has been embezzling for five years.” Sophie Dawson took a deep breath, then continued her closing argument. She made eye contact with each of the twelve members of the jury who would decide the fate of the crooked CEO. “Throughout the past week, you’ve heard testimony not only from other employees of Banton Corporation, but from our forensic accounting experts. Those experts testified that there is no doubt that Mr. Sanders was funneling money from the accounts of Banton investors into his personal slush fund that sits in a Swiss bank account.” If she lost this case, then she deserved to be fired. The evidence against Sanders was rock solid. It was rare to have a case this bulletproof. “The defense would have you believe that every single one of these transactions was made in clerical error, but now that you’ve heard and seen all of the evidence, I submit to you that there is no way that conclusion could ever be reached. Let me remind you that we’re talking about hundreds of transactions over a five-year period. The defense’s position asks you to suspend all logic and enter a fantasyland that doesn’t exist.

Sounds interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Here is where you can find me.
Twitter: @dylan_rachel

Thank you, Rachel, for sharing this new book with me and my readers. Right now, I’m reading Deadly Proof and loving it. I’m glad Cooper is getting his story.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Lone Witness - Christianbook.com
Lone Witness (Atlanta Justice) - Amazon paperback
Lone Witness (Atlanta Justice Book 2) - Kindle
Lone Witness - Audiobook

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Monday, June 18, 2018

BLIND BETRAYAL - Nancy Mehl - One Free Book


Welcome back, Nancy. Please tell us about your salvation experience.
I was baptized as a child. I thought I was saved, but when I was in my twenties, a friend gave me some books by Hal Lindsey. I loved the first two, but the third one, The Liberation of Planet Earth, was so boring. It just repeated the same message over and over. That Jesus died for our sins. That we could exchange our sin-filled lives for His new life. A life filled with His Holy Spirit. We could be a new person.

You see, when I was young the church we attended only asked that I agree that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. I had no idea about the “Great Exchange.” That I could be a new creation.

One day I was on my way to work. I remember exactly where I was. I gazed over at the book I’d tossed on the passenger seat. I told myself I just couldn’t finish it and began to recite its message over and over. My intention was to mock the book and make light of the repetitious message. And then suddenly…the light went on and I saw what salvation really was. That night when I got home from work, I got down on my knees and accepted Christ as my savior.

I love testimonies of the unique experiences people experience when they finally understand the whole story of the gospel. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Oh, my. You know, I think I’ve have to invite my Suspense Sisters. We work together on a blog so I think we should have a retreat. They would be: Mary Ellis, Patricia Bradley, Elizabeth Goddard, Ellen Kennedy, and Roxanne Rustand. I know that’s five, but I couldn’t leave anyone out!

Although I haven’t read anything by Ellen Kennedy (and I’d love to), I love the writing of all the others and a couple of them are good friends of mine. Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
No. I’ve spoken to groups several times, but I really don’t enjoy it. I’ve been told that the people attending liked my messages. Someday I may jump into it again, but I really need to get some topics prepared so I can practice ahead of time. That would help with the nervousness!

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
I remember an incident that happened when I worked at The Salvation Army. A lady that worked there showed me a picture of her brother. He had a funny look on his face. I laughed and asked her why he looked like that. Then she told me he was mentally and physically disabled. I was so embarrassed. She was very gracious and kind and smoothed it over. But boy, I’m very careful now when people show me pictures of their family!

One time, I asked a friend I hadn’t seen for quite a while when her baby was due, and she wasn’t pregnant. I’m very careful not to do that again. 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 tell them that writing is a craft. You have to learn it and it takes time. I also suggest they get involved in ACFW. There are so many resources available to new writers.

Yes, way more than when I started writing novels. Tell us about the featured book.
Blind Betrayal is the third book in my Defenders of Justice Series.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Casey Sloane has worked at the St. Louis Marshals office for two years and is given a routine assignment to help transport a reporter to D.C. to testify before a grand jury. Valerie, the reporter, was writing a story about an up-and-coming environmentalist who suddenly disappeared and, she later discovered, whose backers purportedly have ties to a terrorist.

