Thursday, July 09, 2020

SECOND HELPINGS - Linda Rondeau - One Free Book

Welcome, Linda. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
My experiences and the people I come in contact with figure heavily in my books … as influences but not copied. There is a saying among authors, “Why waste an experience when you can put it into a book?” Often I will extrapolate from my experiences … particularly the emotion … when my character experiences a plot event. I don’t believe we need to be verbatim. These parts of ourselves will often flow subconsciously into our works.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
This is a difficult questions … to pick one particular episode in my quirky life is hard. I’ve always been a little bit odd, to be honest. I don’t follow rules very well, and I have had to struggle my whole life to conform when conformity was required. I am rebellious by nature. When I was in grade school, I spent a lot of time in detention for being late … I’d daydream. To me, the system seemed bent on quelling my nature to think outside the box. When I became an adult, the system tried even harder to purge me of independent thought. God in His wisdom, knew one day, He’d call me to be a writer. And so He preserved that special nature … even though I struggled against him. Many years later, I see His hand in my pruning, so that my creativity could bloom to His glory, not my own.

I’m with you on that. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Like most writers, the instinct has been with me since I could hold a pencil. I think I became aware of this desire to be a storyteller in early elementary school. How I loved making stories up. Sometimes, my teacher would have me read my stories to other classrooms, and I have always had an interest in the written word. I put aside my dream to raise a family until one day God called me to step into the journey He had planned for me so many years ago.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I am not a genre writer, nor am I a genre reader. I enjoy reading all kinds of books … that are well written. I like to be challenged intellectually and loved books by C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters, among my favorites. I love flights of fantasy and enjoyed Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I enjoy books by Jodi Picoult, recently reading A Change of Heart. Another favorite author is Sue Monk Kidd. I like stories that stir the heartstrings, such as The Lovely Bones.  Of course, as an editor and author, I am tuned in to craft. For enjoyment, I do not want to be jarred by poorly crafted books.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
When I was younger, I let deadlines and other peoples expectations hold me captive to the point of impairing my creative spirit. In the human services realm, there were three types of priorities: urgent, more urgent, and most urgent. I learned I could never satisfy the demands for my attention. I had to choose. Accepting this truth, helps me choose more wisely and to be less anxious. In my senior years, I realize I have to take frequent breaks from my work. I take walks, do the Wii, or simply rest and watch television. Most importantly, prayer is my constant resource. I depend on the Lord to order my steps.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Choosing a name has many variables. Sometimes, I choose a name simply because I like the name. Sometimes, I choose the name based on another character’s name, especially in romance. Sometimes, a character’s name is symbolic. Sometimes, I may choose a name that was popular in the year my character would have been born. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong name, per se. However, where would Gone With The Wind be without Scarlett O’Hara?

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
As to my writing career, I think my soon to be published nonfiction book is the one I hold dearest … a project five or more years in the making. I took a year to make notes, then over the years, I wrote snippets. I have finally taken all this hodgepodge of research and have crafted a contracted work … Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt. God has prodded me and kept me going on this project. In my heart, I wanted to write something to remind believers how precious they were in God’s sight … salt. We were not saved to be like the vinegar in the world. God has a higher, more precious standard for us.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I think perhaps a giraffe. According to scientist, the giraffe defies logic, and there is no way the animal should be able to survive. Its neck is too long to support its body, and its cardiovascular and digestive systems should not function according to the giraffe’s physiology. I admire a species that defies the odds.

What is your favorite food?
Chocolate anything, except if it contains coconut. My idea of a perfect meal, however, is chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes and gravy, and broccoli, with chocolate cake for dessert. This is what I always asked for my birthday dinner when I was growing up.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I don’t think I’ve ever overcome the feeling of failure. I’m a literary writer and consequently, I don’t sell a lot of books. I’m a horrible marketer and don’t have the resources to hire help. I’m fortunate to have a publisher who continues to believe in me even though my sales are less than stellar. I cope with these feelings by remembering who is in control. I surrender my craft to God’s sovereignty, and do my best at promotion despite my limitations. He reminds me there are pastors of huge churches and pastors of small congregations. He has placed me within the small for His purposes. I don’t need to understand, I just need to trust. I keep writing because God commands me to keep going. He pushes the self-doubts out of my head in order for me to continue.  

