Thursday, October 30, 2008

Author Andrea Boeshaar - LOVE FINDS YOU IN MIRACLE, KENTUCKY - Free Book

There's a new publisher in town, and their first books release this fall. The publisher is Summerside Press, and the new line is the Love Finds You line. To find out more about the line, go to

One of the authors to debut the line is Andrea Boeshaar. I'm happy to introduce Andrea to you. I've known her for many years, and I love her writing.

Welcome, Andrea. Describe yourself for readers.

I'm a published author of 36 novels, novellas, and nonfiction. I'm a certified Christian life coach and I teach writing workshops. I've been married for more than 30 years. My husband and I have 3 adult sons, all of whom are married, and 2 precious grandchildren. That's me in a nutshell.

How do you find time to spend with God?

It's not easy, I'll admit to that. Somedays I grab snippets of time. I talk to the Lord frequently and I read my Bible. I feel God speaks to me through His Word. One of my favorite verses, one that keeps me writing in spite of life's troubled times is Zechariah 4:6 "Not by might nor by power but by my spirit says the LORD of hosts."

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

I have numerous favorite authors -- too many to list. But I can tell you the names three of my many favorite Christian novels: "The Scarlet Thread" by Francine Rivers; "Whispers From Yesterday" by Robin Lee Hatcher; and "Once There Was A Way Back Home" by Louise Gouge.

Tell us about your publishing history.

I had a rocky start. I began writing romance, intending to be the next Danielle Steel. Then, in 1991, God turned my life around and shortly thereafter I began writing books that honored the Lord Jesus Christ. That's when the fiery darts began to fly. Ever since I've learned the enemy throws one speed bump after another into a Christian's straight and narrow pathway. But, for me as a writer, trials make me more sensitive and more dependent on the Lord, and, I believe, a better writer, one who can relate to needy and wounded hearts.

Tell us about your current novel, Love Finds You in Miracle, Kentucky.

Sure. It begins when my main character, Meg Jorgenson, wants a fresh start, miles away from Chicago and a failed relationship. She takes a teaching position in the tiny town of Stanford, Kentucky, and moves in with her grandmother who lives in the nearby rural area called Miracle. She determines to rediscover her father’s side of the family and vows to steer clear of smooth-talking men. Before long, however, Meg is smitten but it’s eight-year-old Cammy Bayer who wins her heart. The young girl has spent much of her life in a wheelchair but firmly believes that God will heal her someday.

Cammy’s dad, Vance. has devoted his life to caring for his young daughter and he is delighted by the attention she receives from her new teacher.

But will Meg and Vance see eye-to-eye when it comes to an experimental procedure that might grant Cammy the use of her legs? Will they open their minds to the miracle of healing and their hearts to the miracle of love?

How did you develop the idea for this book?

I actually had the idea for this story back in 2005. I sort of had a vision of what I'd like to see happen in the story. I began working on it, but received contracts and deadlines for other books so I set it aside. Then, earlier this year, when Summerside Press contacted my agent and asked that I submit a proposal, I thought this story fit what the publisher was looking for -- and it did!

List your three most recent books.

Love Finds You in Miracle, Kentucky - Summerside Press
Courting Disaster - Heartsong Presents
Prescription for Love - Heartsong Presents

What are you working on now?

I've got some ideas and I'm putting proposals together now for several different publishers. Next book set to release is Dixie Hearts featuring my novel Southern Sympathies (Heartsong Presents/Barbour Publishing)

Where can readers find you online?

My website is:

Thank you, Andrea, for spending this time with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book. If you don't win, you can order one here:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Author Margaret Daley - A TEXAS THANKSGIVING - Free Book

I'm happy to welcome Margaret back to my blog with this book in a Love Inspired series.

Welcome, Margaret, I just love reading these series by Love Inspired. What is the name of the series this book is in, and where in the series does it occur?

The series takes planes in Prairie Springs, Texas. The series is called Homecoming Heroes because it is based around characters who are in the military or recently have been.

That's a subject close to my heart, since my oldest grandson has recently returned from Iraq. Who came up with the idea for the series?

The Steeple Hill editors came up with the series. We took basic plots and continuity threads we were given and ran with them.

I know that working on a series that weaves together takes a lot of work. How did your team schedule the work?

We formed a yahoo loop and talked and emailed a lot, especially in the planning stages.

Did you find it hard or easy to work within the series framework?

A continuity for Love Inspired is easier to write than one for the Love Inspired Suspense series. This is just my opinion and others may feel different, but I’ve written both types of continuity series. It still has to be woven together which does require working with the other authors.

What other books have you had published?

In the Love Inspired line I have written fifteen other books. I also write for the Love Inspired line (to date I have had fifty seven books bought—not all Steeple Hill).

That's an impressive number. When you aren’t writing or spending time with your family, what is your favorite activity?

Reading and going to lunch with friends.

Where do you do most of your writing?

Sitting at my desk working on my computer—occasionally I will use my laptop and sit on the couch.

I use my desktop computer the most, too. What part of the country do you live it? And why do you like that part of the country?

I live in Oklahoma and it’s been my home for almost thirty-eight years. I love the area. It’s almost in the middle of the country so I’m not too far from any one place.

Now, Margaret, tell us about the featured book.

My book is the fifth one in the series. It is called A Texas Thanksgiving.

Two matching-making little girls try to get their parents together, but neither Julia Saunders or Evan Paterson wants to have anything to do with dating. That doesn’t stop their daughters from scheming to match them up. Will their plan work and break down their parents’ barriers?

How can my readers find you on the Internet?

I have a web site at and I also have a blog at .

Margaret, thank you for spending this time with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of A Texas Thanksgiving. Don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you've won.

If you don't win, you can buy a copy here:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Author Kathleen Y'Barbo - BELOVED CAPTIVE - Free Book

Kathleen and I have been friends for a long time. I love her books. I got to read this one for an endorsement, and I loved it. I think you will, too.

Welcome, Kathleen. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I love researching so historical fiction is a natural fit for me.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

The days my children were born.

I understand that. Holding each baby for the first time is indescribable. How has being published changed your life?

I now have deadlines! EEEK!

4. What are you reading right now?


We'll have to have you back when that one comes out. What is your current work in progress?

Just finished BELOVED COUNTERFEIT, the third in the Fairweather Key series. COWGIRL CHRISTMAS is next.

(Kathleen and I are coauthors, along with Vickie McDonough and Darlene Franklin, of COWGIRL CHRISTMAS BRIDES, so that's my current work in progress, too.) What would be your dream vacation?

A beach, no tourists, and a laptop with an unlimited battery supply.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

My sisters (there are 2 so is that cheating?) because we don’t see one another enough.

Enjoy them while you can. My only sister is gone. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

Is there anything else???

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

When I’m pressed for time, my focus tends to slip. Going to the Bible and checking myself on how much rest I get are huge helps.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Write! Don’t just talk about it. Do it.

Now, Kathleen, tell us about the featured book.

BELOVED CAPTIVE is book 2 in the “Fairweather Key” series.
In this sequel to Beloved Castaway, Emilie Gayarre is learning to accept her mixed race heritage while finding fulfillment in teaching children of the key. There is no denying the attraction between Emilie and the handsome young naval commander, Caleb Spencer, who is shadowed by his own flock of secrets. But if her heritage is found out, even greater things than his career are at risk. Enjoy this historical romance full of risk and redemption.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website is undergoing at fix, so check back in a month or so and you will see great things happening at

Kathleen, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend time with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Beloved Captive. But if you don't win, you won't want to miss this book. You can order it right here:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Last October Winners!!!

Katie8407 is the winner of Long Journey Home by Sharlene MacLaren

Carly is the winner of Out of Her Hands by Megan DiMaria.

Lisa is the winner of Along Came a Cowboy by Christine Lynxwiler.

Each of you needs to click on the email link under my profile and send me your mailing address, so we can get the book to you right away.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Author Lynette Eason - HOLIDAY ILLUSION - Free Book

Here's another Christmas book. This time, it's a Love Inspired Suspense.

Welcome, Lynette.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

You know, I addressed this question in a different interview and I said, “I don’t put much of myself into my characters.” But now that I think about it, I probably put more into the characters than I realize. I write from heart for the faith element in every book and as my faith is who I am, I have to say that goes in to each and every book. As for the characters themselves, probably a little bit. I think I put more into my March 2009 release, A SILENT TERROR, than any of the others. People who know me are going to think the heroine in this book is based on me. But she’s really not anything like me except the fact that she wears hearing aids and teaches at a deaf school. Other than that, there’s nothing much about me in the story. So, to sum up that rather long-winded answer, in some stories, there’s more of me. In others, not so much. How confusing is that??

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I don’t know that I have ever done anything particularly quirky. While I’m not big on quirky actions, I do have several quirky aspects to my personality. Recently, it was suggested I apply to be a “drug-dog” for the local police department due to my highly sensitive sense of smell! Seriously, I hate the smell of most perfumes or scented lotions, fragrances, etc. I even asked my doctor if I could have my sense of smell surgically removed. Whenever I go to church or conferences, etc, I always make sure I sit where I can easily leave if someone with perfume sits near me. I know, it’s crazy, but I get terrible migraines if I’m exposed too long to these scents. That’s pretty quirky according to those who know me.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I’ve always had stories running around in my head. As a child, I would crawl in the bed at night and let my imagination run wild, making up characters, plotting (even though I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing at the time) and creating whole new worlds as I fell to sleep. As an adult with a six month old, I realized that I still liked to make up stories, so one day, I had a glimmer of an idea. I sat down at my little old VERY SLOW laptop and started pounding out the story. And it was AWFUL, but I loved the whole process and so the journey to publication began.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I love, love, love anything written by Brandilyn Collins. Robert Liparulo’s GERM fascinated me. Dee Henderson’s THE NEGOTIATOR was my favorite out of all of hers. I like Ted Dekker’s earlier stuff, especially BLINK. Karen Kingsbury, of course. Camy Tang is hilariously funny and reading her stuff always puts me in a good mood. STEALING ADDA by Tamara Leigh is my all time favorite Chick Lit book right now. I howled with laughter. Terri Blackstock is awesome. I love all her stuff. I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I self-published a book called Gift of Grace back in 2005. I’m not a really big fan of self-publishing, but I did it and regretted it. I’ve also written two other manuscripts that have never—and will never—see the light of day!

The books published by Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired Suspense line are:

· Lethal Deception –released February 2008
· River of Secrets – released August 2008
· Holiday Illusion – to be released November 2008
· A Silent Terror- to be released March 2009
· A Silent Fury – to be released September 2009

And I’ve also signed a three book deal with Revell. Those three books will be out in 2010.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Well, I’m a runner. I like to run, run, run. However, I do have to stop and crash every once in a while. Writing and plotting out a story is what keeps me sane second only to spending time with the Lord. I’m very fortunate to have a wonderful family who allows me a lot of time to myself when I need it. My husband is awesome and will actually tell me to go take some time and do something just for me! Honestly, the Lord is gracious and always provides in every area of my life.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Um…well…uh…you see…okay, you’re going to laugh because it’s so stupid. I pull them out of the air for the most part. I go down the alphabet, starting with A. Anna, Amy, Ariana, Alana, Abigail…etc. and pick one I like the sound of. Same with the hero’s name, but I pick a different starting letter than the heroine’s. See? Told you it was dumb.

That's not dumb. We authors are all different, and we do things differently. What you do may help another author. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I think I have two. My children, first. Definitely. I was just sitting in church this morning with my arms around them and just had to stop and thank God for allowing me to be their mom. They’re so precious and God has just gifted my life with their presence. Second would be getting published. The fact that I have books out that people like to read is simply stunning to me.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

A dog. Because of my sniffer that I told you about earlier. Only I’d like to be my in-laws black lab because he is king of their house and is spoiled completely rotten. Oh yeah, that would be the life!

What is your favorite food?

Black Bean soup and chicken Caesar salad at Panera Bread. Pineapple, pizza, and refried beans. Told you I was weird. Oh yeah, and chocolate ice cream.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

I think it was the whole little children under my feet thing. I wanted to put them first because they deserved it and finding time to write while fixing bottles every couple hours kind of slowed things down a bit. Learning the craft and just persevering were the biggest obstacles, but like I said, God knows when the timing is right for publication, so waiting on Him is the most important thing. Although patience can certainly be a massive road block for someone who is incredibly impatient!

I don’t know that I have overcome it. I just know that God has put me where He has for a reason and He’ll work out the details like providing time to write, time to network, time and money for conferences, etc.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Never ever give up. Pray a lot, write a lot, and never stop learning. Expect rejection and be willing to learn from it. Immerse yourself in the writing process. Writer’s conferences are wonderful, but can be expensive. Plan in advance. If you can’t go, look at the schedule, find a class that you would attend if you were there, then buy the CDs. Most conferences record their sessions. Get a mentor and/or a critique partner. Most of all, keep giving your writing to the One who gave it to you in the first place. Trust God. His timing is perfect.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

Holiday Illusion got 4.5 stars from the Romantic Times Review woman! Wahoo! That was so cool because by the time I turned in the final AA’s, I hated the story. Really, I thought it was the worst thing I’d ever written and Steeple Hill would wonder why in the world they thought I could write. But now that a year has almost passed, I’m able to look at the story with new eyes and I find myself thinking, “Oh, it’s actually pretty good. Cool!”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website is and my email is I love to hear from my readers and answer my own email daily.

Thanks for inviting me to be on your blog, Lena! It’s always a pleasure to answer questions and interact with your readers. God Bless!

And thank you for being here, Lynette.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Holiday Illusion. But don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. If you don't, you can order it here:

I still have three missing winners:

R. Byuel and Cheryl (Shyrackmom)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Author Ramona Cecil - SWEET FOREVER - Free Book

I've known Ramona for a long time, and I'm happy to feature her with her newest novel.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

Probably more than I’d like to admit. I don’t consciously set out to write character who are like me—especially my heroines. Just the opposite. I sometimes think; I’d like to be that spunky, brave, or smart. But on the other hand, an author’s life experiences as well as spiritual questions we struggle with do seep into our stories. I know many of mine do. They are just disguised in different personalities with different sets of problems in different eras.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I’m dating myself, but when I was in high school a couple of my friends found an article about England’s Prince Charles. It mentioned that he liked poetry. Knowing I wrote a lot of poetry, they dared me to send him some. I did. Nothing mushy—just what would be classified as nature poetry. I actually got a reply from his “squadron leader” saying something to the effect that the Prince of Wales wanted to thank me for the poetry and that he liked it. Needless to say, I won the dare.

How fun! When did you first discover that you were a writer?

Writing has been part of my life since I was very young. Both my parents wrote poetry and my mother actually wrote a couple of books that were never published. I began composing poetry when I was about fours years old, I guess. I remember my mother writing down my little poems for me before I’d learned to write.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I enjoy reading anything that has to do with history, both fiction and non-fiction. I like classics like James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. As a young Hoosier I grew up on the works of Gene Stratton Porter such as Girl of the Limberlost, Freckles, and Laddie. Lately I enjoy the stories of many authors of historical Christian fiction including Janette Oke, Kim Sawyer, Louise Gouge, MaryLu Tyndall and DiAnn Mills.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

My published works are Larkspur, a prairie romance, published by Vintage Romance Publishers, and Everlasting Promise, the second of my Heartsong Indiana series. Charity’s Heart, the third book of the series has been contracted, but not yet released. My unpublished works include two historical novellas, Daughter of Orion and To Hear the Angels Sing, two contemporary novellas, London Holiday and Train to Eden, and two more full length novels, Brooksbury and The Heritage.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Prayer and keeping my priorities in order. It may be an old cliché, but I do find hemming my day with prayer calms me and helps me get through even the most stressful days. Whenever possible, I also try to set aside my weekends for relaxing and family time.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

A variety of ways. Since I mainly write historicals I’m careful to choose first names that are era appropriate, so I often go for biblical names. My heroine in Sweet Forever needed an Irish name, so I went to an Irish name web site. I found the name Rosaleen and just fell in love with it. Sometimes I get an image of the character in my mind and a name that just seems to fit pops into my head. I named my heroine in Larkspur Becky after Daniel Boone’s wife, Rebecca. I sometimes use old family names for both first and last names. That was the case with my hero Brock Martin in The Heritage. My maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Brock and her mother’s maiden name was Martin. Sutton, the surname of my hero in Everlasting Promise is a name from my father’s side of the family. But I often get surnames from the telephone book.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Having raised two wonderful daughters who have grown into wonderful Christian women. Second to that would be having three of my historical romance novels chosen by Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents line for their Indiana historical series.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

That’s a toughie. But I guess I’d have to choose a horse. I think they are beautiful animals and have always regarded horses as loyal and hardworking with big hearts.

What is your favorite food?

Born and raised in the rural Mid West I’m a meat and potatoes gal. Fried chicken is a favorite of mine, though for health reasons, I rarely allow myself to indulge.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Everything seemed to be a roadblock from having to learn the computer to learning the nuts and bolts of good writing, both of which are still ongoing. I suppose a huge roadblock was finding editors interested in looking at my work. I overcame it by attending writing conferences. There, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk one on one with editors who might be interested in what I write. Several years ago, when I began getting serious about writing novels, I asked God to put people in my way who could help me. He has continually done that.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

To all aspiring authors who ask my advice, I tell them they cannot do this alone. I suggest they first ask God for His guidance. I then suggest for encouragement and learning, they join a good writing group like American Christian Fiction Writers and to take advantage of the online writing courses and workshops offered. In addition, I suggest they try to get into a critique group which includes at least a couple of veteran writers. But most importantly, I tell them to continually keep working to make your writing better, to always have a teachable heart, and to never, never, never give up.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Sweet Forever is the first in my series of three Indiana historicals for Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents line. It is set in a real place—Madison, Indiana, on the southern border of the state along the Ohio River. The story takes place in 1845, which was Madison’s heyday. The plot is replete with riverboats, riverboat gamblers, and the Underground Railroad, all of which were prominent features of Madison at that time. My heroine, Rosaleen, is desperate to flee the clutches of a notorious riverboat gambler. She gets her wish when the riverboat she is riding on explodes and she is subsequently washed up on the riverbank at Madison. Of the mind that God
hates her, Rosaleen is chagrinned to learn that the young man who rescues and befriends her is a minister of the gospel. While writing the book, I worked closely with Madison historians in my attempt to accurately portray the Madison, Indiana, of 1845.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My web site is

Thank you, Ramona, for spending this time with us.
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. But be sure and check back a week from Saturday to see if you win.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Author Golden Keyes Parsons - IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN KING - Free Book

I have had this interview scheduled for a while, then I met Golden at the national ACFW Conference in Minneapolis. I'm glad to introduce you to her and her new book.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

More than I care to admit! As with most new authors, my first work is based much on my family. My female protagonist bears many of my characteristics, including vanity, stubbornness and her humble and accurate opinion that she is always right.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

This was a hard one. By temperament I am about 50% melancholy, 50% choleric—not a “quirky” combination. I asked my husband, and he couldn’t think of anything either. I’ve done lots of stupid things, some bold things, had some adventures, but “quirky?” I guess the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done is try to launch a writing career at my age. I kept asking God if he remembered how old I was—and he assured me that he did!