When the seemingly ordinary assignment suddenly takes a shocking turn, Casey is forced to put aside her own feelings about the unexpected reappearance of a man from her past as she and two other Marshals take Valerie on the run. And as it becomes dangerously clear Valerie's testimony has even bigger implications than they knew, they'll do whatever it takes to make it out alive.

I’ve read Blind Betrayal. Please give us the first page of the book for my blog readers.
As Martin waited to be murdered, he was surprised to find that more than anything else, he felt offended. He wanted to explain to his killer that he was a good son. That he’d been a loving brother to his special needs sister. He’d always tried to be a decent man. He cared about people and had given his life to protect the environment. Somehow, he felt it should matter that on Christmas he worked at the downtown shelter and served dinner to the homeless and poor of the city. Then there was the time he stopped to help a woman who’d run her car off the road and into a tree. Martin smelled gas and pulled her out before the car caught fire. Shouldn’t that mean something now?

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is: www.nancymehl.com. I spend a lot of time on the Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesistersblogspot.com. They can also find me on Facebook.

Thank you, Nancy, for sharing this book with me and my blog readers. I’ve loved all your books I’ve read. This one was a real page-turner with so many twists and turns. They’ll want to read it, too.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Blind Betrayal - Christianbook.com
Blind Betrayal (Defenders of Justice) - Amazon paperback
Blind Betrayal (Defenders of Justice Book 3) - Kindle
Blind Betrayal: Defenders of Justice Series, Book 3 - Audiobook

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Sunday, June 17, 2018

WINNERS!!!

New instructions for winners in 2018 - When you send me the email, make sure your subject line says this: Winner - (book title) - (author's name) 


Perrainne (TX)  is the winner of Ruffling Society by Kay Moser.

Emma (PA) is the winner of Back Country Brides by Shannon McNear.

Jennifer (TX)  is the winner of To Claim Her Heart by Jodiee Wolfe.

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

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

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


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

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


Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

Friday, June 15, 2018

KENTUCKY DREAMS - Marlene Morrell - One Free Book


Welcome back, Marlene. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write non-fiction also. I wasn’t sure I should be writing a series. I prayed for leading when I was a third of the way into the second book. The words and story tumbled out so fast and I felt good about the content. Then I know that there were three books in the Kentucky Cowboy series. I have a passion for horses like my late Mother and late hubby. Though I enjoy penning romance and that special relationship, I have always been intrigued by horses, mystery and suspense. I intend to incorporate more of the latter in future books.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
One of my happiest days was when famed novelist, Loree Lough, assured me early on in my writing career that I would be commercially published. She said that writing can be taught but that you cannot teach the ability to make your readers care about your characters and what happens to them. She said I had that gift.

How has being published changed your life?
It is a great commitment and privilege to write for the Lord. I am daily inspired to extend my reach. I am still learning to say no to stuff, so I can focus more.

What are you reading right now?
Joyce Meyer’s The Power of Simple Prayer

What is your current work in progress?
Kentucky Derby Drama

What would be your dream vacation?
Rent a house in Palm Beach or Hawaii and invite some favorite people to join me. The 5-Star chef can whip up amazing dinners which my guests and I will enjoy.

I want to be one of your favorite people. 😊 How do you choose your settings for each book?
The characters and story dictate where it will be set, in the Kentucky Cowboy series about horse racing in Kentucky. In Love Found in Manhattan, since I lived in New York City for seven years, and loved it and the snowy winters and energy of the city, I knew I wanted to capture that for my readers. With Angel in Shining Armor, which is set in Bellingham, Washington, and Nashville; the heroine, Ayita High-Eagle, an American Indian, I chose an Indian Reservation in an area I know and because she rises to fame as a singer in Nashville, it had to be set there. So, in conclusion, though it varies, the characters sometimes chose their location.  

