Sunday, November 21, 2010

NIGHTINGALE - Susan May Warren - Free Book + Another Contest

In addition to this interview, Susan May Warren will also have a contest for a Flip HD camcorder. We're all eligible to win.

Flip Nightingale

About Nightingale: Esther Lange doesn’t love her fiancĂ©—she’s trapped in an engagement after a mistaken night of passion.

Still, she grieves him when he’s lost in battle, the letters sent to her by the medic at his side giving her a strange comfort, so much that she strikes up a correspondence with Peter Hess, an Iowa farmboy. Or is he? Peter Hess is not who he seems. Indeed, he’s hiding a secret, something that could cost them both their lives, especially when the past comes back to life. A bittersweet love song of the home front war between duty and the heart...a battle where only one will survive.

Don’t miss book 1 in this stand-alone collection, Sons of Thunder.

About Susan May Warren: Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:

Link to buy the book: 

Welcome, Susie. I'm blessed to share a distinction with you--ACFW Mentor of the year. Congratulations for winning this year. As an author, I know it takes a lot of people to birth each book. Who were the people involved in the birthing of this book, and what were their contributions?

What a great question! Of course, there is my amazing acquisitions editor, Susan Downs, who teams with me on these projects. She had an amazing gift to know how to sculpt a story. I’m also super grateful to Ellen Tarver who is my personal editor – she sees everything first and helps me know if it works or not. And, I couldn’t write a book without Rachel Hauck who always answers my phone calls, and usually the question “what happens now?” too! For this book, I was privileged to talk to a number of people from the town of Reedsburg where I researched the prisoner of war camp. I am especially grateful to Jeannette Kelly, who let me tour her condo in the renovated hospital where my story was set, and local inn keepers Tom and Donna Hoffman were a researcher’s gift – they answered every question I had and more – including, what does pea silage smell like! If you’re every looking for a wonderful place to stay in a quaint small town, try:

If you teach or speak. What’s coming up on your calendar?

Over the past two years, I’ve started working with local writer’s groups more and more – designing seminars to suit the needs of their writers. I’m exited to put on a one day Storycrafter’s Seminar intensive for ACFW Colorado November 12th. If you’re interested: . The next big My Book Therapy retreat is Deep Thinkers – 5 days of wordsmithing teaching and mentoring on the shores of Florida, February 25-March 1st. Go to:

If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?

Oh, that’s tough because I love so many places. I love the ocean, so Florida or North Carolina would be lovely. And I love the Colorado mountains. And I really enjoyed living in Tennessee…

But more and more, as my children grow up and leave the house, I believe my answer would be…wherever they are!

I've been blessed to have most of my children and grandchildren living in the same area of Texas, all except my grandson who is serving in Afghanistan right now. If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?

Getting published is not magic. You aren’t waiting to be “picked” like you would on school yard team. You don’t need to wait for fairy dust to be sprinkled upon you. Getting published is about learning your craft, developing a solid story that fits the market, networking to put your story in the right hands, and finally simply doing the hard work. If you are committed to stay the course, I believe you will eventually turn out a publishable story.

You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why? (AS in what program, singers, etc. [it doesn’t have to be writing related])

Okay, music is easy – Michael Buble. I’d just ask him to follow me around (or rather, I’d follow him around) and sing.

I’d get Gerard Butler to speak because I love his accent. He can speak about anything, I don’t care. Maybe just read Robert Burns poetry. He could do our late night talks. Maybe I’d have him switch off with Matthew Goode. And Hugh Laurie. In fact, anyone with a British, Irish, or Scottish accent can come for free as long as they’re willing to read Scottish poetry.

I’d really like to hang out with Bonnie Hunt, so I’d ask her too, just because I think she’s hilarious. She doesn’t have to do anything – just sit at my table. Be my friend.

I suppose we should have someone motivational, so probably Dave Ramsey should come along and remind us not to buy the trinkets on shore unless we have set aside the cash to pay for them. Or maybe Joyce Meyer, she always has good things to say. They could do some breakout workshops.

I’d probably ask Gretchen Carlson from Fox and Friends because if I didn’t get television on the ship I’d miss out on her early morning banter and that would just upset my day. Besides, she’s Minnesotan, ‘nuf said. She could be our MC.

And for the entertainment? Jim Gaffigan. (You tube him. Seriously).

Could I also bring all the professional dancers from "Dancing with the Stars?" We’ll need some exercise, after all.

And Chef Ramsey. I don’t to talk to him – he scares me, but I do think we’d eat pretty well.

And, I’d like the band, Casting Crowns. For when Michael is tired. Because I love everything they sing.

Finally, I’d bring all my buddies from ACFW and My Book Therapy. Because we may not be celebrities, but they’re the people I’d really like to hang out with.

