Thursday, April 01, 2010

A STRAY DROP OF BLOOD - Roseanna White - Free Book

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

Bits of pieces of me make it into all of them. I'm constantly noting little things I do or think that I can write into my characters, things to add depth and realism. The true challenge comes in looking into my own deep, dark secrets and making my characters think about those.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

My senior year of college, a few girlfriends and I decided to go lingerie shopping. I was married by then, two of them engaged with a wedding that summer, and the rest just needed some new unmentionables. So we gathered on campus at ten in the morning . . . and found the other car's battery dead. So seven giggling girls piled into my car, and we drove oh-so-slowly to the mall, two of them all but sitting on the floor to avoid detection. Hilarity obviously ensued—and didn't stop when we hit the mall. When you have that many over-enthused young women in a lingerie section the results can be embarrassing. Any time any of us found something cute we'd yell out “Who wears a 34B? You have to see this!” The other shoppers probably ran for cover that day.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

First grade. I started writing short stories about awe-inspiring things like princesses from Illinois (which was apparently far enough way to equal another country in my mind) and magical hairbows and unicorns who lived in the clouds with pink bunnies. I'd completed a novel by age 13 (and boy was that fabulous! LOL)

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

I'm a reviewer, so I read it all. I especially love anything romance, be it historical or contemporary. I also enjoy suspense and thrillers, the lits, straight historicals . . . most of my reading is in the Christian market, but I also pick up Nora Roberts whenever my sister passes one along.

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

Oh my, I've got around twenty manuscripts sitting in my Documents folder, most in need of a rewrite. I have a Victorian trilogy which has made the rounds, a '20s era Mafia story being shopped, several contemporaries my agent has submitted, and some ABA attempts that will likely stay locked away forever, unless the Lord points me back that direction. Plus dozens (literally) of ideas that I've jotted down the first chapter on so that they're cemented in my mind.

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

Sanity? What's sanity? Between two preschool aged children and my work-from-home husband, writing, reviewing, critiquing, running praise and worship at my church, and keeping up with all my friends, I sometimes feel like my mind has been left by the wayside. So I take a few minutes for quiet time with the Lord each morning (quiet being a relative term with an 18-month-old squealing over his toys) and later in the day when possible.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Sometimes I base them on meaning. Sometimes history or ethnicity dictate my choices, and I choose the one that sounds right to my ears. I also keep a list of names that I like and will refer to them whenever I need a fun, quirky name. I did database entry for a few years and started writing down all the great names I entered. I also constantly search and have the Social Security Administration's name-by-popularity database in my Bookmarks. For historicals, I'll also search census records.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Hmm . . . with a great marriage, a college degree, and two kids, it's hard to say. These days, getting through the day with sanity intact feels like quite an accomplishment, and two natural, drug-free childbirths ought to be on the list, but who wants to talk about that? LOL. One of my earliest big accomplishments is the novel I finished at 13. Granted, it was terrible, but I'm still so proud of myself for writing a full-length book at such a tender age.

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

An English mastiff. They're descended from a race that fought alongside their Roman masters, are supposedly one of the smartest breeds of dogs out there . . . but these days most laze around, the pampered pets of doting owners. Sounds like a heritage and current life I can dig!

What is your favorite food?

I'm so boring, and never grew out of kid foods. Pizza ranks way up there, as does macaroni and cheese. Slightly more interesting, chicken and dumplings. And chocolate. With coffee. Mmm.

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

Length. I'm so long winded—A Stray Drop of Blood was originally over 200K words. From that I've paired myself down to writing books in the 85K range, but it's taken some major discipline and an outlining method to curb my naturally wordy voice.

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

Connect with the industry. Join writers associations and subgroups whenever you can, go to conferences, and learn where you fit. I did it by becoming a reviewer; it helped me make friends, taught me what was being published by whom, and got my name out there, recognized by publishers and the Who's Who of the publishing world.

Tell us about the featured book?

A Stray Drop of Blood is the story of Abigail, who grew up as a slave in a Roman house in Jerusalem. Her mistress was a Hebrew (as is Abigail), and treated her more as a daughter than a slave, but when the son of the house returns from Rome, her life makes a drastic shift. He takes her to his bed, ruining her chances of a marriage that had been in the works, and refuses to observe the Jewish tradition that would have made her his wife. But just as Abigail begins to adjust to this new life, tragedy strikes with Barabbas's sword. From Golgotha, back to an earth-shaken Jerusalem, and finally all the way to Rome, Abigail must pursue God's will for her and her family and learn how to open her heart to the love of a man she never thought could touch her so deeply.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Abigail’s tears were unneeded. Mourners enough had been hired by her mother’s husband, and their loud keening drowned out her grief. She risked a glance at Silas, who stood with an appropriately sorrowful expression in the corner. Her mother’s husband, but not her father. Her father was dead. Mother too. And this family would never be her own.


She turned to the doorway, where Rebekka, Silas’s first wife, beckoned. Abigail darted one last look at the body laid out on the table, but her mother could offer her no protection now. She left the room, following Rebekka’s voice down the hall. “She is eight years old. Very strong–she gets that from her father. But beautiful, as her mother was.”

Even at eight years old, Abigail recognized the jealousy in Rebekka’s tone at the mention of Mother’s beauty. She stepped into the room, felt her head go light when the saw the man within.

A Roman soldier.

Rebekka motioned her forward, and though she wanted to remain rooted in place, she dared not. One step, another, and she was under the Roman’s full perusal. Deafening silence pounded her until the man nodded and reached to the money purse on his belt. Her fingers clenched, her breath caught, her eyes ceased blinking. If possible, she would have stopped her heart from beating.

Had it come to this? First her father’s death, then her mother’s, and now she was to be slave to a Roman dog?

The man drew out several coins, but as he handed them to Rebekka, he offered Abigail a smile. And she knew. She knew that she would have more of a home with this Roman than with these people she could never call family.

Something inside shifted, making her shoulders edge back. That place from where tears sprang went cool, ran dry. An image of a cracked, parched streambed flitted before her eyes. That was what she would be. Hard and empty. If her own people would sell her to their oppressors, then so be it. She would be a humble slave. No more whimsy, no more dreams.

It was obviously what God intended.

I love it. How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website is , and it has links to all my other current sites. I'm also on Shoutlife, Facebook, and regularly blog at .

Thank you, Roseanna, for spending this time with us.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using this link when you order, you 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.

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Roseanna M. White said...

Thanks for having me, Lena! I'm especially having fun talking about this book so near to Easter.

Trinity Rose said...

Lena and Roseanna,
That is a most wonderful interview. Roseanna you seem like such a fun person to know.
Please enter me in the giveaway. Would love to have this book.
Trinity Rose

rubynreba said...

Please enter me for this book. I've read reviews and it sounds so good. Happy Easter to everyone.

Anonymous said...

I would love to read Roseanna's masterpiece...thanks for the opportunity to read it.

Roseanna, loved this posting :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Genre Reviewer said...

I've been hearing a lot of talk about this novel, and it sounds good. Please enter me in this giveaway.


Beverly Bender said...

Please enter me in the giveaway. The book sounds great and I would love to have it. Thanks.

Linda Kish said...

This book sounds great. Count me in, please.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jackie Smith said...

I have read so many great reviews of this book and am anxious to read it! Please enter me. Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Please enter me.

ebeandebe at gmail dot com

Edna said...

I really like Roseanna;s books and would love to win this one


Sherry Kuhn said...

Really enjoyed the interview. I especially loved the story about lingerie shopping! ROFL! The story sounds so good, please enter me in the drawing.
Thanks and Easter Blessings to you.

Cindy W. said...

Happy Easter! Loved your interview and really want to read your book. Please enter me into your drawing and thank you for the opportunity.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W


Roseanna M. White said...

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone! Glad to give y'all a chuckle with my memories of lingerie shopping. =) And thrilled by claims that some of you have been seeing reviews around!

Sheila Deeth said...

Cool! This sounds a wonderful book.

Michelle said...

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to win this book! I have been reading so many good things about it! I can't wait to read it.

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Jennifer @ Quiverfull Family said...

Oh, I've wanted to read Roseanna's book for around a year now! Please enter me :).

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks so much!

kristen said...

I love your quirky story, Roseanna! How fun:)
Please enter me.

Katherine said...

This book looks really good! Please enter me.


Anonymous said...

This book was highly recommended. Sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway! :O)

misskallie2000 said...

Roseanna, I loved your interview. A Stray Drop of Blood sounds like a wonderful book. I love to read stories of the women of the bible and biblical stories in general. You are on my to buy list.

Pls enter me in this fantastic giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Anna W. said...

Great interview! I've been looking forward to reading this one... please enter me in the giveaway!

Carman said...

Please enter me! I loved this book! I'm trying to win copies to give to my friends. :)

Carole said...

Everyone I know who has read A Stray Drop of Blood loves it, and it's been on my wish list ever since I read the first review. I enjoyed the interview and appreciate the chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Judylynn said...

Sounds good! Please enter me.


Marjorie said...

The reviews on this book are just amazing and I would love to win and read this novel.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

A very Happy Easter to all.

Anonymous said...

Roseanna sounds like a person I'd like to hang around with! :-) Thanks for the great review, and this book sounds amazing. Biblical fiction, when well done, is one of my favorites and I'm always open to finding good ones! :-)


mariag said...

This book sounds great. It has been on my wishlist for a while.
Please enter me.


Brenda said...

Would love to read the book,
dancealert at aol dot com

Lindsey said...

Hey Rosanna!:)
Please add me to win this book I know It is going to be great, and I would love the chance to read it!

Krista said...

Please enter me in the giveaway! Thanks!

Nancye said...

Wow! This looks like an incredible book! One that I would definitely enjoy. Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

glenda09 said...

I would really like to read this book! Thank you for letting me enter! Carman sent me!

Megan said...

May I still enter this contest. I really want to read this book!! Thanks!
Inspired by Fiction

inspiredbyfiction at gmail dot com

Jan Cline said...

I have to say that this title is so compelling. How did you come up with it, or did the publisher title it? Sounds like a must have.

Roseanna M. White said...

Y'all do an author's heart good! =)

Jan, I came up with the title. It was originally a short story that I wrote 12 years ago. I can't remember now if the title popped into my head and then I wrote the story to match it or if I wrote the line in the story and then used it for the title, LOL. Either way, I kept it for the book. The publisher loved it too. =)

Megan said...

Wow. That kinda reminds me of Rivers' Voice in the Wind / Mark of the Lion series, which I loved. I must buy this book, if I don't win. Thanks Lena!


Marla said...

I love Bible-era types stories brought to life. Thank you for the entry. I have added this book to my "To Read" list.

nmetzler said...

I still am excited about this book! I'm sure I'll eventually order if I don't win a copy- but I thought that I'd enter again anyway, just in case!

Roseanne, I have to say- the more I read about you, the more I'm encouraged! I, too, wrote my first novel at the age of 13 (I even won a special award from my English teacher because I gave it to her to read) and it too was TERRIBLE. But, a full-length hand-written novel!

I just recently finished writing my first "real" book, a chick-lit novel about three single women who have married friends that make bets on who will be the first one married off. Now I get to edit it. Ah! (This is NOT my strength.) *smiles*

natashasiegrist at hotmail dot com