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
It’s a toss-up between President Donald Trump and Joel Osteen. Mr. Trump because of his remarkable determination, fearless and invincible spirit and Mr. Osteen because he has morphed “Positive Thinking” to the highest level we have ever seen. (In my opinion.) I would enjoy picking their brains.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I enjoy watching old movies, Hallmark movies, playing tennis (when I get time), swimming, and dining with friends.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
For me it is having the discipline to stay focused and get it done quickly. God is the only one who can help me.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read voraciously. Attend writing conferences, and get in a critique group.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Dana and Graham settled into wedded bliss...but not for long. Though she’d had many reservations about just how well daily life with Graham would work out, she was thrilled and delighted to discover that it was much better than she could have hoped for. “Good morning, darling.” Dana nuzzled close to her handsome, new hubby. It gave her an incredible high just being in close proximity to him. She gave him a peck on his cheek.
           
In seconds, Graham’s lips were on hers. Passion engulfed them as they soared to new and glorious ecstasies. When they finally came up for air, Dana bounced out of the luxurious bed, slipped on her lavender silk robe that lay strewn on a chair and hummed a tune, soon bursting forth into song. “If ever I should leave you...it wouldn’t be in winter, for seeing you in winter, I never would go...your hair soft as sunlight, your lips right as rain...”
           
Graham joined her in song as they harmonized, dancing around the room together as though they were rehearsing for a musical. He was clad in a white, terry robe while he performed the musical number, dancing with Dana.

Her spirit soared to new and glorious heights she never could have imagined. “So this love!  You want to know something...really, totally amazing?” Dana smiled, her heart was as light as a feather, as she peered into his eyes.
           
“You have to ask?”
           
“Just...checking. Well...God...I guess I would have to say...the Holy Spirit, which is the same thing... has been pouring out incredible songs of praise and worship...I mean just raining them down on me....I mean... I could be riding one of the thoroughbreds... when suddenly this supernatural...anointing falls over me and I burst into song...the music and lyrics just rain down from heaven! I mean...I can’t tell you how incredible that is!”
           
“So...I hope you’ve recorded...or remembered the words and the tune...I realize that might be a challenge when you aren’t expecting the... outpouring.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Marlene Worrall Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. IMDB.

Thank you, Marlene, for sharing this book with me and my readers. 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, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

UNTIL WE FIND HOME - Cathy Gohlke - One Free Book


Welcome back, Cathy. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I write about characters, like us, who break the chains that bind—those chains forced upon us and the ones we forge ourselves—to triumph over adversity through faith. I also write about forgiveness—received and given. Neither come naturally to us. Both need our surrender, and Divine intervention.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
My next novel, currently titled The Medallion, will release in June 2019. Inspired by true accounts of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion is the illuminating story of the separation and sacrifice of two couples—one Jewish and one Gentile—whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war, yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one small child.

Sounds interesting. If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I would love to spend an evening with the author, B J Hoff. BJ’s lyrical prose, strong characters and well drawn tales of the Irish and Irish immigrants in America have long inspired me—even before I believed I could write a book. The beautiful hearts of her main characters make me feel as if we might be kindred spirits. I just read her new release, Harp on the Willow, and thought again how very much I’d like to sit with her and share a steaming pot of tea, scones with jam and Devonshire cream, and talk story shop.

What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
I’ve always said that the historical person I’d most like to meet is William Wilberforce, who championed the end of slavery in Great Britain. And I would still love to meet him, but lately I’ve come to think a lot about John Sherrill. John and his wife, Elizabeth, co-wrote The Hiding Place with Corrie ten Boom. Not only did that inspiring book (and the movie Billy Graham produced by the same title) greatly impact my life when it was first released, but Corrie’s story was a big part of my own writing of Secrets She Kept.

