Saturday, January 23, 2010

THE SUBSTITUTE BRIDE - Janet Dean - Free Book

I'm always glad to have you on my blog, Janet. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

God has blessed me with books on the shelves and encouraging notes from readers who were touched by my stories. I see more books on the horizon. Beyond that I dream. I’ve learned from Debby Macomber’s talks to never underestimate what can happen when you set goals and work toward them. God has a way of opening doors when the time is right.

That is so true. Tell us a little about your family.

I’m married to my college sweetheart. Our two daughters and sons by marriage have given us four wonderful grandchildren. We love spending time with our family. Our grandkids like to shoot baskets and play board games as well as ping-pong and air hockey. Its tough to be beaten by a five year old, but it happens. :-)

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

I don’t have as much time to read now that I’m writing for publication. I try to keep up with fellow authors in the Love Inspired Historical, along with other inspirational authors and Seeker friends’ books. I’d like to read out of the genre more though historical fiction is always a favorite. I plan to read The Help this winter.

What are you working on right now?

I’m writing a story set in 1900 in the fictitious town of Peaceful, Indiana. The heroine is a pregnant widow who opens her home to unwed mothers. The hero is a falsely convicted ex-con searching for his birth mother. Together they take a stand against the disapproving town and, of course, find their much deserved happy ending.

Sounds interesting. I'll have to feature it on my blog, too. What outside interests do you have?

I enjoy rubber stamping greeting cards and knitting simple projects like scarves. Though my game needs lots of work, I like to golf. I love to walk and read. There are so many things I’d like to do if I had the time. I can’t imagine being bored.

I create all our greeting cards on the computer, and I like to knit, too. How do you choose your settings for each book?

I love small towns. I know the Midwest so all my books have Midwestern small town settings. The Courting books were set in Noblesville, Indiana. I loved visiting the town, checking dates on the buildings, visiting the historical museum and talking to the county historian. No one complained so I hope I got the research right, but it’s faster to create a fictitious town and the characters living there.

I love your cover. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

A list of possibilities paraded through my mind but I immediately narrowed it down someone living during the Revolutionary War or Civil War, important periods in our country’s history. I’d like the wives’ point of view so I narrowed it further to Martha Washington or Mary Todd Lincoln. Mrs. Lincoln endured many tragedies in her life and a great deal of controversy still surrounds her. I’m sure an evening with President Lincoln’s wife would be fascinating.

Yes, it would. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

I wish I’d known to start the story where the trouble begins. But overall, if I’d known how hard it is to get published and the ups and downs of this business, I might have given up before I started. If I had, I’d have missed so much. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. :-)

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

The Lord is teaching me the importance of putting Him first. When life is hectic and my To Do list is long, it’s tempting to skip time with God. The account of Martha and Mary in the Bible reminds me to get my priorities right. I’m to sit at Jesus’ feet as Mary did rather than focusing on what needs to be done as Martha did. When I’ve fed on His words, I’m ready to do His work.

I agree. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

Read. Read in the genre you want to be published in and notice what authors did to make you love their books.

Be teachable. Information from critiques, contest judges, craft workshops and online classes won’t help you succeed if your mind is closed. Writers must evaluate all that input, take what works and develop our skills. The more I know, the more I realize how much I still need to know.

Write. Just do it. Each book is like a college class. We learn so much from practice.

Tell us about the featured book?

Fleeing an arranged marriage, debutante Elizabeth Manning exchanges places with a mail-order bride bound for New Harmony, Iowa. Life on the frontier can’t be worse than forced wedlock to pay her father’s gambling debts. But Ted Logan’s rustic lifestyle and rambunctious children prove to be more of a challenge than Elizabeth expects. She doesn’t know how to be a mother or a wife. She doesn’t even know how to tell Ted the truth about her past—especially as her feelings for him grow. Little does she know, Ted’s hiding secrets of his own, and when their pasts collide, there’s more than one heart at stake.

Interesting Please give us the first page of the book.

Chicago, spring of 1899

Elizabeth Manning had examined every option open to her. But in the end she had only one. Her heart lurched.

She had to run.

If she stayed in Chicago, tomorrow morning she’d be walking down the aisle of the church on Papa’s arm. Then, walking back up it attached to Reginald Parks for the remainder of his life, which could be awfully long, considering Reginald’s father was eighty-two.

Papa said she had no choice, now that their circumstances had gone south like robins in winter. He’d reminded her that as Reginald’s wife, she’d be kept in fine style. Probably what the keepers said about the tigers at the zoo.

She scooped her brush and toiletries into a satchel, then dropped it beside a valise crammed with clothes. No, she couldn’t rely on mortality to get her out of the marriage.

And as for God...

Martha had promised God would help her. Well, Elizabeth had prayed long and hard and nothing had changed. Perhaps God had washed His hands of her. If so, she could hardly blame Him.

The time had come to take matters into her hands. Once she got a job and made some money, she’d return—for the most important person of all.

I can hardly wait for my book to come. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Web site:
Group blog:

Thank you, Janet, for another fun interview.

Readers, here's a link where you can order the book. By using this link when you order, you'll help support this blog.

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.


Nancye said...

Sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks for the giveaway.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Merry said...

A substitute and a mail order bride, it sounds fun. Please include me in the drawing. Thanks!

Laney4 said...

Two things really jumped out at me about this blog:
"... start the story where the trouble begins." What a GREAT tip! That is something that I probably should have clued into many years ago, as it is obvious once you read it! Thank goodness I'm not a writer! I'll leave that to you and many others!
"I create all our greeting cards on the computer...." I write poems for special anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, etc., and then I too print them off on the computer. I use scrapbooking embellishments to "fancy them up" rather than learning how to do it on the computer, I guess. It works for me. Besides, with my cards, people are probably more interested in the special poem than the adornments.
Thanks for another great interview. It's always great hearing things from a writer's point of view, and I especially look forward to reading this book!

Janet Dean said...

Hi Nancye, I appreciate your interest in The Substitute Bride. Thanks for entering.

Blessings, Janet

Janet Dean said...

Merry, The Substitute Bride was a fun story to write. One of my favorite scenes is when the groom realizes the woman he's about to marry is a substitute for his mail-order bride.


Anonymous said...

Great interview Janet. What I like about your books is your dry sense of humor peeks through making the characters very believable.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Laney4. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your interests with us. Your sound cards wonderful--a gift of yourself. I'm sure everyone appreciates getting them.


Janet Dean said...

Hello Tina, dear, recently SOLD friend. I try to use humor to offset the trouble I put my characters through. I hadn't thought how that made them more believable. Thanks!


Edna said...

Another great book by a great author please enter me, I am a follower and love your blogs and books,


Casey said...

I LOVE mail order bride stories- thanks for the chance to win this one!

MJ said...

please sign me up, sounds like a good book.

Emma said...

Great interview.The Substitute Bride sounds wonderful.Janet I enjoy reading all your books.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Anonymous said...

please count me in....thanks


Robyn said...

Wow! Sounds like a great book--can't wait to read it. Thanks for the give away.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Janet Dean said...

Hi Edna, I appreciate you and your interest in my books. Thanks for stopping!

Blessings, Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hi Casey, it blows my mind that men and women married when their only contact had been exchanged letters and pictures. Their courage, or maybe it was more desperation, has sparked some great stories over the years.


Janet Dean said...

You're entered MJ. Thanks for your interest in my book.


Janet Dean said...

Thanks for your lovely, encouraging words, Emma!


Janet Dean said...

Hi KarenK, you're in. :-) Thanks!


Janet Dean said...

Robyn, you've got an adorable family. Thanks for entering.


Rose McCauley said...

I'm planning on targeting LIH so would love to win this! thanks for the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

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

Sounds like this could be another great addition to my 'Review Family' over on my blog...(where I review Christian Fiction)

Please enter me!

Rae Byuel

Rick Barry said...

I especially appreciated your observation about the temptation to shortchange our time with the Lord. Life gets busy, and writers can always use more minutes at the keyboard, but if we minimize our intake of daily spiritual bread to a daily crouton (or less), then both we and the content of our novels will suffer. Blessings to you, Janet!

Michelle said...

Thank you for entering me!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Ausjenny said...

Oh Please enter me, I just finished Courting the Doctors Daughter and loved it and I really would love to read this book.

stampedwithgrace said...

I haven't read any of your books yet, but this one sounds like a good one! thanks for the opportunity :)

Linda said...

This would be my first Janet Dean book. Sounds like a good one! Please enter me. Thank you.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Janet Dean said...

Hi Rose. I'm thrilled to be writing for LIH. Wishing you all the best with targeting them.

Janet Dean said...

You're in, Wanda. Thanks!


Janet Dean said...

Hi Rae, I truly appreciate book reviewers. Thanks for all you do to get the word out.


Patricia said...

I have enjoyed your writing and this interview. Naturally, I'd love to win a copy of your latest book.
pgrau dot ggi at gmail dot com

Janet Dean said...

Hi Rick. Love the picture you paint of minimizing our spiritual daily bread to crouton size proportions. Thanks! That's a diet this Christian doesn't want to go on. :-)

God bless,

Janet Dean said...

Hi Michelle. Thanks for your interest in The Substitute Bride.


Janet Dean said...

Jenny, I'm delighted you enjoyed Courting the Doctor's Daughter! Thanks for letting me know.


Janet Dean said...

I'd love to find a new reader, Stampedbygrace. Thanks for your interest.


Janet Dean said...

I love getting a chance to get my books out to new readers. Thanks for entering, Linda.


Janet Dean said...

Thanks for your encouraging words, Patricia!


Sheila Deeth said...

Feeling less than blissfully ignorant, but thanks for your encouraging words.

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Carla said...

Please enter me in the contest. Thanks

EVA S said...

This looks like an interesting book. I'd love to read it[@]gmail[.]com

Buukluvr81 said...

This book sounds delightful! Please enter me! Thanks!

Blessings and hugs,

cheryl c said...

Okay, I am hooked after just the first page! I love mail-order bride stories. Thanks for a chance to win this book.

Martha A. said...

I might have to buy this book like I did with your other ones!!! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

~Ley said...

Courting Miss Adelaide was a wonderful book. I need to catch up on the rest! Please enter me in the contest.

Brenda said...

Please enter me in your contest!

dancealert at aol dot com

Patty Wysong said...

This sounds great!!

Esther said...

I would love to read this book. Please enter me in the book giveaway. Thanks! Esther

Anonymous said...

Hello Janet,
I would love to read this book. Sounds wonderful. Please enter me in the giveaway. I appreciate all you authors do. You are precious.
Blessings, Wanda

P.S. Haven't knitted, but love to crochet.

Janet Dean said...

Wow, I turned my back and lots of you came! Thanks Sheila, Stacie and Carla for entering. You, too, Eva, Molly and Cheryl. I appreciate your interest!


Janet Dean said...

Hi Martha, buying books is good too. :-) Thanks for your support!


Janet Dean said...

Hey, Ley, good to see you. Thanks for your lovely praise for Courting Miss Adelaide!


Janet Dean said...

Thanks for entering Brenda and Esther. Waving to Patty! I appreciate your interest in The Substitute Bride.


Janet Dean said...

God bless you, Wanda. We authors think readers are precious. Thanks for stopping by.


ladystorm said...

Sounds like a great book and I have not read this author so please put me in the drawing.