Sunday, January 03, 2010

BENEATH A SOUTHERN SKY - Deborah Raney - Free Book

When I heard that Beneath a Southern Sky was being re-released, I told Deborah that I wanted to feature the book on my blog. I'll tell you why. When I first heard about the premise of the book, I didn't think anyone could write a Christian novel on the topic where I would be satisfied with the ending. Deb did. This is an awesome read, and I wanted to share it with you.

Welcome back to the blog, Deb. How did you come up with the idea for this story?

I had heard some stories from World War II, and even Vietnam, where women had been told their husbands were dead, but after they remarried, their husbands were later found alive in prison camps, etc. I thought that was such a heart-wrenching dilemma, but not being a historical writer, I brainstormed a way to bring that same dilemma into a contemporary setting. Beneath a Southern Sky is the result.

If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?

Only six!? It would be impossible to keep the guest list that small! But I’ll try. ; ) I’m going to choose writers I know personally, rather than those I merely know from their books:

Colleen Coble, who has the gift of encouragement and enthusiasm in spades!
Lori Copeland, who is the absolute life of any party she’s at!
Robin Lee Hatcher, so I could talk her into writing more of her wonderful contemporary novels!
Roxanne Henke, because she’s a kindred spirit (and one of my favorite conference roommates).
Angela Hunt, because she always has fascinating things to say.
Nancy Moser, a fellow Kansan, amazing writer, and tons of fun.
And of course, I’d invite YOU, Lena Nelson Dooley! :-)

And I'd be thrilled to come. I love all those women, too. Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?

Tamera Alexander, my critique partner and precious friend.
Judith Miller, fellow Kansan and one of the wittiest, most FUN writers I know.
Stephanie Grace Whitson, one of my first and dearest writing friends.
Kim Vogel Sawyer, a talented and sweet fellow Kansan.
Jill Eileen Smith, a new writer of Biblical fiction, and a sweet friend.
Deborah Vogts, another fellow Kansan (Kansas is thick with great writers!) Debbie has a fabulous new series out.
BJ Hoff… I know, I know. That’s seven, but I couldn’t help myself! BJ is an amazing writer, and such an encourager!

Sounds like another wonderful party. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?

I think the hardest part is finding fresh ways to express some of the same emotions, and new ideas for plots and even character backstory. There are only so many unique story ideas, and it’s a challenge to find a truly new angle on a plot! However, I’ve found that if I develop my characters well enough, I can put a unique character through a similar plot and his/her personality will change everything!

Tell us about the featured book?

When Daria husband, missionary physician Nate Camfield, is reported dead, she recklessly pursues a new romance without seeking God's direction for her life. Despite nagging doubts, she marries a second time––only to discover months later that Nate is still alive! Now Daria must make an agonizing choice between two men she loves with all her heart.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Beneath a Southern Sky

Chapter One

The fingers of the jungle breeze swept across the village, playing the palm fronds like so many harps. Under the conductorship of the wind, the symphony of the rain forest rose to a crescendo and finally the clouds moved in, lowering a curtain on the sun.

Daria Camfield looked up from the skirt she was mending and her eyes scanned the village for her husband’s tall frame. Though the rains weren’t usually severe this time of year, she always breathed easier when Nathan was nearby.

As though her thoughts had summoned him, she spotted Nate loping down the pathway, holding a large banana leaf over his head. She knew his makeshift umbrella was not meant to protect him, as much as it was meant to shield the book he was carrying close to his chest.

“Hey,” she hollered in greeting as he jumped the narrow stream that separated their hut from the village proper. The wind had begun to blow the rain underneath the thatched roof of the stoop where she sat, so she wove her needle safely into the thin cotton fabric and rose to go inside.

Ignoring the four primitive stairs that served as a ladder to their stilted hut, Nathan leapt gracefully onto the stoop, flashing Daria a wide smile. “Hey, babe. What are you up to?”

“Oh, I’m trying to fix this stupid skirt I tore yesterday,” she huffed. “What I wouldn’t give for a sewing machine.”

He ignored her comment. Nate had never been sympathetic to her complaints about their lack of modern amenities. She let it go and tilted her head to receive the kiss he offered.

He tossed the soggy banana leaf over the side of the stoop and took his precious book inside the hut. Daria followed him in, leaving the door open behind them.

“I’m hungry,” he said, glancing around the small room as though food might materialize at his declaration.

She threw him a smirk. “What else is new?”

“Hey, I’m a growing boy!” he said with mock indignation.

She reached up and tousled his damp hair affectionately as she would have a little boy’s, but when he reached for her, it was a man who took her in his arms.

Those words bring back memories of the story. I'm going to have to read it again. How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website is

I also have a blog of novelists’ gardens here:

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

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

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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


collettakay said...

This sounds like a very interesting story. Thanks for the interview.

EJ said...

This sounds like a very interesting idea for a story - & like Lena, I wonder how such a story could have a happy ending.

Deborah M said...

You have peaked my interest on this one. I haven't read any of Deborahs books yet, but would love to start with this one.
Deborah M.

Merry said...

Great sneak peek! I'd love a chance to win Beneath a Southern Sky. Thanks!

Wendy said...

I love Deborah's books. Thanks for the chance to win.

Linda said...

I would love to read this book. See if it follows my legal reasoning. And what she will do as a Christian.
Please enter me. Thank you.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

April said...

This book sounds great. I have read some of your books, but haven't read this one. Please enter me. Great interview.

Sandra Heska King said...

I love this party-style interview!

Michelle said...

Thank you for entering me! I'd love to win! The book sounds great!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Deborah Raney said...

Lena, thanks so much for all you do to promote Christian fiction. I appreciate all the encouraging comments and will be delighted to send this book to the winner. The re-release comes out mid-February, but I'll give the winner the choice of waiting for the new edition (with its beautiful cover!) or I can send you the 2001 edition ASAP. Hope everyone is having a wonderful New Year so far!


Casey said...

I love Deborarh Raney's novels. This book looks great! What a premise. I will have to snag this book whether I win or not! Thanks for the interview and chance. :D

Carly Kendall said...

This sounds like a fantastic book. Please enter my name in the drawing. Thank you.

Emii said...

Oohh, I'd love to win this book. It sounds so sad... I know I'd be hooked ;)

MJ said...

I'm with you Lena, when I heard the premise of the book, I wondered how she could make me happy at the end without some act of God deciding for her which would turn me off. I was even looking it up the other night when I was filling my amazon cart. But I exceeded my budget and had to put it back. Hope I win. :)

Abi said...

I'd love to be entered in the book giveaway. Thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Sandee61 said...

Loved the interview and would love to read Deborah's book. It looks really good. Please add me to the giveaway for it. Thank you!

New Year Blessings,


Lucie said...

I would love to read this book! Fascinating! Please enter me for a chance to win.

Thank you!


LucieInCA (at) aol (dot) com

Deborah Raney said...

It IS a sad story, Emii, but at the same time uplifting and redemptive. And there's a sequel, After the Rains, which is sadly out of print, but I'm hopeful it will be re-released as well. If not, you can find it at your public library or used online.

Thanks again for all the comments. : )

Jo said...

This sounds like such a interesting story. I would love to get entered in the drawing


Sheila Deeth said...

What a fascinating premise. I'd love to read this.

Larny :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! said...

Wow, what a smart idea for a book. im in! its so cool you can do inerviews like this. im sure you bless heaps of people.

JoAnn2 said...

Sounds like a great book! I enjoyed the interview. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

this sounds like a book i would love to read...thanks for the opportunity.


mariska said...

i love to read one of Deborah's Fine books. count me in :)

bunsell said...

Would love to win this! Sounds wonderful!
~Jen Unsell

remnant reminscences said...

Don't know how this one has escaped my notice so far, but it looks really good. Would love a chance to win!

Deborah Raney said...

I'm off today on a date with my hubby. After having a wonderful week with a houseful of kids over Christmas this is an extra treat! Hope you all have a wonderful day!


Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

gahome2mom said...

Wow! So many great authors these days. lol

Happy New Years


Charity said...

Please enter me:) Thanks!!


Patty Wysong said...

I'm a missionary kid and working on a missionary novel. I'm VERY interested in this book!! =]

kristen said...

I'd love to read this book! That sounds like an agonizing decision!!
Please enter me!

Carla said...

Can't wait to read this book. Thanks

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview! Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

Carole said...

I love Deborah's books and the new cover is beautiful! Thanks for the interview and chance to win Beneath a Southern Sky.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Megan said...

Wow. What an interesting book, I cannot imagine being torn like that! Crazy! And yeah, how can the ending turn out good? haha Now I need to read it!

Thanks Lena,


A Fire Fighter Wifey said...

Wow sounds like a great book! I would love to win on, and if I don't I'll just have to go buy it! :)

Emma said...

Great interview.Beneath a Southern Sky sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.Thank you.

Melody said...

Sounds like an awesome book. I remember meeting Deb at the ACFW conferemce in 2006 in Dallas, but I haven't had the pleasure to read any of her books. Would love to win a copy of this one:)!


Deborah Raney said...

Guess what the UPS man just delivered to my door? My copies of the re-release of Beneath a Southern Sky! It is a beautiful cover and I'm so excited to have this book out and coming to stores again soon! Looking forward to finding out which of you I get to send a free copy to! :)

Thanks again for all your comments and interest!

Carman said...

Please enter me to win!

Buukluvr81 said...

Please enter me!

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Even though this is an older book I haven't read it! I would love to though! I love Deborah's work!

xoxo~ Renee

Eszter said...

I would love to win this book.

Edna said...

I am a southern lady and live in the south so I always love books about the south. Please enter me.


Brenda said...

Sounds like a great read!
dancealert at aol dot com

Cynthia said...

Wow, interesting plot. I don't know how I would make that kind of choice. Please enter me in the book drawing.

Anonymous said...

This book sounds really neat. Please enter me in the drawing! Esther

Joyce said...

Sounds like a really good read!

Debra said...

Great interview! Sounds like a wonderful book. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!


Katherine said...

This book looks very good. Please enter me.


SuperMom said...

Please enter me!
I'd love to try this new author!