Beyond that, John’s story of his journey to faith in Jesus Christ while going through a frightening cancer diagnosis meant a great deal to me as I battled my own cancer. At a very low point in my chemo treatments, I realized that if John had never given his life to Christ and if he’d never survived cancer, he would not have gone on to write that amazing book. It gave me courage to continue my own fight with a surrendered heart and trust that the Lord might one day again use me to write stories that matter, stories that glorify Him and encourage others. I never contacted John while he was living to let him know how truly he had blessed my life through his faith and work. I’m sorry I did not, but look forward to doing that in the ages of eternity.

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
First, embrace the harsh reality that there are few publishing spots for the many manuscripts sent to publishing houses, and acknowledge that rejection of a manuscript is not personal. Those things simply mean there is more work ahead to reach one’s goal.

Second, ask yourself, and if possible, ask your agent, the publisher who rejected the manuscript (if feasible), or a mentor why they believe your manuscript was rejected. Do your best to correct any mistakes and strengthen portions of your story that you believe may have adversely affected the outcome. Make your manuscript the strongest you possibly can.

Make certain you are submitting to the right agents or publishing houses—agents or publishers that champion and publish the type of book you’ve written.

In the meantime, continue to read, read, read and write, write, write, honing your craft. Study the work of authors you admire and break down their story and yours, seeing how both are put together from the ground up.

Consider employing a professional editor to help you see what you need to do to improve your story. Be willing to edit and rewrite, and know that sometimes we simply need to set a story aside for a time and tackle a new one.

All very good advice. Tell us about the featured book.
For American Claire Stewart, joining the French Resistance sounded as romantic as the storylines she hopes will one day grace the novels she wants to write. But when she finds herself stranded on English shores, with five French Jewish children she smuggled across the channel before Nazis stormed Paris, reality feels more akin to fear.

With nowhere to go, Claire throws herself on the mercy of an estranged aunt, begging Lady Miranda Langford to take the children into her magnificent estate. Heavily weighted with grief of her own, Miranda reluctantly agrees . . . if Claire will stay to help. Though desperate to return to France and the man she loves, Claire has few options. But her tumultuous upbringing—spent in the refuge of novels with fictional friends—has ill-prepared her for the daily dramas of raising children, or for the way David Campbell, a fellow American boarder, challenges her notions of love. Nor could she foresee how the tentacles of war will invade their quiet haven, threatening all who have come to call Bluebell Wood home and risking the only family she’s ever known.

Set in England’s lush and storied Lake District in the early days of World War II, and featuring cameos from beloved literary icons Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis, Until We Find Home is an unforgettable portrait of life on the British home front, challenging us to remember that bravery and family come in many forms.

Sounds like a wonderful read. Please give us the first page of the book.
May 1940
Lightning crackled, splitting the night sky over Paris, illuminating letters painted on the bookstore window across the street: La Maison des Amis des Livres. Driving rain pounded the loose shutters of Shakespeare and Company, making them rattle so that Claire Stewart dropped the heavy blackout curtain into place.

“It sounds like cannon bursting, like the end of the world.” Thunder boomed again. She tugged the belt of her trench coat tighter.

“You must go,” Josephine insisted. “The lorry driver won’t wait. This is his last run to Calais. He’s running on nerves, even now. Arnaud told you—”

“Arnaud promised he’d be here. I won’t go without him. I don’t even know our British contact.”

“You know Arnaud. He’ll meet you if he can— last minute, no doubt.” Josephine Ganute—one more aspiring writer, another tumbleweed to make her home amid the burdened shelves of Sylvia Beach’s American bookstore— grunted and gently, firmly pushed Claire toward the door. “This is the last group, and the last driver willing to go. He’s insane to try. The roads must be packed with people fleeing the city.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Contact me through my website at http://cathygohlke.com and on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks. I’d love to meet you there!

