Tuesday, February 19, 2019

FATAL HOMECOMING - Stacey Weeks - One Free Ebook


Welcome, Stacey. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
The spiritual battles my characters face are often very similar to struggles I’ve had in the past or are representative of the tough theology questions that I am working through. I often think “what if” and I put my characters in those situations and make them apply right theology to their circumstances. It can get messy – but life is messy.

My debut novel showed more of me than any other book. I was writing what I knew.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Like many families with multiple children, we’ve had seasons that were financially very tight. During one such stretch, I painted our two area rugs to give them new life. They were old, very stained, and almost completely flat like indoor / outdoor rugs. I thought, why not? We got another full year out of them and the paint held up well!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I attended a writers’ conference and felt very much like an imposter until one presenter spoke directly to that feeling. He said something along these lines: “A paycheck, traditional contract, or published book is not what makes you a writer.” Writing is what makes you a writer. After I left that conference, I started owning the title with confidence.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy crime novels as long as it is not gory. I enjoy suspense as long as it is not dark. I enjoy romance as long as it is clean. Those boundary lines keep me mostly in the inspirational aisle of the library. I also enjoy Christian non-fiction that is deep and challenging, but easy to understand. I’m not an academic reader, but I want more than fluff in my non-fiction.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
The most important thing I do every day is meet with the Lord. When I seek Him first, I find that no matter what the day brings, I am able to cope in a healthier way. I try to model a healthy well-balanced life-style to our kids. They see me in the Word, they see me prioritize exercise and healthy meals. I pray they will also see the rewards of these choices.

I under-schedule my life to leave room for the unexpected. I am very careful to not over commit. I give myself lots of time to complete my tasks. We homeschool and we are a ministry family, so I’m learning to be flexible.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I use an online random name generator and keep trying until I find something I like. One time after I input all the character’s background information, it suggested the perfect name – but the name (first and last name) was my brother-in-law. What are the odds of that?

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I am most proud of our family accomplishment of making the decision to homeschool our kids. I never thought I would be able to do this; I never thought I would ever consider doing this, but we are and we love it. It is a group effort, and we all benefit from the way this frees up our schedule. This decision has relieved some of the “run, run, run” pressure in question 5 J We had a good public school experience, but found with ministry demands, we were not getting enough time with our kids when they were in school all day and we were busy on the weekend with church commitments. This has been a wonderful lifestyle change for our family.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I didn’t know how to answer this question so I asked my kids. Here is what they said:

Nick says: I would be a cat because cats are cuddly. (Nick’s the youngest. Can you tell?)
Jon says: I would be a bunny because I’m nice and bunnies are great mothers. (Awe, isn’t he the sweetest??)
Kate says: I would be a monkey because I am social, or a parrot because I talk a lot. (This is funny because our Kate is such a talker I sometimes tell her that my ears are tired!)
           
What is your favorite food?
I love a good hamburger, but I also love pasta. That’s a tough question. I love food!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest roadblock was fear. What if I never published a book? Or worse, what if I did and nobody read it? Even worse still, what if they read it and they didn’t like it? It took me a long time to remove myself from the equation. A critique of my writing or story wasn’t necessarily a personal attack. I began to promote the message of the book rather than promote me and that changed me. I realized that fear of man is just pride wrapped up in a humble looking package, but fear of man is still sinful. At the end of the day, if I put something out there that glorifies the Lord, then I’ve hit my mark. Nothing else matters.

Tell us about the featured book.
It was murder. She was sure. And that assurance could cost her life.

Undercover Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Rick Chandler poses as a detective in the small town of Chenaniah River. He is investigating the possibility of a corrupt police force when Jessie returns to bury her brother, and she refuses to believe evidence that point to her deceased brother's involvement in drug trafficking. Soon, the same person that murdered her brother targets her. Can Rick help Jessie dodge bullets, escape fires, and exonerate her brother before the attacks escalate?

Jessie Berns has returned to her hometown to find answers about her brother’s suspicious death. With the help of an old friend, Detective Rick Chandler, they pursue a truth that someone is willing to do anything to keep hidden—even kill again. They uncover decades-old secrets that expose hidden sins and threaten the lifestyles of high-powered people in their small town. As they close in on the devious mastermind manipulating the community, it becomes frighteningly clear to Rick that Jessie is not the one calling the shots in her amateur investigation. She is the killer’s new target.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Jessica Berns eased open the front door of her old family home, now her brother’s house. It creaked on its hinges like it did when she was young, shooting memories through her mind that she’d rather forget. Her chest tightened as she set down her suitcase. She wiped her damp hands on her denim pants and stamped the snow from her boots.