Tell us about the featured book.
I wanted to write a book dedicated to the preservation of marriage. I’ve seen too many fall apart because either one or both of the union gave up wanting to preserve the marriage. In Second Helpings, Jocelyn Johnson, a radio show host, has decided to begin an extramarital affair. However, her children’s needs have interfered with those plans. She meets an older Christian woman who she is drawn to and invites her to dinner, one that is sure to be the epitome of chaotic. The whole story occurs in first person present over the course of Jocelynn’s 45th birthday.

Please give us the first page of the book.
“Happy Birthday,” my husband says, donned for peak efficiency in his dark brown sport coat, yellow oxford shirt, and paisley tie … not rich-looking enough to upset his clients but sufficiently stylish to impress the blue-collar working man. He hands me my morning coffee.

For twenty-two years, Larsen has handed me my coffee, complete with his poster-boy calendar grin, too preppy for Abercrombie and Fitch but perfect for The Businessman’s Fashion Model of the Year. His smile rarely changes, much like the man himself. He even has the same haircut as the day we met at Bridget Tooley’s wedding. I suppose any man looks like a movie star in a rented tuxedo.

Larsen hands me the card Jordan made yesterday since his bedtime came before my party last night. Jordan is our afterthought. Larsen didn’t want any more than four children. After Link was born, Larsen set up a long-term financial plan to make certain each child had sufficient higher-education funds. When Jordan came along, all our carefully crafted ambitions went haywire, including my run for a doctorate, the one area I’d hoped would put me on an equal footing with Larsen.

I glance at Jordan’s handiwork. The card features a drawing of a silver police badge with a three-inch “45” printed in bold red. I trace over the numbers in Jordan’s typical backward scrawl. That much he had done himself. For the badge portion of the drawing, he most likely had been helped by his older brother, Link. I recognize the graphic artistry of my second oldest son.

Only three, well almost four, Jordan can write most of the alphabet. And, of course, Larsen takes the credit for Jordan’s precociousness, reminding all his doctor friends that Miriam Foster’s three-year-old can barely count.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

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

Readers, here are links to the book.
Second Helpings: A Humorous Contemporary Novel - Paperback
Second Helpings: A Humorous Contemporary Novel - Kindle

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

LOVE'S MOUNTAIN QUEST - Misty M Beller - One Free Book

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

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

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

Welcome back, Misty. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Sure. J I’m a wife, mom of four kids, and full-time writer. I was raised on the family farm in South Carolina and trained horses professionally for a few years. As much as I loved working with animals, for multiple reasons, I knew it couldn’t be a career for me. I took a job in the corporate world and worked there for about 13 years. It was during that time that I began writing fiction.
                                                                                                                                                           
How did you become interested in writing?                                                                                             
I was putting together my bucket list, and realized that I really did want to write a novel. So, "Write a novel that's published" made it near the top!

I decided, it's now or never, and made the commitment to do it. So I had a general idea that I wanted it to be a Christian western romance. But where to start? I finally decided I needed to find a good book to help me plan. I stumbled upon (a.k.a. God led me to) the best possible book to help me get started with a great plan: Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. For all you writers out there, I can't recommend it highly enough!

From there, I've soaked in every bit of writing instruction I can from some amazing groups and individuals. And I've spent countless hours sitting with my laptop pouring out words onto the screen.         
                                                                                         
What compelled you to write a book on this subject?
My favorite books to write are set in the majestic Rocky Mountains and full of adventure. Love’s Mountain Quest is the story of a mother’s journey to saver her 5-year-old son who’s been kidnapped by a gang of thieves. Can you imagine how that must feel as a mother? The terror of not knowing what your child might be facing. The horror of the situation being so far out of your control.

She enlists the help of Isaac Bowen, a mountain man who’s helped her once before. Together they set of to recover her son and the friend who was stolen with him. I love Joanna’s tenacity to take action in the face of fear. Ever heard the phrase, “Cowgirl up?” This woman knew what that meant!
                                                                                                                                                           
What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book?    
One of my favorite themes to write about is God’s love, and the way He guides us in His plan if we’re intentional about seeking His will in each decision. An underlying (and connected) theme in this book is that God’s forgiveness is real. He’s the God of second chances!                                                         

Yes He is!! Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?
I pray this story draws readers closer to God. I pray they seek His will for their lives each step of the way, and aren’t afraid to accept God’s grace and the fresh slate He offers when we seek His forgiveness.
                                                                             
What makes your book different than any other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?
Aren’t there so many amazing books these days?! I’ve been loving all the great new releases this year, not to mention all the fabulous older titles. J My brand is very much adventurous historical Christian romance set in the Rocky Mountains. Readers of my stories know they’re in for an exciting story and strong characters. J A few swoon-worthy mountain men are always a nice addition.   
                                                                                                                                   
I love those mountain men. How does the book intertwine with God’s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?
Great question! I guess the theme about God’s love and following his leading is a consistent theme in my books because it’s been so vital in my own life. I NEVER would have dreamed God would lead me to become a full-time writer, but I’m so grateful He has! I pray daily that He would give me the story and words He wants me to me to write, and that He would use them for His work in the lives of readers.                                                                                                                                                                                  
Do you have a favorite Scripture verse?
That’s like asking which of my kids I like best. J

One of my favorites is Matthew 6:33, which has been my year verse for the past couple of years: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (NKJV)
                                                                                                                                                           
When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
My four kiddos keep me busy! They range in age from 1 year to 13 years, so they always have things going on, it seems. J

Readers, I wanted to share the back cover blurb:
After losing her husband in the Rocky Mountain wilderness, young widow Joanna Watson is struggling to make a new home for her five-year-old son, Samuel, in the little mountain town of Settler's Fort. When she returns home from work to find Samuel and the woman watching him missing--and the sheriff dead--she enlists a man she prays has enough experience in this rugged country to help.

Isaac Bowen wants nothing more than a quiet, invisible life in these mountains, far away from the bad decisions of his past. But he has a strong suspicion of who's behind the kidnapping and murder, and if he's right, he knows all too well the evil they're chasing.

As they press on against the elements, Joanna fights to hold on to hope, while Isaac knows a reckoning is coming. They find encouragement in the tentative trust that grows between them, but whether it can withstand the danger and coming confrontation is far from certain in this wild, unpredictable land.
                                                                                                                                                           
As we close, is there anything else you would like to add?
First, thank you so much for sharing your readers, Lena! You’re been such a blessing to me and countless other writers.

Readers, I know this year has been hard for so many, but please know I’m praying for you! I pray that God would strengthen and protect you and your loved ones, and give you peace. Hugs and blessings to you!

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

I can also be found at these links:
Thank you, Misty, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. They are going to love it. And readers, if you haven’t read it be sure to get the free copy of A Pone Express Romance. I loved it, too.

Readers, here are purchase links for Love’s Mountain Quest:

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 06, 2020

BEFORE I WAKE - Clare Revell - One Free Book

Welcome back, Clare. Tell us about your salvation experience.
I’m one of those people who can give you the exact date, time and place. 8:02pm on August 2nd, 1981, in the Mountbatten Theatre, Southampton, where our church at the time was meeting, due to having been knocked down and being rebuilt. I have no idea what the sermon was on, only the minister, a guest speaker whose name I don’t recall either, kept coming back to the cross and the point of it.

I can remember my salvation scene, too—August, Saturday night, during a revival, when I was 7 years old. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
CS Lewis, Frank Peretti, Rosamund Picher, Tom Clancy. All authors whose books I really enjoy.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
Probably childbirth. And lots of gas and air. Amazing stuff. Or it was giving my testimony in church at my baptism. I hate water and public speaking.

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?
Just do it. Even if it doesn’t see the light of day, do it. Try Nanowrimo, an online community.

Tell us about the featured book.
With trouble on the streets, DS Zander Ellery is under even more pressure to solve the case of the Prayer Slayer. His partner DC Isabel York is convinced she is being targeted, as all the postcards the Slayer sends are addressed only to her.

With Zander and Isabel pulled in different directions, the body count escalates, until the case explodes in a direction no one could foresee—Something that will test everyone to the limits of their experience and faith.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Detective Constable Isabel York stood motionless—victim number six on the ground by her feet. She knew she ought to feel something—anything—but only guilt consumed her. This death was on her, having literally occurred on her watch.

The body of Lexi Eke knelt posed in prayer with the word ‚guilty‛ written in black ink on her forehead. That, along with the white towelling baptismal robe, grey duct tape bonds, and clean feet matched the other victims of the Prayer Slayer. The only difference was the head wound and the blood staining the white dress.