Thank you so much, Cathy for sharing this new book with us. I’ve loved every one of the books of yours I’ve read. I’m eager to get this one. And I know my readers will be, too.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Until We Find Home - Christianbook.com (Best Price today)
Until We Find Home - Amazon Paperback
Until We Find Home - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Monday, June 11, 2018

THE WIDOW OF ROSE HILL - Michelle Shocklee - One Free Ebook

Welcome back, Michelle. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I’ve always loved historical novels as a reader, so writing them was a natural progression. Although I didn’t enjoy history while I was in school, I do now. Digging into the lives of people who lived long ago is fascinating to me.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day I married my best friend, April, 25, 1987, was the happiest day of my life. We met in college and have been sweethearts for more than 33 years. Two more dates brought me incredible joy: February 12, 1991 and May 22, 1993. God blessed us with two little boys on those dates. They’ve grown into young men that I am desperately proud of.

How has being published changed your life?
Honestly, my life hasn’t changed all that much since my debut novel came out in March 2017. I’m a bit busier on social media and planning marketing events, but otherwise my days are much the same as before. I do enjoy hearing from readers and interacting with them on social media and at signing events. I’m very grateful for all the amazing reviews my books have received and try to reach out to reviewers as much as possible. I suppose you could say that being a bit more visible and transparent is one way I’ve changed since becoming a published author.

What are you reading right now?
I’m getting ready to start Francine Rivers’ The Masterpiece. I’ve had to wait to dig into it while I finished reading several books and manuscripts for a contest I’m a judge in. Francine is one of my all-time favorite authors, beginning back in 1999 when I met her at a writers’ conference and was so “green” I didn’t know who she was!

What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on the third and final book in The Women of Rose Hill historical romance series. This third book takes place twenty years from the first book, so many changes have come to Rose Hill plantation, not all of them good.

What would be your dream vacation?
I’d love to take a cruise around the world! My husband and I love cruising, and I’d much rather lounge on a cruise ship while crossing the ocean than fly in a crowded airplane. I’d like to visit each continent and experience the many different cultures represented. 

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I chose the setting for my historical series after learning about slavery and cotton plantations existing in Texas prior to the Civil War. Because I grew up in New Mexico, Texas’ history was not something I was familiar with, even though I’d lived in the state since 1985. Once I began to dig into the research, I knew I had to write about a plantation in Texas rather than the typical southern plantations we often read about located in Georgia or Virginia. I specifically chose Williamson County as the setting for Rose Hill plantation after reading a firsthand account of a slave who lived on a plantation in that county, the same county where I lived for twenty years.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
If you had asked me this question a few months ago, I would have said the Rev. Billy Graham. Oh, how I would have loved to sit in his comfy-looking home tucked in the hills of North Carolina, listening to his incredible stories. But since he has gone Home to Heaven, I will say my next choice would be Astronaut Buzz Aldrin. He and Neil Armstrong were the first two humans to walk on the moon, and I’d love to hear him describe that amazing event in person.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I’m obsessed with visiting historical sites. My husband and I recently relocated to Tennessee, and I’m fascinated by all the Civil War history that surrounds me here. We also enjoy old movies, live music, and eating out. We’ve dubbed Friday nights as Burger Night and are always on the hunt for the best burger in town!

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Procrastination. Unfortunately I have yet to overcome it. Like most things I try to accomplish, I find that if I have a hard and fast deadline, I can make myself sit in the chair and write. But if I have too much time between contracts or writing projects, I find myself going in several different directions and not really accomplishing much.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Don’t get discouraged. Keep learning and keep writing. God has a timetable and a plan for each of us. He can’t be rushed, nor would we want to rush him. Writing is just one of the many tasks God has for us to do, so be faithful in them all.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Widow of Rose Hill is the second book in The Women of Rose Hill series. It takes place in June 1865, just after the Civil War has ended. If you know your Texas history, you know slavery in Texas was still happening despite the end of the war. When the Union Army arrived in Galveston, they brought with them a presidential proclamation freeing the slaves. Huge changes had to come to plantation owners like Natalie Ellis. How will the widowed single mother manage the plantation without slaves?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Williamson County, Texas
June 1865
“I declare, Carolina, I believe we will positively melt before the day is finished with us.”