“Hello?” She flicked the light switch in the entryway with no luck. She toggled it up and down, and an eeriness tightened the back of her neck. What were the odds that the college-aged kids stirring up trouble outside hadn’t ventured inside?

She slipped down the hall, trailing a finger along the faded wallpaper her mother had chosen the year before she had died in childbirth. The paper looked every day of its twenty-eight years. Jessie tried the kitchen light switch. Still nothing. The kids outside must have turned everything off at the breaker box. She rummaged through a kitchen drawer for a flashlight and hip-checked it shut when she couldn’t find one.

The sensation that something wasn't right increased as she made her way toward the electrical panel in her brother’s home office.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @writerSWeeks 
Blogs and Quarterly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cZgDb9 
Instagram: WriterSWeeks

Thank you, Stacey, for sharing this book with us. I’m eager to read it, and I know my readers are, too.

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, 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, February 18, 2019

MY BEASTLY BILLIONAIRE - Jackie Castle - 2 Free Ebooks


Welcome back, Jackie. Tell us about your salvation experience.
I was raised in a church, so I thought I was “good” with the salvation check-box. But then one Sunday, when I was in my early teens, the Lord impressed upon me the need to go up when they made the altar call. I thought it was silly. I was good. I had this. I was a long-standing member and all that. Ha!

Then He said I couldn’t ride into Heaven on my family’s coattails. It was time for me to make the choice for myself. Would I serve Him? Would I give my life and heart to Him? Once I realized He was being serious, I was up there in a heartbeat, giving my live over to Him.

That is such a good explanation about what needs to happen for those of us who grew up in the church. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Oh boy, that’s not a fair question at all. I have way too many very dear writing friends to only pick four.

I will say this. My author buddies are the pillars of my career. I so appreciate having friends with a common interest who understand the struggles and challenges of this crazy profession we’ve somehow ended up in. They pray for me, answer my questions, encourage me to not give up. What a blessing from God each and everyone is. Which is why I can’t pick just a few. Sorry.

I totally understand. Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
Ugh, I hate public speaking. However, I have found myself in a couple of situations where I’ve taught a class or given a lecture at a writer’s event or at church.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
How much space do I have?

I guess it was on one of our anniversaries. My husband had a friend who worked in the hotel business and they set us up at a hotel in Dallas that they said we would love. My husband and I are Comfort Inn or Holiday Inn peoples. So, we came home from work and threw a few things in a bag for our special weekend.

Now when I say “bag” we had a duffel for our clothing and a couple of Walmart bags to hold the last minute stuff like snacks and drinks, shoes, etc.

We followed the address and pulled into the Adolphus.

For those who don’t know about this hotel, it’s old, prestigious, and we were like the Beverly Hillbillies pulling into the drive in my husband’s old beat up Ford truck and our Walmart bags. The valets were trying hard not to laugh as we piled our stuff on the luggage cart.

I was completely embarrassed and knew we were totally out of our element. But they were gracious and treated us in the same way they would have treated any other visitor.

Eventually, I got over my embarrassment. My husband doesn’t get embarrassed, though we decided to pretty much stay in our room. He didn’t even own a tie, which was required to enter the lounge. I didn’t think my jeans would be proper attire. We still had fun and have a great story to tell people, like now.

I was at the Adolphus as a guest on the set of a movie. It is really posh. 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?
Get ’er done! Do it! What’s stopping you? Are you done with it yet? =)

Tell us about the featured book. 
His withdrawal from society and her need to prove her worth come to a head in this modern-day Beauty and the Beast retelling.

When Elisa Lucken's interior design company is hired to decorate the huge but neglected Grimwood Manor for an impromptu holiday gala, Elisa is put in charge of managing the indoor crew. The only catch is--do not disturb the reclusive Duncan Grimwood.

Thrilled and excited about her chance to finally prove herself, Elisa is so absorbed in her work she doesn't hear the blizzard warning that sends the rest of her crew home.