For sure I'd want to be on that cruise. Now tell us about the featured book.

Did you know that, in 1945, Wisconsin and Minnesota hosted German POWs in over 140 POW camps throughout the state? In fact, America held over 200,000 German POWs from 1942-1946. What’s most interesting is that these POWs worked on farms and in canneries throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, (and other states), right next to first generation German immigrants who, ten years earlier, might have been their neighbors. Indeed, some of the German immigrants had family fighting for Germany, and relatives in the very POW camps nearby.

During my research, I read a newspaper account about a woman who was moved because she heard hymn, sung in German (her native language) coming from inside the camp which was housed just across the street from her home. It made me realize that beneath the stamp of enemy just might be a fellow Christian, pressed into serving their country.

I also wanted to write an epistolary novel that explored the power of correspondence. I’d never written such a novel, and the challenge inspired me. I also wanted to write a story about a Daniel…a Christian caught in enemy territory. I think many Christians find themselves in “enemy” territory in their own country, and I fear America isn’t too far away from that. How then shall we live? I’m anxious to hear what readers think of Nightingale.

I can hardly wait to read it. Please give us the first page of the book.

Part 1

Good night my dear,
You must never fear-
For your love is here,
And she’ll hide you from everything.
’cuz you, my dear,
You’re my everything,
You’re the song I sing
When my nights are starless.

Chapter 1

Given a different day, a different hour, she might have jumped with him. That thought, perhaps, shook Esther most of all.

Two hours before Charlie Fadden perched himself on the edge of the top floor of the Roosevelt Mercy Hospital, Esther Lange had fed him cookies and beat him soundly in a game of gin rummy.

He’d taken the cookies, smiled at her with eyes that appeared lucid, and declared that she couldn’t possibly beat him in poker, if she dared to play, and what book was she reading to the patient in bed number six, because he had a few questions himself.

Thornton Wilder. The Bridge of San Luis Rey.

She understood his question. Why did unexplainable events happen to the innocent?

Perhaps that particular piece of conversation accounted for why she found him on the roof with the biting wind pasting his flimsy army-issue pajamas to his skeleton, staring out over the blanketed town of Roosevelt. Still, she should have seen the desperation rising in his eyes, right?

Another moment she longed to snatch back, replay.

Somehow she had to learn how to stop living with one eye over her shoulder. Or she’d end up on the roof, like Charlie.

A full moon and the splatter of stars along the Milky Way illuminated the GI, his hands whitened on his crutches, staring into the clear midnight. He glanced over his shoulder at her with a wild-eyed fury. “Get away.”

Esther drew a breath from where she crouched near the chimney, her fingers digging into the brittle cement, the petroleum odor of the tar roof curdling her nose. Her bare legs prickled against the lick of the night air.

“I can’t do that, you know. I’m here to help you.”

“There ain’t no help for me.” He turned away, his shoulders rigid.

She glanced past him, measuring the distance to the ground below.

The blackout curtains washed the town into the milky darkness—the Queen Anne style homes, the bungalow “box houses,” purchased once upon a time from Sears and Roebuck, the stately colonials, the few Victorians with their steep-roofed towers and ornamented gables—like Caroline’s boarding house, all nested between the budding oaks, maples, and elms, the balsam firs, and occasional cottonwoods, the pedestrian sidewalks that cordoned off Locust, Park, and Walnut streets. A gentle town, filled with hardy German immigrants, the kind that sent their boys to war in the land of their ancestors.

Her gaze tripped over Judge and Mrs. Hahn’s three-story French Empire monstrosity, with the mansard roof that sat like a cap upon the house, the round windows’ eyes despising the peasantry along Pine Street. Above it all, the twin spires of the Lutheran church parted the night.

And as if it were a woman in repose, watching the doings of the Wisconsin hamlet, the dark shadow of the Baraboo range lounged along the horizon.

What it took for Charlie to drag his shattered body out of the fourth ward, down the hall to the roof access closet, up the ten-foot ladder, and out to the crisp, fluorescent night, well… Despair made a person lose themselves sometimes.

Charlie, for sure, had left too much of himself on the beaches of Normandy.

Her feet scuffled as she stood, but Charlie didn’t move, as if contemplating freedom.

Of course Esther should tell him not to jump.

Of course, she should scream that life was worth living. Really.

Of course she should remind him that he couldn’t fly, and a three-story plunge wouldn’t release him from his wounds.

But the words lodged in her throat.

Because, PFC Charlie Fadden was right. Up here on top of Roosevelt Mercy Hospital, flying seemed downright congenial.

Even triumphant.

Okay, this is going to the top of my to-be-read pile. Where can my readers find you on the Internet? , or .
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Thank you for letting me share today!

It's always a pleasure for me to feature you on my blog.

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

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book, and tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (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.

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Jan Cline said...

Ive recently joined the book therapy feeds - so much good information. Good interview and sounds like a wonderful story. Love to win.
Jan from Washington state.

Coolestmommy said...

This looks like a fantastic read. Thank you for sharing with us.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com
I live in the midwest

karenk said...

would LOVE to read susan's latest masterpiece...thanks for the opportunity :)

karenk (from PA)
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Annette W. said...

I love living in Pennsylvania's rural areas!

This book sounds great, and I have never read Susan May Warren, though I need to.

Renee Ann said...

Please include me in this giveaway. I've read such good things about Susan's book! Renee Ann from upstate New York . . . Thanks!

Regina said...

looks interesting...

Regina from ohio

fredamans said...

What a wonderful, gracious giveaway. Thank you.


Jaedyn said...

Oooh, I'm excited about this one now! I loved the excerpt. I added it to my Amazon wishlist. :)

Lindsey from Oregon

Linda Kish said...

Sounds really good.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

grannyvon said...

I would love to win this book. I love the books that are set during the war. I do remember some of the things like rationing and my Dad being gone and in Europe during World War II. I was blessed because we lived on a farm and raised most of what we we but the times interest me because I want to know how different people survived. Thankd for the chance to win this.

Anonymous said...

This book sounds really interesting on many levels! Thanks for the chance to win!

I live in Missouri but I visited Reedsburg earlier this year! Didn't stay at that B&B but it sounds like a really neat place.

misskallie2000 said...

I live in Georgia

Nightingale sounds like a great story and I would love to win. I enjoy stories set during the war and the hardships and dangers they were forced to face and how they overcame them or if they could.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway.

misskalllie2000 at yahoo dot com

Patsy said...

Sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the giveaway.

Southern US

Sylvia said...

I love WWII stories and this one looks very good! I'll have to see about reading the first book.


Sylvia said...

I forgot to tell you that I live in North Carolina.

apple blossom said...

Please include me in this giveaway.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

A J Hawke said...

Great interview and a want-to-read story.

Please enter me in the giveaway.

A J Hawke

Unknown said...

I can't wait to read it.
I live in Mpls, MN

Carole said...

I've enjoyed everything I've read by Susan so far and can't wait to read Nightingale. Great cover, by the way! I used to want to be a nurse (prior to taking chemistry) and loved reading about Florence Nightingale, which the title makes me think of.

And I love the cruise question! To me, the Dancing with the Stars professionals are the real stars and I'd love to be around them. I also enjoy someone with an English or Scottish accent.

Thanks for the interview and chance to win Nightingale.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

kristen said...

Please enter me! Kristen from Washington state

Ashley E said...

Oh my gosh. I need to read this. Like now! :) That first page is great.

Susan May Warren said...

Lena! Thanks for the interview and for coming up with fun questions. You're the best.

And to Lena's readers - hope you all enjoy the book - be sure to enter the contest for your chance to win a copy or win the grand prize!

Cindy W. said...

Oh, I would love to win a copy of Nigtingale. I love this time period. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

I live in Indiana!

Cindy W.


holdenj said...

I live in MN and would love to win and read her new book! I didn't know that little known fact about housing German POW's here, what an interesting springboard for storytelling. Thanks so much! said...

This looks like a great read. Thanks for the contest.

dancealert at aol dot com

Ann Lee Miller said...

Thanks for the chance to win!
Ann Lee Miller
Gilbert, Arizona

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Please count me in!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Robin Steinweg said...

Wow, Susie, I don't think I can hold my breath till I get to a bookstore--but I'd like to.

I live on the opposite side of the Baraboo bluffs from your heroine, Esther. My husband and his family are from Reedsburg. But save a soft spot for me; my folks are from (yah, shoor) Minnesota. And when you get that cruise together, save a spot for me there, too.

You have just saved my neck, too, because I couldn't imagine what to pick for our book club, and my choice is due soon. Now I know!

Thanks for sharing an excellent interview.

Katie Marie said...

I'd love to read this book - it looks great!!

- Katie from Florida


Charlotte Kay said...

I would love to win this book!
It looks like a good read:)

chakasa58 at gmail dot com
from OHIO

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Susie, I had no idea there were that many German internment camps in Wisconsin during WWII. My MIL is from there and was a child during that time. (My dad and his four brothers all served.) Looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for the interview, Lena.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great read. I have seen the book reviewed on other sites and I have been wanting to read it. Miriam from Ohio

wmmahaney said...

Loved the interview. The story sounds absolutely intriguing. I would so love to read this. I also have enjoyed many of Susan May Warren's other books.

Bakersdozen said...

This sounds like a good read. I live in S. California

MaureenT said...

I loved this review and really want to read this book! Thank YOU!