Seated on the swing on the wide front porch that graced the big house of Rose Hill plantation, Natalie Langford Ellis cooled her face with her favorite lace fan until the muscles in her arm cramped. Not even the uppermost branches of the great oaks near the house stirred in the sultry afternoon air. Nary a cloud floated in the clear blue sky to offer a brief respite.

“Yes’m.” Carolina mopped her ebony skin with a damp cloth. From her place in a worn wicker chair near the rail, the young servant leaned forward to catch the whisper of a breeze that might venture past. “Summer jest gettin’ started, but we’s already feeling the misery. Don’t ’spect it’ll get better ’til after harvest.”

With the toe of one slipper, Natalie lazily propelled the swing back and forth, the groan from rusty chains blending with the song of dozens of cicadas high in the tree branches. Childish laughter drew her attention to the sun-scorched lawn just down from the house where two small boys—one white and one black—played with a reddish-brown dog, the three of them rolling and chasing and generally doing what little boys and dogs do best.

       Natalie smiled despite the uncomfortable trail of sweat trickling down her back. She loved to watch Samuel play, all innocence and goodness, free of the heavy burdens his mother carried. “I believe my son will require two tubs of water to wash the filth from him tonight.”

I’m eager to read this one. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Michelle, for sharing this new book with us. I love that it is set in Texas where I live.

Readers, here are links to the book.
The Widow of Rose Hill - Paperback
The Widow of Rose Hill (The Women of Rose Hill Book 2) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Sunday, June 10, 2018

WINNERS!!!

New instructions for winners in 2018 - When you send me the email, make sure your subject line says this: Winner - (book title) - (author's name) 


Melanie (TX)  is the winner of What Prayer Can Do by Ada Brownell.

Alison (MI) is the winner of Safe Refuge by Pam S Meyers.

Vera (NC)  is the winner of The Tide of Times by C Kevin Thompson.

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

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

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


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

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


Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

TO CLAIM HER HEART - Jodie Wolfe - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I just finished reading To Claim Her Heart, and I love it. I’ve watched Jodie grow in her writing. This new book is awesome. The characters quickly pulled me straight into the action, and I didn’t want to ever leave. I’ve always liked reading stories about the Oklahoma Land Runs. This one may be my very favorite.

Welcome back, Jodie. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Chuckle. That's a little hard to predict, but I'm hoping to find a home for a story I wrote quite a number of years ago that still is my all-time favorite.

I understand that. I have an older one my agent is sending to a new market right now. Tell us a little about your family.
My husband and I have been married for over 30 years and have two grown sons who are both married. We have four granddaughters ages six and under.

I imagine that’s a houseful of fun when you all get together. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I don't get to read quite as much as I would like to because of my writing, but that doesn't bother me. I do find I'm more alert to typos and repetitive words in printed books now.

What are you working on right now?
I'm finalizing edits on the story I first mentioned and also working on a book that is set in the town where I live now. I'm looking forward to writing again.

What outside interests do you have?
I enjoy spending time with my husband, reading, walking, relaxing, etc.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
That's a difficult question to answer. Sometimes I can be inspired by a place I'm visiting or heard about. It can be from an article I read or a story told to me. I try to be open to story ideas and settings when they crop up.

I know what you mean. I do, too. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I'm never great at answering this question. The only one I can think of who would mean the most to me to see face-to-face is Jesus. I'd love to speak together and hear His responses.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
How long the process can be before a book actually is printed, and you can hold it in your hands. :-)

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Chuckle. It seems each time I work on a new book, God has me re-learn the spiritual truths that my characters are struggling with. He brings new situations that cause me to go deeper in my faith and learning through the process.

Me, too. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Tenacity, patience, and helping others.

