Monday, June 07, 2010

MAID TO MATCH - Deeanne Gist - Free Book

Welcome, Deeanne. I love the picture. You know I've been anxiously waiting to run this interview. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I began reading secular romance at age sixteen. At the time, the majority of heroines were of high moral fiber.  And though that bar crept lower and lower, it wasn’t until the last few years that the romance industry started taking a sharp turn away from the mainstream and began to introduce blatant erotica into their romances.  I became concerned about the youth of our country thinking that the decisions these heroines made were not only acceptable, but something to strive for. 

So the Lord challenged me to write romances that would appeal to readers who hadn’t yet graced the doors of Christian bookstores. Romances that would illustrate characters making choices different from what mainstream offered, yet who still experienced a “happily ever after.” 

In order to draw those readers in, I struggled with how to write in a way that was relevant, but didn’t offend.  I don’t think it is necessary to be graphic, but to dismiss out of hand or to avoid our God-given sensual natures that attract us to our mates is not very realistic, or honest even.

As a result, I don’t censure my characters. If they feel desire, I let them feel desire. If they have uncharitable thoughts, I let them have uncharitable thoughts. If they want to be willful, I let them be willful.

I find, though, that I must be very conscious of the Spirit’s prompting while I am writing. If my character is going to do something, or say something, that pushes the envelope, then I have to feel at peace about it. So I pray. I pray that the Lord will give me discernment and my editor discernment and all the influencers at Bethany House discernment.

And the Lord has been faithful. I have heard from women all over the world, ages 13 to 90, many who are Christian, many who are not. Some have recommitted their lives to Christ, some have simply said they’d like to further explore this genre called “inspirational novels.” 

I set out to achieve my goal with my “Dee-sized” plan.  But when I gave it to the Lord, He initiated a God-sized plan. And so I continue to pray Hebrews 13:21:  That God equip me with everything good for doing His will and that He work in me what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

You do a masterful job with the writing. I'm one of your biggest fans. What are you reading right now?

Research books! Lots and lots and lots of research books. J

I totally understand that. I'm about to jump into a different kind of story, and I have to do a lot of research. What is your current work in progress?

My latest release Beguiled is a romantic suspense set in Charleston that I co-authored with J. Mark Bertrand.  Then Maid to Match is set to release in June, 2010.  I’m still working with my publisher on ideas for my next book, but it’s sure to be a return to my historical romance roots.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Learn your craft. You can be the best athlete in the world, but unless you know the rules, you can’t play basketball. Same with writing. Read how-to books, go to writing conferences, enter contests, join a critique group, listen to CDs, read author blogs, join writing organizations, take workshops. And keep doing this not only on the road to publication, but after publication. Never think you have “arrived.” Everybody has room for growth. 
 Tell us about the featured book?

 From the day she arrives at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled--by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack's rugged behavior by tutoring him in proper servant etiquette, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie's efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt's lady's maid. After all, the one rule of the house is no romance below stairs.
            But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangled in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs, their aspirations ...and their hearts.

As with all your books, it sounds intriguing. Please give us the first page of the book.

Like a butterfly breaking free from its confining cocoon, Tillie Reese emerged from the barren, tan-colored servants’ hall into the opulence of Biltmore’s main floor. These predawn hours were her favorite. All was dark, no one stirred and she had the entire floor--easily a half-acre in size--all to herself.
            She’d walked this path many times and could navigate it without candle or illumination. For just a moment, she imagined herself mistress of the chateau. Elegantly dressed, gliding across the parquet and trying to decide whether to have Chef prepare petites bouchees or puits d’amour. Whether to spend the morning reading Yeats, Browning or Dickens. Whether to call the carriage round for a drive through the country or ride one of the thoroughbreds in the stable.
            Tightening her grip on her housemaid’s box, she inhaled deeply. The polish she’d mixed with linseed oil, vinegar, turpentine and wine tickled her nose. She allowed herself a sneeze--something strictly forbidden were anyone about.
            The click of her heels echoed throughout the vast, wide-open area as she skirted the sunken atrium filled with palms, exotic plants, blooming shrubs and a large fountain sculpture yet to be turned on. She finally reached the tapestry gallery and paused, listening to the silence, enjoying the anonymity of the dark.
            Let there be light.
            She pushed the familiar white button. Electric lights flared, illuminating a room so long it could hold two modest houses. Several groupings of sage brocade sofas and chairs filled the area. Huge tapestries lined one wall. Opposite them, a wall of windows and French doors.
            The soft hum of the Edison bulbs bid her good morning. The thrill and miracle of the electric lights never failed to stir her.  But this morning something else warred for her attention and suddenly, the light made her feel exposed, vulnerable, naked.
            She touched the black button. Darkness slammed back down like a closing trunk lid. All was quiet again. Not a whisper of sound.
            She held her breath. Felt her heart hammering in her breast. And allowed the thought she’d been hiding deep inside since last night to fully form in her head.

 Anything else you'd like to share with my readers?

Biltmore enchanted me so much that we’ve decided to hold a readers’ event there. We’re having a Gilded Age Party with Victorian parlor games, souvenir photos in turn-of-the-century costumes, a book swap and much, much more. We’re giving a special presentation where I’ll be strapped into period clothing piece-by-piece, starting with drawers and corset and culminating with gloves and parasol.

The next day we’ll lunch together at the fabulous Biltmore Inn. But the pièce de le résistance will be our private tour of Biltmore mansion where we’ll go behind the scenes of the Maid To Match world. I hope you can join us! Details are at

 How can readers find you on the Internet?

What a joy to have you here on my blog again, Deeanne.

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

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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.



Lourdes said...

I am really looking forward to reading this book. I love all of Deeanne's Books.


grannyvon said...

I want to read this book and I like that the interviews are done of the authors. This makes the book more interesting. Thanks for the chance to win it.

Michelle V said...

I love Deaane's books! Please enter me.

Michelle V

Marilyn said...

I certainly enjoy Deeann's books and I'm looking forward obtaining her latest to get captivated once again. Thanks for posting such a great interview and doing a fantasic job with sharing her notes regarding her passion for good moral Christian novels

Melissa, said...

I love her books!

graceismine said...

I love Ms. Gist's books and have them all but this one. She a great author who stays in touch with her fans. I love her facebook fan page! Please enter me for a chance to win a copy. God bless you!!!


Alise said...

I absolutely love Deeanne's books! Each book makes me want her next one to come out sooner rather than later!! I would be thrilled to win her book since I don't have this one yet myself! :) I hope that I have a chance to win! :)

Keep writing Deeanne!


Casey said...

Great interview! I would love to be entered, thank you!!

Regina Merrick said...

I've read all of Deeanne's books, and loved them. When I found out she was writing a book set at Biltmore, I was ecstatic! Such a beautiful, interesting place to set a story!

I appreciate the interview. I have learned so much, as a writer, from reading about Christian authors in their own words. Thank you for this ministry.


Anonymous said...

Please enter me. Can't wait to read this book.

PatriciaW said...

I'm not a huge historical fan, but Deeanne Gist is an author I've come to know over the last year. Her stories are fun and enjoyable to read.


runner10 said...

I have to agree. That is a beautiful pic.
Would love to read this book.

Anonymous said...

I so cant wait to read this book!! Hope to be able to buy it next week.Of course all of Deeannes book are awesome so know this one will be

Amy said...

I can't wait to read it! I love Deeanne's books. :-)

kgeddes said...

I love reading your books! I have read Measure of a Lady, Bride in the Bargain, and Bride most Begrudging at least 5 times each! I would love to win the book, but that's not why I am commenting. I just wanted to show you all of my appreciation and I always recommend your books to all of my friends that love a good read! Thank you so much for your time and effort and your great witness to share and show the Gospel of Christ!

Annie said...

I'm so glad to have find Deanne's books! Gotta love someone who writes with her heart and passion... Thank you so much for all your tidbits for new writers;I'm sure it'll come in handy ;)

Katey said...

I love all of Deeanne's books. This one looks and sounds wonderful.

Deeanne Gist said...

Wow! Thanks, girls. I had a lot of fun writing and researching this one. Blessings!

Katrina said...

I love the catchy title....looks like a good read too.

AleciaHope said...

I have enjoyed reading Dee's books, and love her sense of humor. The "Trouble" books are my favorite so far. I can't wait to see what she has in store for "Maid to Match"! Please enter me!

Lindsey said...

Oh I love Dee's books and I am a regular on her circle of friends!:) Totally love her she just always makes you feel so at home and welcome when you talk to her on her blog !:) Please add me to win her book I am about to go crazy to get my hands on it!!!:)


Donna K. said...

This book looks really good, I'd love to win it! :)

Cindy W. said...

Thank you for the interview. Maid to Match sounds like a book I would thoroughly enjoy. The Biltmore grounds are beautiful. I would love to be entered into the drawing to win Maid to Match.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


MJ said...

Oh my goodness, if I had tons of money, I'd be going to your getaway! Love Ms. Gist's books. Please enter me into the drawing.

rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

I have only read one of Dee's books and loved it so much that I am anxious to read more! Please enter me! Thanks!!!

holdenj said...

What a great title, would love to win this book. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book. I would love to win this. trishbazin(at)

collettakay said...

Thanks for the interview!


A J Hawke said...

Sounds like a fun book and a chance to learn something from history.

Thanks for the opportunty to win a copy of the book.

A J Hawke

Nise' said...

Deeanne quickly became a favorite author after I read Courting Trouble. I enjoyed Beguiled and look forward to Maid to Match.

Linda Kish said...

It sounds like a good story. Count me in, please.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Diane said...

I wish I could come to your costumed event. Sounds like it will be a lot of fun. thank you for the chance to win this book! :O)

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

Anonymous said...

please count me in...thanks :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

brendalottakamaggiebrendan said...

Just want to add that I have this book, still have a little left to finish and it's a page turner! I love the cover and learning all the history about the Biltmore. Can't believe I live in ATL and still haven't visited it.

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

Please enter me! I love her books!


Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

I've been so excited to read this book -- it seems like forever since I added it to my wish list!

It's ironic that we're gonna be vacationing near the Biltmore House next week. I'm hoping that we get a chance to visit.

Thanks for a wonderful interview, ladies.

sugarandgrits at hotmail dot com

Robyn said...

I love finding out about all these great books to add to my list.

Please enter me to win!
coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I have not read any of Deeanne's books but am adding to my new author list. I would love to win this book. Thanks for the opportunity to enter and pls add my name to drawing.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

kristen said...

I am so excited for this new book. I love Deeanne's books!
Thanks for the interview:)

Anna W. said...

Please drop my name in the hat... thanks!

Michelle said...

Wow! Great giveaway! I have been wanting to read this book for quite awhile. Deeanne Gist is an incredibly talented author; I have loved every book of hers that I've read.

Thank you for entering me!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Mystery Lady said...

Thank you for writing. I love your books.

Sylvia M, said...

I love Biltmore House and have been there two or three times to visit. This book sounds good and I am looking forward to reading it.


Anita Yancey said...

This book sounds really good. I would love to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!


Kameko said...

Wonderful interview & I would love to read the book - it sounds really good.

Thank you for brining Deeanne to us.

Blessings to you both.


C said...

I am so excited to read this book!!! I became to involved with the other 3!!

L. E. Neighbour said...

great interview! It's always good to see people getting out there and *doing* something about problems they see, rather than wishing they weren't so ;)

Brenda said...

I love all of Deanne's books that I have read! Would love to win one!

dancealert at aol dot com

Judy said...

I enjoyed the interview and I always enjoy Deeanne's books, so it would be a treat to win her new one.

Thanks, Judy C,

Sara said...

Excited for the chance to win this novel, I kinda got away from romances for a while but then I read Bride Most Begrudging and loved it !
Would love to read anything else by Deeanne ! Thank you so much

artist4christ at cyberhaus dot us

Megan said...

What an intriguing first page! I hope I win! And I love why she writes the books that she does - we do need more wholesome characters! thanks Lena


Carol M said...

This sounds really good! Please enter me. Thank you!
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Jackie said...

Your interviews are enjoyable, and I'd like to win the book. By the way, cute haircut.
Thanks for the contest!

2boyzmommy said...

I've read at least one of Deeanne's other books and it was great! Keep up the good work. If you ever need a book critic for future works, I'd be happy to oblige. :)

cas said...

I LOVE all of Dee's books and have read them multiple times. Can't wait for Maid to Match ;) please enter me in to win. Thank you :)

Trinity Rose said...

This sounds like another fantastic book. Thanks for the giveaway.
Trinity Rose

Nancye said...

Sounds like an interesting book! Please include me.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

I've been anxiously awaiting this one!! I love how unique it sounds!! Thank you for the chance to win!

Carole said...

I enjoyed the interview and am always eager for a new Deeanne Gist book. Thank you for the chance to win Maid to Match.

I also enjoyed Beguiled and would love to see more from Deeanne's partnership with Bertrand.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Ashley (Ibreath2read) said...

I CAN'T wait to read Maid To Match. I LOVE all of Dee's books but, since I used to live NC, her newest one is already a winner in my book.
Please enter me in this giveaway!
Love Ya,

Judylynn said...

Please enter me in this giveaway - Thanks!


Maureen said...

Deeanne I Love your books, and am going to be reading this one soon!
Thank you for a chance to win a copy!

Cynde L. Hammond said...

Hi, Lena.

Oh my goodness--Deeanne Gist is one of my most FAVORITE authors in the WHOLE wide world! I just LOVE her to pieces. I would so love to win this book! I know this sounds selfish, but I'm going to pray really hard to win this. I never win anything and it would be SO cool to win a book by Deeanne Gist. Wow! Man, I could use some cheering up.


God bless you all.


Megan (Inspired by Fiction) said...

I enjoy Deeanne's books!
We posted about your giveaway at Winning Readings.

Annette W. said...

Her interview made me want to read this book and her others!

Naasom A. Sousa said...

I would love to be entered, thank you!! Nice interview. Congratulations!


Cherie J said...

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

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

This is one book I can't WAIT to read, I even have The Trouble with Brides on my wishlist already!Deeanne is one of my favorite authors.

XOXO~ Renee

Ελλάδα said...

Maid to Match is a competely enjoyable book from the first page to the last. The history of the Vanderbilt's life style and home 'Biltmore' provides a excellent contrast to the hopelessness and struggles of the less fortunate. As always, Deeanne Gist creates strong characters that bring the story to life and make you want more. I'm hoping she writes a sequel to this book, since the end of this story is the beginning of another. I have read several of Ms. Gist's books and have loved them all.