Jewelry Artisan Duncan Grimwood had a reputation of being a playboy until the motorcycle accident that left him damaged inside and out. After a year of recuperating, Duncan has withdrawn from his lavish lifestyle and now lives like a hermit ignoring his family and the terms of his inheritance trust.

Duncan will lose his portion of the Grimwood estate, his personal assistant urges him to re-enter the real world by hosting a holiday gala at the manor to display his latest works. He agrees on the condition that nobody disturbs him while he works to finish his last few pieces.

Snowed in for the weekend with his unexpected guest, Duncan is forced out of his cave. Will the beautiful decorator he's stuck with help him find a new respect for life before he loses everything?

My Beastly Billionaire is the first in the Grimwood Legacy Series. Check for the next book, My Charming Billionaire now on preorder.
Worried that

Each book in this series can be read as a stand-alone in any order, however, it is recommended, for the best reading experience, that you read them in order.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Elisa Lucken’s nervous gaze moved upward to take in the expansive two-story stone mansion. The French Provincial might have been beautiful if not for the pale gray sky and the bared trees whipping in the wind like dancing skeletons. But from her perspective, Grimwood Manor reminded her of the setting for one of those old horror movies.

The grounds were well-kept, but something about the shadowed arched windows and tightly closed curtains that unsettled her. The request to decorate Grimwood Manor’s front entrance and main first floor rooms had come late in the season, leaving Elisa’s boss, Kelly Stewart scrambling to come up with a sufficient plan for the unexpected project.

Thanksgiving was only two days away. Mr. Grimwood’s personal assistant had said that her employer was hosting an impromptu party the following weekend. If they finished the job before the end of November, they would be given a substantial bonus. That was all Kelly Stewart, owner of Stewart Designs, needed to hear. They would work right up to Thanksgiving Day, and hopefully, have everything accomplished.

Elisa parked her Jeep behind the supply truck.

Kelly Stewart had scrounged through all her storage rooms to gather what left-over decorations they could use to transform the massive home into a spectacular holiday sanctuary. It was too late to order specially made ornaments, and there was no time to spend on shopping. They had three other jobs lined up over the next two weeks.

Most of Stewart Designs’ wealthy clients hired them in the spring to decorate for Christmas. Elisa and Kelly spent March through June planning, sketching and ordering so that as soon as Halloween was over, the team could get to work turning the mansions into spectacular wonderland worlds that would put Santa’s North Pole to shame.

Checking her reflection in the Jeep’s side mirror, Elisa pulled her long brown hair over her shoulder and secured it with a band. Then she applied a bit of lipstick to freshen her appearance. Billionaires seemed to like their staff to look professional and well dressed. The cold front that had blown through made Elisa choose a wool plaid skirt, black cashmere sweater and knee-high leather boots over thick leggings hoping they’d keep her warm enough. The larger houses often tended to be more drafty.

Elisa hurried to find Kelly, who’d parked her black Lincoln under the carport.

With clipboard in hand, Kelly was already barking orders to the staff on what to bring in. “Elisa, oh there you are,” she patted her chest as if fearing she might suffer a coronary at any moment. “I feared you were lost after I lost sight of you on the expressway. These out-of-the-way country roads can be confusing. I’ll never understand the people who wish to live out in the wilds.” Kelly lifted her Ray-Bans and glanced around at the surrounding woods, then back to the towering building. “Stunning, isn’t it? I hear there’s a private tennis court in the back acreage, along with a helicopter landing pad, and a driving range. Though I doubt Mr. Grimwood gets to enjoy many outdoor activities after his accident.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?


Thank you, Jackie, for sharing this new book with us. I know we’ll want to feature each of this new series. One of the reviewers of my book The 12 Gifts of Christmas called it a Billionaire romance. They’re quite popular right now.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

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

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

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

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

Sunday, February 17, 2019

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.

Trish (KY) is the winner of Never Let Go by Elizabeth Goddard. 

Maryann (NY) is the winner of Capture Me by Sherry Kyle.

Aliciahaney (TX), Rose (AL), Lori (IL), and Robin (NC) are the winners of Cowboy Brides by Various Authors.