I think to succeed in this industry you have to display perseverance and not being willing to quit when things get tough because believe me, they will. Very few authors are picked up immediately when they first start sending out their work. Learn to wait on God's timing. Once you start getting published, don't forget to reach back and help those writers who are coming up behind you and are just learning about the industry. Be open to encouraging them.

Tell us about the featured book.
Here's the back cover blurb for To Claim Her Heart
In 1893, on the eve of the great race for land, Benjamin David prays for God to guide him to his “Promised Land.” Finding property and preaching to the lost are his only ways of honoring his deceased fiancĂ©e. He hasn't counted on Elmer (Elsie) Smith claiming the same plot and refusing to leave. Not only is she a burr in his side, but she is full of the homesteading know-how he is sadly lacking.

Obtaining a claim in the Cherokee Strip Land Run is Elsie Smith's only hope for survival, and not just any plot, she has a specific one in mind. The land's not only a way to honor her pa and his life, but also to provide a livelihood for herself. She's willing to put in whatever it takes to get that piece of property, and Elsie's determined to keep it.

Her bitterness is what protects her, and she has no intentions of allowing that preacher to lay claim to her land . . . or her heart.

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Here's a glimpse of the first scene:

Mrs. Wigglesworth’s Essential Guide to Proper Etiquette and Manners of Refined Society

September 15, 1893, Kiowa, Kansas—Border of the Cherokee Strip
“Elmer Smith?”

For once in all of her days, Elsie welcomed the name Pa had insisted on when her life began and Ma’s had ended.

“Is that you, son?”

“Ain’t your son.” Ain’t no one’s son. Elsie shifted her Stetson lower to ward off the man’s scrutiny.

“There’s no need to get your prickles up. Do you testify you’re at least twenty-one years of age and head of your household?”
           
Elsie nodded and bit back a retort.

“Then sign here.” The man shoved a paper across the makeshift desk. Beads of moisture dotted his upper lip.
           
She scrawled her name on the line. The page crinkled when she folded and shoved it into her shirt pocket, along with the copy of The Homestead Laws and Pa’s hand-drawn map.
           
“Get out of the way, kid.” A scraggly looking fellow jabbed into her shoulder.
           
Elsie stepped out of line, glaring at him. He ignored her and turned his attention to the clerk.
           
She elbowed through a crowd of men. How had her small town swelled to so many folks? Thankfully there were few she recognized, or, more so, who could recognize her. The less who knew her gender, the better. She certainly didn’t need no man to help her get the land she and Pa had dreamed about.
           
Elsie scooted her hat up and swiped at the sweat on her forehead before dropping it back into place, scrunching the thick braid she’d pinned up three days prior. Hefting her saddlebags to her opposite shoulder, she hiked the short distance to the livery and retrieved Buster. A short ride would clear her head and prepare her for what lay ahead.
           
Dust swirled and nearly choked Elsie as she rode in the opposite direction of the throngs, to see the old farm one last time.
           
Acrid smoke filled her lungs. Nearby fires, to deter Sooners from entering the strip before the race began, burned in the west, but not out of control.
           
Elsie urged Buster, careful not to tire him. Everything hinged on finding the land tomorrow.
           
Everything.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Jodie, for sharing this new book with me and my blog readers.

Readers, here are links to the book.
To Claim Her Heart - Papeback
To Claim Her Heart - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

BACK COUNTRY BRIDES - Shannon McNear - One Free Book


Bio: After more than two decades in the South, Shannon McNear now makes her home on the windy northern plains with her husband, four of their eight children, two German Shepherds, four cats, several chickens, and a noisy flock of guinea fowl. She serves in worship and youth ministry and has been writing novel-length fiction since age 15. Her first novella, Defending Truth, from A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® nominee. When not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the Dakota prairies.

Welcome, Shannon. How did this collection come about?
Carrie Fancett Pagels, the founder of the Colonial Quills blog, has dreamed for years of doing an all-colonial collection for Barbour. Two years ago, she organized several of us who are contributors to that blog and we submitted the proposal June 2016. Not until May 10 of last year (a year ago today as I write this!) were we offered a contract on it.

