Friday, May 13, 2011

WHEN SPARROWS FALL - Meg Moseley - Free Book

Welcome, Meg, you look so good in that blue. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

That all depends on the character. I hope there’s not much of me in the villains. Miranda, the homeschooling heroine of When Sparrows Fall, has a lot in common with me because I homeschooled my children too, but I also put some of my own habits and quirks into the character of Jack. I love Shakespeare, so I enjoyed creating this guy who goes around quoting lines from Hamlet but also appreciates Dr. Seuss.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Years ago, I went to Disney World with a girlfriend when we were both single. We slipped into an “employees only” area near the Jungle Boat ride, hid in the greenery, and waved at the boats as they went by. None of the guides noticed us, but some of the tourists waved back. I was too worried about getting caught to enjoy the escapade as much as my friend did.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I think I loved to write as soon as I learned to spell. When I was in third grade, the little local newspaper printed a short poem that I’d written. I can’t remember who submitted it—my mother or my teacher—but seeing my words in print sealed the deal. I knew I had to be a real writer someday.

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

Call me omnivorous. I have a thing for Brit-lit oldies (Dorothy L. Sayers, Josephine Tey, P.G. Wodehouse) and current grit-lit (Joshilyn Jackson, River Jordan, and a few other southern authors).  I just finished Ted Dekker’s tender-hearted thriller, The Bride Collector, and loved it. I also enjoy a variety of nonfiction and poetry.

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

Oh, am I supposed to be sane?! I’m learning to roll with the punches and trust the Lord to get me through the tough spots. My life has been crazy lately, including a fractured humerus, months of physical therapy, a tornado, my elderly mom going into hospice care, and all the work that goes into launching a book. I’m very thankful for all the help I’ve received from friends, family, and the wonderful people at Multnomah Books.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I usually try different names until one of them clicks. Sometimes I browse a phone book or a baby-name book. For surnames and names of towns, I like to look on maps. Sometimes names just pop into my head and beg to be made into characters.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

With my husband, raising three wonderful children to adulthood.

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

I would probably be a cat. Cats love their solitude and like to think they’re independent, but they need friends too. I would be a coffee-loving cat. They do exist. I know one of them.

What is your favorite food?

At the moment, an avocado with a little salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar. I could happily eat avocados for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maybe even dessert.

Tell us a little about your journey to publication.

I’ve always enjoyed writing poetry and short fiction, and eventually I wrote newspaper columns, but fiction is my real love. The first novel I wrote was awful, though. It will never see publication. I promise. But I started learning the craft from writers’ groups, conferences, and books, and I began to get “good” rejection letters that said I showed promise even if I wasn’t ready for publication. Finally my agent matched up one of my novels with an editor who was perfect for it. She understood the story completely and knew how to make it better.  

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

I have difficulty with plotting. I tend to start with characters and let them meander through their problems for a while, but that makes a weak story. The process of editing When Sparrows Fall taught me a lot about how to structure a novel, but I’ll probably always struggle with plot to some extent.

What advice would you give to others who are trying to get their first book published?

Get involved in a critique group before you try to sell your book. A good critique partner can save you a lot of grief. You might not agree with every critique, but you can still learn from each one. You can learn from how-to-write books too, but I think it’s even more important to read good literature and absorb it.

Tell us about the featured book.

A widow and mother of six, Miranda Hanford leads a quiet, private life. When the pastor of her close-knit church announces his plans to move the entire congregation to another state, Miranda jumps at the opportunity to dissolve ties with Mason Chandler and his controlling brand of “shepherding”. But then Mason threatens to unearth secrets only he knows, and Miranda feels trapped, terrified she’ll be unable to protect her children.

College professor Jack Hanford is more than surprised when he gets a call from his estranged sister-in-law’s oldest son, Timothy, informing him that Miranda has taken a serious fall and he has been named legal guardian of her children while she recovers. Quickly charmed by Miranda’s children, Jack brings some much-needed life into the sheltered household. But his constant challenging of the family’s conservative lifestyle makes the recovering mother uneasy and defensive—despite Jack’s unnerving appeal.

As Jack tries to make sense of the mysterious Miranda and the secrets she holds so tightly, Mason’s pressure on her increases. With her emotions stirring and freedom calling, can Miranda find a way to unshackle her family without losing everything?

Please give us the first page of the book.

If running late showed a streak of rebellion, Miranda Hanford was already in trouble. Pulling her van to the side of the narrow road, she tallied the other vehicles lined up on the shoulder. She wasn’t the last to arrive at Mason’s emergency meeting. She could steal a moment with Jezebel.

She picked up her camera and climbed out. Working quickly in the cold, she framed the last sliver of sun, as red as a forest fire above the pine-stubbled peaks. In the foreground, a maple sapling curled its bare limbs around the sunset, unwilling to let go—like sweet, stubborn Martha at bedtime, refusing to believe the day was over.

Miranda clicked the shutter. Before the sun abandoned the Blue Ridge to the night, she nailed five promising shots. She tucked the camera into its case and locked it in the van. An old lady who’d seen more of the world than her owner ever would, Jezebel deserved tender care.

Holding her cape closed, Miranda hurried up the long, steep driveway. Mason had called only the single women for this meeting. Six who hadn’t married yet and two widows.

How can the readers find you on the Internet?

My website is, and my blog is  
You can also find a longer excerpt from When Sparrows Fall at

Meg, thanks for dropping by.

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 if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Michelle said...

Jack sounds like a fascinating character. I would love to read this one.

mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net


Meg Moseley said...

Lena, thanks for featuring me on your blog! I'll try to check back often, in case any of your readers have questions for me.

Michelle, Jack is one of my favorites out of all the characters I've written. He's a rule-breaker, that's for sure. I hope you'll like him.

Jackie S. said...

I am very anxious to read Meg's book.....especially since she lives in GA! Thanks for the chance!
From GA

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Annette W. said...

Not an entry...I already have was great!

Coolestmommy said...

I found the book summary and the first page to be gripping. Sounds like a compelling read!

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Michelle said...

Can't wait to read this one! Thanks for entering me!

Michelle in CA

Bakersdozen said...

This book sounds interesting. I agree that Jack sounds fascinating. I live in S. California.

Judy K said...

I loved the interview with Meg. My Sister has 7 children and she home schools so that perked my interest in this book.
Meg, how did you pick the title for this book? I find it to be interesting.
I would love to win a copy.

Judy K from IN

The Herd said...

The title is such a drawing title to me. Please enter me
jnkbull at gmail dot com

Kameko said...

This book sounds fascinating - I wish it were in my hands right now so I could read it to the end.

Thank you Lena for featuring Meg; Meg thank you for taking the time to "chat" with us and offering a lucky reader a copy of your book.

Many blessings to both of you!

Moore, OK

Mona G./Ohio said...

I love avocados too and they are good for you.... would love to win this book, sounds very interesting....wondering what the secret is ???thanks

apple blossom said...

love to be entered thanks
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Unknown said...

The first page was really good. I look forward to reading the rest. Thanks for the chance to win!
Kari in Oregon

Courtney said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance to win!

WA state

karenk said...

would love to read this novel...thanks for the chance :)

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Cindy W. said...

When Sparrows Fall is definitely a book I would like to read. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

I live in Northeast Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Thank You for the chance.

angela from KY

Mrs. Carpenter said...

Would love to included in this contest to win this book.

Angela C./Ohio said...

The book sounds like a great read!
Thanks for the chance!
Brenda from Michigan.

dancealert at aol dot com

Abigail Mitchell said...

enter me.
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Jo said...

I would love to be entered for this giveaway. Thank you for entering me.


Merry said...

When Sparrows Fall sounds intriguing, I'd love a chance to win it. Thanks!
Merry in TX

peachykath said...

Sounds like a great mystery book, yet with a underlying romance story. I could be wrong though. I'd love a chance to read it and find out. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you


Katherine from Northern California

Kristie said...

I wonder what her secrets are. So often secrets have such power. Sad really because everyone is a sinner. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Shirley Thompson said...

Would love to win this book. Thanks
from Illinois

rbooth43 said...

I would love to find out if Miranda finds a way to unshackle her family without losing everything?

Patsy said...

I've seen this book on the internet and would love to read it. Sounds great.
From the Bible Belt


Ann Lee Miller said...

I'd love, love, love to win Meg's book! Ann Lee Miller

Meg Moseley said...

Ladies, please forgive me for not stopping by to answer questions! Judy K., you asked how I picked the title. The working title was "Sparrow," referring to Miranda. My editor and I tried a lot of different titles but finally settled on "When Sparrows Fall" because there are a number of "falls" in the story, whether they're physical falls or moral ones.

If anybody has more questions, please let me know. You can visit my blog too. Thanks so much for your interest in the book, and thanks to Lena for hosting us. Kameko, I understand that you're the winner. I'll send you the book as soon as I have your address.