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

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

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


If you won an ebook or audio book, just let me know what email address it should be sent to.
Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

Friday, February 15, 2019

GRIT AND GRACE: Devotions for Warrior Moms - Suzanne Hadley Gosselin and Gretta Kennedy - One Free Book

Being a mom is one of the most rewarding experiences a woman can have, but motherhood also has its share of challenges physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. Even if a woman has read all the parenting books and received sage advice from other moms, until she becomes a mom she won’t truly understand the responsibility and challenges that come with the title. For the overwhelmed mamas who think they’ll never live up to the Supermoms around them, Suzanne Hadley Gosselin and Gretta Kennedy, authors of Grit and Grace: Devotions for Warrior Moms (Harvest House Publishers), want to offer encouragement and assurance they are not alone.

How did the two of you team up to write Grit and Grace?
Suzanne Hadley Gosselin (SHG): I was in the throes of raising three young children who were 5, 3, and 18-months old, and it occurred to me one day that I was depleted in every way, but especially spiritually. I found that ironic, since my husband is a pastor and I’m a Christian writer. I had many spiritual resources easily accessible to me, and yet I was still struggling. I also realized that it wasn’t good because in this season of raising young children I really needed Jesus, arguably more than ever.

Around that same time, I had a conversation with my 3-year-old daughter about how I could no longer fit into my “fanciest dress” (my wedding dress) because I had gotten bigger when I had babies. Her reaction floored me. Her eyes sparkled and she said, “Was I one of the babies in your tummy that made you get bigger?” My daughter could see the beauty in something that I had allowed to make me feel like a failure. I realized, then, that God uses these years to teach mamas so many wonderful truths through their children.

Meanwhile, God was laying it on Gretta’s heart to encourage moms of young children. Gretta studied women’s ministry at Multnomah where we met and were college roommates and had a knack for connecting with women and meeting them where they’re at. We were talking on the phone one day and realized that God had given us the exact same vision to provide digestible devotions for moms of young children to encourage and strengthen them in their role as mothers. That’s when the idea of Grit and Grace was born.

Who did you write Grit and Grace for? What stage of motherhood will get the most encouragement from reading your book?
SHG: We wrote Grit and Grace for moms of young children. We’re looking at the season that encompasses babies, toddlers and early elementary school. Many times, if they have multiple children, mamas are navigating all of these stages at once. While the stories focus on the young children years, the truths from God’s Word apply to mamas (and even grandmas) at all stages. We have had Grandmas comment that they feel encouraged to show greater intentionality toward their grandchildren.

What does it mean to you to have grit and grace?
Gretta Kennedy (GK): Having grit is pushing through the hard stuff of motherhood with determination and laser-focus on the end goal of raising children who love and serve Jesus. Having grace means realizing that God offers you peace, rest and help in this season and as well as being kind to your children and especially yourself!

Can you describe the format of the book? How much time does each devotional take to read?
SHG: Grit and Grace is a 90-Day devotional, and our concept was to provide quick-read nuggets of truth for busy mamas. These devos should take no longer than five minutes to get through, and the Scripture passage is included so you don’t even have to go find your Bible. The idea is that these can be read in the tiny spaces in a mama’s day—while the kids are napping or she’s nursing the baby. Each daily devotion includes a true story of motherhood and delves into a spiritual truth that was learned through the experience. Each devotion also includes a prayer to allow busy moms to respond the devotion in the moment.

Before you had children, what did you expect motherhood to be like? What surprised you most when you became a mother?
GK:
I did a lot of babysitting as a kid and young adult, so I at least knew that kids aren’t perfect, and taking care of them can be pretty tiring. But the thing that surprised me the most was the huge responsibility of motherhood. I was the one who needed to be the expert on my child. No one else would know her like I did. Also, being a mother is totally different from being the babysitter! I was responsible for everything...not just this little person. The house, the food, the everything...oh yeah, and the children.

SHG: I have worked with kids since I was a teen. In fact, I met my husband when he struck up a conversation with me about children’s ministry. I always assumed I’d take to motherhood like a fish to water. I was wrong. The stress of being a mom revealed many of my weaknesses, such as being unskilled at managing our home and all the little demands of motherhood. It also revealed my selfishness as I was pushed to put others before myself again and again. 

Suzanne, you write that your spiritual life took a hit after you became a mom. In what ways?
SHG: Spiritual disciplines have always been an area of weakness for me. Even before kids, I struggled to meet with the Lord at a consistent time each day. However, I did find time to get in the Word daily and received consistent spiritual input through working at a Christian organization, being plugged in at church and attending multiple Bible studies during my single years. I had my first child a year and a half after I got married and decided to stay home. I quickly became isolated and overwhelmed and struggled to find time to even crack open the Bible. I felt too tired to pray. I realized many of the struggles I was experiencing, such as a negative view on life, conflicts with my husband and anger toward my children were the bad fruit of a life that wasn’t connected to the True Vine. But it was more difficult than it ever had been to sit at Jesus’ feet and be refreshed by Him.