Isabel swallowed hard. They’d been here the whole time. For two days her unit had staked out the chapel and grounds of Headley Baptist Church. She’d been sitting mere feet away for several hours, yet still the woman had died. Not with only Isabel on duty either. A dozen other police officers had been watching the churchyard and buildings after the Slayer’s latest postcard—a picture of where he would leave his next victim along with a clue as to her apparent crime—had arrived on Isabel’s desk.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
newsletter sign up - http://eepurl.com/chtmdH

Here are links to the book:

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 05, 2020

WINNERS!!

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

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.

Melanie (TX) is the winner of The Blacksmith Brides by Pegg Thhomas

Linda (CO) is the winner of Soul to Keep by Clare Revell..

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

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

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


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

Thursday, July 02, 2020

THE SUGAR BARON'S RING - Lorri Dudley - One Free Book


Bio: Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts, with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at www.lorridudley.com.

Welcome back, Lorri. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
God is awesome, and I’m so blessed to be able to write. Wild Heart Books has signed me for another three books in the Leeward Island series. I’m already plotting and writing the next sequence. For a change, I plan in the future to create stories with the settings in the colder climate of Boston. Specifically, I’d like to write during the Boston Brahmin era when Harvard was a theology school, Boston represented “A city on a hill,” and increasing wealth through trade and a growing textile industry caused conflict between the philanthropic, Bostonian aristocrats and the industrious, self-starting immigrants.

Tell us a little about your family.
I have been married to an amazing God-fearing man whose strengths are the exact opposite of mine, which helps us complement each other well. He’s a visionary entrepreneur who runs several companies and reads business books and financial statements for fun. We have three amazing and active boys who each have very different personalities, even though we’ve tried to raise them the same. The one thing they have in common is that they all got their dad’s height.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Typically, I have a craft book (on writing) and a spiritual development book going at all times. I leave one in my car that I read while I’m waiting to pick up kids, and I have one that sits at the breakfast table. Due to focusing on writing deadlines, I’ve become a binge reader of fiction books, especially when traveling. I’ve been known to take down five or more books while on vacation. While reading, I’m noting character arcs, structure, and story layering. I’m not certain I’ll ever see a book the way I used to before I began writing. However, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

What are you working on right now?
Right now, The Captain’s Quest is my work-in-progress, which expands upon Lottie’s friend Priscilla from book two, The Merchant’s Yield. In this book, we get to explore a deserted isle in the British Virgin Islands. Priscilla Middleton attends a party to keep her friend out of trouble but winds up needing to avoid becoming a gossip column headline. She boards her brother’s ship to feign being in his company for the evening instead of taking part in the debacle. Before she can speak to her brother, he’s put on leave, the ship sets sail, and the man in charge is not at all who she expects. After that, book five (still to be titled) will be a follow up on the Duke’s son Max, from The Duke’s Refuge. Stay tuned…

It all sounds wonderful. What outside interests do you have?
Due to having three boys, I’ve learned to love all things sports and can now tell you what a half-nelson is in wrestling, a scrum in football, a pick in basketball, and what it means to go to X in lacrosse. When I’m not driving them to games and practices (which as of late I’ve had a break from), then I enjoy painting and pastels. I used to be an art teacher before I ventured out to start my dream of writing. Also, my husband and I are involved in our church and mentor young married couples, which we’ve discovered strengthens our marriage, too.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I’ve always adored the island of Nevis and its sister island St. Kitts. I’ve been fortunate to travel to the Leeward Islands on a couple of occasions, and the natural beauty takes your breath away. In The Sugar Baron’s Ring, there is a stint in Bristol, England, which is a port where a lot of England’s sugar barons resided. I had fun showing the contrasts between the freedom of island life and the proper refinement of the British Quality, including the sights, smells, and customs. My favorite was Hannah’s childhood memory of servants as “the people who lived inside the walls.”

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Jesus would be my first choice, but if it had to be a historical figure in the era in which I write, I would choose Hannah More. A writer, abolitionist, fighter for the poor, and a woman of strong Christian convictions, she sought reform in a spiritually divided age. I would ask how she pushed to make traditional Christian values popular while remaining engaging and relevant. I’d like to thank her for investing in the lives of poor women and children, starting schools and teaching them in the parishes. And I’d love to hear stories of the dissention she faced in trying to convince secularists that religion would improve the quality of their laborers because they’d learn to be honest and industrious.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
That the road to getting published is long, but a gratifying one. There are a lot of pieces that have to fall into place in the writing puzzle before a picture is formed, including industry trends. I have four full novels that served as my learning curve that may never leave my computer, and that’s okay. It’s part of the growing process.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
My boys have reached an age where I can no longer protect them from the world. I have to let them venture out to become their own persons, knowing that I did my best to train them up and trust God that they won’t depart from it. I’ve had to relinquish control and spend a lot more time on my knees during this new phase of life. It’s interesting how trust and releasing control will slip in as themes within my books as if I’m trying to teach myself a lesson.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Learn everything you can about the craft—read, go to conferences, and follow blogs on writing.
Don’t let criticism get you down. Read it, walk away, grieve a little if you need to, and then go back and learn from it. God can use it as a way to stretch you and keep your pride in check.
Pray for your publisher. God has a way of sending that blessing down the line.