I know what you mean. Age is just a number and doesn't mean anything in the larger picture of God's plans for your life. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

Being raised in a family of newspaper editors and published authors, I always wrote. I was published in our hometown newspaper at the age of nine. I wrote poetry. I wrote plays. I wrote Sunday School curriculum. I wrote Christmas productions. I wrote training literature. But I never seriously pursued writing a novel and getting it published until just a few years ago.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

Well, of course, I have always loved historicals, which is why I have probably ended up writing them. I like Biblical fiction, allegories, and inspirational books that delve beneath the surface and make one think deeper. And being a fiction writer, this probably is an anomaly, but I love true stories, documentaries.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I have written a Biblical fiction novella series, Hidden Portraits of Nameless Women In Scripture, that has not been picked up yet. I have written a Bible study book, A Wise Woman Builds, that we self-published. I have four non-fiction WIPs on marriage and general inspiration.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

My husband and I pastor a church as well ministering through the writing/speaking ministry. Our church is small and in a small town, but it keeps us hopping. I promised the Lord in the process of developing this phenomenon of writing in my life, that I would spend about an hour every morning with him, before I run to the computer and regardless of what else is going on. I’m not legalistic about it, but I pretty much stick to that. I think that keeps me grounded.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I just research what names were popular at the time. My main character’s name, Madeleine, however just wouldn’t let me go. My actual ancestor’s name was Louisa, but it didn’t seem to fit her.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

That our three daughters love God and are walking upright in their communities.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

This was another hard one for me. The one I’m most like—I think I’d have to say an owl. I’m rather reserved, and I sit back and watch. I try to think before I speak. Some people have called me “wise.” The one I’d most like to be like? Probably a graceful swan or a gazelle. Our son-in-law is a big game hunter and the gazelles he has brought back are just beautiful.

What is your favorite food?

Like every woman I do love chocolate. But if I had to choose something that if I were stranded on an island and could have nothing else, it would have to be fresh fruits and vegetables. I love good homegrown tomatoes, cantaloupe, fresh corn, etc.

We've often had our own garden in our married life, and I know what you mean about fresh-picked produce. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

After so many years of rejections, it had to be the self-esteem, confidence issue. I’d had pretty good luck with getting articles published, but just couldn’t seem to hit it right in the book arena. I had a bad experience with an agent. Couldn’t find another one. My prayer many times was, “God, if you’ve called me to write, why can’t I get a book published?” Then when the time was right, he literally sat me down beside my future agent at a conference, and it took off from there. But I never quit. I kept on writing and submitting.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Avail yourself of all the networking available at writers conferences. Perfect your craft. And never, never, never give up. I kept a caption taped beside my computer during all those discouraging days, “A professional writer is an amateur who never gave up.” If you are a Christian and God has called you to write, stand on that call and keep pursuing it. It will happen in his time.

Yes, God's timing is always perfect. I often tell those I mentor that fact. What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

Quite by accident, I came into the possession of an original, published genealogy of my family heritage from 1907. It chronicled the persecution of the French Huguenots under the government of Louis XIV and their subsequent flight from 17th century France, eventually coming to this country and settling in Pennsylvania. The story fascinated me, and up until that time, I did not recall seeing any novels on this subject. I have since become aware of several and have read some of them. What a price they paid for our heritage of faith! In The Shadow Of The Sun King is the first installment in a four book series on the story of my ancestors has they sought religious freedom.

Golden, how can readers find you on the Internet?

My web site is Or at, or

Thank you, Golden, for spending this time with us.

Readers, please leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of In the Shadow of the Sun King. Then check out Golden's web sites.

The Case of the Missing Winners:

I have several past winners who haven't contacted me with their mailing addresses. If you're one of these people, please click on the email link in my profile in the right hand column and send me your address.

If you know any of these people, tell them to contact me.

Alyce (two books), ausjenny, Sarah/Robert, Cheryl (Shyrackmom), Doreen, R. Byuel, Cherryblossomj.

You can order Golden's book here:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Four Winners!!!

Since Abi already had An Irishwoman's Tale by Patti Lacy, Ruby (Mouth) is the new winner.

Sarah/Robert is the winner of Skizzer by A. J. Kiesling.

Cheryl is the winner of Montana Weddings by Linda Ford.

Doreen is the winner of What Does Jesus Say About. . . by Cecil Price.

Click on the email link in my profile and send me your mailing address.

If you don't want to miss a single post on this blog, sign up for Feedblitz under my profile.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Author Christine Lynxwiler - ALONG CAME A COWBOY - Free Book

You are going to love the book for today. I'm happy to introduce you to my friend Christine Lynxwiler. She is an award-winning author and past president of American Christian Romance Writers. She has numerous novels and novellas published with Barbour, including Arkansas, Promise Me Always, and Forever Christmas.

She and her husband, Kevin, along with their two daughters, four horses, and two dogslive in the foothills of the beautiful Ozark Mountains in their home state of Arkansas.

Welcome, Christine.

In Along Came A Cowboy, the lead character struggles with forgiving herself for a past sin that has had a major impact on her life. Why do you think it is easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves or even to accept forgiveness.

I don’t know the answer to that, but I have a few ideas. First, I think we hold ourselves to a higher standard than we do others. Or we might feel, like Rachel did, that if we beat ourselves up enough about the past, then we’ll feel worthy of forgiveness. Also, it’s much easier to give than it is to receive. Same goes with forgiveness. Maybe because our pride isn’t battered by forgiving someone, but being forgiven implies owning up to sin and recognizing that we can’t fix our mistake on our own.

What would your advice be to someone who is struggling to come to terms with a past indiscretion?

Obviously, if you’re a Christian, I’d advise giving the past to God and once you’ve repented and asked His forgiveness, forgive yourself, forget it and move on. But that’s a little simplistic for most of us. I think many of us tend to do what Rachel does in Along Came a Cowboy and magnify our own sins. What seems like an unfortunate little stumble on someone else’s path can appear to be a plunge to certain death on our own life’s road. So consider how you’d feel about a friend or loved one if they’d done exactly what you did. If the answer is, “I’d forgive them” then forgive yourself. You deserve no less kindness and mercy from yourself than anyone else does. If that doesn’t work for you and you have children, ask yourself how you would feel if your child did this thing. Would you still love them? If they turned from this sin, would you forgive them? If the answer is yes, then your Heavenly Father still loves you and forgives you too, so it’s time to let it go and forgive yourself. If the answer is no, then maybe your current sin is an inability to forgive others and that’s a whole ‘nother problem.

When you’re writing, what do you use as your inspiration?

Inspiration and ideas come from everywhere. But as I said in an interview recently, I’m an Arkansas country girl, born and raised on a farm, and currently living in the most beautiful small town (in my opinion anyway) in the Ozarks. So these are the places and people that inspire me to write. My books are almost all set in small town Arkansas. My characters are rarely ever patterned after one specific person. Instead each one is a conglomeration of people I meet and interact with every day. I get inspired when I ask “What if?” That’s the neverending question and asking it usually will bring more stories than one person can write in a lifetime.