I’m in a group that Carrie put together in 2015. We were contracted in 2017. Are these stories connected in some way?
Besides all being set in colonial-era America, and all based around the theme of a “backcountry bride,” the strong women who helped make our country what it was, no. (Backcountry being the period-correct term for the regions along the frontier … not exactly backwoods, but close.)

How does your story fit in with the others?
Mine is set November-December 1781, just after the surrender of the British at Yorktown, showing how the war did not end easily in various parts of the colonies. Others are set against the backdrop of the French and Indian War, or during the Revolution, and after.

Who chose the setting for this collection?
See my answer above—Carrie. We each chose our individual times and settings, though.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
That God can reach down into any situation, no matter how hopeless, and change both the situation, and us. That the risk of putting our lives on the line for the sake of doing the right thing is always worth it, even when we think there’s no chance of making a difference.

Readers want to get to know the authors they read. Can you tell us three things my readers probably don’t know about you?
Hmmm … one, I started college but never completed a degree. Barely finished my third semester with an undiagnosed case of mono, intended to take off the next semester and come back, but met and married my husband instead. (Who started at the same college but also never finished.)

Two, the only language I’ve ever taken formally is New Testament Greek. Two semesters in college. The pastoral majors, for whom the class was required, were really annoyed by the presence of this girl who took it just for fun …

Three (and notice a theme here? LOL), I attended college with DCTalk. I didn’t know then who Toby McKeehan was, but Mike Tait sang often in chapel and was one of my favorites. Later, when my husband and I moved back so he could attend classes, I worked with a girl who knew Toby and had gotten a 2-song demo tape from him … we wore that thing out. J Incidentally that was when DCTalk was just Toby and Mike. Afterward they added Kevin, and when their first album showed up in the campus bookstore, I was right there to buy it. It’s been amazing to follow their career all these years and see how God has honored their desire to maintain integrity in near-impossible circumstances. (The music industry is just brutal, even on the Christian side.) And even now, they’re among my favorite artists.

Please give us the first page of your story.
Charlotte Town, North Carolina, mid-November 1781
“Do these people even know they’ve lost the war?”

“Obviously not.”

Tucked in a corner of the tavern where the babble of conversation was not quite louder than his own thoughts, Jedidiah Wheeler dropped the much-folded paper on the tabletop and stared at it with distaste. “And why can’t we leave this rascal to Sumter and Marion?”

Harrison leaned on one elbow, dark gaze intent. “We need someone on the inside. Someone he doesn’t know yet. Someone he could possibly trust. Doesn’t have to be for long.”

Jed chewed the inside of his cheek, thinking. “A man would have to have a death wish to accept this appointment.”

A smirk twisted the other man’s mouth. “I’ve heard of your exploits over the past five years. One could say that description fits you.”

’Twas true he’d little enough to lose. An occupation that became useless with the tide of war sweeping the colonies for the past five years and more. A mother and then a father who succumbed to age and illness during that time.

A sweetheart who spurned him for another, despite her avowed admiration for his service in the militia. And fine by him. He’d always welcomed the adventure that went along with riding first with the local militia and later with the Continental Regulars.

“I’d like to live long enough to return to riding the Great Road up to Philly,” he groused.

This time Harrison laughed outright. “Now you’re just being sentimental. Deadly dull, that.”
Jed lifted his fingers dismissively.

“Besides,” Harrison went on, “no one lives forever. And this rapscallion and his band must be stopped. Could you sleep at night if you didn’t at least make the attempt?”

“Mm. Next you’ll be singing about king and country.”

Harrison gave a silent laugh that disappeared under a wave of uncharacteristic sternness. “Outright slaughter, Jed. And after they’d surrendered. For the sake of all that’s true and holy.”
Where can my readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you for sharing this collection with us. My blog readers love reading the Barbour collections.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: