Thursday, August 18, 2022

RAIN - Dana McNeely - One Free Book

Welcome, Dana. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters. Readers who know me express amusement to find pieces of me everywhere. I step into the shoes of each character and imagine how I would respond to the story if I were them.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done? I’m a pretty traditional person, but one year when we went to a family camp I rode the zip line through the trees of Mount Hermon. I was terrified and exhilarated at the same time. My husband was running on the ground underneath me with his arms outstretched yelling, “Hold on, honey, hold on!”

When did you first discover that you were a writer? There were a few hints over the years. First, I wrote and illustrated a book about a dog in grade school. Next, in high school, the English teacher gave my name to the local newspaper, The Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette, to be teen correspondent for Phoenix Christian High. I enjoyed writing for them two years of high school and another year afterwards on special assignments.

Finally, when I became an empty nester a young man encouraged me to take the Manuscript Writing class at Glendale Community College. The instructor was very encouraging. She invited me to join a critique group with her, two romance authors who continued writing with me many years, and two men writing manly books! This was when I first began to believe I could achieve my dream of writing a novel.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading. I write Biblical Fiction, and it is my favorite genre. I also enjoy many other time periods of historical fiction, especially Regency, the American West, and stories about farmers, ranchers, or settlers. I’m currently listening to a romcom by an author friend who writes clean romance, and I’m enjoying it immensely. Women’s fiction is great. I enjoy some, romantic suspense, but I’m picky.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world? I remember that God is in control. I bring my appointments before him and ask, “Do you want me to do this? If so, order my time and give me strength.” My husband and I have a time of daily Bible Study together, and we read through and discuss the Bible each year. I also spend a lot of time in the Bible as I research my books.

How do you choose your characters’ names? Since I write biblical novels, several names come from the biblical account. I research other Hebrew names for meaningful names for the character, or in some cases, the animal. In Whirlwind, the sequel to Rain, I named an eagle “Hevel” which means “breath or vapor.” I enjoyed writing animals into both books, Elijah’s ravens and a yellow dog in Rain, golden eagles and a war horse in Whirlwind.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of? I’m proudest of our three grown children, two daughters and a son, all kind, responsible, and thoughtful adults. I’m also proud I have now finished two novels and am hoping to write several more.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why? I love horses, but I’m pretty sure I would be a sloth. I hope I’m not truly lazy, but I need a lot of quiet, am methodical in my approach to things, and enjoy the occasional nap.

What is your favorite food? I guess it must be Skippy Super-Chunk Peanut Butter, because I have it for breakfast at least five times a week, nearly always spread over toast - my husband’s homemade Dutch oven bread. Hmm. Maybe that homemade bread is actually my favorite food. Toss-up!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it? My greatest roadblock was lack of confidence. I didn’t think I could finish a novel, nor that anyone would read it if I did. After various rejections, I decided my book would never be published traditionally, and I didn’t have the will or expertise to self-publish. I had just retired, my husband was recuperating from knee surgery, and caring for him and the yard took all my energy. I decided to quit trying to find an agent or publisher for Rain. Perhaps quit writing entirely. The next day I received an instant message from a stranger. She introduced herself as Angela Ruth Strong, an author who, six years prior, had judged Rain in the Oregon Christian Writer’s conference and loved it. Her publisher was looking for biblical fiction, and Angela had recommended Rain. She asked me to query Mountain Brook Ink. About two weeks later, they offered me a two-book contract.

Tell us about the featured book? My debut novel, Rain, tells the story of a mysterious prophet (Elijah), a desperate youth, and a relentless queen during the time of Israel’s great drought. As Rain tells the story of Elijah confronting Ba’al worshippers in Israel, it explores questions non-believers ask – such as, is there really a God? If there is, can He be known, and does He get involved in our lives?

Rain was published in 2021 and finaled in The Christy Award. This year it is a finalist in ACFW’s Carol Award.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Aban paused when he saw the dried blood, even though he knew time was running out. A smear stained the altar, flowing to a darker brown. He gathered a corner of his tunic and tried to scrub it clean, but only a few flakes fell away. He let his tunic drop. It would take water and a hyssop brush to get in the crevices, and there would be more blood next sacrifice, but everything in him wanted to erase the dirty stain.

His gaze swept over the bronze feet, the outstretched arms, and the head of the bull. The god’s image seemed smaller somehow without the holy fire burning at its feet. Although the other boys still slept, Aban glanced swiftly around before he fell prostrate on the cool marble floor. Outside, hinges moaned as the city gate opened. The other acolytes could wake soon—no more time to delay.

“Oh, Melqart, beloved of our queen and protector of Israel,” he whispered. “Tomorrow I take my public vows. I promise to serve you well.” He lifted his head, hands clasped. The too-long sleeves of the coarse tunic caught his gaze, and heat suffused his face. “Forgive the offense, my lord. I shouldn’t appear before you in this common garment.”

He shouldn’t be here at all—not before he was elevated to priest. But he had passed the Debir, seen it empty, and taken the opportunity to speak privately with the god. He began to back away on hands and knees, then paused once more.

“Have others sought you out? We all yearn to know the secrets of power.” He listened, but for what? The god to speak? He held his breath, but he only heard a rooster crow from a distant housetop. He paused, then closed with the formal blessings that Melqart expected.

A few seconds later, he jumped out the rear window—the very one he guarded during nightly rituals to keep freeloaders from climbing into the temple. He stifled a curse when the ill-fitting tunic caught on the window frame, tightening against the scars on his back. He loosed it with a yank. He’d traded for the garment with one of the Israelite boys he taught to read—a tunic of fine linen for this scratchy one smelling of sheep dung. The lad hadn’t believed his good fortune. But the humble garb made a disguise of sorts. Aban could walk the streets unnoticed, and today that was worth the price.

How can readers find you on the Internet? Drop by my website at https://danamcneely.com, sign up for my newsletter, and receive a free novella. The Eyes of the Lord is a prequel to Rain.

Lena, thanks so much for this opportunity to share a little about my writing and the book of my heart, Rain.

Thank you, Dana for sharing Rain with my blog readers and me. I’m on a tight book deadline, but I look forward to reading the book when I’m finished.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

http://ow.ly/XV4J50Kl34U 

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 2 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

ALL THAT FILLS US - Autumn Lytle - One Free Book

Welcome, Autumn. Can you please provide a brief summary of your debut novel, All That Fills Us? All That Fills Us follows an anorexic woman named Mel who decides to embark on a cross-country thru-hike as a last-ditch effort to make something of herself. Along the way she meets strangers with their own stories, as well as ghosts from her past who can no longer be ignored. Despite the physical challenges of the thru-hike, her own dark thoughts pose the biggest threat she’ll have to overcome in order to find peace in the life and the body she has been given.

What enables you to write a story like this? I struggled with anorexia and an exercise addiction during my middle school years. The effects of both lingered long afterward and still appear today if I’m not vigilant. Both my story and Mel’s story are messy and involve an abundance of doubts, backtracking, and sarcasm. There are a million other little things that connect Mel’s story to my own, but most importantly the heart of our stories is the same.

Can you tell us a little about your own personal connection to this topic? I will never forget my mom crying over how frail my body felt when she hugged me. Shortly after that, I found myself in an exam room at our family’s pediatric clinic, being told that I needed serious help that included therapy. I remember thinking, even at twelve years old, that there was no way my life story qualified for therapy. I had a good life and a family that loved me. Sure, kids at school could be mean, but everyone dealt with that. I felt like the disorder was my fault and my burden to bear alone, so I was determined to fix it and prove that I could still be the good girl with the promising future who helped others instead of adding to their struggles. Luckily, there were people in my life, like my mom, who stood by my side despite my best efforts to push them away. I had to learn that accepting help isn’t a weakness and there doesn’t have to be justification to personal suffering to make it real.

Your main character, Mel Ellis, has a history of struggling with an eating disorder. What do you hope to portray by telling her story? I hope to portray an honest view of the disorder that will give readers a true glimpse of the realities of living with anorexia, as well as to make those suffering from it feel less alone. I want to turn my experience into something useful and life-giving to others. Like other mental health issues, anorexia can be a lonely and lingering experience. The road to recovery is never easy, straight, or smooth. Through Mel’s story, I hope to portray the difficult and winding road that accompanies a longing to get well, to show that doubting and backtracking and relearning the same lessons over and over are totally normal parts of the healing process. I also think Mel’s story speaks to anyone who has ever doubted their self-worth or felt like their story wasn’t big enough to matter.

Mel meets a lot of people on her journey, and many of them are normal people whose normal lives were interrupted by this strange girl on a mission. They save her, bit by bit, not with grand gestures, heroic feats, or by saying the magic words to unlock healing. They do so by showing up, listening, and offering what little they have to give. I’m hoping readers can recognize the small, otherwise normal life-givers in their own lives and strive to be more like them, as Mel ultimately does.

Can you tell us a little about the personal journey that Mel embarks on in this novel? The really cool thing about having an anorexic character head out on a cross-country thru-hike is that she’s forced to face her disorder head-on. She literally won’t survive the trip if she refuses to see what the disorder is doing to her, so she has to relearn that food is a life-giving thing instead of an area of her life where she can punish herself. Through the people she encounters and the natural world that constantly surrounds her, she slowly begins to understand the concept of grace and accept that she is a willing candidate for it. She is so hard on herself at the beginning of this book and honestly a little hard to love because of it. She hides behind a thick veil of sarcasm so people can’t see how much she’s grown to hate who she’s become.

My editor told me it was so hard to restart the book on each of her read-throughs because Mel grows so much over the course of her journey and it was painful to see her back at rock bottom. I wanted to avoid writing a story where all of Mel’s problems vanish and that by learning to love herself, she gets to live happily ever after. That’s not life and that’s not what recovery looks like. So even though Mel grows and heals, the ending of the book stresses that the process is never truly over.

In writing this novel, you chose to face an often-difficult topic head-on. What do you think readers will take away from the honesty with which you wrote the book? To me, there’s no point talking about mental health issues if we’re not going to be completely honest. If we hold back, it feels like we have something shameful to hide—like our true selves are too unlovable to be brought to light. Yes, an eating disorder leads to ugly thoughts, but that doesn’t make the person struggling with it ugly. The heart of a person and their disorder are two very separate things, and I knew I could only get that message across if I was entirely honest with my readers. Such crazy things go on in people’s heads when in the throes of anorexia. I hope my honesty gives a clear voice to some of those thoughts so those struggling through them know they aren’t too far gone to be understood. For those trying to help a loved one through the healing process, I hope my honesty can help blaze a path toward empathy.

Why did you choose to have Mel embark on a physical cross-country journey while also taking on the emotional journey of facing her inner demons? What parallels can be drawn between the two? I wanted a more visual representation of the healing journey. Recovering from an eating disorder can feel so cyclical, so I wanted to show the reader that even through all Mel’s missteps, she is still moving forward. Still moving toward a goal. I also wanted to pick a route that wasn’t known for its beauty or popular in the thru-hike community because that’s how recovery feels. It’s not full of breathtaking views and it’s not an accomplishment that feels like a big bragging right. Recovering from an eating disorder looks odd to the outsider.

We’re taught as a culture to eat less and exercise more, but in recovery we celebrate weight gain and rest days. And for that reason, I wanted a lesser-loved, lesser-known trail that doesn’t instantly endear the reader to the journey. Recovery isn’t something the addict sees as glamorous or even really looks forward to most of the time. They do it because it’s the only way to get to where they need to be, even if it will take everything they have to get there. I’m not saying I do all these complicated feelings justice, but I try to use Mel and her journey to at least touch on those points.

What do you hope readers will gain from reading All That Fills Us? I wrote this book for so many reasons. I wanted to give voice to the ongoing struggle and persistent hope that so often coexist in a person wanting healing while reminding those struggling with mental illness that even though it feels like they’re walking through the wildness of recovery alone, there are so many of us walking the same path and encountering the same struggles. I also wanted to show a brief snapshot of God’s presence in the natural world and capture the cyclical and merciful struggle of letting go of the expectations put on us by ourselves and the world and become who God has always designed us to be.

Where can our audience go to connect with you? I’m on Instagram and Facebook, and those who want to read more from me can check out the ramblings on my website and sign up for my newsletter at www.AutumnLytle.com .

Thank you, Autumn, for sharing your debut novel with my blog readers and me.. I know your book will touch many of our hearts.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

http://ow.ly/mszG50Kl70n

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 2 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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

Sunday, August 14, 2022

WINNERS

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

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

Alison (MI) is the winner of Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd. 

Tracey (NJ) is the winner of The Prince and the Prodigal by Jill Eileen Smith. 

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 2 weeks to claim your book.  

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

FINDING HER FRONTIER FAMILY - Louise M Gouge - One Free Book

Welcome back, Louise. As an author, I know it takes a lot of people to birth each book. Who were the people involved in the birthing of this book, and what were their contributions?

My late sister lived in a small New Mexico ranchita beside the Rio Grande. I loved the setting and my sister encouraged me to write a story set there. So I wrote a Christmas novella, A Yuletide Reunion (published in the anthology A Western Christmas), and wanted to write more stories in that setting. Much of what my sister told me of the area influenced every part of my story. In that story, the youngest two brothers (in a family of five Mattson brothers) found their true loves.

If you teach or speak. What’s coming up on your calendar? I used to teach English and humanities in my local college, but these days I prefer to spend my time writing and sharing life with my grown children and grandchildren.

If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why? It’s taken me several days to think of an answer for this question. As it turns out, I have moved over thirty times in my life! Born in mid-America (Missouri), I’ve lived in the sunny South (several states), sunny California, sunny beachside Virginia, beautiful but cold Colorado, and wild and lovely Wyoming. For the past 42 years, I’ve lived in sunny Florida and can’t say I’d like to go back to freezing winters. Frankly, I’m tired of moving and will probably stay put. LOL!

And I have missed seeing you since you moved from near me in Texas to Florida. If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be? Keep studying your craft and never give up your dream!

You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why? (AS in what program, singers, etc. [it doesn’t have to be writing related]) I would invite Bill Gaither to bring his Homecoming friends for a good, old-fashioned Gospel sing. I think he’s actually done these. Can’t think of a better way to enjoy a cruise.

James and I have wished we could go on one of the Gaither cruises, but we weren’t able to. Tell us about the featured book? This is a sequel to A Yuletide Reunion and tells the story of the oldest Mattson brother from that book.

Helping a little girl could give her that family she needs
Tasked with escorting her late cousin’s daughter to New Mexico Territory, spinster Viola Brinson intends to bring Lavinia to her father’s ranch and immediately return to the city. But after one look at the living conditions, she’s hesitant to leave the little girl with Robert Mattson. When Viola settles in to clean the place and make sure he can safely care for his daughter, Robert is determined to keep his distance. His heart was broken by a society woman once before—and he won’t make the same mistake twice. But Viola surprises him at every turn. Might she be exactly what his family needs?

You know I have read Finding Her Frontier Family and loved it. Please give us the first page of the book for my blog readers.

Riverton, New Mexico Territory

Spring 1887

No. No. Not that man, please, Lord.

Standing on the train platform, Viola Brinson clutched the hand of her tiny charge and searched the crowd for the rancher who was to meet her. Of the dozen or so men who milled about collecting baggage and greeting other newly arrived passengers, only one stared at her with any sense of purpose. Dusty from the crown of his battered, wide-brimmed hat to the poorly mended shirt and trousers to the toes of his badly scuffed boots, he had the look of an outlaw, not a successful rancher. Beside him stood a young boy, just as unkempt, another indication that this was the person to whom she had brought Lavinia.

Thumb stuck in her mouth, eyes round with fear, the dear little four-year-old even now tried to lose herself in Viola’s skirts, knocking her bonnet askew in the process. Viola forbade herself to tremble so as not to further alarm the child.

“Shh. It is all right.” The words tried to stick in her throat, but she forced them out. “That is your papa.” After righting the bonnet, Viola lifted her own chin and stared back at the man who held Lavinia’s future in his hands.

Beside her, Lavinia shivered.

Removing his hat, the man strode toward her. His young companion copied the gesture and followed. The gentlemanly gesture inspired a slightly improved opinion of him.

“Viola Brinson?” He spoke her name almost like an accusation. Her good opinion vanished.

Where can we find you on the Internet?

Web site at https://louisemgougeauthor.blogspot.com/ 

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

Follow me on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/louise-m-gouge

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

http://ow.ly/8ubZ50Kg2lL

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 2 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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

Monday, August 08, 2022

INVENTIONS OF THE HEART - Mary Connealy - One Free Book

Welcome back, Mary. Can you please provide a summary of your new novel, Inventions of the Heart? After their middle sister’s marriage, Michelle Stiles and her younger sister Jilly are left at Two Harts Ranch, owned by Zane Hart. So far they’ve managed to stay one step ahead of their stepfather and his devious plans.
Zane has his own problems, having discovered a gold mine on his property. How does he harvest it without kicking off a gold rush? Michelle, educated and trained to run her father’s business, wants to manage all aspects of the mine. Zane thinks for a smart woman she can have some misguided ideas. Running that mine will be dangerous, and he doesn’t want her exposed to what might occur out there.
But danger finds Michelle anyway when a man breaks into the house and attacks her. Able to fend him off and capture him, they realize he has ties to Michelle’s stepfather. If they go to the sheriff, they’ll reveal her location, but if they do nothing, their troubles have only just begun.

Your books are often described as “romantic comedies with cowboys.” What do you love about writing stories like this? I always say if they’re sassing each other and falling in love while they’re running for their lives, then I’m happy. That’s what I love to read, so that’s what I write.

What was the inspiration for your novel? I try really hard to challenge myself. A new location, a new character type. I always write strong women, that’s just a fundamental baseline. For this series, I wondered how could I make engineering work before women could easily go to college. How could I have intelligent, well-educated women in this time and place? And I’d never set a book in California before. So new occupation, new location, but always I need humor and action and cowboys. It’s just what I love doing. So marrying all these new details with my traditional romantic comedy with cowboys was a fun challenge.

How do you maintain the accuracy of the time period in your writing? This series took a lot of research, and Inventions of the Heart was especially loaded with it. 1872 was the heart of the industrial revolution. New and improved versions of everything were being patented and developed every day. The more I researched the more I discovered. And the heroine of Inventions of the Heart is the inventor of the three sisters. She’s a mechanical engineer before there was such a thing. And at its base, engineering is applied science. It’s taking science and finding ways to use it to make the world better. And that’s what Michelle is a specialist at.

What do you hope readers will gain from reading this novel? What I most loved about the book is these very ambitious, talented, brilliant women learn a humbling lesson about how their high-flying ideas have caused them not to fully respect simple domestic chores. Sure you can improve the braking system on a train car, but can you cook? It’s fine to be able to do “important” things as long as you have people taking care of your basic needs. Washing and mending your clothes, cooking your meals. But my very smart women, when in hiding and in need of survival skills, learn that some of the skills they really need haven’t been learned. But they do find ways to help, and they do it with respect and humility.

What was your inspiration for the events in Inventions of the Heart? The research for this book inspired a lot of it. A lot of my book ideas spring from research for other books. I read something that plants a seed, and I store it away until I can focus on it. The reading and research I did was so fascinating that sometimes it slowed down my writing. But I loved it. The internal combustion engine, also called the four-stroke cycle engine. Turning highly unstable nitroglycerin into safer dynamite. The train had just gone transcontinental with trestles built across gorges. The holes they blasted in the sides of mountains to get a train tunnel through are such huge undertakings, and yet they figured it out. Oh, it was just pure fun. I love research and so many ideas spring to life from that.

What was your draw to write a business-savvy female character when women did not usually have that type of position in this time period? I have this theory that though history hasn’t properly recorded women’s roles, they were still very smart and contributed in many huge ways. For example, the patents during this time have hundreds of women listed. Women were right in there inventing and experimenting and getting legal patents. For some reason, probably because it just wasn’t done due to the male-dominated history of that time, those women just weren’t held up with the same regard as the men who were changing the world. I love bringing things that have been forgotten by history to my stories.

Are readers always promised a “happily ever after” in your novels? Why or why not? Readers are always, absolutely guaranteed a happy ending. I have readers who have expectations of my work and not to meet those expectations is, in my opinion, a betrayal to the reader. If a romance novelist isn’t going to give me happily ever after, you’d better warn me, or I’m going to be mad. I don’t want any readers mad. But honestly, I do it for myself, too. What’s the point in writing something that’s a bummer? Sure writers create angsty books, and I respect the skill, but isn’t life hard enough? Why would I want to write a book about that?

Where can our audience go to connect with you? They can find me online on Facebook and MaryConnealy.com. Or readers can get new release info straight to their inbox by Liking my Amazon Page or following me on Bookbub.

Find Inventions of the Heart online at:

Amazon https://tinyurl.com/2p8dh8eu

Baker Book House Inventions of the Heart - Baker Book House

Thank You for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. You know how much I love your books.

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 2 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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

Sunday, August 07, 2022

WINNERS

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

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

Cori (IL) is the winner of Manna Reign by Neena Roth. 

Connie (KY) is the winner of Beyond Desert Sands by Tracie Peterson. 

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 2 weeks to claim your book. 

Thursday, August 04, 2022

BEYOND THE DESERT SANDS - Tracie Peterson - One Free Book

Welcome back, Tracie. Can you please provide a brief summary of your new novel, Beyond the Desert Sands?

After having lived an opulent life with her aunt in California for the last few years, the last thing 25-year-old Isabella Garcia wants is to have to celebrate Christmas in the small New Mexico silver-mining town her father and mother created. Focused on her return to California, where the handsome Diego Morales awaits her, Isabella is further miffed to have to bear the company of Aaron Bailey, a man from her past, whom her father has sent to escort her safely home. Aaron finds Isabella to be the same spoiled young lady he encountered seven years ago. He has no use for her, but her father is a good friend, and the man is dying. When her aunt dies and she learns that her father is dying as well, Isabella’s entire world is turned upside down. She finds herself more and more in the company of Aaron, whom her father has chosen to watch over her and her mother, as well as the family business. Complications arise when Diego shows up to claim Isabella as his bride, and Isabella comes to realize what a selfish person she has been most of her life.

Throughout the story, Isabella’s growth and development is one of  leaving behind her childish, selfish ways and finding the value of family and of God. Her spiritual development will be strongly influenced by Aaron, whose faith in God has been encouraged by Isabella’s father and mother. Aaron learns to let go of judgmental attitudes and his fears that altering plans he’s long held in place is the only way to fully know God’s blessing and direction for his life.

Beyond the Deserts Sands is the second book in your Love on the Santa Fe series. What is the common component for all of the books in this series? The Santa Fe Railroad is a common component throughout the series, as well as the area of New Mexico around the town of San Marcial.

What makes this series stand out from the other books you’ve written? The characters were definitely fun to work with. As I created Isabella, I could see that her stubbornness and haughtiness were all a means of self-protection. Aaron, on the other hand, put his strength in God but found it difficult to alter the plans he had for the future. Add to this the beginning of New Mexico’s statehood and the love of a father for his wayward child, and I found the story grabbed me from the start.

Why did you choose New Mexico as the setting for your series? I had read a great deal about the area, as well as visited it, and I knew it would make an ideal setting for my story. That particular stretch of the Santa Fe Railroad was known as some of the most difficult, and if the company wanted to train a worker, they often sent them to the Rio Grande Division (more affectionally known as the Horny Toad Division, because of its abundance of toads) because they knew the worker would either sink or swim.

What are some of the main themes in Beyond the Desert Sands? One of the themes for the hero is learning that sometimes the path we believe God has chosen for us isn’t at all what we thought it would be. Meanwhile, the heroine has to deal with the past and her difficulty in trusting a heavenly Father when she can’t even trust her earthly one.

Can you please tell readers a little more about Isabella Garcia and her background?  Isabella is a young woman from a Spanish/Mexican father and white mother. There is a background of prejudice that she has known, but overall her upbringing kept her protected from a lot of negative reactions. Because of her family’s wealth, Isabella always had a good life of plenty, but she comes to realize that the material wealth she’s enjoyed means very little in light of losing the people who matter.

Your male protagonist, Aaron Bailey, works for the Santa Fe Railroad. Why did you choose this profession? I wanted to highlight various jobs on the Santa Fe in this series.  Aaron’s job is white collar rather than blue.  He works for the offices and deals with contracts and leases, which was just another aspect of the railroad.

You have written both historical and contemporary romances. Do you prefer one genre over another? I love storytelling of all kinds, but historical will always hold a special place in my heart.  It was the type of book I preferred to read as a child and continues to be a favorite to this day.

What do you hope readers will gain from reading Beyond the Desert Sands? I hope the reader will find the story entertaining with a positive, uplifting ending. I also hope that the story will offer Biblical encouragement and hope. We have enough negative in this world that seeks to draw us away from God. I hope that my stories will draw the reader toward God and the love He holds for all of us.

How can readers connect with you? The readers can connect with me through my website at www.traciepetersonbooks.com or via Facebook at AuthorTraciePeterson.

Thank you, Tracie, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. You know how much I love your books. You’re one of my favorite authors.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

http://ow.ly/vfLI50KbM4g  

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 2 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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


Tuesday, August 02, 2022

MANNA REIGN - Neena Roth - One Free Book

Welcome, Dineen. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters. Mainly experiences. I try to write characters with different personality types as much as possible. But I imagine some of me creeps in from time to time.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done? Jumped on a hotel bed—as an adult. Shhh…

When did you first discover that you were a writer? Fourth grade. A friend wrote stories, and I thought that was such a cool idea. So I wrote a story about an Irish Setter I remembered from when I was four or five years old. The poor thing got hit by a car, which only broke its leg thankfully. But a cast on a dog’s leg is very memorable I suppose.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading. I have discovered I adore rom coms. So much so I’ve started writing them and love it. Truly found my niche. And now I have a brand new series—The Pineapple Club series.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world? Oh, that’s a good one. Not sure how sane I am to be honest. LOL! Being an indie author keeps you running, but I love it. But I do take walks and swim to help with stress. And I have a wonderful husband who keeps me laughing.

That last one is a blessing. My husband has kept the humor in our marriage for almost 58 years.

How do you come up with the names for your characters? For the most part they choose themselves actually. As the characters reveal themselves more their names come with them.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of? I’m pretty stoked to see my book Manna Reign as a finalist in the Carol Awards. I wrote the book years ago but it never sold. So I put it away until God showed me in a very unique way that it was time to revisit it. I revised and updated the story, then published it under a pen name (Neena Roth). So seeing it as a finalist is very gratifying.

I’m sure it is. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why? A dog. They are the most wonderful and amazing creatures. I have two that I adore. And as my daughter says, it’s no accident that dog spelled backwards is God. I believe they are special gifts to us.

What is your favorite food? Eggs. They are the most versatile food and can be eaten in so many ways. Especially with cheese and smoked paprika.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it? Committing to a writing time every day. I used to leave it as the thing I did once I finished client work and my to do list. Guess what never happened? Now I actually finish books much faster. Imagine that…

Tell us about the featured book. Manna Reign is the first book Relic Hunters book. Kind of an Indian Jones story. Here’s the back cover copy:

A legendary artifact. A skeptical scientist. Will her Old Testament discovery cure the planet…or destroy it?

Archeologist Nichole “Nikki” Strauss dreams of ending global hunger. Romantically attached to a world-leading geneticist in San Francisco, she shares his excitement for his new GMO superseed that can grow crops resistant to environmental hazards. But when an ex-flame shows up with news of a mutual friend’s suspicious death, her grief-filled resolve drives her to join forces with him to uncover the reason behind the murder.

Traveling to Europe and learning her dead colleague had recovered the fabled golden manna jar, Nikki finds herself the target of a shadowy ancient sect. And when a fatal flaw in her boyfriend’s genetic design makes the Biblical relic his only desperate solution, she faces a choice between true love, devotion, and the fate of the world.

Can Nikki save the Earth from an unexpected apocalypse?

Manna Reign is the unforgettable first book in the Treasures of the Ark thriller series. If you like feisty heroines, prophetic tension, and undercurrents of romance, then you’ll adore Neena Roth’s intricate tale.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Ethiopia—One week ago

Passion can blind the man closest to the fire, and he was in too deep now to care.

Ranjit Ganesh gazed at the golden manna jar glimmering on its makeshift altar like a man consumed.

Fruits from the latest harvest clustered the base of the crude table like primitive creatures reaching to touch the essence of something greater. Outside, a blazing sun beat down on the thatched roof temple, making the air heavy inside and thick with the aroma of ripe bananas, mangos, and pineapples. Lush green fields and crops surrounded the village and fed not only their own people but neighboring villages as well. Beyond their scope lay dry, barren fields, cracked with a history of death well known through their generations.

Nothing had grown in the drought-ridden area until the artifacts discovery. But the jar didnt belong here. It belonged to the world. Ranjit felt its call every time he returned from India. Now he asked that they give up their most prized and life-giving possession. Because one way or another, he would not leave without it.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website addy is www.DineenMiller.com and if you join my newsletter (https://bit.ly/DineenMillersNewsletter) you get a free book!

And thank you, Lena! Always a pleasure to be here. :-) 

It’s my pleasure also to share your book with my blog readers. I’m eager to get my copy, and I know they will want to get their own copy asap.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08XC8JLBR

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 2 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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

Sunday, July 31, 2022

WINNERS

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

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

Wendy (NE) is the winner of Looking for Leroy by Melody Carlson. 

Alison (MI) is the winner of The Lady of Galway Manor by Jennifer Deibel. 

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 2 weeks to claim your book. 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

THE PRINCE AND THE PRODIGAL - Jill Eileen Smith - One Free Book

Welcome back, Jill. Tell us about your salvation experience. The first time I seriously thought about death was when I rode home from the funeral home with my parents after a man my dad worked with had died. I started asking questions, and I became very worried about the future. What happened when we died? What did death even mean? The worries grew to fears and though I’m sure my parents answered my questions, I couldn’t quite grasp their explanations.

One day, to help me understand it all better, in a way my eight-year-old mind could comprehend, my big sister handed me a little booklet titled, My Heart – Christ’s Home by Robert Boyd Munger. I plopped onto my parents’ big bed and read it cover to cover. Mr. Munger’s book pierced my heart. It exposed the fact that I was a sinner and that Jesus wanted to come into my heart and cleanse every room, taking ownership of the whole house. He would make my heart clean and whole, if I would but give him the keys.

As I closed the book, my eyes shut with it and I prayed with every ounce of my being. “Dear Lord, please come into my heart.” I opened my hand and offered him the imaginary keys. “And take all the keys to every room. Clean them out and live there. I give my whole heart to you.” To the best of my child-like ability, I surrendered my life to Jesus. When my prayer ended, I felt this all-encompassing sense of peace. I tested it right away with thoughts of dying, and there was no fear! I was free from the biggest fear that plagues mankind.

I knew that Jesus would be with me from then on, wherever I went, and that one day, I would be with Him in heaven. Many years have come and gone since then. I won’t tell you that those years have all been easy because they haven’t. But this one thing I know. Christ is at home in my heart by faith because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross when he died for my sins. His death cancelled the debt I owed to God for my sin, and His resurrection gave me the power to become His child because I believe in His name. Even death can’t take that from me. And I look forward to being with Him face to face someday.

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why? Jill Stengl, Maureen Lang, Hannah Alexander, Deborah Raney. Why? I have brainstormed with all of them, some more recently than others and we have been able to help each other. More importantly, they pray faithfully. They love Jesus. And I am blessed to know them.

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that. The short answer is no, I do not have a speaking ministry. I have spoken a few times to different groups, and I did consider a speaking ministry, but I found I did not have the energy for a second career, which a true speaking ministry could become. I admire those who can both write and speak, but for now, I will stick to writing.

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? Some people who tell me this have already written the book but have not sold it. Others want to learn how and ask me questions. Still others say they will write a book one day, but that day has yet to come.

I don’t usually give too much advice unless they seem to want to hear it. Some people think they want to write, but they prefer to tell their story rather than write it down. Others, particularly those who write fiction, are usually serious about putting their thoughts down in written form. They may have written that first book or are working on it. Perhaps they’ve self-published it or are seeking an agent to go the traditional route.

In any case, if they want to know what it’s like to break into publishing, I can tell them what I know. If they want to learn how to write, I point them to ways to study the craft. If they simply say they’re going to write a book someday, I encourage them to do so. Advice isn’t usually wanted unless they directly ask for it.

Tell us about the featured book. The Prince and the Prodigal is the story of Joseph and his brother Judah.

Here is the back cover copy:

Joseph is the pampered favorite son of the patriarch Jacob. His older brothers, deeply resentful of his status in the family, take advantage of the chance to get rid of him, selling him to slave traders and deceiving their father about his fate. It seems like their troubles are over. But for Joseph and older brother Judah, they are just beginning.

While Joseph is accused of rape and imprisoned, Judah attempts to flee the memory of his complicity in the betrayal of his younger brother. After decades apart, the brothers will come face-to-face in a stunning role reversal that sees Joseph in a position of great power while Judah begs for mercy. Will forgiveness or vengeance win the day?

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website is: www.jilleileensmith.com

Join my newsletter: https://madmimi.com/signups/f28a2c9636d34025a7d95532d4d8f207/join

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jilleileensmith?lang=en

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

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jill-eileen-smith

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2799806.Jill_Eileen_Smith

Thank you, Jill, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. Your biblical fiction is always awesome.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

https://www.amazon.com/Prince-Prodigal-Jill-Eileen-Smith-ebook/dp/B09B2NZYTB/ref=sr_1_20?crid=O8S3BGHKFE29&keywords=jill+eileen+smith+books&qid=1659024908&s=books&sprefix=Jill+Eileen+Smith%2Cstripbooks%2C361&sr=1-20

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 2 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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