Tell us about the featured book.
Hannah Rose Barrington is the island misfit. Orphaned at a young age, Hannah struggles to provide for her future, while her guardian, a weak-hearted island drunk, bleeds Hannah of her father’s inheritance. Caught between the classes of elite planters and white beggars, Hannah yearns to find a place to belong.

University life has never been Bradlee Granville’s forte. His only hope to graduate is to impress his professors by documenting his travels. After claiming unforeseeable circumstances, he delays his final exams and sets out early on his Grand Tour. However, when his ship wrecks off the coast of the Leeward Islands, Bradlee is left without means to return to England, a mounting deadline, and ruined journals.

When Hannah rescues passengers from a ship breaking apart in the bay, she’s unexpectedly drawn to the witty charm of one of the men. Helping him settle into island life will be a pleasure. However, as creditors, like sharks, begin to circle and her guardian’s desperation becomes life-threatening, Hannah finds herself in need of rescue. Will Bradlee look past her pitiful situation to see who she truly is—the sugar baron’s daughter?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Off the Coast of Nevis, Leeward Islands, March 1829
If he lost his journal, he lost his future. Bradlee Miles Granville’s hand grasped thin air as the leather-bound book slipped from his fingers. His writings were his only chance to prove he wasn’t an irresponsible disgrace to his family name. The journal landed with a thud and skidded across the weathered floorboards, dangerously close to the spilt tankard of ale. Bradlee’s shoulder slammed against the ship’s rail. He winced. The hull emitted a groan followed by the crack of splintering wood. The eerie sounds raised the hair on the back of his neck and tingled his scalp, distracting him from the pain.

“Zounds!” Colin Fitzroy pushed himself up from off the deck and frowned at the black stripe from the contents of Bradlee’s inkwell, now staining his white muslin shirt. Whether his impeccably groomed Gand Tour companion and valet swore due to the ship hitting bottom or over his ruined shirt was still to be determined.
  
The scraping of the ship’s bottom as it ground against what must have been a coral reef held the same pitch as fingernails down slate and continued for almost a full minute. The stench of ale and rum wafted under his nose, blending with the briny air. Inebriated sailors cursed as the contents of their tankards puddled about their feet. The billowing white sails deflated, and the familiar whistling of the wind ceased along with any forward progression.

The ship could merely be stranded on a reef, or it could be capsizing.

Blood surged through Bradlee’s veins, quickening his pulse. He hooked Colin under his arm, dragging him to a stand.

Colin’s eyes widened. “The ship didn’t just… Please tell me…” He raked a hand through his windblown hair and groaned.

Nice way to leave us wondering. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Lorri, for sharing this new book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to see where the story takes us.

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

THE LIBRARIAN'S SECRET - Janet Syas Nitsick - One Free Book

Welcome back, Janet. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
God really has worked in my life this last year. I fell down the stairs March 21, 2019, so this made it difficult to write after my surgery and during my recuperation. My eyes would shut while I was typing my story on the computer. I wondered how this book, the second in the Bonnets and Beaus series, The Librarian’s Secret, would turn out with my disorientation. However, I believe this is my best work and instead of the usual February release, The Librarian’s Secret, was successfully released in e-book June 6, 2020, and paperback May 14.

What I see on the horizon is in August the third in this series being created. I would like to have the story’s completion by early January with editing in February and the hope of a release in early March. This may have to be changed. I will play it by ear. The Lord guided me through last year, and He will do the same with this next book.

He’s so good about doing that. Tell us a little about your family.
I have four sons. The two oldest have children of their own, thus I have six grandchildren – two boys and four girls.

