Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SUMMER SECRET - Rene Morris - Free Book

Rene Morris is the author of books for upper elementary grade girls. Welcome, Rene. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I have to admit that I write quite a bit of myself into my characters. Some bits are definitely me while others are the me I wish I could be. You know, that part of you that wishes they would have or could have handled a situation differently?

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Everything I do could be considered quirky. I love to laugh so, I guess I could be considered quirky. I’ve been known to dance with a chicken before baking, spend hours speaking with a British accent in many stores with my sister just for fun and I’ve even called McDonald’s to complain that, “By the time we got our ice cream home, it was cold!” Dead silence. They weren’t impressed…either that, or they were beyond shocked at the foolishness.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I’ve written my own stories for my own entertainment since I was in third or fourth grade. My fifth grade teacher called my mother once to let her know that the class had been asked to write a paragraph, not five pages. But I would have to say that when I was in the ninth grade, I watched as a friend laughed out loud at a story I had written while bored in class. “You have to finish this, Rene!” I never did. My mother told me that the story sounded familiar and that it had been done before and so I abandoned it.

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

I love to read and keep a stack of books on my desk next to my bed. I’ve left behind most secular books in favor of Inspirational Fiction. I love true life fiction type books such as Karen Kingsbury and Neta Jackson. But I also love books such as By Darkness Hid and To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson. Give me a story and I’ll probably love it. I want to tackle all of the Eric Wilson books next. I’m also working my way through the Love Finds You books.

When you get to my Love Finds You book, let me know how you like it. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

What sanity? Well, you know how sometimes you have that feeling of dread? A feeling that takes you to a dark place and you just want to close your eyes and forget about your problems? I pray. God is there. I know His promises and most importantly, I believe Him. One night I was praying and I fell asleep, finally at peace. Something quietly shook me awake, just enough so that I was aware of one statement that had formed inside my head. “No one has the power to take you to a dark place.” Basically, accept the victory of the sacrifice that Jesus gave on the cross. God promised me a sound mind and I believe Him.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I don’t choose them, they do. Seriously, I write by the seat of my pants and characters show up already named. So, I let them in to help tell the story. I’ve caught myself many times thinking, “So and so wouldn’t do that!”

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

A lot of people are proud of me…that my book was published. I’m happy that I finally settled down long enough to listen to what God wanted to tell me. Then, He blessed me with that story and He continues to bless me. So I’m not as proud as I am thankful.

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

A good answer would be an eagle, probably a great answer even. But a truthful answer would be one of the squirrels at Candy Cane park, a park close to my home. Those squirrels are fed non-stop and chubby looks good on them.

What is your favorite food?

Burgers on the grill! Topped with grilled onions and avocado!

That sounds yummy right now. I love grilled onions and avocado on a burger. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Finding time and peace and quiet. With six kids, I have to schedule my writing. When I first got serious about writing the Sonshine Girls, I wrote in the early morning hours from midnight on. My first writer’s handle was, midnightwriter.

Tell us about the featured book.

Summer Secret started out to be something scary. But a small voice nudged me in the other direction. Before I knew it, my characters were standing up to bullies, learning lessons in forgiveness and finding the true value in friendship. To make it fun, there are many of those awkward tween moments as well as a mystery that is over 50-years-old.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Th e sun rose slowly above the treetops in the Georgia mountains. At 7a.m., the ‘97 Honda Civic climbed the steep hills of Lilburn and 13-year-old Kristin Baker watched as all that was familiar to her disappeared.

Kristin’s grandmother had decided it was time to go back home to Texas, so Kristin was trying desperately to commit everything to memory. She had hardly spoken since they’d left and felt guilty for unintentionally giving her grandmother the silent treatment. Her grandmother had given her few details as to why she had chosen to leave Georgia now. So many thoughts and questions ran through her mind that Kristin could do nothing more than stare out the window at the passing Kudzu.

“I’m gonna miss my friends ya know,” Kristin said to her grandmother. Her eyes stung and she felt the pain of a headache that comes from trying to hold back tears.

Kristin’s thoughts traveled to her church. She remembered how the building seemed to blend in with the red clay as it was being constructed. She also remembered how beautiful it looked once they put down the bright green sod. And, she loved the way it silently said, I’m fi nished now. Would she ever fi nd another church
like that?

She thought of the friends she was leaving behind and rested her head against the side of the window in defeat as her grandmother turned into the parking lot of Krystal Hamburgers for a bite to eat.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

I’m very Googleable. :-) I have a website at http://renemorris.com/ and I have a Facebook page, http://facebook.com/authorrenemorris. I am a terrible Twitterer… http://twitter.com/renemorris .

Thank you for the interesting visit, Rene.

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

Leave a comment--including where you live, at least the state or territory--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.



Ann Lee Miller said...

I'd love to win!
Ann Lee Miller
Gilbert AZ

Patsy said...

This book would be great to pass along to some girls I know. Thanks for the giveaway.

Molly said...

I'd love to win this please! Thanks for the chance!

Molly in NC

apple blossom said...

thanks for the interview. would love to win thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Jan Marie said...

Great interview! I am always looking for new books for my reading groups at school. I would love to win this one to add to my collection! Thanks for the opportunity!

Christmas blessings,
Jan Marie


lokysmom79 said...

Love the interview. This is a tremendous book, and I highly recommend it!!! Love the giveaway, also!


Diane said...

My daughter would love this book. Sounds like a great message and adventure. :O)

estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

dancealertreads.blogspot.com said...

I'd love to win! Thanks for the contest.

dancealert at aol dot com

MaureenT said...

Great interview...please include me!

Shannon L said...

This book was excellent. Rene writes beauty, truth and lessons of life in a way that doesn't even feel like you are being taught them. It is refreshing! I have passed this book along to some families that have young girls and I know it will soon become one of their favorites!!

Cherie J said...

Sounds like a great one for my daughter. Please enter me. I live in Florida. Thank you!

Coolestmommy said...

Thank you for writing books that girls can read without their mothers fearing what's in there!!!!

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com
I live in the midwest

misskallie2000 said...

I would love to read Summer Secret. Pls add my name to the draw. Great interview.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I forgot to say I live in Georgia.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Julia M. Reffner said...

I would love to read this book to my daughter. Please enter me.


Judylynn said...

Please enter me in this giveaway - Thanks! (I am in Tennessee)


apple blossom said...

oops first comment forgot to tell where I live. I live in North Dakota

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Pat said...

My granddaughter would really like this book. I live in Ohio.
pkildow at gmail dot com

Ginny said...

I have 2 daughters that might enjoy this book.

I'm in Michigan

Nancye said...

I would love to win this book to read with my daughter. Thanks for the chance!

Nancye from Kentucky
nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

rubynreba said...

I'd love to be entered.
Beth from Iowa