Tuesday, February 01, 2011

RAIDER'S HEART - Marcia Gruver - Free Book

I'm excited about this new series, Marcia. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?

My books tend to have four distinct threads woven throughout or at least touched on. The themes most prevalent in my novels are salvation, forgiveness, parent/child relationships, and racial prejudice. Can’t seem to escape these topics, so perhaps they’re a calling of sorts. At least for now.

I know what you mean. Many of my my books touch on the same themes in varying ways. What other books of yours are coming out soon?

The fate of Reddick “Tiller” McRae, the impish but lovable boy the McRaes open hearth and home to, remains a bit of a mystery at the end of Raider’s Heart. In Bandit’s Hope (release date: October, 2011) we discover what happened to Tiller and the scandalous mischief he’s been about in the ten years since he’s been missing.

I'll put that on my schedule, too. If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?

I’m thinking Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world. Many people believe that acquiring great wealth will solve all their problems and ultimately make them happy. Since Bill is in a position to know, I’d like to ask him if he agrees.

I admire the way he and his wife have become philanthopists. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?

Funny you should ask. After researching Raider’s Heart, I would love to meet Henry Berry Lowry, North Carolina’s infamous bad-boy/hero featured in the book. I first learned of Henry in a TV documentary where he was portrayed as irresistibly handsome and a tireless champion for his people.

There are very few pictures of Henry available, but from the written accounts, they hardly do him justice. Said to resemble a gypsy, he was known as the Don Juan of Scuffletown. Even the families of those he killed in the post civil war conflict called him one of the handsomest men they ever saw.

In The Swamp Outlaws by George Alfred Townsend, Henry is described in much detail. Some of his many charms are quoted below:

“His voice is sweet and pleasant, and in his manner there is nothing self-important or swaggering. He is not talkative, listens quietly, and searches out whoever is speaking to him like a man illiterate in all books save the two great books of nature, and human nature above all.”

“No man who stands face to face with him can resist his quiet will and assurance and his searching eye. Without fear, without hope, defying society. . .if he had lived ages ago he would have been a William the Conqueror.”

Sigh. . .

Yes, I’m a hopeless romantic. I confess to having quite a crush on Henry Berry Lowry by the time I finished my research.

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?

Tell a good story! Studying trends and publisher’s guidelines are important, but without an interesting plotline and riveting characters, you’re wasting everyone’s time—including your own.

Tell us about the featured book.

Since I can’t say it better, allow me to answer with the back cover copy:

A Silly Little Lamp has turned Dawsey Wilkes's life upside down.

Hooper and Duncan McRae grew up hearing their father's tales of the little golden lamp that eluded his possession. Hooper, always the daring brother, seizes a once-in-a-lifetime chance when passing the Wilkes house to get a peek at the legendary lamp. But simple curiosity could open a Pandora's box of trouble for the McRaes.

Whisked from her opulent home in the middle of the night, Dawsey Wilkes wakes up deep in the Carolina swamps, the prisoner of a rowdy family who support the infamous Henry Berry Lowry, a vigilante intent on bringing justice to the poor.

Wooed by the competitive McRae brothers and shunned by their sister Ellie, Dawsey remains intent on getting back home to her ailing father. But has it been God's plan all along to unite these two very different families?

I know I'm going to love reading this. Please give us the first page of the book.

Fayetteville, North Carolina, 1852

Silas McRae crashed through the moonlit cornfield and burst out the other side panting like a hounded deer. Free of the noisy stalks, he lit out at full speed then tripped and kissed the bottom of an irrigation canal. Cursing his foolhardy decision to return to Fayetteville in the first place, he lifted his mud-smeared face and took stock of the situation.

He saw not a soul of his band of misfits across the wide expanse of newly mowed grounds, and no one hunkered along the tree line past the nearby manor. They’d cut out on him when the heat turned up. As simple as that.

A surge of warmth crept up his neck at the thought of the skirmish he’d just dodged. Every lead slug exploding from the end of a scattergun had missed him cold. Every indignant hand on the scruff of his neck had fallen away as he ran.

By thunder! He loved the thrill of the chase. The bulging knapsack of loot under his arm only topped the cake.

His roaming gaze eagerly swept the stately main house, and he closed his eyes for fear their sudden twinkle might be spotted from afar. It appeared his night of plunder wasn’t done. What treasure lay behind those gilded walls? Beckoning. . .

As stealthy as a panther, Silas crept toward the siren’s call. With any luck, he’d have a king’s portion to lay at Odie’s feet on his return. His lovely wife would be most proud.

He angled across the courtyard to the backside of the house and came to the first window. Squinting in disbelief, he watched the curtains gently swaying. With a sense of destiny, he raised the sash higher and peered inside. Cocking his head, his trained ears strained for the slightest noise.


Smiling, he swung his lithe body over the sash and soundlessly touched the floor. When his eyes adjusted to the meager light, he gasped.

Trinkets and charms of every description lined the top of the polished dresser. On one side a solid brass bell, a fine kerosene lantern on the other. In the center, a delicate silver tray held an infant’s brush and comb along with matching vessels of various shapes and sizes. Fanciful falderal, his for the taking.

He placed the lantern near the window to snatch up as he slipped out. But first. . .

Stuffing a crocheted doily into the mouth of the bell to silence the clapper, he opened his sack to add it and the silver pieces to his collection. Rubbing his hands together, he took inventory of the dusky room to see what might be next.

A glint of reflected moonlight caught his eye from across the room. He tiptoed toward it, amazed that the shimmer seemed suspended in midair. Closer inspection revealed an item displayed on a glass-topped table.

A chill shot up his spine. Had he stumbled across Aladdin’s magic cave?

The curious low-slung lamp had a long spout and ornate handle—fashioned of gold, if he knew his business. Breathless, he hefted it to test the weight and smiled.

Worth a fortune!

Rustling in the corner spun Silas toward the sound. More startled by what he saw than what he heard, he crept close for a better look. Heart racing, he parted the mosquito net draped around the crib and gazed at the unforeseen windfall.

A baby sat up in bed, propped by legs so fat they creased in impossible places. A white nightdress tucked under one side of its bum made it difficult for the little mite to stay upright. Struggling to keep its balance, the child stared at him with round, questioning eyes.

Laying aside the lamp, Silas’s hands inched forward, stopping when sudden creases feathered the delicate brow and the rosebud mouth puckered to cry.

Odie’s words flew at him like darts from the shadowed corners. “Promise me! Swear on your life you won’t steal a babe and leave its mother with empty arms—not even for me.”

He straightened and patted the pudgy leg. “S’alright, snippet. Don’t aim to hurt you none.”

With practiced hands, he eased the child down on the mattress, tucking the cover into the folds of its chubby neck. The delicate threads of the blanket were so fine, they snagged on the tips of his calloused fingers. “There you are, little one,” he cooed. “All snug in your bed.”

The baby blinked up with wary eyes.

Silas chuckled. “Don’t fret, now. Go on to sleep. Tomorrow’s another day.”

He carefully swept up the nearby bounty and bundled it into a spare knapsack. Satisfied, he nodded. “Your husband’s a man of his word, Odell McRae. What I take from this room will leave no empty arms behind.”

Crossing to the door, he cast one last glance at the sleeping baby in the cradle and nodded. “That’s right, good wife. A man of his word.”

Wow! Once again your opening really grabs me, Marcia. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Readers may contact me at http://www.marciagruver.com/. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you, Marcia, for the thought-provoking interview.
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. Please 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.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.



Anonymous said...

"Raider's Heart" yes,this one sounds so awesome. I have it on my list,which this list is steadily growing by leaps and bounds. I can't possible buy them all,but I can hope too. This story sounds wonderful.Great post.Please enter me.Have a Blessed day and week!
North Carolina

Charlotte Kay said...

Love, love, love the cover!
I am enticed!
Please enter me in this giveaway!
Thanks for this opportunity!
Many Blessings and Smiles,
Charlotte Kay, OHIO
charsaltz at yahoo dot com

Patsy said...

This book sounds like a great read. Count me in on the giveaway.
From the Bible Belt.


Sylvia said...

Oh, this sounds good! I'm from North Carolina and would love to look up information about this guy. I'll have to add this to my book list to read.


Mark said...

I'd like to win it
Ohio here

Marcia Gruver said...

As always, it's a thrill to guest for Lena. I have tremendous respect for her and her efforts on the behalf of writers. Besides that, she's just so much fun!

My thanks for each comment left thus far and for all your positive feedback.

April and Sylvia, your state is rich in history! I enjoyed researching the book, and I think you would really enjoy reading about the escapades of Henry Lowry. I suppose the camp is split on whether he was a force for good or just plain bad, but no one can deny that he was interesting!

Julia M. Reffner said...

Can't wait to read this one. Its on my list. Please count me in.


Sandra Robbins said...

I'm reading Raider's Heart right now, and I LOVE it, Marcia. But then, I love you, too. I feel like we cut our writing teeth together back in the days of good old Crit 3.I hope this books hits the bestseller list.

Sandra Robbins

Anonymous said...

please count me in...thanks :)

karenk/from pa
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Marcia Gruver said...

Thanks Julia and Karenk. Best of luck on the drawing.

Marcia Gruver said...

Sandra. What a special treat to find my old writing/critting partner here. I miss those days! And I miss you.

Bestseller list, huh? I'd settle for a few of those awards that have become so commonplace to you. :)

I love you too, my dear friend! Thanks for stopping in.

apple blossom said...

oh, this looks good thanks for the giveaway.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

Oops forgot to tell where I was from
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

diana said...

I have talked to Marcia about this book ever since I first became friends with her...I have certainly had my eye on it and intended to order it from CBD. However, I need to finish my stack of to be read books first. I was also looking for another book to be released I really wanted, to order along with it. I would sure love to win this book.


diana said...

I have talked to Marcia about this book ever since I first became friends with her...I have certainly had my eye on it and intended to order it from CBD. However, I need to finish my stack of to be read books first. I was also looking for another book to be released I really wanted, to order along with it. I would sure love to win this book.


diana said...

I forgot...Lena likes us to mention where we are from...I'm from historical SC. I agree with Charlotte...the cover is great!!!


Marcia Gruver said...

apple blossom, I've lived in ND off and on for the last year. Hubby is on a contract job there. I love ND! Such a beautiful state under all that snow. Good luck on the drawing.

Marcia Gruver said...

diana, my new Facebook friend! Nice to see you here, and thanks for leaving a comment. I wish you luck on the drawing.

Thanks for complimenting my cover. Barbour did a wonderful job on the covers for this series. Wait until you see Bandit's Hope! I'm anxious to find out what they do for Hunter's Prize, the last book in the series.

Debby Lee said...

Hi Marcia, I so totally love historical romance, especially the ones set in 1800's America. Please enter me in the contest. I live in Centralia Washington and my email is sanddlee[at]aol[dot]com Thanks so much and best of luck to you with your book.

diana said...

Hey, Marcia. I came back and noticed that my comment was duplicated. Sorry, have no clue how that happened...never has before. Will we get a sneak peek at the cover of Bandit's Hope any time soon? I am really excited about this series. I guess you can tell.:) Congrats on all of your hard work coming to fruition!


Marcia Gruver said...

diana, I checked and they have the cover up on Amazon dot com. Just do a search on the title and it will come up. Let me know what you think. . .

MJ said...

you had me as soon as I read about a magic lamp. Hmmm, now I gotta think of a simple item that will catch interest just by the word itself.

windycindy said...

The author and her book are both
fascinating. North Carolina in
1852 sounds like an interesting duo.
Thanks, Cindi

Katy said...

Please count me in this giveaway - I'd love to own a copy of Raider's Heart!!

~ Katy
in Florida

Robyn said...

What a thrilling adventure!

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

CarlybirdK said...

I just saw this book at the bookstore the other day and thought it sounded really good. It sounds even better after reading this interview. I would love to win a copy. Thank you.

Carly - in between the Triad and the Triangle NC

diana said...

Just searched the cover! I love it! Absolutely love it...I want to say it's the "word that starts with s and ends with y, but I don't want to get deleted, so can I say it's "hot" instead? Yowza! I promise that cover will attract many a feminine eye. Can't wait to read that one too. It will be out when...? Let me know if I have to rephrase this comment and I will:) That was the 1st thing that came to my mind though...


Marcia Gruver said...

Good idea, MJ! I never thought of the lantern as a hook, but I suppose it turned out that way. I hope you find a good one for your book. :)

Marcia Gruver said...

Cindi, I've never been called fascinating before. It's not true, but I liked having you say it. :)

North Carolina, on the other hand, is very fascinating, and I loved using their history as my setting. Good luck on the drawing.

Marcia Gruver said...

Katy, Robyn, Carly, good luck in the drawing.

Carly, it's nice to hear Raider's Heart is showing up on the shelves. Mind telling me which bookstore?

Thanks, guys!

Marcia Gruver said...

diana, you're so funny! See, I told it was a yummy cover. (Thanks again to the fabulous team at Barbour.)

Bandit's Hope releases October, 2011. Can't wait!

Jan Cline said...

My daughter lives in Fayetteville, NC! And my current WIP is set in Charleston, SC in the 1880s! Would love to win this one!
Jan from Washington State
jancline at ymail dot com

Anonymous said...

My name is Angela from Kentucky. I would love to win a copy of this book.

kristen said...

Sounds great! Please enter me:)
Kristen from WA

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

Nancye in Kentucky
nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Ann Lee Miller said...

This sounds great!
Ann Lee Miller
Gilbert AZ

Sarah said...

This looks soo good!! Am I too late to try and win it? I live in Ohio!


Bakersdozen said...

I am so interested in this book already by reading about the characters. I live in S. California

barbjan10 said...

Oh my, that is some opening! I'm enthralled with what is going on. It's as though I'm actually seeing the scenes on a screen. I loved the scene with the baby. That raider does have a heart. Thank you for this giveaway and the chance to win it. I hope I win!

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Cindy W. said...

I live in Indiana and I just love the cover of Raider's Heaart. Would love to win a copy.

Cindy W.


scottsgal said...

I live in snow covered Illinois and would love to read this
msboatgal at aol.com

Judylynn said...

Please enter me in this giveaway!

Judylynn in Tennessee

Cherie J said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. Enjoyed the interview. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!


Merry said...

Wonderful sneak peek, please include me in the drawing for Raider's Heart. Thanks!
Merry in TX

Karin said...

Count me in.


karin56381 (at) gmail.com