Gretta, you write about losing your identity when you became a mom. Was it something you realized all at once or was it gradual? What would you like readers to realize about their true identity?
GK: I had quite the cool job before I became a mom, and I loved what I did. A young newlywed and capable and trusted in an outdoor adventure-based ministry, I found great fulfillment in my marriage and career. When our daughter was born, my life was consumed with her. Being a good mom and knowing my daughter’s every need became my top priority, and I genuinely loved it. But around the 6-month mark, it dawned on me that every conversation I had with others always revolved around mom life. It no longer mattered what I did prior to becoming a mother, and no one really cared anymore about my relationship with my husband. It was all about my daughter. I had become just a mom.

I really struggled with that because I felt there was so much more to me, but none of that mattered anymore. “Mom” was it for me from here on out. Then God reminded me very clearly that titles are not my true identity. My identity needs to be found in him alone because that will never change. So truths like “daughter of the King” and “chosen” and “forgiven” became the identities I tried to focus on. This is so important for moms to remember. The little children years are so demanding that we can forget how God sees us. We are so much more than moms. We are redeemed! We are gifted! We are loved! If we can keep our identity centered as God sees us, then as we go through changes in life, our foundation won’t be shaken and we will be more free to live as God truly intended.

What are some of the topics you cover in the devotionals?
SHG: We talk about perfectionism, comparison, joy, gratefulness, fear, rejection, weariness, calling, tenacity (grit) and hope (grace). Our subtitle is Devotions for Warrior Moms, and that is how we view mamas. They are on the front lines guiding their children to God’s truth and aiming them at the target—Jesus. Grit and Grace talks about the gamut of emotions mothers of young children face, both good and bad.

If moms only take away one thing from reading Grit and Grace, what do you hope they learn?

SHG: We hope they will feel encouraged and empowered that God has chosen them for their specific children. They are called to this. There are so many sweet moments that come along with the difficult ones. As one pre-reader said, “Grit and Grace is helping me treasure hunt for grace in the challenging moments of motherhood and remember to savor the sweet moments I want to be etched deep into my heart forever.” Yes. That.

Fellow Grit and Grace Warrior Moms can connect on:

Thank you, Suzanne and Gretta, for sharing this book with us. I know there are plenty of moms with kids in the age range you wrote this book for. It will be a valuable tool to each of them.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Grit and Grace  - Christianbook.com
https://amzn.to/2TVyWD2 - Amazon paperback
https://amzn.to/2V2Lo3T - 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:

Thursday, February 14, 2019

THE BILLIONAIRE'S MIRACLE FAMILY - Arabelle Stevens - One Free Book

Happy Valentine's Day, Dear Readers!!!

Welcome, Arabelle. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Almost none. Part of the fun for me is to get into the skin of another person, i.e., my characters. I often give them personality traits and have them say things I’d never dream of in myself. It’s fun.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Quirkiest thing. Well that’s easy. Sick of being on the hamster wheel, I sold my big house and moved into my camp. My 12x28, off-grid cabin, complete with composting toilet. That’s right, I live in a “tiny house.” I own it outright, I have more land than I ever have, I have minimal bills, and I empty my own toilet. Daily. It’s no big deal.

I’m happy for you. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve always written stories, even back into childhood. Then in high school, my English teacher entered one of my short stories in a national contest . . . and I won. I knew I could write and maybe do something with it at that point. I put myself through college by doing freelance commercial writing. That wasn’t what I wanted to do though . . . writing ads for Coke and the local utility companies didn’t feed my soul. Fiction did. That was a real craft to me.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy many types of books. I do find myself gravitating to romance and books by Dan Brown. It would be easier to say what I can’t read. I can’t read gory, it makes me nauseated and I creep out, and I can’t read erotica . . . I giggle and get too embarrassed. I don’t mind some pretty steamy and a little violence if the story calls for it, but if it all gets too in depth (pardon that, no pun intended), I just feel naughty, lol.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I don’t. Peace and quiet grounds me, it centers me. That’s one reason I got off the hamster wheel and moved to a small cabin in the woods. I get my inner Thoreau on almost every day. Now THERE’S someone who knew how to live!