I also have two younger sons, starting with Brad, the oldest. He is autistic and does not speak. He is potty trained and as a young man lives with us. We are grateful for him since he gives us a reason to get up in the morning and brings us such sweet joy. My youngest son, Andrew, also is autistic. However, he is high functioning and talks. He no longer lives with us because during his early twenties he started hitting and has been in a group home since 2009. But we see him twice a week – Tuesday evenings are fast-food Tuesdays and Sundays are for home-cooked meals. He determines what we cook and bring to his group home. Andrew loves, what he calls, fun scaries. These are Halloween toys, making spooky sounds. But Andrew also is quite literate on the Bible, he knows the biblical stories, and he can recite all the books of the Bible.

If you would like to read personal accounts about my two autistic sons, purchase my book, Seasons of the Soul, which won Best Collection of Inspirational Personal Devotion from Christianstoryteller.com in 2007. Visit my Web site www.JanetSyasNitsick.com for e-book and paperback links.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Not really. I like both nonfiction (as a former journalist, I also enjoy some of these type of books) and fiction stories. However, I do not like horror, fantasy, or science fiction.

What are you working on right now?
I’m not working on anything at the moment. Since my recent May (paperback) and June (e-book) releases, I’ve taken some time off, but as earlier stated, I plan to return to writing in August.

What outside interests do you have?
I love to sing and have sung several solos and am a member of my church’s choir. Several years ago, I formed a group called, Circle of Friends. This includes new and old friends – some include old grade school and high school friends. We meet once a month at a restaurant of our choice and talk, laugh and have so much fun. I also love to shop, but that’s not happening as much after my fall and this virus; however, I hope to do more of this in the coming months.

I’ve had to do more online shopping during the pandemic. How do you choose your settings for each book?
My stories are set in Nebraska, and they are places I either lived in or visited.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Betsy Ross, the maker of America’s first flag, because she was an apprentice upholsterer, which was unusual, I would think, for women at that time to do. Although George Washington provided her a rough design of the flag, she tweaked it with a five point star instead of Washington’s six point one.  In addition, she went to a school for Quaker children. During this time period, men often thought educating women was a waste of time since women were relegated to taking care of children and domestic tasks. Thus I would like to interview her and get her take on the culture of the time and her tenacity.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
That story writing involves a lot more than writing. It includes promotion, such as newsletters, blogs, and reminding past customers of your new work and more.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
He is teaching me to be patient. As an author, you hope each of your books will make the bestseller list. However, the Lord has taught me to not look at what the world defines as success, but those repeat readers who love my work.

That’s so true. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
You must have a good product. This includes having a great plot; a well-written story; an outstanding editor; a good cover, which depicts elements of the story without being busy; a good description that draws readers’ interest, and a reasonable selling price.

Tell us about the featured book.
I believe The Librarian’s Secret is my best work. Right from the beginning, readers are pulled into the secret set up at the very beginning with the entrance of a mysterious man carrying his diary to place it in the library. “… My confession is written in this journal.”

The new librarian’s mysterious past meets preacher son hunting for deceased father’s journal, which is hidden in that library and contains his pa’s secret.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Nebraska City, Nebraska
Winter 1890
The small door creaked open. The white-haired librarian turned to the noise. With the snowflakes falling in heavy drops, she expected no patron would come this late to browse the library’s shelves. She stood up from her wobbly desk to assist whoever braced this blistery-cold day to check out a book.

The footsteps shuffled on the uneven hewn floors as the person maneuvered forward around the tall racks of books. By the lumbering steps, she assumed it was a male. She glimpsed at the approaching figure dressed in an ankle-length midnight-black cloak. Covered by a hood, he proceeded forward before he stood in front of her. She gulped and forced a smile. “May – may I help you?”
           
He cleared his throat. “I’ve been hiding a secret, and my confession is written in this journal.”
           
“Are you sure you want the library to have this? Wouldn’t you be better telling a priest?” She wet her lips. “Or, directly asking our Lord for forgiveness?”
           
“No! I’ve already done that. But I can’t —”
           
“Can’t what?”
           
“Tell my family. I don’t have long now, and since I’m unable to find the courage to do so, I want you to keep it.”

“But sir, how would it being housed in this establishment reveal your truth?”

Interesting, for sure. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @JanNitsick
LinkedIn: Janet Nitsick

Thank you, Janet, for sharing this new book with my blog readers and me. Your first page makes me eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book.
The Librarian's Secret (Bonnets and Beaus) - Paperback
The Librarian's Secret (Bonnets and Beaus Book 2) - Kindle

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Sunday, June 28, 2020

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