What do you enjoy most about writing Christian fiction?

One thing that I used to complain about that I’ve now come to enjoy is the fact that all my books have a common theme—God is in control. Sometimes it’s the main theme, sometimes it’s just an underlying thread. Each story line is very different from the last one, but the theme is always there. As this theme emerges in a new story, it brings me joy and sometimes even laughter because I know that this is a lesson God is patiently teaching me. I told someone recently that around book seven I began to look for a new theme. “I’m going to get boring,” I wailed. But apparently, even now on book fourteen, I haven’t quite mastered this “God is in control” concept, because inevitably by the end of the book, my character is struggling to come to terms with the fact that she is not in the driver’s seat of her own life. Now when I start a story, I look forward to seeing how this particular theme is going to show up.

On a more serious note, I enjoy knowing that the stories God allows me to write not only entertain, (which is why I wanted to be a writer) but that they also touch readers’ lives in a deeper way than I could ever imagine or take credit for. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.

As an award-winning Christian romance writer, do you have any advice for novice or aspiring writers?

Never give up. And once you’ve decided that you’re not quitting, join American Christian Fiction Writers. The annual fee of $50 will be the best money you ever spend on your writing career. And don’t just pay the dues and not get your money’s worth. Join a critique group. Get to know other writers. Dedicate yourself to learning the craft. And never quit learning. Being published isn’t the end of the journey. It’s only one step along the way to being the best writer you can possibly be. Settle in for a long, bumpy, exhilarating ride!

Now about the book:

From the outside looking in, local Chiropractor Dr. Rachel Donovan seems to have it together. She’s returned to her hometown of Shady Grove and runs a thriving Chiropractic practice. She’s be nominated as Shady Grove’s Citizen Of The Year, and appointed to the committee planning the town’s major centennial celebration and rodeo. Unfortunately, on the inside everything is not as it appears.

The committee duties come with baggage—cute, cowboy baggage to be precise. Jack Westwood is the epitome of the stereotypical cowboy; rugged, handsome and bull-headed. While he makes everyone else swoon, Rachel is determined to not get involved any more than necessary. She knows his type—T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
Unfortunately, the fallout from a mistake that Rachel made fifteen years ago still echoes today threatening to ruin her sterling reputation and bring the whole façade tumbling around her . She thought she had buried it deep in her past, but while she’d moved on she never really moved past that summer. Even though she knows that God has forgiven her, she’s having a harder time forgiving herself.

Can the woman who has devoted her life to healing others allow God to mend her own hurt? Will she seize the opportunity to reconcile with her past and open her heart to love again? Will she come to terms with her mistake and forgive herself before her opportunity at love fades into the sunset?

Thank you, Christine, for being with us today.

Readers, I've read and written a review of this book. It is awesome. And what about that cover? Doesn't it just make you want to run out and get it right away.

If you want a chance to win a free copy, leave a comment. If you don't win, you can order the book here:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Author Megan DiMaria - OUT OF HER HANDS - Free Book

I'm happy to welcome Megan back to this blog. Megan, why do you write the kind of books you do?

I write contemporary novels about experiences that are common to baby boomers, both the great things like being comfortable in your skin and happy with your life to the secret desires and fears that are universal to adult women. I hope that Searching for Spice and Out of Her Hands reinforce the fact that most people encounter difficulties in their lives, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all is lost. Life seldom goes according to our neat little plans. But we’re not alone. We have the Lord and we have loved ones to stand with us. We have to draw on our faith to get through difficulties and trust that tomorrow will be a better day.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

One of the greatest days of my life was my wedding day. It was more than just the beginning of married life, it was also the confirmation of a life of obedience to God. My husband and I had been living together when we both came to know the Lord, and married three weeks later to walk in obedience to Him. Our wedding day was the beginning of an amazing adventure that we’ve been on together for nearly 30 wonderful years.

How has being published changed your life?

It’s made me much busier. In addition to writing, now I’ve got to work on marketing my novels. I never anticipated the demand of the business before being published. It’s not all rainbows and cotton candy, it’s simply a lot of hard work. Thank God, I love it.

What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m about to begin reading an Advanced Reader Copy of Brandilyn Collins’ suspense novel Dark Pursuit. I enjoy reading many different genres.

What is your current work in progress?

I’m currently writing a book about a woman who is driving toward empty-nest nirvana but her home is acquiring people faster than it’s launching young adults out into the world.

What would be your dream vacation?

I would love to visit Italy and Ireland, the cultural heritage my children share.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

My first two novels were set in the fictional town of Pine Grove, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. I’m planning on continuing to populate that town with more people through my next several novels. The books are not sequels, although the characters in Searching for Spice and Out of Her Hands may stroll though the other books as background characters.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

That answer, without a second thought, is my husband. I’m most myself with him and can share any thoughts and dreams without worrying about how I’m perceived. I guess that’s the reward of loving and being loved so deeply for 30 years.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I love to try new recipes and keep my yard spruced up in the nice weather. I also love hanging out with my family and friends.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

I’m still learning how best to structure my time. Right now I keep a notepad by my computer and make notes on what I want and need to accomplish for the day/week. It helps to make me feel more confident that I’m not forgetting something that needs to be done.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

I think some of the best advice for beginning authors is to be patient with their learning curve, avail themselves to the knowledge of authors who are blazing the way, read books on craft, attend conferences and seminars, and write, write, write.

Tell us about the featured book.

Have you ever heard the expression, “When your children are little they’re on your feet, and when they’re big they’re on your heart?” That’s the way my character feels in Out of Her Hands. Her son's dream girl isn't what Linda had in mind. Between her family, her job, and her friends, life is moving at warp speed, and the direction she thought her life would proceed in has taken a left turn. She’s losing control of her tidy little life and realizing it’s really all out of her hands.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you for hosting me, Lena. I appreciate being able to visit with your blog readers. My website is and my blog is

Thank you, Megan, for spending this time with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Then check out Megan's website and blog.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Author Sharlene MacLaren - LONG JOURNEY HOME - Free Book

I've featured Sharlen Maclaren on this blog before. We've become good online friends through Shoutlife and ACFW. Now we've spent time together at the ACFW national conference in Minneapolis. I just love her, and if you've read this blog very long, you know I love her books.

Sharlene, Tell us about your salvation experience.

I grew up in a wonderful Christian home, but I didn’t make Christ my ‘own’ by inviting Him into my heart until I was about 16. Until then, I’d been floating along on my parents’ spiritual apron strings. Even though I never strayed or rebelled much as a teenager, I knew in my heart I was a sinner in need of a Savior. One night at a special meeting I stepped out of my pew and walked forward during an invitation, and I have never looked back. That was 43 years ago. Yep—do the math!

How did you and your husband meet?

Oh, my! Don’t get me started. Talk about romance! Okay, I’ll try to do the shortened version. I first met my husband when I was 12 and he was 8. My oldest brother married his oldest sister. So, in some ways we grew up acting like brother and sister. (I thought he was a cute little kid. Haha.) We continued being very close friends all the way through college and into adulthood, but I always had a boyfriend and he had girlfriends. In fact, he was engaged for a time while he was in the Air Force. After he broke off his engagement in the summer of 1975, I called him from my apartment to console him (haha, I was secretly thrilled to hear they’d broken up), and that began a string of phone conversations that went on for the next four to five weeks prior to his discharge from the AF. I was 27 and he had just turned 24, and for the first time in a long while, neither of us was ‘attached’. Whamo! We had our first “good look” at each other when he got off the plane that September of ’75. Guess what! We fell in love within a week and were married that December, just three months later. And it’s been 32 ½ GLORIOUS years!

We have so much in common. As I shared with you, James and I met three months and three days before we married. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?

Oh, my word! What a question! To tell you the truth, I don’t know many authors personally other than through email, the ACFW online loop, and the conferences we’ve attended together. I’m not even a member of a critique group. I know, hard to believe. Who doesn’t belong to a critique group, right? I may sound like a party-pooper here, but there are so many people I’d love to spend more time getting to know as authors and friends that I don’t think I could possibly narrow it down to just four.

I know you have a singing and speaking ministry. Tell us about that.

Well, since jumping headlong into a writing career, my music has, shall we say, moved to the backseat. I love to sing, though, and am still involved in the local worship team and choir, but I don’t sing the solos at weddings or perform at other churches as I once did. As for speaking, I do so when asked, but it’s not a regular occurrence for me.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?

You mean I have to come up with just one? I’ll tell you what, everyone who knows me will say I don’t embarrass easily, and that’s the truth. My utter joy in life is to goof up and make people laugh. (And I do naughty things, too!) Just a couple of weeks ago at a church business meeting with a couple hundred in attendance, I pulled a McDonalds toy out of my purse and handed it to my best friend sitting next to me. (We were in the second row, by the way.)

“Here’s a present for you,” I whispered.

She looked at it and tossed it back on the pew.

“It makes noise,” I told her.

“Oh, that’s nice,” she said, even as she shook her head at me. Oh, I could read that ‘Don’t you dare’ look in her eyes. (People should never give me that look.)

“Wanna hear it?” I asked. “No!” she hissed back at me.

Now, my husband was on the platform delivering a very important end-of-the-year budget plan to the congregants, as he is our church administrator. Well, I personally thought the general ‘flavor’ of the evening was just too somber. I mean budgets, come on! B-O-R-I-N-G! So, in one fluid moment, I picked up that toy, pulled the string on it and away it went—singing a loud, happy tune with ugly, blaring instruments! (It was one of those American Idol toys that McDonalds was putting in their Happy Meals.)

My girlfriend nearly died of hysterics, her husband moved several feet away from us, and I fiddled with the toy trying to find its off button. Ha! The pew behind us cracked up and everyone else in the church just thought it was somebody’s cell phone with a very annoying ring tone. What did my husband have to say to me later? Not much. He’s used to me!

People are always telling me 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?

In fact, someone said that very thing to me tonight at a funeral home. I know, crazy place for such a conversation. What I generally say is go for it! You will never know until you try. I didn’t write my first book until the year 2000 – 8 years ago. I always loved writing, but I’d never actually tried to write an entire book until I reached the ripe age of 51. Looking back, I am so glad God put the idea in my head to sit down at my computer that fine summer day. If I hadn’t taken the risk, just gone for it, I wouldn’t have a string of published books today. You have to at least try it!

Sharlene, tell us about the featured book.
Long Journey Home was my first ever manuscript. Of course, it’s been revised, rewritten, revamped, re-edited, re-, re-, re- a zillion times over. You get the idea. But it is very, very dear to my heart, mainly because it was my “first-born” book.
Here’s a two-sentence synop: Two hurting souls, one a newly divorced young mom, and the other a recently widowed pastor, meet and immediately clash. Can they come to see life’s tragedies as part of a bigger, all-encompassing plan, and will the power of God heal their hearts and help them love again?

Sounds like a book I want to read. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love visitors to my websites and blogs and I always reply to comments, questions, or just your friendly email. Please stop over whenever you have a minute. You’ll find me at any of these places:
Sharlene, thank you for sharing this time with us. We'll have you back with the next book.
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Long Journey Home. Then check out Sharlene's websites. She's also on Facebook now.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Just Love Announcing Winners!!!

Becky C is the winner of Outcasts of Skagaray by Andrew Clarke.

Abi is the winner of An Irishwoman's Tale by Patti Lacy.

R. Byuel is the winner of Oklahoma Brides by Vickie McDonough.

Now each of you needs to click on the email link in my profile in the right hand column and send me your mailing address so we can get your book to you.

Come back tomorrow for another interesting interview.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Author Cecil Price - WHAT DOES JESUS SAY ABOUT... - Free Book

I met Cecil at a local author event. When he showed me information about his book, I knew other people would like to know about this book, so I invited him to appear on this blog.

Cecil, this book is nonfiction. Do you also write fiction?

At this time, my concentration has been on nonfiction. “What does Jesus say about…” Christ Speaks To Us Today is my first published book.

What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?

After serving as an associate pastor for almost seven years, I’ve been a Christian researcher for 16 years. Currently, I work with Christian Information Ministries in Richardson, Texas. I hold degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary, Columbia International University, and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Tell us about your family.

My parents are deceased. I have a brother who lives in Delaware and a sister in Florida. Besides my siblings, I have nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles and cousins in various states from Illinois to South Carolina.

Have you written other nonfiction books?

I did an electronic book a little over ten years ago that I hope to republish some day.

What other books have you written, and where can the readers of the blog find them?

At this time, “What does Jesus say about…” is the only book available for purchase. More information may be obtained via:

Do you have any other books in the works right now?

I have several ideas, but since “What does Jesus say about..” was just wrapped up, I’m taking a little break before commencing anything else. “What does Jesus say about…” involved almost daily concentration for 5½ years.

I can believe that. This is a wonderful reference book that all Christians need in their homes. It will keep you from searching and searching, trying to find a reference. This book is arranged so information is easy to find in it.

Cecil, where on the Internet can the readers find you?

Here is the URL for the staff of C.I.M.:

More information about the book:

Thank you, Cecil for spending this time with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of this volume. Then check out Cecil's web sites.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Author Linda Ford - MONTANA WEDDINGS - Free Book

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I've been asked this question many times and never quite know how to answer. Some of my characters are somewhat like me. Some, not at all. Sometimes I write a story addressing doubts and fears of a younger me. Other times, the problem is one I've only observed. So I guess I could say sometimes I put some of myself into my characters, but most times very little.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Writing wise or otherwise? If you want otherwise, I'd have to say adopting 10 kids (on top of four homemade ones.) They were kids from 1 year to 14 years with baggage. What was I thinking???

I salute you for that. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I always made up stories in my head usually at bedtime. I thought everyone put themselves to sleep that way. But it wasn't until I was much older that I considered writing the stories down. For a fuller story of how this came about see the BIO section on my website.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I read a lot of non-fiction for research. I especially enjoy first-hand accounts and journals. For fiction, I read across the board. I love Robin Lee Hatcher, Elizabeth Berg, Harlan Coben, Linda Lael Miller, to name a few.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I write both contemporary and historical for Heartsong Presents. I write for Love Inspired Historicals. I also wrote and self published a book on tuberculosis in the 30s and 40s based on first-hand experiences. I called it Touched By The White Plague. I did this to honor my mother who spent time in a sanatorium.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

I'm not sure I always do. :-) One thing I learned when I had a large family to care for was to say no to lots of good things from Sunday school teacher to bake sale organizer. It was good practice for saying no to things that distract from my writing. My family takes up most of my 'free' time so I volunteer very little. I also need time to organize my thoughts each day which I do in a journal followed by a time of Bible reading and prayer. This small habit is my lifeline to sanity.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

With great difficulty. It took me nine months to settle on names for my babies and all of a sudden I'm expected to come up with names for a hero and heroine and a cast of secondary characters in a matter of days? I do a lot of brainstorming using name books, real estate ads (they list their agents—great resource), telephone directories, etc. I make long lists. I whine and complain a lot but finding the RIGHT name is essential for me. It has to feel right.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Surviving raising 14 kids??? No, I think getting published with 2 publishers is something I am proud of and which I give glory to God for.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

I'd be a cat because they are cute and cuddly yet independent. Just like me??? :-)

What is your favorite food?

Grapes, without a doubt. I'm seriously addicted. (Excuse me a moment while I go get a handful.)

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

In the beginning or early stages? It was learning my process. What worked for me in discovering character and story and getting it on page. I took a lot of courses and tried a lot of things before I 'created' a mix that works for me. I'm sure my process will continue to grow and evolve.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Read lots. Take lots of courses. Get feedback even if it hurts and above all, persevere.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

Montana Weddings is a collection of three contemporary stories set in Montana. An interesting tidbit about that is the first one was originally set in Calgary, Alberta, with the indoor Devonian gardens and high-rise office buildings. I had the privilege of doing a research trip into Montana to discover the local attractions so I hope the stories carry a thread of authenticity and local color.

My story in Montana Mistletoe was contemporary, too. How can readers find you on the Internet?

You'll find me at

My blog is connected to my website and I update that weekly so be sure and visit.

Thanks for the chance to visit with you.
And thank you, Linda, for spending this time with us.
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Montana Weddings. Then go check out Linda's web site and blog.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Author A. J. Kiesling - SKIZZER - Free Book

I'm glad to be featuring A. J. Kiesling on the blog with her book Skizzer. I've read the book, and you'll find my review in the August Newsletter on my web site:

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

There are elements of me in both Becca and Claire. I was very shy and bookish as a girl, like Claire, but my mom tells me that I was always leading my sister into adventures. In the story, Becca is much more vivacious and playful than I’ve ever been, but she is the baby sister of the family—a role I was given as well. If I had to pick one, though, I’d say I’m much more like Claire than Becca.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I don’t know about quirky but I can tell you the craziest thing I ever did—ride the “Dueling Dragons” rollercoaster at Islands of Adventures (Universal Studios) theme park. Lord, have mercy! That ride just about killed me!

I have an interesting story about a rollercoaster, too. Maybe I'll share it sometime. When did you first discover you were a writer?

When I was young, my mother used to read Bible stories to us five kids every night before bedtime. We'd gather in a circle around her and listen wide-eyed to those stories, and through the early years her reading to us fostered a love of storytelling in me. I wrote my first book in second grade--a stapled, hand-illustrated book about horses--but it was a college professor of English who pulled me aside after class one day and told me I had a writing gift that I shouldn't squander. With his encouragement, I joined the staff of the college literary magazine and newspaper. After that, choosing a major in communications/journalism was a natural path for me.

My first publication was in the college literary magazine--a short story. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I lean toward edgier fiction, stories that aren’t afraid to show characters’ all-too-human failings as well as their triumphs. The best example of this I’ve ever read is the Starbridge series by Susan Howatch. An English author, her books are not CBA fiction, but she writes more compellingly about faith and failings and redemption than anyone I know. Other authors whose writings have influenced me are Gail Godwin, Sue Monk Kidd, Leif Enger, C.S. Lewis, and the Bronte sisters. On the nonfiction side, I like the occasional memoir or biography, but I’m a true fiction lover.

Me, too. I do read occasional non-fiction, but give me good fiction any day. What other books have you written, whether published or not?

My first singles book, Where Have All the Good Men Gone? came out in March, and I’m starting to rough-draft a follow-up book to Skizzer. In 2004 I wrote a spirituality book titled Jaded: Hope for Believers Who Have Given up on Church but Not on God (Baker). Other titles I’ve written were mostly work-for-hire devotionals or compilations and ghostwriting projects. They are listed on my website

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Hmmmm. Can I get back to you on that? Seriously, I take time out to pleasure read, go see movies, and otherwise “recreate” with my daughters and good friends. I’m a great believer in sunset gazing—you know, really stopping to see the wonder of nature all around us, so maybe that helps as well.

I know what you mean about an amazing sunset. How do you choose your characters’ names?

Some names, such as for the character of Colin Lockwood—the English gardener Claire falls in love with—sprang into my mind without any effort at all. Other names, including those of the two sisters Becca and Claire, took more thought. After a while I settled on Claire because it’s my youngest daughter’s middle name, and it suited who the character is in the story. Names are very important to me, so much so that sometimes it bugs me when a character seems misnamed in a book or contains one of those silly “romance novel” names that no real person ever does.

I talked to a woman on the phone whose name is Sabra Valentine. I aksed her if I could use it in a romance novel. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Without a doubt, I would have to say my two teenage daughters. They are beautiful, talented, witty young women who are a delight to be around. Since I’m a single parent, we’ve developed a “bachelorette pad” over the years, and I consider them both my friends as well as my children. In second place: writing Skizzer. It’s something I wanted to do for so long (write a novel), and it feels good to finally have accomplished that.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

A cat because they are so cool and aloof and have such incredibly EASY lives! They can even sleep all day if they want to. It must be nice to be so coddled and petted and loved.

What is your favorite food?

Spaghetti (I’m still a kid at heart!)

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

I’m a terrible procrastinator, and constantly putting off writing was something I struggled with for years. Finally, a good friend of mine who is also a writer lit a fire under me, saying, “You know, you’ve been talking about writing a novel for more than 10 years…when are you going to do it?” She also threatened to write one herself. That got me moving!

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Without a doubt, write what you know. It’s the oldest advice you’ll ever hear about writing—and the soundest. When you write from your own experience (the people, places, feelings you know) your prose gains a clarity and authenticity it will lack if you try to write about something you know little of.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
The story centers on two sisters, Claire (the main character) and Becca, her younger sibling. At the outset, Becca has disappeared--up and leaving her husband with just a cursory note offering no real explanation. Claire drives to North Carolina to pursue a hunch that Becca might have fled to the town where they grew up, perhaps taking refuge with their elderly Aunt Jess. She stops at a place where they used to play as children--an old estate the local kids called haunted--and finds a letter addressed to "Skizzer" inside a sister-secret box she and Becca left there more than twenty years earlier. The letter says "something both terrible and wonderful has happened" and that Becca needs time to herself, urging Claire not to look for her. But of course that's exactly what Claire and her distraught brother-in-law do. The story weaves between the present and the past through flashbacks to the girls' growing up years in North Carolina. The search for Becca ultimately takes Claire and her brother-in-law to England, to a town that imprinted the girls heavily in their youth. The theme of the story is that the people we think we know best don't always turn out to be who we thought they were.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to hear from readers, so stop by my website and drop me a line:

Thank you for spending this time with us and letting us get to know you better.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Skizzer. The giveaway will be on Saturday, October 19. So check back to see if you are the winner.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

First October Winners!!!

Alyce is the winner of Havah by Tosca Lee.

Ruth Dell is the winner of The Case of the Bouncing Grandma by A. K. Arenz.

Ausjenny is the winner of A Bride By Christmas by Kelly Hake, Linda Goodnight, Vickie McDonough, and Therese Stenzel.

Send me your mailing address right away, even if you've won on my blog before. I forward the addresses to the author or publicist.

Always check on the weekend to see if you are a winner, and the winners won't be from the preceding week. I like to give readers over a week to get a chance to read the interviews and enter.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Author Vickie McDonough - OKLAHOMA BRIDES - Free Book

I'm happy to welcome Vickie McDonough to my blog with her new release.

Vickie, tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I don’t deliberately write myself into my characters, but readers have mentioned how they like the humor in my books. My family jokes a lot, so I guess that’s a part of me that shows through. The main thing I want readers to grasp is faith in God and that God can help them through whatever they’re going through in their own lives. That’s what I believe and hope that I convey that message well through an interesting story.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I bought a motorcycle when I was 14 and rode it all over town. Scared my mom half to death, but it gave me independence and was a blast!

Another one is that my husband and I lived on a kibbutz in Israel for a year right after we were married. Our first son was conceived there and I’ve always teased him that he couldn’t wear one of those “Made in America” shirts.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I’m a writer? I can honestly say I never once planned to be a writer. I prayed for years for a home business that I could do while home schooling my boys, and then one day, a story started running through my mind like a movie. I was getting about five hour’s sleep at night because this crazy story wouldn’t leave me alone. I decided to try writing it down to get it out of my head—and that became my first book. Right on its heel came another book. By the time I finished the second one, I began to wonder if God was trying to get my attention. I started studying writing, went to local conferences, joined writers groups, and learned the craft. I’m still learning. I like to think of myself as a storyteller more than a writer. I first started writing in January 2001 and have been working hard at it ever since.

I'm like you. I consider myself a storyteller, too. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

My favorite books are prairie and western Christian romances. I like just about any historicals expect Regencies. I also like a good contemporary romantic suspense occasionally.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I have several books I’ve written that haven’t been published, but here’s a list of the published ones:
Oklahoma Brides - An Oklahoma historical trilogy which just released
Spinning Out of Control – a Heartsong Presents novel that appeared in Virginia Brides
Wild At Heart – Book One in a North Dakota historical series comes out this fall
Anthology collections:
A Bride by Christmas
The Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner
Kiss the (Cook) Bride
Lone Star Christmas
Brides O’ the Emerald Isle
A Stitch in Time

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Get take out food whenever possible, make time to read some, and I just have to say no to some things.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I use Baby Name sites quite often and search until I find a name that seems to fit my character’s personality or has a meaning that fits that particular character well. I also check the Social Security sites that list the top baby names of a specific year.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

You didn’t mention if this had to be writing-related, so I’m going to say my thirty-three year marriage and my four sons.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

A wild mustang. I’ve always loved horses and even owned a few when I was young. Horses are so majestic, and wild horses epitomize the American spirit.

What is your favorite food?

Just one? I don’t think I have a specific one. I love steak, chicken fingers dipped in country gravy, fried okra, potatoes. Mmm…I’m getting hungry. :-)

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

I tend to be a very insecure writer. I never planned to be a writer and didn’t care for writing way back in school. But God sometimes takes us in directions that we never planned, and for me, that’s writing. I pray and ask God to help me where I’m lacking and to stir my creativity and help me to write the best story I can. Then I have to do my part and sit down with my laptop and write.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Study your craft well. Read the genres that you want to write. Attend conferences like ACFW. Make friends with other writers who can encourage you when you’re down. And be patient. It takes a long time to get published.

Vickie, I love your cover. What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

Oklahoma Brides
is a collection of three Heartsong novels set in the Oklahoma and Indian territories. Oklahoma has a unique history, and I wanted to show some of that in my trilogy. The first story, Sooner or Later, has a hero who rides in the first OK land run, and the third book, A Wealth Beyond Riches, deals with the OK oil boom. They are stories of young women who find themselves thrown out of their element and must rely on their wits and their faith to survive.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

They can visit my website at or check out my blog which is posted the 15th of each month at

A very good blog. I'm also a contributor to Bustles & Spurs. I write on the 13th of the month.

Thank you, Vickie, for spending this time with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Oklahoma Brides. Then check out Vickie's web site and blog.