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I use the internet a lot. There are lots of sites that list men and women’s names. I find that very handy. I also eavesdrop. A LOT. You wouldn’t believe some of the very cool names floating around in every restaurant.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My kids. They grew up to be really good people. Strong, self-reliant, capable, smart. When they went out into the world on their own, they were ready. I did that.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
An eagle. I often have dreams that I’m soaring and flying way overhead, exploring the world, seeing amazing sights.  I’m sure some dream interpreter would have something interesting to say about that.

What is your favorite food?
Lobster. You can’t live in Maine and not love lobster. If you do, we can’t be friends because I’ll never understand you.

We can be friends. I love lobster. I just don’t get to eat it very often. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I didn’t think my writing was interesting. Because I didn’t like to write violence or sex, I thought my stories would be perceived as boring. I dabbled with all of that at the beginning of my fiction career, but I just wasn’t comfortable with it. I finally just wrote what I thought was a decent story, with minimal steamy. I still thought it wouldn’t do well and was about to set it on a shelf when a good friend told me to get over myself and just publish it. It was well-received with pretty good reviews. That book was Everything More.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Billionaire’s Miracle Family is the first book I’ve written “to market.” Billionaire books don’t seem to be fading in popularity so I thought I’d try my hand at it. It was so fun having a character who was a billionaire that I could write virtually any situation money could buy. I also wanted a book with some cerebrality to it so there had to be some depth, I didn’t want anything to be as it appeared. The book starts out in the usual way of romances with some conflict and some humor, but then it all gets deeper with (I hope) lots of rich themes and character. And, of course, the happy ending that I always love.

Some reviewers of a Christmas book of mine that released in September brought it to my attention that it was also a billionaire romance. Please give us the first page of your book.
Audrey Edlin rolled over in frustration, her silky ash-blonde locks falling over her face. She grabbed a pillow and pinned it over her head, trying to block out the sound of kids skateboarding on the sidewalk under her bedroom window.  Wasn't there some kind of curfew for kids in Boston? Where were these kids' parents?

Audrey looked over at her clock. One in the morning. One loud burst of laughter as a skateboarder crashed into empty metal trashcans, and that was it. Audrey flew to the window and threw it open.

"Do you kids know what time it is?! Some of us have to get up in a few hours! Get out of here!"
The group of skateboarders looked up at Audrey in her second story window, messy-sleep hair covering her face. Except that they weren't kids. They were full-grown men, mouths hanging open like naughty children, looking with guilty, blinking eyes at one another.

Finally, one of the men spoke up.

"I'm really sorry, Miss. My buddy, Rem, here didn't think I could still do a jump, and then my other friend here, Mark, dared me to do it . . . and . . . well . . .  we're sorry we disturbed you."

Audrey recognized the one speaking as her next-door neighbor. He didn't seem to have a job, didn't seem to do anything but play loud video games, and drink beer.

"Oh. It's you," she said disgustedly. "I should have known. 

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Arabelle, for sharing this book with us. I’m eager to read it. My mother died when I was 7. Here name was Frances Arabella, but she went by Fanny Belle.

Readers, here are links to the book.
The Billionaire's Miracle Family: Billionaire Miracle Series (Book 1) - Paperback
The Billionaire's Miracle Family: Billionaire Miracle 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, 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, February 12, 2019

LADIES OF INTRIGUE - Michelle Griep - One Free Book


Welcome back, Michelle. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
Since there are 3 different stories, I have 3 different answers :
The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady was inspired from my time visiting Cornwall where smugglers abound. And Poldark. Who isn’t inspired by Poldark?!
The Doctor’s Woman is a story dear to my heart because I live so close to the fort where this atrocity took place.
A House of Secrets came about from a tidbit of history I uncovered one day while at the Minnesota History Museum, about a secret tunnel reported running from a brothel to the Minnesota Club.

If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Robin Jones Gunn because I heard her speak one time and she’s so personable.
Heather Gilbert because she’s such a sweetie.
Lindsay Harrell because I keep meaning to read her books and I just haven’t gotten around to it yet…bad reader!
Cara Putnam because I’ve never met her but I’d really like to.
Ane Mulligan because she’s another one of my bestest critique buddies in the world.
Deborah Raney because she’s just so doggone noble.

Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Laura Frantz because her smile is infectious.
Julie Klassen because she’s one of my writing buddies.
Lori Benton because I want to write like her when I grow up.
Joanna Davidson Politano because I love her stories and I’d like to meet her.
Shannon McNear because her writing is stellar and we can plot together.
Elizabeth Ludwig because she is truly my partner in crime.

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?
Hah! I almost choked on that one. Does any author ever really have it made? Writing is such a subjective thing that there’s no guarantee ever that anyone will “have it made.” My biggest problem currently is striving to beat down self-doubt, wondering if I can keep coming up with intriguing ideas.

Tell us about the featured book.
These 3 stories were previously published in other collections but now they are all under one cover. Here’s a blurb:

Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady
Cornish Coast 1815
When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?

The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!)
Dakota Territory 1862
Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.

A House of Secrets
St. Paul, Minnesota 1890

Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

Please give us the first page of the book.
1815, port village of Treporth, Cornwall, England
Pretend I am courageous.

Pretend my heart still beats.

Pretend all manner of blissful things. . .

and that I shall find him alive.

Re-creasing a worn scrap of foolscap, Helen Fletcher tucked the paper into her valise then snapped shut the clasp, wishing most of all she’d never received such horrid news. No one had ever warned her about the dangers of parchment.

Pretend the world is right and well. . .for it would be—or she would die trying to make it so.

She rose from her sleeping berth and paced the few steps to the small mirror on the wall. Grey-blue light, the last from the end of a melancholic day, leaked through the porthole into her tiny accommodations. The vessel Nancarrow had never been meant to haul passengers, but the captain had made an exception for her plight, thank God. Removing her hat from a hook, she did her best to pin up her dark hair beneath the brim, then tied the ribbon secure. Now that they were docked, she’d not be sorry to leave this tucked-away compartment.

“Of course Father will be fine,” she whispered to her reflection, taking courage in the voicing of such a hope. She lifted her chin, staring into her own eyes. “And you will be, too.”

Whirling about, she retrieved her valise and left her sanctuary of the past fortnight. The corridor was a maze and a dim one at that. Very few vigil lanterns lit the way. She edged past stacks of crates secured against one wall then turned sideways to squeeze through a narrow throat of a space next to a post. Though she ought be used to it by now, the tight quarters smelled of brine and dampness and overworked ship hands—an odor she wouldn’t miss.

At last she made it to the stairs leading to fresh air and England. She’d never been to Cornwall, Bath having been her former home before leaving as a governess to Ireland. But as long as she was with Father, it would no doubt feel like home.

She gripped the railing with one gloved hand and ascended the wooden rungs. Her other hand held tightly to all she owned in this life, which was precious little. No matter. God would provide. He always did. Was not the very fact she’d been sent passage to attend her ailing father proof enough of God’s surprising provision?

The closer she climbed toward the top deck, the louder shouts echoed and boots thudded. Strange. When they’d set sail from Ireland’s green coast, the crew had sung ditties of brisk winds and prows cutting through the ocean blue. Ought not the ballads of mooring at a friendly port be jolly as well? She frowned. No, those rumbles and curses were decidedly not merry at all.

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

Thank you, Michelle, for sharing this collection with my blog readers and me. I look forward to reading all three stories.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Ladies of Intrigue: 3 Tales of 19th-Century Romance with a Dash of Mystery - Paperback
Ladies of Intrigue: 3 Tales of 19th-Century Romance with a Dash of Mystery - 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, February 11, 2019

LOVE, LIES, AND HOMEMADE PIES - Sally Bayless - One Free Book


Welcome back, Sally. Tell us about your salvation experience.
I accepted Jesus as my personal savior and was baptized when I was twelve. I had been raised in the church, but I think one of the strongest influences leading to my decision was the example of a Christian friend my age, who was facing health issues. Her calm faith really struck home and helped me see that I personally needed Jesus.

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
What a fun thing to consider! I would invite Susan Anne Mason, Tammy Doherty, and Emily C. Reynolds, all of whom write Christian romance and have been my critique partners. I know they would have great ideas if I got stuck on a plot problem and that we would have a blast! I would also invite my friend Mary, who I met in an online writing group focused on goal-setting. During the past year, after finding her faith more and more important, she has decided to switch from another genre to writing Christian fiction. I would enjoy getting to know her better, and I think she would get a lot out of time with fellow Christian fiction writers.

