Sunday, September 27, 2009

TWO BRIDES TOO MANY - Mona Hodgson - Free Book

I'm thrilled to be featuring Mona right now. Her historical novel will release in Walmart in October. I was privileged to read it for endorsement. You will love this story. Welcome, Mona. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

Oh. I think I give away pieces of myself to each character—male or female, young or old. Mostly, an intuitive act in the process. Personality traits. Experiences. Interests. Frustrations and joys. Struggles and triumphs. Family and relationship dynamics. Certainly, lessons being learned on my spiritual journey.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Well, I’ve ridden a camel, fed a giraffe food from between my lips, and I petted a crocodile. I went for a helicopter ride for my 50th and a flight over Sedona in a bi-plane for my 55th.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I accepted the possibility in November 1987 when I received an envelope from The Secret Place (a quarterly devotional publication) the day before Thanksgiving. Inside, my first rejection letters along with my first acceptances.

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

Children’s books are a big favorite—picture books, poetry, and middle grade fiction, mostly. Novels for adults—historical (mostly 1700s and 1800s) and contemporary, romance, mysteries, and westerns. A good story for any age pulls me in.

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

I’ve had 28 children’s books published, including Real Girls of the Bible: A Devotional (Zonderkidz), Bedtime in the Southwest (Rising Moon Books), and The Princess Twins Series (Zonderkidz I Can Read).

I’m currently writing Too Rich for a Bride, Book Two in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series.

I can hardly wait for that one. Please contact me, so we can feature it near its release, too. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Bubble baths and smacking the ball in a heated match on the Wii tennis game.

I've done Wii bowling, but I haven't tried tennis. We don't have the game at our house. How do you choose your characters’ names?

Usually from a list of names I’ve collected. Those names can come from badges on waitress or store clerks. They can be the names of newscasters or musicians. Sometimes I use the names of people I know or names from my family history. In other cases, I look at lists of names from particular time periods or countries.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Professionally? The writing of this book—Too Rich for a Bride. It is my first completed novel, and I wrote it from concept to draft, including the research.

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

A roadrunner. I tend to move too fast at times. I’m a wistful wanderer every chance I get. And I’m a curious explorer, keeping an eye out for the next lizard . . . i.e. story to chew on.

What is your favorite food?

A carne asada taco with avocado, lime, and cilantro in a fresh corn tortilla. Or a spinach enchilada with green sauce.

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

Perfectionism. Fear of not getting it right. Having a two-month deadline and a two-book contract worked wonders.

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

Remember that writing, being a writer, and publishing is a process, and persevere.

Yes, it's all about the process. Tell us about the featured book?

Two sisters arrive in an 1896 mining camp expecting marriage, but finding love.

Cripple Creek is a booming gold mining town nestled in a saddle valley near the base of Pike's Peak on the front range of Colorado. At an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet and just below timberline, the city’s history is one of ups and downs with fires, disease, and labor wars. Two Brides Too Many is the 1896 story of Kat Sinclair and Nell Sinclair, two of four sisters who make their way to Cripple Creek from Maine to find love and God’s design for their lives.

Please give us the first page of the book.

1895, Portland, Maine

“I have you cornered.”

Kat looked up from the writing desk to the table, where Nell was grinning. Nell’s match with Ida had been particularly animated on this Sunday afternoon. Both were fiercely competitive, and Kat knew better than to challenge either one of them at checkers, or most any game.

Ida perched on a cushioned chair, face to face with Nell. The oldest of the four Sinclair sisters wasn’t accustomed to losing, and it showed in Ida’s furrowed brow. She stared at the board, but the pattern of the red and black disks didn’t change. When she finally made a move, Nell snatched the red game piece off the board, her blue eyes sparkling.

“That’s five out of seven, Ida.” Vivian, the youngest at sixteen, called the tournament from the sofa where she lounged with Sassy, her Siamese cat.

“You’ve been dethroned, sis.” Kat closed her journal. “We have a new Sinclair Checkers Champion.”

While Ida lifted an imaginary crown off her head, Nell stood and smoothed her skirt. Ida placed the invisible trophy atop Nell’s wheat-blond twist. “I present the new queen of checkers.” Ida bowed. All four of the sisters giggled.

Kat picked up her journal and walked to the window. Fabric ties held tartan curtains open, framing the idyllic outdoor scene. Crimson and golden leaves adorned the maples and oaks outside, and a couple of squirrels frolicked while a handful of leaves twisted and twirled above them like autumn acrobats.

Acrobats in fall colors

Twist and twirl . . .

Kat hurried back to the writing desk and recorded the words in her journal, her pencil flying over the page. Sunday was the most inspiring day of the week. The Sabbath’s time of rest and reflection always left her refreshed and full of new ideas.

Nell cleared her throat. “I don’t suppose you’re writing about my victory for the Portland Press Herald.”

“A recounting of your conquest, as great as it was, isn’t Kat’s cup of tea.” Vivian laughed. The name Sassy fit Vivian as well as it did her cat.

“Now if Nell were the writer in the family, we’d all be reading a most romantic love story,” Ida said, returning the checkerboard to the bookcase.

“I believe in love.” Nell shrugged. “Is that so bad?”

“Believing in love is not at all bad, Poppet.” Father’s warm voice drew their attention to the doorway. He wore a herringbone suit, his auburn mustache and beard neatly trimmed. He leaned against the door frame, his arms crossed over his chest.

“We have a new checkers champion, Father.” Nell raised her hands to her head and formed a crown. “Me.”

“And such a humble winner.” A weak smile turned up one side of Father’s mouth, and an uneasiness began to niggle Kat’s stomach. Something wasn’t right.

I hope that hooked other readers as it did me the first time I read the words. How can readers find you on the Internet?

To receive my quarterly e-update, email me at with Mona’s Update in the subject line.

Mona, thank you for spending this time with us.

Readers, check in your local Walmart in October to get a copy of this book


Virginia C said...

What an adventure for two young women to travel from Maine to Colorado to begin a new life! Sounds wonderful! gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Merry said...

I would love to read Two Brides Too Many, I love the CO setting and that time period, so please include me in the drawing. Thanks!


G.R.I.T.S. said...

Sounds like a great book, and great new author to add to my bookshelf!!! PLease enter me into the drawing!


Molly said...

Please enter me! The book sounds VERY inspiring!!!!


Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Mona is a new author for me, and her books sound wonderful. I'll be adding them to my Wishlist!

Thank you,
~ Lori


Laney4 said...

Thanks again, Lena, for introducing another author to us. Thank you to you and Mona for providing a great interview and giveaway.
I enjoyed reading the first page provided. You've hooked me on wanting to find out more about the two sisters' adventures. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Good morning, everyone!
I appreciate your enthusiasm for "Two Brides Too Many."
I am one of four sisters so it's extra fun writing a series about four sisters who end up in Cripple Creek, Colorado. I'm currently writing Book 2, which chronicles the oldest sisters' journey.

Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

I can't wait to read about Kat and Nell! I love historicals and will be sure to look for this at Wal*Mart!!!

XOXO~ Renee

Katherine said...

This book looks really good. Please enter me for this drawing.


apple blossom said...

Oh, this sounds like a book I'd love to read. Thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone,
Thanks for checking out the interview and leaving a comment. I appreciate your enthusiasm for Book 1 in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series. As the oldest of four sisters, I'm having a lot of fun writing about Kat, Nell, Ida, and Vivian.

Cherie J said...

Great interview! Sounds like a wonderful book.

WordyKaren said...

Mona, loved your interview. I'm so happy for you and proud of you, dear prayer partner. You have labored a long time and you are so deserving of the publication of your first novel with more to come. Love you. Karen

Anonymous said...

Karen, you are a sweet friend and prayer partner. Thank you. I'm anxious to see your novel published too. Love, Mona

Anonymous said...

Sorry all. I really appreciate your participation. I'm so techy-challenged that I seem to only be able to get my comments through as "Anonymous." Went through the new Password process, but to no avail. Sorry.

Kitty Bucholtz said...

Mona, this is so exciting! I remember when you first said you were writing an adult novel. Woo-hoo!! It's out! Hurray!!! God bless you lots! And if you need to come to Sydney for any research, call me! LOL!
Love and Hugs!!
Kitty :)

Margaret Metz said...

This sounds wonderful! I would love to read this book. The way the scene ends leaves just enough tension and suspense that you just can't wait to find out what is going to happen next.

leesmithwriting @ yahoo dot com

Thank you!

Author Jessica Nelson said...

Great interview! I love the title alone, but the plot sounds great. Thanks for whetting our appetites. :-)
Please enter me.

jessica_nelson7590 AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

So fun to read your comments. Okay, the encouraging words are wonderful too.
Research in Sydney sounds good to me, Kitty. Sign me up.
Dee, so glad to hear that my break choice intrigued you.
And Jessica, the fabulous title came from my editor, Shannon Marchese at WaterBrook.

Sherry Kyle said...

Looks like a wonderful read, Mona! Great interview as well Lena. Please include me in the drawing!


Debby Lee said...

Dear Mona,
This sounds like a great book. I'm a big fan of historicals and can't wait to read it. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
Please enter me in the drawing, thank you.
Debby Lee

Sherry Kuhn said...

Loved the interview, Mona. The book sounds great. I love the title! The cover draws me in too.

Please include me in the drawing.

Sherry K

Tammie said...

I'm excited about reading your book! You inspired me last year in Minneapolis when you chose to stay in your room and finish your word count rather than attend the huge booksigning at the Mall of America! Enter me in the drawing.

Anonymous said...

It's great to read your responses to the interview. Thanks, Lena, for the opportunity.
Tammy, it interesting to discover what it is that people remember about you--staying away from a mall to write word count. Who knew?


Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Sounds like a fun book! Please enter me!

Anna W. said...

Thanks so much for the opportunity. I love books like this!! Please enter me in the contest. I love and want to move to Colorado!

dancealert at aol dot com

Unknown said...

Wow! This would be a wonderful read not only for myself but my two teenage daughters. lol We used to live in Maine. Beautiful.


Nancy J Farrier said...

What a wonderful interview, Mona. The books sounds very good. Thanks, Lena, for sharing.

Andi Carter said...

Great interview and a great opening to your new book, Mona!

Sara said...

I'm intrigued now. Please enter me.

artist4christ -@- cyberhaus -.- us

Sheila Deeth said...

That snippet certainly drew me in.

sdeeth at msn dot com

Unknown said...

Sounds like a good book.

Anonymous said...

Great post. This sounds like a great book. Please enter me. Blessings


kristen said...

Hey, I've fed a giraffe from my lips too, at a wild life park in AZ!! Quite an experience.
Love to read it.
Please enter me.

Julie said...

This sounds like a great book. I love the 1800's! You sound like a very daring person who is full of life. Can't wait to read your books!


Michelle said...

I love stories set in the 1800's! Thank you for entering me in the contest!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Anonymous said...

Please enter me for this book that sounds so great! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi everybody!
Thanks so much for checking out the interview and taking the time to comment.
Some of you mentioned feeling hooked by my opening lines. It feels good to hear that. Openings are KILLER for me.

Blessings, MONA

Ashley E said...

This sounds like such an intriguing story... and two romances in one! LOL

Mona Hodgson said...

Ley, that why I had to set it in a mining camp . . . so there would be plenty of men around to choose from for two love stories. :)


Carole said...

I enjoyed learning about a new author and I love the cover! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of Mona's book.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Patti Shene said...

My husband and I spent our 32nd wedding anniversary in Cripple Creek just last week and enjoyed the first Colorado snow. Can't wait to read your book set in this historic Colorado town. patgonzales at arkvi dot com

Mona Hodgson said...

Pat, how fun that you were just in Cripple Creek last week. If you went to the Heritage Museum, you were on Tenderfoot Hill. That hill is a bit of a character in the story.

Happy reading!

host said...

The book sounds very interesting. Please count me in :)

Cynthia A. Lovely said...

This is a new author for me so I
would enjoy winning this book.

Megan said...

45 comments! Wow! Way to go Lena! (maybe that's not a lot, but it seems like a lot to me! haha) I love that Mona takes bubble baths - a girl after my own heart! And her featured book is intruiging. As always, sign me up!


Nancye said...

I would love to have this book! Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fabulous book...and excellent interview. Please count me in. thanks.

karen k

JoAnn S said...

In the process of gathering good books for the RVers park's library. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

Patty Wysong said...

This book looks fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Oh, this looks like a FUN one. Loved the interview. Please include me! said...

This sounds like fun! Please enter me!!

dancealert at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

It sounds really good and a great interview. Please enter me in the drawing. ~Abby


Carolynn said...

I would love to read this book, thanks for the chance to win!

Cíntia Mara said...

It sounds very beautiful!

Please, enter me in your drawing.


Have a nice weekend.
Gos bless you.

Anonymous said...

Wow....sounds like a terrific book. Please enter me. Thanks.

Marla said...

Please include me in the drawing. Sounds like a great read. Thanks!

adge said...

Goodness, this book has had a lot of comments for it. Interesting interview... especially the feeding a giraffe part. Looks like a good book. Please include me in the giveaway. Thanks.