Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BELOVED COUNTERFEIT - Kathleen Y'Barbo - Free Book

Readers, I've read and reviewed this book, and you're going to love it! Welcome back, Kathleen. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?

Forgiveness is a theme that many of my characters deal with, be it in forgiving others, forgiving themselves, or forgiving God. Obedience is another, as I’ve been known to have a hero or heroine choose between logic and God’s leading.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?

My Western romance THE CONFIDENTIAL LIFE OF EUGENIA COOPER just hit the shelves (June 16) from Waterbrook. CAJUN HEARTS, the repack of my three Louisiana-based short contemporaries will release in August from Barbour Publishing. In the fall I’ll be part of a Texas-set Christmas novella collection called WILD WEST CHRISTMAS and starring Vickie McDonough, Darlene Franklin, and YOU!

And that is one of the most fun collections I've been in. lIf you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?

Willie Nelson. As a 10th generation Texan and a fan since I was a kid, I’d love to hang with Willie for a few hours and listen to him strum his guitar. Surprised?
A little maybe. How long have you known that you wanted to be novelist?
Since I was very young. I taught myself to read sitting in my granny’s hall with her huge Encyclopedia Brittanica open on my lap (I was 5). So, you could say I had a love of language for as long as I knew there was such a thing. I wrote copiously all through school, mostly things that no one would ever see. It wasn’t until 1996 when I decided to give the thought of writing something a chance to materialize into actually doing it. That first book poured out – 120,000 words in 5 weeks – and I’ve been writing ever since.

What can you tell authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?

Count each rejection as one step closer to publication. There was a time when I had collected so many rejection letters that I filed them by year! And yes, I keep them – still have them all. I think of those letters as proof that not only did I actually put my work out there to be seen, but I also learned from whatever it was that made that project not right for that house. So don’t be so hasty to toss out any criticism as if someone were telling you your baby was ugly. Let it sit at least a month then go back and see if there’s something to be learned. In the great majority of cases, there is.

Now, Kathleen, tell the readers about the featured book?
Washed ashore on Fairweather Key, Ruby O’Shea and her three nieces—the offspring of the pirate Thomas Hawkins and Ruby’s late sister—have a chance for a new beginning as Ruby takes a job in a boardinghouse and the girls are passed off as her daughters. But will Ruby be able to confess all when she falls for Micah Tate, a widower, wrecker, and soon-to-be preacher?

Micah is determined to marry the young woman who has captured his heart. But will he be able to remain true to his vows when his lady love’s shady past comes to light?

Captain Thomas Hawkins will go to any lengths to discover the whereabouts of his daughters. What will his determination conceive? When Ruby finds herself bereft of her newfound love and protector, she is fair game for foul deeds. Will she run away in an attempt to escape her present as she did her past? Will Micah’s love cover the multitude of Ruby’s sins? Or will Ruby’s duplicity cost her everything?
Please give us the first page of the book.
July 1819
O’Connor Plantation, Jamaica
"You were supposed to be watching."
"I have been. Not a ship’s approached." Claire O’Connor turned at the sound of her sister’s voice and held up the most special shell in her of her basket of prizes. "I found some sand dollars. Come and look. This one’s the biggest yet."

"No, I don’t want to see them." Opal hurdled over the small dune and bounded toward her. "You weren’t watching either. He’s back."
Looking toward the horizon, she spied nothing but low-hanging clouds and a sun hot enough to shrivel all that it touched. With no slaver in sight, the only reason for the announcement was obvious. "Papa?"
"Yes, Papa. Who else?"
"He couldn’t be." Claire set her basket down carefully, making sure not to spill the shells she’d spent the morning collecting. "If Mama had expected Papa to return, she’d certainly have sent away her gentleman friend."
That’s what Mama made her and Opal call them, but none of the fellows who climbed the stairs of the big house while Papa was away ever looked like gentlemen to Claire. And they certainly weren’t friendly.
Well most of them weren’t anyway.
"Now come on over here and help me look," Claire said. "I don’t think I’ve seen this many sand dollars on the beach since the big storm blew over last fall."
No explanation of their destination was required as nine-year-old Opal raced across the sand to catch Claire’s wrist and give it a jerk. "I think Papa killed this one."
"Don’t be silly," Claire said, even as her heart thudded against her ribs.

Though Claire was almost a full year older, her sister’s legs were already longer so keeping up took some effort. By the time she reached their secret hiding place beneath the front steps, Opal had already lifted the loose board and shinnied inside.
The hurricane that was their father’s voice rose and fell like heat waves and blew past toward the dry expanse of land that tumbled downhill toward the beach. By contrast, her mother’s bird-like responses chirped across the storm with all the effect of a whisper in a gale. Words like "slave" and "bankrupt" and oaths against the monarchy and Parliament bounced past, all just a part of what they’d heard from Papa since the news that the slavers would be arrested should they dare bring their cargo into Caribbean waters.
Thus far nothing had been said about what went on while Papa was at sea. Perhaps things weren’t as bad as Opal claimed.
Claire pressed her finger over her lips to hush her sister then crept toward the parlor window. She might have risen up to look inside had something not whizzed past her head and landed in the yard, sending Claire racing back to the steps. A glance over her shoulder told her the object was the sparkling necklace Mama had put on for the first time this morning.
"Hurry up," Opal called in an urgent whisper. "You can’t let him see you."
"I’m not afraid of him," she blustered even as her trembling fingers refused to take instruction. Claire let out a long breath. "He can’t get you here. He can’t get either of us."
That's a real hook! How can readers find you on the Internet?

Twitter! I love it! Find me at kathleenybarbo.
I’m on Facebook and unless you rank high on the creep factor, I’ll add you. :D
Finally, my new website will be up and running soon thanks to the brilliant mind of Kelli Standish and the crew at Pulsepoint Designs. I’ve got some great plans for contests to celebrate the kick-off the site, which will be http://www.kathleenybarbo.com/
Thank you, Kathleen, for spending this time with us.
Readers, here's a link where you can order Beloved Counterfeit:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. The only notification you'll receive is the winners post on this blog. So check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.
If you're reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here's the link:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

CRANBERRY HEARTS - Elizabeth Goddard, Lisa Harris, Lena Nelson Dooley - Free Book

This the first interview announcing the release of Cranberry Hearts. We're talking to one of the authors, Elizabeth Goddard. Welcome, Beth. What contribution did your story make to the collection?

Seasons of Love is set on a cranberry farm. The characters from the other stories appeared in my story during the cranberry harvest.

Did you enjoy working with the other authors in the collection?

I’ve known these authors since I started writing fiction so they were very easy to work with. They’ve been a huge part of my writing career, giving me encouragement, critiques, and support.

Did it take a lot of interaction?

Since the stories were only loosely tied together, there was minimal interaction regarding the planning and writing. But then we each read the others’ stories.

Have you ever been to Massachusetts?

Yes, I’ve traveled extensively in my job as a high-level account executive for a software company. In fact, one of the first places I visited outside of my home state of Texas for the company was Salem, Massachusetts.

How was the setting chosen?

Years before ever writing the story I’d seen a news clip about cranberry farming and knew that I wanted to set a story there one day. When the opportunity to write a story set in Massachusetts came up, I already had the perfect setting.

What do you like most about this collection?

The suspense and the setting.

What book are you currently writing?

Again, I love interesting settings. My current project for Heartsong Presents is set in North Dakota on a decommissioned missile site. Disarming Andi will release in March 2010.

Tell us a little about your family.

My husband pastors a small church in Oregon. I have three sons—10, 9, and 5—and a 17-year-old daughter who is preparing to leave for Scotland next month on a missionary trip. She went to South Africa last year. My story, O Christmas Tree, in Barbour’s Christmas Homecoming 4-in-1 collection due in September, is based on her travels and includes some of her experiences.

What is the first page of your story in the collection?

Sacramento, California

"I’ve got a proposition for you. Call me,” a familiar voice crackled from the answering machine.

Grandpa? Riley O’Hare set her sack of groceries on the counter as she replayed the message.

The clock on the sage-colored wall displayed six thirty. Grandpa was on the East Coast. No way would he still be up at nine thirty. She’d have to wait until morning before she could call him. She hated waiting and stared at the ceiling while the annoying computerized voice detailed the time and stated that she had another message.

“Riley, it’s Eric. You there? I tried to reach you on your cell today. I’d love to have dinner with you tonight, but I’ve got that meeting with Tom Carling at Solution Sciences, remember? Actually, you could join me. It never hurts to have a beautiful woman on your arm. Italiano’s at six thirty.”

“Too late,” she said and huffed at his comment. It irritated her that he acted as though they were supposed to have dinner tonight. When would he get it? He didn’t seem to understand that things were over between them. Riley shuddered.

Eric Rutherford only saw her as eye candy to impress his colleagues. Everything revolved around his work as a business consultant—though she couldn’t blame him for that. Her career as a regional account executive for Morris & Associates consumed her, as well. Most people didn’t have time to live their own lives anymore.

Anxious to be rid of thoughts of Eric, she hit the Delete button hard and long. The answering machine responded that all messages had been erased.

“What? Argh.” Riley examined the caller ID list to see whose calls she’d missed since she’d just accidentally trashed all the messages. John’s work number appeared last. She called her brother back, getting no answer; then she tried his cell. Still no answer, so she left a message.

After she finished putting away the groceries she’d grabbed on the way home from work, she popped precooked chicken strips onto a paper plate and into the microwave, then pulled the tab off a diet soda. It fizzed over the top and onto her beige blouse.

“Ack!” She whirled around and held it over the sink. When the soda’s overzealous carbonation died down, she wiped the can with a paper towel and set it on the counter while she cleaned.

Frustration overwhelmed her. She didn’t have th e energy to cook a decent meal. Life had been hectic since graduating from college with a business degree. Three years of her life had flown by since then. Was this what it was all about?

Where can the readers find you on the Internet?


Beth, thank you for spending this time with us.

Readers, you're going to love reading these three romantic suspense stories. Here's a link where you can order Cranberry Hearts:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. The only notification will be the winners post on this blog. So be sure to check back on Saturday in two weeks to see if you won.

If you're reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here's the link:


Saturday, June 27, 2009

6 Winners This Week!!! 6 - And A Special Announcement!!

The Wendt Family and Charmed are the 2 winners of Talking to the Dead by Bonnie Grove.

Julianna is the winner of Maggie Rose by Sharlene MacLaren.

Leila and Sandee61 are the 2 winners of Wild Prairie Roses by Lena Nelson Dooley, Laurie Alice Eakes, and Lisa Harris.

Adge is the winner of Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida, by Debby Mayne.

Congratulations. You need to get your mailing address to me. You can click on View My Complete Profile in the sidebar to find a link to my email. Or you can go to my web site and use the Contact Me form - www.lenanelsondooley.com

Announcing the Release of Cranberry Hearts by Lisa Harris, Lena Nelson Dooley, and Elizabeth Goddard. You can read all about it at this link: http://lenanelsondooleynewsletter.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 25, 2009

LYING ON SUNDAY - Sharon K Souza - Free Book

About Sharon:

Sharon and her husband Rick have been married 36 years. They live in northern California, and have three children and 6 grandchildren. Rick travels the world building churches, Bible schools, and orphanages. Sharon travels with him on occasion, but while Rick lives the adventure, Sharon is more than happy to create her own through fiction.

In your previous novel, Every Good & Perfect Gift, you address the tough issues of infertility and catastrophic illness. Again, in Lying on Sunday, you've tackled a tough subject, that being infidelity. Why do you choose such tough topics?
I like to write stories that speak to women on deep and personal levels. None of us gets through this life without being affected in some form by sadness, loss, a sense of failure over one issue or another, and having been failed. I think when we know we're not the only one going through these types of situation--and it's so easy to feel that you are alone--it gives us hope that we really can come through, not necessarily unscathed, but certainly stronger and more equipped to help others.
Do heavy topics equal a heavy reading experience?
Definitely not. I firmly believe that pleasure reading should first and foremost be entertaining. Time is a precious commodity. I hope that readers who choose to spend some of their precious hours in the pages of my books will thoroughly enjoy the experience. So even though I tackle tough subjects, I infuse enough humor to keep those subjects from becoming an albatross around the reader's neck. Conversely, I love to read for pleasure, but I want to take something away from the experience.
What would you have readers take away from Lying on Sunday?
In one day, Abbie Torrington has the underpinnings of her world knocked out from under her. Everything she thinks she knows about her marriage turns out to be false. It leaves her reeling in the aftermath. Years ago, while dealing with health issues in my own life, a close friend gave me a Precious Moments figurine entitled "Light at the End of the Tunnel." In Lying on Sunday, I want to show that even with issues as devastating as betrayal there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and for me that Light, of course, is Jesus.

Lying on Sunday deals with the betrayal of infidelity, but are there other forms of betrayal that the book might speak to?
Types of betrayal obviously vary, but the end results can be equally devastating. Any time a trust is broken between people in relationship, someone is going to be hurt. We can either allow those hurts to hinder us, or we can allow the Lord to use them as lessons to make us better and stronger. That brings to mind the old adage "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger." Well, through her own devastating experience Abbie becomes a stronger, more independent person than she knew she could be.
Once again you've written a story with a strong and vital friendship that's central to the story. Was that coincidence or by design?
Absolutely by design. I'm all about relationships and so are my characters. Having gone through a period in my early adulthood without a close friend, I know how important friends are in our lives. In fact, I've recently reconnected with two friends from high school, one I hadn't seen in 25 years, and the other in over 30 years. But relationships between women, while vital, can be very complex. That's certainly true for Abbie. Besides her close friendship with Shawlie Bryson, she has a close relationship with one daughter and a challenging relationship with the other, mostly because of the very different emotional place these girls are in while dealing with the death of their father. Not only that, but Abbie has a strained relationship with her own mother for reasons she eventually discovers. I'm certain that women of each one of these generations will relate to one or the other of these characters, especially the woman caught in the middle, where she's both the daughter and the mother.
Truth is a theme you deal with extensively in Lying on Sunday. In a book that deals with betrayal, wouldn't forgiveness be a more fitting theme?
I believe forgiveness is the key to getting beyond the kind of hurt Abbie experiences - which doesn't necessarily equate to restored relationship. (In Abbie's case, of course, that's impossible anyway.) But the discovery of truth is a huge first step in the process. In any difficult situation we can choose to ignore the facts and try to keep life on an even keel. But there inevitably comes a day of reckoning. For Abbie to arrive at the desired destination, there are some unpleasant truths she must acknowledge and deal with. She's dogged by a scripture from John 8:32 that says the truth will set you free. Only she can decide whether or not she'll let it.
What is the most satisfying thing that comes out of your writing?
I love hearing from readers, especially those I don't know, who say my stories have touched them in one way or another, and most importantly, have helped them see more clearly how good and loving our Lord is.
What are you working on now, and does it continue in the style of Lying on Sunday and Every Good & Perfect Gift?
My work in progress, Unraveled, is another contemporary novel about a young woman who gives a year of her life to help teach children in Moldova, a small country in eastern Europe. While there she experiences a crisis of faith (the story ultimately deals with human trafficking). And yes, it continues in the style of my previous novels.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
Naturally I love to hear from readers. You can email me through my website: http://www.sharonksouza.com/.
If you're in a book club and choose to read any of my books, I'll send a complimentary book to the person who contacts me on behalf of their group. Then, after you read the book I'd love to participate in your group discussion, either by phone or in person if you're close enough for me to drive to.
Thank you, Sharon, for spending this time with us.
Readers, here's a link where you can order Lying on Sunday:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.
The only notification you'll receive will be the winners post on this blog. So check back a week from Satyurday to see if you've won.
If you're reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here's the link:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

BLACKMAIL - Robin Caroll - Free Book

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

Wow, Blackmail had a lot of people contributing. My sister, Cindy Pittman, first and foremost. She’s in the oil and gas business in Louisiana, so having her to feed me information was vital. She is also the one who connected me with Charlie Boyd, an employee with the state in the conservation department. He walked me through oil rigs and facilities, even sending pictures, and helped me with some plot details. As always, my crit partners: Ronie Kendig, Dineen Miller, and Heather Tipton were invaluable in their input. And Cara Putman, Camy Tang and Cheryl Wyatt were also gracious enough to read my manuscript and make suggestions. I have two family members who serve as "readers" for my books, Lisa Burroughs and Krystina Harden, who give me great feedback from a reader’s point of view.
If you teach or speak. What’s coming up on your calendar?

I just finished a hectic schedule of doing both, and since it’s the summer and my children are out of school, I’ve taken some time off. I am presenting at a writers’ group in Shreveport, Louisiana in August and September is the ACFW conference, of which I’m the conference director, so I’m pretty busy with that.
If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?
Hmmm. That’s a tough one. I’ve had to do that before. If finances weren’t an issue, I think I’d like to start over in Paris. Or Italy. Or Greece. LOL Something totally different than what I’ve experienced in my life thus far.
If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?

You have to love words, the telling of a story to survive. It’s not enough just to want to write a book. Or be published. Or be successful. You truly have to love stories. This is a hard business with lots of disappointments and frustrations along the way. If you don’t have a deep love for stories, you might never succeed.
You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why?

Stephen King, because well, he’s Stephen King and I’d love to just sit and chat with him. Dean Koontz, for the same reason. And I think I’d put Stephanie Meyer and JK Rowling on the yacht as well—think there would be some very stimulating conversations going around. Especially if I added in Angie Hunt, James Scott Bell, and Randy Alcorn. Oh, that could be a lot of fun. :-)
Tell us about the featured book?
Blackmail is the final book in the bayou series. It was a little bittersweet to say goodbye to my friends at Lagniappe, but I was glad to have the opportunity to write the final book, giving closure to all the folks in my bayou town. Blackmail focuses on Sadie Thompson, who some will remember from all the way back in book one. The resident "bad girl" of Lagniappe. This is her story of redemption and turning her life around.

What is next for you?

I’m super excited about the upcoming release of my first trade size romantic suspense, Deliver Us From Evil. B&H Publishing releases the book in February. It’s a story that dug deep into my heart back in 2005 and deals with the very vital issue of human trafficking. I hope everyone will read the book and enjoy it as much I loved writing it.
You'll have to come back in February when it releases. Where can the readers find you on the Internet?
Thanks, Lena. I always love visiting your blog. :-)
And I love having you, Robin.
Readers, here's a link where you can order Blackmail:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.
Notice: The only notification you'll receive will be the winners post on this blog. So check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. Or you can sign up for Feedblitz at the top of the sidebar, and it will come to your Inbox.
If you're reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave a comment. Here's the link:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I rejoiced with Kathleen when she signed the contract for this book. Now I'm pleased to feature her and the book on this blog. Welcome, Kathleen. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

Good question! I wish I knew – or maybe I don’t. I just know that God has blessed me with so many wonderful things lately that whatever’s next will be awesome as well. I love surprises. Don’t you?

I do. I'll be surprised right along with you. Tell us a little about your family.
I have three sons who give me ample hero material. Josh, 27, is an artist living in London and working on his MFA. Andrew, 25, is a Houston-based engineer on the verge of returning to the University of Texas for his MBA. Jacob, 22, is the general manager of an Austin-area store who can’t wait for his brother to join him –though I dare not contemplate for what :D. Each are alike and different all at the same time, and anyone who has seen them in the same room will attest to that – and to the fact it’s obvious they’re all related. Hannah, 18, is my butterfly about to flutter out of the nest and off to college in the fall. She’s aiming for admission to the Public Policy MBA course offered at Texas A&M through the George Bush school.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

Yes, it has ruined me! I have to work hard to turn off my internal editor and just enjoy the storytelling.

What are you working on right now?

I’m finishing ANNA FINCH AND THE HIRED GUN, the follow-up to THE CONFIDENTIAL LIFE OF EUGENIA COOPER. The book picks up the story of Anna, best friend to Gennie Cooper.

You'll have to come back when it releases. What outside interests do you have?

I’m interested in sitting outside on my porch while I write. Does that count? :D

You always know how to make me laugh. How do you choose your settings for each book?
They often choose me. In the series I’m doing for Waterbook, my editor Shannon Marchese suggested a Colorado-based story line. I’d read about Leadville and was intrigued so, between that and a stint researching the silver market and dime novels, a setting was chosen.

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

Honestly, I’d give anything to spend one more evening with my dad. He went to be with Jesus in 1993, and I miss him terribly.

I understand that. James and I have missed both of our parents since they've been gone. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

That getting published wasn’t the only reason to write.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Where should I start? Humility is big on His list right now. With all the blessings He is showering on my and mind, I can’t help but be humbled by it all. Then there’s the element of faith that’s foremost in my mind most days. I won’t bore you with details, but suffice it to say this His timing and mine are a little different on some things.

I'm very familiar with that feeling. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

Love Jesus, love writing, and write even when you don’t love writing.

Tell us about the featured book?

Seizing a rare chance to step into the world of the dime novels she secretly loves, New York socialite Eugenia “Gennie” Cooper never plans to stay out West any longer than a day or two. After all, she has a perfectly happy life back home that includes a man her father believes would make a grand husband. Gennie's well-thought-out plans go awry when a ten-year-old girl and her widowed Denver silver baron father derail her quick return to New York. Will Daniel’s secret and the danger associated with it bring a quick end to their gilded-age love story or, like silver refined, will the pair allow God to bring them safely through?

Please give us the first page of the book.

“Sometimes what a person wishes for is neither what they really want nor what they need. Sometimes, it’s the wishing that’s the best part.” Mae Winslow, Woman of the West

Chapter 1

The warning came too late.
Mae Winslow’s finely tuned senses jumped as the fire bell rang, setting the populace into a motion akin to the stirring of a nest of hornets, and sending Mae into a fit of the vapors.
Before the sounding of the alarm, the only stings fair Mae felt in the bleak light of dawn were from her heart and her conscience. She had disappointed dear Henry once again, allowing the calamity that dogged her steps to set her on yet another path leading away from the home and hearth he so freely offered. Surely the longsuffering Henry understood that beneath her buckskin-clad exterior beat a heart that held nothing but love for him despite the vagabond life she must lead.

At the moment, however, her mind must turn from the excess of emotion thoughts of Henry Darling brought and toward the situation at hand. With the practiced eye of one far too well-trained in the ways of desperate outlaws and lowly curs, she lifted the sash of the boardinghouse window and lowered her gaze to the street below.
With the fresh wind came the bitter scent of smoke. Alas, the odor did not emit from below or beyond the bounds of the quaint structure, but rather swirled from behind, as if seeping beneath the slightly crooked bedroom door.
Mae made to turn when a shot rang out. A bullet chipped away several layers of paint on the sill and sent her scrambling to the floor. There, with her breath coming a bit freer, she crawled toward the bed, where her pistols hung on the bedpost.
“So,” the fair jewel breathed as she wrapped her small fingers around the cold metal that had saved her life more times than she could count, “they’ve found me.”

* * *
New York City
July 5, 1880

Something tickled her nose. Eugenia Flora Cooper batted at the offending object, then opened her eyes to see that she’d tossed a fringed pillow onto her bedroom floor. A thud told her the book she’d been reading last night had gone flying as well.
The book, a brand new episode of Mae Winslow, Woman of the West. Gennie sighed and pulled the silk and velvet coverlet over her head as she snuggled down into the soft feather mattress. Despite the fact she was required to attend a post-Independence Day breakfast with the Vanowens this morning, then catch a train to Boston at noon, she’d devoured every word of the dime novel last evening, staying awake late into the night.

After completing Mae’s latest adventure, Gennie reluctantly closed her eyes. Even then, the story continued, this time with Gennie as the subject. She’d been running alongside a moving train full of stolen gold, her borrowed cowboy boots dangerously close to tripping her, when the dream abruptly ended. And like Mae, she’d been fleeing the bonds of a man bent on prematurely tying her to home and hearth.
Gennie, like Mae, could admit no real aversion to marriage and family. In fact, she welcomed the idea of a life spent in such a way.
Just not yet.
Like Mae.
Perhaps that was what drew her to Mae’s stories over other novels. It seemed Mae was the only woman whose books never quite ended with a happily ever after. Each one promised it could be—even should be—and then the adventure took a turn, and so did Mae. By the end of the book, the bad guys were caught but Mae was not.
Someday, if Gennie ever had the nerve, she’d just head west down Fifth Avenue and keep walking until she reached South Dakota or Wyoming. Colorado, maybe.

What a teaser! I need my book right now! I'm hooked! How can readers find you on the Internet?
My new website will be up soon. You’ll find it at http://www.kathleenybarbo.com/
Kathleen, I've really enjoyed our little visit.
Readers, here's a link where you can order The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.
Notice: Your only notification will be the winners post on this blog. So don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you've won.
If you're reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to this blog to leave your comment. Here's the link:

Sunday, June 21, 2009


I've been looking forward to featuring this book. Welcome, Lisa.Tell us about your salvation experience.

I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home and my mother took time out of her busy schedule to teach us about God. But while I accepted Christ and was baptized when I was twelve, it wasn’t until college that my faith really became my own. I was away from home and realized I had to decide if my faith was really my own. It was a huge turning point in my life.
How did you and your husband meet?

Scott has just finished a two-year internship in France, so when I first met him, at a mixer at University, he had this charming French accent that I loved. I’d already taken a year of French and wanted to do missions in a French speaking country, so from the very beginning I knew God had brought us together. And He’s kept us together as well. This summer we celebrate 19 years of marriage!
That's really something to celebrate, for sure. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?

Only four? That is so hard! I’ve been blessed with so many writer friends that have made such a huge impact in my life. And the thought of a writing retreat sounds like a bit of heaven to me. So, where do I even start? For the past six months, I’ve been writing a medical thriller with Lynne Gentry. Skype’s been great, but meeting face to face would be even better. Beth Goddard, because we’ve critted together for years and she always encourages me. DiAnn Mills, because she believed in me early on and helped me get my first book published. And you, Lena for all the evenings we spent critiquing in your living room. I wouldn’t be where I am now without your support and great critiques. I miss it!

And I really miss having you here. Maybe we can Skype sometime. I'm planning to download it to my laptop soon. Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.

I typically speak at different women’s functions when I’m back in the States, but not on a regular basis.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?

A few years back my husband and I were at a retreat with our teammates up in the mountains in South Africa. We stayed in this quaint cottage with only solar panels used to power the house. During this weekend, I somehow locked myself in the bathroom. The owner had to come take off the door handle while I sat on the other side wanting desperately to disappear. Which wasn’t, I suppose that bad. Except that was just the first time! About an hour later, I somehow locked myself in the bathroom. . .again! They’ve never quite let me live it down. Especially when it happened again here in Mozambique. I’d been giving my youngest a bath as it was blistering hot, and somehow, once again, I couldn’t open the door. I could feel the cool air of the air-conditioned room coming through the key hole, so every few minutes I’d press my face to it for some relief. I probably ended up waiting an hour for my husband to return, and even then I ended up having to escape through the small window above the toilet (don’t ask me how I managed that) because it took another hour or so to finally get the door open.
And how did I react to it? Let’s just say, I’ve become a bit paranoid about getting locked in strange bathrooms.
Sounds like the year I kept locking the keys in the car and had to have my husband come and unlock it. Maybe sometime I'll tell you about that. 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?

Start writing! You’ll never write that book unless you sit down and start. There are many resources out there that can help you from how-to books, to face-to-face conferences, to crit books. I also tell people that while my writing journey has been exciting and rewarding, it’s also one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. It can be a lonely and frustrating journey, but if you really want to write, you can’t let it stop you. Use it as a time to grow and learn and write that book!

Tell us about the featured book?
I’m so excited about this story. I grew to love Catherine and her sisters and the challenges they faced. Here’s the blurb from the back of the book.
The only thing worse than being a spinster, is being a twice-jilted spinster.

Sensible Catherine Morgan is the first telephone operator in the small town of Revenge, Ohio. Bound by her promise to take care of her three sisters until they marry, she’ll do anything it takes to keep them safe. But Sheriff Corbin Hunter stands in her way. With evidence that her sister’s fiancé is really an infamous bank robber, Catherine finds herself torn between saving her sister’s heart and losing hers to a former jilted love.

A confidence man, a lawman, and a grubstaker converge on the small town of Revenge, Ohio with explosive consequences.
Sheriff Corbin Hunter never expected to return to Revenge. Seven years ago he walked away from the one woman he ever loved, a decision he’s regretted ever since. Revenge, though, can be stronger than love. When Corbin’s father is killed during a bank heist, Corbin vows to avenge his father’s death--even if it means losing the woman he loves a second time.
Please give us the first page of the book.

Revenge, Ohio 1884
Chapter One
The only thing worse than being a spinster, is being a twice-jilted spinster. The notion struck Catherine Morgan like a spring tornado and brought with it a deluge of unwanted memories. It didn’t matter that the implied words came from her well-meaning younger sister, Emily. Well-meaning or not, Catherine was tired of afternoons filled with tea and scones that consistently turned into an unrehearsed chorus of matchmaking schemes from one of her three sisters.
Corbin Hunter had been the first suitor to leave her with both a broken engagement and a broken heart. Technically, Robert Foster never proposed. Once he realized he’d be living under the same roof with all four of the Morgan sisters, he bolted. But she’d realized long ago that marrying either man would have been a mistake she’d have lived to regret. Any man unwilling to shoulder a parcel of responsibility in caring for her sisters wasn’t worth the nest egg she’d hidden in the bottom of the sugar jar.
She bit into a sweet piece of molded chocolate to ease the sting and stared out across the tall prairie grasses framing the skyline to the west that eventually merged with the Appalachian forest to the east. A sticky breeze filtered across the wraparound porch of her sister’s house and left her longing for the cooler days of springtime.
"I heard that the new sheriff is unattached." Emily poured herself another cup of iced tea from the cut glass pitcher made at her husband’s shop. "And incredibly handsome."
Once again, Catherine ignored the implications and took a sip of her drink. She caught the smile on her sister’s face that was as bright as it had been on her wedding day fourteen months ago. Catherine couldn’t deny marriage had been good for her younger sister. As for herself, she’d long since given up on any expectations regarding her entry into the so-called blissful state of matrimony of which Emily constantly spoke. Not that Catherine felt she had any say in the matter. Last she looked, there were no eager suitors lining up outside her general store ready to profess their undying love to her.
Oooo! I can hardly wait for my copy to arrive. How can readers find you on the Internet?

I’d love to hear from readers! You can visit me at http://www.lisaharriswrites.com/ or on my blog at http://myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot.com/
Thanks so much for having me, Lena!
I'm glad we had this time to visit, Lisa.
And readers, you'll want to visit her blog often. Maybe even sign up for it, like I have. I love reading about Lisa's life in Africa.
Here's a link where you can order the book:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.
Notice: The only notification that you've won the book will be the winners post on this blog. So check back on Saturday in two weeks to see if you won.
If you're reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here's the link:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Winners!!! Are You One of Them???

Laurel Newberry is the winner of Her Last Chance by Terri Reed.

Julie Lessman is the winner of Déjà vu Bride by Debra Ullrick.

G.R.I.T.S. is the winner of Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren.

Sandee61 is the winner of Nosey in Nebraska by Mary Connealy.

Congratulations!! Now send me your mailing address. You can click on the View My Complete Profile in the sidebar to find a link to my email. Or you can go to my web site to contact me - www.lenanelsondooley.com

There are still a number of winners from the last several weeks who haven't contacted me with their infomation. Are you one of them?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I've been looking forward to this interview. This book received 4 1/2 stars from Romantic Times Magazine, and was a top pick. And it deserves these accolades. I loved the book.

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

I like to take my readers on a journey filled with hope. It makes me happy to entertain people in a wholesome way with Christ at the center of my stories.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

I have more than one happiest day: When I married Wally, when my first daughter Alison was born, and when my second daughter Lauren was born. (My first grandchild will be born in January, so I'll have to add that to the list.)

How has being published changed your life?

Now that I'm published, I work harder to write better books. Otherwise, everything is basically the same.
What are you reading right now?

I'm reading 2 books right now: Camy Tang's Only Uni and Jillian Hart's A McKaslin Homecoming. I just finished reading Sandra Bricker's Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas.
What is your current work in progress?

I have several projects going, including my West Virginia collection of Heartsong Presents and my next proposal for Summerside Press.
What would be your dream vacation?

I was born in Alaska, but we moved away when I was very young. I'd like to go back—during the summer, though. I don't care for freezing weather. An Alaskan cruise would be nice, but I want to spend some time on land, too.
James spent 15 months in Alaska when he was in the army, before we met. He's often talked about us going to Alaska, but we havne't yet. I hope to soon. How do you choose your settings for each book?

I generally choose a place I've been or would like to visit. My story set in Treasure Island has a theme of finding life's treasures.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

If I had to choose someone I know, I'd never be able to narrow it down to one person. However, if I could choose someone I don't know, I'd probably pick…well, let's see…hmm. That's tough. I can think of so many. Perhaps Liz Curtis Higgs? Even though I've met her, I don't actually know her, and she seems like a fun, inspiring person.
I love her, too. Maybe we both could spend time with her. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I like to go for long walks, sew a little, watch style and cooking shows, and bowl.

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

Sometimes I have a hard time finding the best place to start my stories. I overcome it by writing the first thing that comes to mind then going back and deleting what I don't need.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Read in the genre you want to write, study the market, read the submission guidelines, and start hunting for an agent who can guide you in your career.

Tell us about the featured book.

In Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida, during the process of getting to know each other, my hero and heroine learn about the real treasure in life—unconditional love—with the help of the hero's parents, the heroine's sister, and a precious little boy.
How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website is http://debbymayne.com/, and my blog is http://debbymayne.blogspot.com/.

Debby, I've really enjoyed our visit.

Readers, here's a link where you can order the book:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

Notice: The only notification you'll receive will be the winner announcement post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.

If you're reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave a comment. Here's the link:


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wild Prairie Roses - Laurie Alice Eakes & Lena Nelson Dooley - 2 Free Books

I've already featured an interview with Lisa Harris, one of the authors in this collection. Today, we'll feature Laurie Alice and me, with her interview first. What contribution did your story make to the collection?

My story, Better than Gold, ends the quest that is a common thread throughout each book. My characters finally find the missing gold.

Did you enjoy working with the other authors in the collection?

Who wouldn't enjoy working with ladies like Lena and Lisa? The question is probably how did they endure working with me? LOL

Did it take a lot of interaction?

It did at first. I, especially, being new to CBA writing, needed a lot of hand-holding.

Have you ever been to Iowa?

I lived there for four years. In fact, I was there in 1993 when half of Davenport was under water. It was kind of scary having that mighty Mississippi climbing higher and higher toward our water supply. But I loved Iowans. They treated me like a friend and neighbor from the day I arrived.

How was the setting chosen?

Because of my fondness for the state, when I came up with the concept, I thought Iowa would work. And it was a state still open in the Heartsong state series.

What do you like most about this collection?

I like the interactive thread throughout all three books, that they are great stories all on their own, yet the hunger to find the truth continues with each novel. And the lessons learned, that the Lord holds so much more for us in our lives than wealth is a common theme, an important theme in a gotta-have society.

What book are you currently writing?

At the writing of this interview, which is March, I am just about to push "send" to get The Glassblower, which is the first book in the New Jersey Historical series, off to the editor. By the release of Wild Prairie Roses, I'll be working on The Heiress, the second in the series, Lord willing, of course, as well as some smaller projects. As a side note, I also lived in New Jersey, was a missionary outside New York City right out of Asbury College.

Tell us a little about your family.

I am married, but we don't have any children, just two cats and two dogs. But let me talk about my husband first and, space permitting, my birth family, too.

My husband is a truly special individual. a law student at Georgetown Law in DC, managing editor of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, and speaks at conferences about accessibility in web sites for institutions. More than that, he's the most interesting person I know to talk to, and has helped me grow into a better person just by loving me.

I have an amazing family. My mother worked her way up from a stenographer in one company and kept moving up until she was an HR manager in a major corporation. All while making sure our house was spotless and beautifully decorated and we always had homemade meals on the table and store-bought cookies were a treat from the home-made ones. Add to this singing in the church choir and other volunteer work and having two blind daughters. She's retired now and still does amazing things. She doesn't stop learning.

My dad is differently, but equally terrific. When I was a little girl, I loved watching him work in the basement on his woodworking stuff. He makes gorgeous chairs. Both my parents are big readers, spent hours reading to us and getting us books, and instilling a love of reading and books. My first book is dedicated to them. I wouldn't be a writer without my special parents. I also have two step-parents. I don't know my stepmother quite as well, as Dad married her after I'd graduated from college, but she has a quiet strength about her that impresses me, and she makes my dad happy. My stepfather, deceased, sadly, had to be some special kind of a person and really love my mother. That is what I remember most about him—how much he loved her. He was good to us, too.

Then there are my brothers and sisters. My brothers are married with all boys. One is a professional chef. They've grown into people I really like, when I get to see them, which isn't very often, sadly, due to distance. I have a sister who started her own company and is doing well out in California, and a sister who deserves some kind of super mom award. She has four children of her own and two they adopted. She home schools, teaching one with some special needs to read, is a great cook, knits, is involved with her church, and, with my eldest niece, started a private children's library. My sister is blind.

What is the first page of your story in the collection?

Chapter 1
Valentine party perfect STOP F proposed STOP Accepted
STOP Marrying in June STOP

Lily Reese keyed in the telegram that had originated in Philadelphia and would speed along the wires from station to station until it reached its destination somewhere in Kansas. With each click of the code she knew well enough to produce in her sleep after three years as an operator, this kind of news never failed to thrill her.

Nor make her daydream.

Shivering in her tiny office to one side of the Browning City, Iowa, railway station, Lily imagined herself as the recipient of a proposal on Valentine’s Day. She would wear a red silk dress, though it wasn’t the best color for her blond hair, blue eyes, and fair complexion. Pink looked better.

And Matt Campbell would walk her home through a frosty night with stars blazing above like crystal beads. He would go down on one knee. . . .

All right, she didn’t know him quite well enough to be in love with him or for him to be in love with her. Yet Valentine’s Day had spoken of romance for so long, it might put the notion of working toward a proposal in his head.

The clacking of the machine yanked her back to the present. Since the last of her family had died three years earlier, leaving her completely alone and causing her to lose the farm, she had to earn her living, and that meant sending and receiving telegrams, not fussing over what had not happened on February 14.

This was February 15, and those crystal beads had not been stars. They proved to be frozen rain descending as ice so thick no one had attended the party Lily planned as an excuse to invite Matt to the house where she boarded. She wanted to impress him with her applesauce cake and excellent coffee. And her new dress. It was wool, not silk. It did, however, boast falls of fine, white lace she had crocheted herself. Yet one more Iowa storm prevented her entertainment and a chance to make progress with her romantic intentions. Now Matt had departed on the morning train and would not return for several days since he worked for the railroad and traveled a great deal.

Where can the readers find you on the Internet?

I have a web site

and a blog, where I am offering a free read, which is posted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and other things are posted on Mondays and Thursdays.

Now for my interview. What contribution did your story make to the collection?

My book, A Daughter’s Quest, is the first book in the collection, and it sets the theme of the lost gold shipment into place for all three books.

Did you enjoy working with the other authors in the collection?

Very much. Lisa has been a part of the critique group that meets in my home for several years. Even though she now lives in Africa, she still is a part of our group. And I’d known Laurie Alice for a long time before we worked on this idea. This was a chance for Lisa and I to bring Laurie Alice into a Heartsong series and help her be published by them. We worked very well together.

Did it take a lot of interaction?

At first, it did. So there was more interaction while I was writing my book than there was with theirs. We created a fictional town for our stories to take place.
Have you ever been to Iowa?

Yes, my father was from Minnesota, and we went from Arkansas, where I grew up, to Minnesota many times. To do that, you go through Iowa.

How was the setting chosen?

I believe Laurie Alice suggested the setting. We needed a series set in one of the states Heartsong had available for stories. With the actual, historical lost gold shipment, Iowa was a good state to set it in.

What do you like most about this collection?

I loved writing my story, and I enjoyed reading both of theirs. There is a cohesiveness with the three stories that makes this book a really good read.

What book are you currently writing?

Right now, I’m writing Love Finds You in Golden, Colorado, which will be released by Summerside Press in 2010.

Tell us a little about your family.

I have been married to the love of my life for almost 45 years. We have two daughters, two sons-in-law, two grandsons, two granddaughters, and one great grandson. They all live fairly close to me except the grandson who is in the Army, but we see him often since he’s been back in the States from his deployment in Iraq.

What is the first page of your story in the collection?

April 1867

Dawn sent fingers of sunlight between the Ozark Mountain peaks, bathing Constance Miller in warmth she needed on this early spring morning. She stood near a window, gazing out at the pastel colors spread across the sky by the rising sun, and thanked God for the beauty around her.

Raspy breaths across the room behind her broke the stillness and drowned out the first twitters of birds awakening to the new morning. How she hated the sound that meant her father’s death could be imminent.

When the doctor had left yesterday, he had held out no hope for recovery. Without her father’s strong presence in her life, Constance’s future looked bleak. She couldn’t farm this land by herself, and there wasn’t a man on the mountain, or even in the valley below, who she would consider marrying. Where did that leave her?

Other young women had ventured far from their Arkansas mountain homes, but she felt no yearning to move away from here. Her gaze was drawn to the golden tint now rimming the tall budding trees, some with tender green leaves, that surrounded their home place. Spring was her favorite time of the year. It usually made her think of a new beginning. But the wheezing gasps coming from the man in the bed on the other side of the room signaled an ending instead. She clasped her arms tight across her chest and shivered in her flannel nightdress.

“Connie.” Her father’s rasping voice was hardly distinguishable. “Come here, gurl.” The last word faded into nothingness.

She whirled and rushed to kneel at the side of the wooden platform covered with a ticking filled with dry corn husks. “I’m here.” She removed the rag, which now felt hot, and dipped it into the cold water in the basin on the floor before replacing it on her father’s brow.

His bony arm snaked out from under the covers, and his hand gripped her forearm with amazing strength. “You hafta promise me somethin’.” His gaze bored into hers, and a fire of determination burned in his eyes.

“Anything, Pa.” She wanted to keep him calm. Too much excitement could leech his waning strength too quickly.

Where can the readers find you on the Internet?

I’m really all over the Internet. If you Google “Lena Nelson Dooley” you’ll find a lot of places where I’ve written blogs or been interviewed.

My main places are:
www.lenanelsondooley.com – my website where you can find out about all my books
http://lenanelsondooleynewsletter.blogspot.com – my monthly newsletter
www.bustlesandspurs.com – where I’m a regular contributor
http://www.new.facebook.com/pages/Lena-Nelson-Dooley - my official Fan page
I’m also on Shoutlife and Twitter

Readers, here's a link where you can order Wild Prairie Roses:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

The only notification will be the winner announcement on this blog. So be sure to come back a week from Saturday to see if you won.

If you're reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to this blog to leave your comment:


MAGGIE ROSE - Sharlene MacLaren - Free Book

I'm really excited to have my good friend Sharlene MacLaren back on the blog. Welcome, Sharlene. Why did you become an author?

Interesting you should ask. I just posted a response about that on the ACFW loop a few minutes ago. I write because back in the summer of 2000, God literally placed a call on my heart to write. I was 52 years old and hadn’t written a word of fiction since my high school days. About the only way I can explain it is that a flame of passion started burning and refused to let up. During the course of that year, I wrote four full-length novels. Think I could do that today? Not on your life. ‘Course, I’m not saying those novels were worth their weight in computer paper, but they sure revved up my engine!

And I'm glad they did. If you weren’t an author, what would be your dream job?

Hmm, my dream job is what I’m doing this very moment, sitting at my computer writing, but because I have to come up with something (so I don’t have the wrath of Lena on me), let me just tell you what my dream job would be. A taste tester at a chocolate factory. Now, there’s a job I could live with!

Maybe we could be partners on that one. If you could have lived at another time in history, what would it be and why?

My all-time favorite time-period is the late 1800s/early 1900s. I think I love that era because my own grandfather was born in 1881, so it feels somewhat relatable to me. I loved the long dresses, the start of the Gibson Girl era, the horse and buggies, the general stores, the dusty streets, the simplistic lifestyles, and on and on. It sounds “romantic”…BUT reality sets in when I think about it, and something tells me I wouldn’t have been the most patient or proficient homemaker back then. Shoot, my family might not have survived under my care. (I just can’t see myself ringing a chicken’s neck or carting in buckets of water from the outside well.) Good thing God knew that and placed me in the twentieth century.

The only time I ever wrung a chicken's neck was when I was pregnant with my first baby. Once was enough for me. What place in the United States have you not visited that you would like to?

Back in the mid-70s, I traveled with a vocal group all over the country for a year, singing in some 40 states and parts of Canada. So, I truly have been all over the USA. But we missed the Dakotas, and I’ve always wanted to visit Mt. Rushmore for one and see the Black Hills. I hear it’s a beautiful area. (Oh, wait a minute! How could I forget? I WANT TO GO TO HAWAII IN THIS LIFETIME! Would someone put a bug in my hubby’s ear?)

How about a foreign country you hope to visit?

Both Cecil (hubby) and I would love to visit the Holy Land. Oh, how I’d love to walk where Jesus walked.

What lesson has the Lord taught you recently?

Something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is that rather age-old statement: ‘God has a wonderful plan for your life.’ At 60, I can now be one of those who look back over her life and do a lot of reflecting. I’ve discovered that God does not have a wonderful “plan” for my life; He has MANY wonderful plans. Every day is a new day, and so I rise in the morning and say, “What are we going to do today, Lord?” He always seems to have something new up His sleeve.

Tell us about the featured book?

Maggie Rose is the second of three in my Daughters of Jacob Kane series. Here’s a very condensed version of the synopsis:

In the summer of 1904, Maggie Rose Kane, Jacob's spunky, independent middle daughter accepts God's call to leave her beloved hometown of Sandy Shores, Michigan, to work as 'house mother' at New York City's Sheltering Arms Refuge, a home for displaced and orphaned waifs. There she meets the cynical, hard-nosed Luke Madison, a 27-year-old news reporter from the New York World who's been thrust upon the orphanage for a three-month period with an order to research the city's problem of "Street Arabs," the name pinned to these impoverished children.

Sparks fly as Maggie and Luke come to terms with their growing attraction. Will Maggie win the struggle to remain attuned to God's direction for her life, staving off her foolish, romantic notions-or does the Lord have a greater purpose than she ever imagined for leading her to New York?

Please give us the first page of the book.

Here it is, page 1:

August 1904
Maggie Rose Kane settled her temple against the smudged window, blinked hard, and fought back another wave of nausea, as the smoke from her seatmate’s cigar formed cloudlike ringlets before her eyes and floated past her nose. Why, her lungs fairly burned from the stench of it, as if she’d been the one chain-smoking the stogies for the past five hours instead of the bulbous, gray-haired giant next to her. Even as he’d dozed this afternoon, his shoulders slumped and sagging against her petite frame, the vile object had hung out the side of his mouth as if permanently attached. She couldn’t even count the number of times she’d wanted to snatch it from him and snuff it out with the sole of her black patent leather shoe.

“Next stop, Albany,” announced the train conductor, making his way up the aisle.

With a quick intake of air, Maggie lifted a finger and leaned forward. “Excuse me, sir.”

The conductor stopped, turned, and tipped his hat at her in a formal manner. “Yes?”

“Is this where I will disembark and make a change-over to the New York Central?”

He tilted his head to the side and slanted one reddish eyebrow. The slightest bit of annoyance seemed to pull at him as he released a mild sigh. “If that’s what your ticket says. You’re goin’ to New York, aren’t you?”

I can hardly wait until my copy arrives. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Oh, please do come visit me. I love hearing from my readers. Here are the locations where you can reach me and/or read more about my books and upcoming projects:


I’m also a member over at http://www.Facebook.com
Go ahead and request my friendship, and we can hook up!

Thanks for inviting me to participate in your blog, Lena! Lord bless!

And thank you, Sharlene, for the lovely visit.

Readers, here's a link where you can order the book:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Notice: the only notification you'll receive will be the winner announcement post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.

If you're reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave the comment. Here's the link:


Sunday, June 14, 2009

TALKING TO THE DEAD - Bonnie Grove - 2 Free Books

Another debut novelist I've been looking forward to featuring. Welcome, Bonnie. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

More than I’d care to admit on color TV. Okay, here’s how it works. The plot is all made up. But I get my characters to say things, do things that I wish I could do. Or say. Jeepers, how do I answer this without sounding like a total geek living vicariously through her characters?

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

In life? Oh my, I’m the queen of quirk. Once, in a traffic jam, I handed my sister one end of my very long knit scarf, tied the other end around my waist and got out of the car. Hundreds of stuck drivers watched me pretending I was an astronaut, moon-walking in slow motion around the car. Helped pass the time.

What a hoot! When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I discovered it in bits and pieces over time. I can follow the trail through my past and put the pieces together. But the big “ah ha!” moment came a couple of years ago. I was working a contract job in Alberta and I was in a meeting with my boss, and the project consultant (whose name was Tammy).

Tammy turns to me and asks, “What are you going to do when your contract ends?”

Without hesitation I replied, “I’m going to write books.”

There were three people in that room and all three of us were startled. Tammy asked what kind of books I would write.

“I have no idea!”

And I didn’t. But the truth of what I had said, the words that came out of my mouth were true. I was going to write books. Right there in the meeting, I did a quick, silent check with God, Books? Write? Me? There was a calm assurance in my spirit.


Hokey dokey. This should be interesting.

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

I have young kids, so Junie B. Jones is a regular on my reading rotation. I’ve discovered there are some fantastic kid’s books out there. I read non-fiction more than fiction; I’d say two to one. My husband is a pastor, so much of that is related to what he’s reading – it’s important to me to keep up with the things he’s into ministry-wise.

For fiction? Wildly diverse. I’m all over the map, reading both Christian and mainstream novels, short stories. One book I’m savoring at the moment is Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems for Hard Times. My husband and I take turns reading selections aloud.

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

I have a non-fiction out called Your Best You: Discovering and Developing The Strengths God Gave You. The fine folks at Beacon Hill Press published that one, it released March 1, 2009, available wherever you buy books.

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

Not sure I have. No, kidding. Sort of. For our family it’s all about partnership. We try to all work together to get things done. And I’ve learned to let go of some things I used to feel were important (like a clean house 24/7). And I’ve learned to say no. Sometimes. Oh, okay, I’m starting to think about getting ready to learn how to say no.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Sometimes characters pop out already named. Others, not so much. One of my characters, Jack Slater, came from the phone book. Yep, I went looking. And I make sure each character’s name starts with its own letter of the alphabet. So no book with Judy, James, and Jerome wondering around confusing everyone.

Gee, that doesn’t should very magical, does it?

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

My marriage and family.

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

A cat. Have you ever watched a cat? One moment sleeping, docile and calm, then all the sudden they jump up, going “Arrgghhhh! I have to be in the other room RIGHT NOW!” and take off running. Yeah. Cat. That’s me.

What is your favorite food?

My life’s motto: if it ain’t chocolate, why eat it?

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

How to start? That was my biggest roadblock. Where on earth does a person begin? I overcame that roadblock by getting connected to other people who were writing. For me, that meant joining The Word Guild (www.thewordguild.com) an organization of writers and editors who are Christian. There I found people who took the time to chat with me, coach me, answer questions, and present opportunities.

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

Get connected to other writes as soon as possible in your journey. Get online, get blogging, join writer’s networks and absorb all you can. And read, read, read. Be passionate, electric, eccentric, yourself.

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

Here is the blurb:

Talking to the Dead: Twenty-something Kate Davis can’t seem to get this grieving widow thing right. She’s supposed to put on a brave face and get on with her life, right? Instead she’s camped out on her living room floor, unwashed, unkempt, and unable to sleep—because her husband Kevin keeps talking to her.

Is she losing her mind?

Kate’s attempts to find the source of the voice she hears are both humorous and humiliating, as she turns first to an “eclectically spiritual” counselor, then a shrink with a bad toupee, an exorcist, and finally group therapy. There she meets Jack, the warmhearted, unconventional pastor of a ramshackle church, and at last the voice subsides. But when she stumbles upon a secret Kevin was keeping, Kate’s fragile hold on the present threatens to implode under the weight of the past…and Kevin begins to shout. Will the voice ever stop? Kate must confront her grief to find the grace to go on, in this tender, quirky first novel about embracing life.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Hop on by http://www.bonniegrove.com/ for updates, newsletter signup, and other cool stuff.
You are most welcome to pop into places I blog: http://www.fictionmatters.blogspot.com/
And at the multi-author blog http://novelmatters.blogspot.com/ where I hang out with authors Sharon K. Souza, Kathleen Popa ( both just named Mount Hermon’s Writers of the Year, 2009!) Christy finalists Patti Hill and Debbie Fuller Thomas, and Latayne C. Scott.
I’m also on Facebook and Twitter (@BonnieGrove)

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

Readers, here's a link where you can order Talking to the Dead:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. The only notification will be the winner announcement post on this blog. So check back on Saturday in two weeks to see if you won.

There are several winners from the last few weeks that I haven't heard from. So on any Winner announcement post click on the Winners link. The other winner posts will open see if you have won, then contact me.

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