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I’m sorry to say that I’m not a public speaker. Two years ago, after years of working with children’s Sunday school, I felt called to lead a women’s Sunday school class. That was a big leap for me as far as talking in front of people. It’s been very rewarding, though, and I’ve found that God has equipped me, so who knows where I’ll be one day!

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
Oh, I’ve done many embarrassing things in my life. The most interesting, I think, happened about 25 years ago when I was at my friend Tammy’s house one evening. (I will pause here to assure you there was absolutely no alcohol involved.) We were sitting outside on her back porch when we saw these three lights spinning around in a circle in the sky. We thought and thought and thought and could not come up with a single idea of what they might be. I got the brilliant idea to call the small local airport. I mean, we didn’t really think it was aliens, but all the same, we sort of felt like we ought to ask.

So I called.

The guy on the other end of the line tried hard not to laugh at me. Eventually he pulled himself together and explained that those lights were coming from a car dealer who pointed big spotlights up into the sky and that the light was bouncing off the bottom of the clouds, not coming from an alien spaceship up above.

O—kay then! Not. Aliens.

I sounded like the biggest fool ever. How did I handle it? Tammy and I laughed about it for years.

I love it! 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?
If someone tells me that they’d like to write a book, I always say “Go for it!” If you want to write fiction, I recommend Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell as a great introductory book on the craft of writing. If you want to write non-fiction, I recommend starting with blog posts by Joanna Penn. And no matter what you want to write, I recommend that you try to write every day. At first, aim for 100 words a day—no matter what—and see what happens!

Tell us about the featured book.
Love, Lies, and Homemade Pie is a brand-new release! It’s a contemporary Christian romance and is the prequel to my Abundance Series. It’s set in a small Missouri town in 1980. The back cover copy is:

When a woman who’s keeping secrets falls for a journalist who’s digging for the truth, does the attraction between them stand a chance?

Cara Smith has a whole new life planned—a new name, a new look, and a new hometown in Abundance, Missouri. If she can just avoid questions from that intriguing guy at the newspaper, no one will ever find out about her past.

Will Hamlin, editor of the local paper, can’t help but wonder about the mayor’s new secretary. She’s clearly hiding something—something that could be the big story the newspaper desperately needs to stay afloat. But after Will’s initial inquiries fail to turn up anything, he grows less interested in Cara’s past and more interested in winning her heart with slices of pie and stolen kisses.

When a crime is uncovered at city hall just as Will unearths Cara’s dark secret, the repercussions shatter their romance. Has Cara really left her past behind? Can Will finally find a way to save the paper? And can they each place their trust in God and together find freedom in the truth and overcome the obstacles to their love?

I’ve loved your other books. I’m eager to read this one. Please give us the first page of the book.
Monday, Aug. 4, 1980
Fear can really do a person in.

Oh, a little caution—the kind that makes a driver keep both eyes on the road—is a good thing.
But too much fear can ruin a person’s life.

And starting today, at age twenty-seven, Cara Smith was building a new life, trying to put fear behind her and become the person she wanted to be.

Driving along the rural Missouri highway, she passed a sign for Abundance—the town where she’d chosen to begin that new life—and she attempted to push the pesky tickle of fear away. Then she took another look, noticing a green Lincoln Continental sprawled on the edge of the road.

A woman in a red business suit stood by the raised hood of the vehicle, waving her arms.

The smart thing to do, the cautious thing to do, since Cara was traveling alone, was to stop at the next gas station and ask the attendant to call the highway patrol.

But something about the woman radiated small-town propriety. Slightly frazzled small-town propriety, but propriety nonetheless. And she had two little kids in her backseat.

Cara eased her foot onto the brake. Being smart and cautious was one thing. Being downright unhelpful was another. Besides, wasn’t her new life all about being brave? She pulled her white Volare onto the shoulder and turned off the engine.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have a website and I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and (more and more) Pinterest!

Thank you, Sally, for sharing this new book with my blog readers and me. I know they’ll be as eager to read it as I am.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.
Love, Lies, and Homemade Pie: An Abundance Series Prequel (The Abundance Series)  - Paperback
Love, Lies, and Homemade Pie: An Abundance Series Prequel (The Abundance Series Book 0) - 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: